NHL Betting

NHL betting is on the rise even though the league has been through the wringer in the past decade. Yet despite the league’s many work stoppages, it will always have a strong following throughout many parts of the United States and Canada. Although it ranks firmly behind the NBA, NFL, and MLB and college football in terms of the amount betting, the NHL is still a viable betting option that has a large variety of markets.

The north of the United States and Canada as a whole make a large portion of the NHL’s fan base. European markets, despite having domestic leagues, also have many fans who are passionate about hockey betting.

However, the NHL’s popularity worldwide has not surged nearly as much as other North American professional leagues such as the NFL or NBA. Despite all this, bettors can find plenty of reputable online hockey betting sites when looking bet hockey online.

Trusted NHL Hockey Betting Sites 2021

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NHL Hockey Betting Strategy Articles

The NHL isn’t our best sport here at Safest Betting Sites, but betting on hockey is popular across the globe. The sport is certainly a different animal compared to others – and by many accounts – hockey betting markets are far less efficient than the other three professional sports, which is an opportunity for those who are knowledgeable about the sport and its betting markets.

How To Bet On NHL Hockey Games

You’re not just a hockey fan but an NHL fan who wants to plunk his hard-earned money down on some hockey games. Choosing the best NHL betting site is vital for potential betting profits, and to make sure that you receive your winnings during the season. Look at our list of recommended sites and why they are the best for betting on the NHL hockey sports betting. If you are new to online betting we have a quick step by step to let show you how easy it is to bet on NHL games.

  1. Pick A Trusted Sportsbook – The first thing you need to do is finding a trusted sports betting site. Some sites are scams that you want to avoid them completely. At Safest Betting Sites, we have plenty of reviews of trusted online hockey betting sites.
  2. Maximize Signup Bonuses – When you first sign up with betting sites, you will get bonuses on the amount of money you deposit. You will use NHL bets to earn your way for the bonus payout as often there is a specific requirement to place a certain amount of bets to take a full advantage of these signup bonuses.
  3. Make A Deposit – Once you have your NHL betting site picked, you will want to deposit your betting money. You can use credit cards, debit cards, PayPal or currently the most popular deposit method done via cryptocurrencies.
  4. Look For +EV Wagers – The best ways to learn how to bet on the NHL is to watch carefully for mistakes in the betting lines. Since the NHL is not watched as heavily as other sports, you will find weak lines all over the place. The key is finding the weak lines and exploiting them. Look for a home team that is a large underdog, or a rivalry match that is heavy in odds on one side. Pay attention to how teams are doing before their upcoming matchup.
  5. NHL Line Shopping – Take some time to shop at other online sportsbooks. If you really like a line at a sportsbook, see if you can find one that is even better at another. Or if you have a team that you really like in a matchup, but the line is not great at one site, you can shop for a more valued line at another online sportsbook.
  6. Place Your NHL Bet – If you have read our guide to NHL hockey strategies, you are ready for the last step. You have found your line and now you are ready to place your bet. You will want to confirm your bet slip. Double check that the bet you are about to place is, in fact, the bet you want. After that, you will hit confirm and it is a done deal. Now you can sit back, relax and cheer for your team.

Top Betting Sites For NHL Hockey In The US

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NHL Bets

Those who are familiar with baseball betting will be right at home with hockey betting markets. Unlike football and basketball, there are no traditional point spreads. The baseline odds are in moneyline format. Totals operate the same way as football and basketball, but with less variation in numbers. Pucklines are a point-spread-and-moneyline wager hybrid that is available in NHL betting markets.

NHL Moneylines

nhl moneyline bets

The NHL and hockey betting, in general, is similar to baseball betting when it comes to betting markets and outcomes. Both use moneyline odds because point spreads aren’t practical for hockey betting. Here’s an example:

  • Boston Bruins +110
  • Pittsburgh Penguins -120

This is a typical NHL contest as a sportsbook would list it. The Penguins are the home team and the favorite. The Bruins are the away team and the underdog. The rules don’t change for moneyline wagering on hockey and bettors will be picking the outright winner.

NHL betting sites odds range from -110 to -300, but -300 favorites are generally on the rarer side. This can allow some nice underdog value when the favorites get that high.

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NHL Puck-Line Strategy

nhl pucklines bets

NHL puck lines strategy work the same way as baseball runlines. Using the same teams, here’s another example to consider:

  • Boston +1.5 (-250)
  • Pittsburgh -1.5 (+230)

Notice that Boston is now a sizeable favorite and Pittsburgh is the underdog. That’s how important 1.5 goals is in a hockey game. NHL games are often tight, and one goal can make all the difference.

If a game goes to overtime, it’s an automatic win if you have +1.5 goals, due to sudden death rules. This is why there’s such a steep price difference compared to the moneyline odds.

Occasionally, NHL betting sites will over puck lines larger than 1.5, such as 2.5 or 3.5 goals. The availability of lines depends on your preferred sportsbook.
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NHL Totals

nhl total bets

NHL totals bet, a popular hockey betting strategy, are calculated in the same manner as the other main sports. The total counts the combined scoring of both teams and includes both regulation and overtime. Both sides of the total will have attached moneyline odds, which begin at -110. Again, here’s another example:

  • Boston Bruins
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Total: Over 5.0 (-110) / Under 5.0 (-110)

Totals usually fall between 5.0 and 6.0 goals. Of course, this varies based on the matchup and skill of the goalies, among other factors that the NHL betting sites determine. Some games will fall below or above these numbers. A 6.5 total or higher is projected to be a shootout.
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NHL Hockey Parlays

nhl parlay bets
NHL hockey parlay bets, like baseball, do not use the fixed odds system that basketball and football parlays use. Instead, payouts are calculated by the odds of each leg of the parlay. Strategies for NHL parlays vary. Correlated parlays, such as teasing the over and the favorite are not allowed at most online sportsbooks.

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NHL Futures Betting

nhl future bets

NHL futures betting focus on the major events surrounding the league, including the Stanley Cup Winner and Western and Eastern Conference titles and to a lesser extent the league MVP and top goaltender. Each event offers the full field of teams and can offer some large payouts for long-shot bets. The main drawback that some have with futures is that their funds can be tied up for an extended period of time.

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NHL Propositions

nhl prop bets

The NHL prop market for hockey is much smaller compared to other sports because of the league’s low popularity. However, there’s still a viable market for those interested in this hockey betting strategy.

Player and team propositions usually surround the number of shots and/or assists of a player or the number of goals scored by each team. Other propositions such as which team scores first or the number goals in a specific period are also available.

NHL propositions that are similar to future bets, such as which player will win the Hart Trophy (MVP) or which goalie will win the Vezina Trophy are available at most NHL betting sites. The Grand Salami wager, the total number of goals (over/under) scored that day, is also a popular bet. The same market is usually offered for MLB betting.

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NHL Hockey Live Betting

nhl live betting

Every major US sport has live betting options, and hockey is no exception. NHL live betting is commonplace at most sites. Nationally televised games are more likely to be offered, and larger events like the NHL Finals or Olympic hockey will almost always have live betting options. Live betting markets often include live updated odds ranging from pucklines, moneylines and totals betting to player and team props.

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NHL History and Season

NHL HistoryThe NHL has its roots back in 1917 when the league was originally known as the National Hockey Association (NHA). After many of the NHA’s owners had suspended their franchises, the National Hockey League was formed.

To start off, the league had only a few Canadian teams but introduced America’s first hockey team, the Boston Bruins, in 1924. In 1926, the league had a total of 10 teams, mostly from Canada and the northeastern United States.

In 1933, the league expanded and was heard via radio across the country. World War II hurt the NHL, like many other professional sports leagues across North American, and the number of teams fell from ten to six. Rapid expansion started in 1967, and the league doubled in size. In 1979, after the folding of the rival Western Hockey League (WHA), the NHL absorbed four of their teams to bring their total number to 21. As of 2014, the NHL has a total of 30 teams.

The regular season has the same number of games as the NBA, with 82 games starting in October and running through the middle of April. The playoffs begin shortly after. Also, parallel to the NBA is their playoff format. 16 out of the 30 teams make the playoffs in the NHL from the Eastern and Western Conferences, with eight teams making it from each conference. The league uses the format of the best-of-seven games for all playoff rounds. Once the field is whittled down to one team from each conference, the conference champions will face off in the Stanley Cup Finals.

History of NHL Betting

1800’sHockey Becomes more Popular

Writings and landscapes from many areas depicted games like today’s game. British officers wrote about playing “hockey” on ice and using rudimentary ice skates. Many of the First Nations played a similar sport at the time.

1883Continued Expansion

The sport continued to expand, and enough teams joined the Quebec National Hockey club that they had a “world championship” of ice hockey in the annual Winter Carnival in 1883. By 1893, over 100 teams existed in the Montreal area.

1902West Penn Hockey League

Professional ice hockey got a start in the United States as the Western Pennsylvania Hockey League. Teams from Michigan and Ontario formed with the PA league, and the first international professional league was born – the International Professional Hockey League (IPHL).

1917National Hockey League

The NHA rebranded as the National Hockey League (NHL). They began expanding into the United States. The Boston Bruins, one of the most storied teams in today’s NHL, were formed in 1924.

2004-05NHL Lockout

The NHL has a lockout which canceled all the games of the season.

2012-13Another NHL Lockout

An NHL lockout canceled a significant portion of the season, limiting it to just 48 games.

1799Hockey is Created

The origins of hockey are relatively unknown. Games vaguely similar to the modern day game of today existed in parts of Europe. The first evidence of “hockey on ice” was written by William Pierre Le Cocq in a letter written in Chesham, England.

1875First Indoor Hockey Game

The first indoor hockey game was played in Montreal on March 3, 1875. The city would become the place where the modern game of ice hockey would be developed. The game was played between two nine-player teams, one from Montreal’s Victoria Skating Rink and McGill University Students.

1893Ice Polo Sport Variation

A variation of the game was being played in America at the time. “Ice polo” had been the dominant game, but Yale and John Hopkins University began holding ice hockey games.

1910National Hockey Association

The National Hockey Association (NHA) is formed. Several rule changes are implemented, including, dropping the rover position, dividing the game into three 20-minute periods, and introducing minor and major penalties.

1980Miracle on Ice

The “Miracle on Ice” captivates the country as a team of amateur Americans take down the Soviet Union’s hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

2006Operation Slapshot

Operation Slapshot” was the name given to a sports betting ring on NHL games that involved, Rick Tocchet, an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. Wayne Gretzky’s wife, Janet Jones, was also under investigation.

2016NHL vs Gambling

In an interview with Bloomberg Radio, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, said that the NHL and the game of hockey, “does not lend itself to gambling.”

20182018 NHL Signs Deal with MGM

With the advent of legal sports betting, the league has made a deal with MGM Resorts International as the official betting partner of the National Hockey League.


NHL Betting Now

The NHL won’t ever be a top sport regarding betting handle, but online betting markets have grown tremendously when it comes to hockey. NCAA Hockey playoff games are now available for betting at lots of offshore betting sites. The league will be around for years to come.

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