The regular NHL season is a fast-paced, adrenaline-packed affair played out over seven months. Thirty two teams play eighty two games each, resulting in a season with a total of 1,271 games. And while this brings lots of entertainment for hockey fans, it also offers lots of opportunities to bet and win money.
If you’ve been finding it hard to join the fray and get your slice of the betting pie, worry not. This guide will ease you into the world of hockey betting. You should know enough by the end to inspire yourself to make your first hockey bet.
How to bet on hockey
Betting on hockey isn’t as intimidating as it seems. First, you need to know the different wagers you can make. These include money lines, puck lines, totals betting, 60 minutes bets, the grand salami, etc. They will be explained in detail later.
Then, you need to check if sports betting is legal in your state. As it stands, about 30 states plus Washington have sports betting legislation that can be considered live or legal. If your state falls within this category, read and understand any accompanying regulations and/or restrictions.
You can now proceed to join a sportsbook. These are licensed online betting platforms where betters place wagers on various sports, including hockey. They include DraftKings, BetMGM, Betrivers, Caesars and FanDuel.
Popular hockey betting lines
Whatever platform you’re on, you’ll come across the following bets when hockey betting;
NHL Money Line betting
Moneylines are bets on who will win the game. They are the most popular betting method due to how simple they are. All you have to do is interpret the odds and wager on the team you think will win a particular game. But how do you interpret odds?
It’s simple; odds usually have a plus (+) sign for the underdogs, and a minus (-) sign for the favorites. This holds true for all types of bets in this list. So, if Philadelphia at +130 is facing Pittsburgh at -110, the oddsmaker believes that Pittsburgh will win the NHL game. And what do the numbers represent?
In money line betting, +130 means that if you wager $100 and the underdog wins, you’ll win $130. On the other hand, -110 means that you have to bet $110 to make $100 from the favorites winning the game.
NHL Puck Line Betting
Puck line betting in NHL is similar to run line in baseball, or as is most commonly known, goal spread. This is a wager on how many goals the winner wins by or the loser wins by. In hockey, puck line bets are based on a 1.5-goal spread.
Take a game between the Chicago Blackhawks (+1.5) and the Minnesota Wild (-1.5). If you bet on the Blackhawks, they must win the game or lose by one, or the bet is lost. And if you bet on Minnesota, they must win by more than 1.5 goals for you to win the wager. If they lose or win by a just a single goal, you lose.
NHL Totals betting
These bets are also known as over/under. Basically, you wager on whether the total goals from both teams will be over or under the estimate provided by the oddsmaker. Assuming the over/under in the game above is 5.5, you’ll need more than 5.5 goals to win on over and less than 5.5 goals to win on under.
Note: You’ve noticed that in totals and puck line betting, the oddsmaker often sets a .5 number. This is quite strange since it’s impossible to score half a goal in hockey. But that’s where the magic lies. Since teams can’t score half a goal, having a .5 number prevents a push(draw), where the bet amount is refunded.
Other bet types used in hockey betting
Other ways you can place hockey wagers include:
· Futures: You bet on specific events in the mid to long-term future. For instance, you can wager on which team will lift the Stanley Cup, win their conference, or which player will win the Hart Trophy (league MVP).
· Prop bets: These bets are focused on certain happenings within a game (game props) or player performance (player props). The prop bets include things like who will score first or how many goals/assists a player will have.
· Parlay bets: A parlay bet is a wager on the outcomes of two or more games. Parlay bets can be pre-selected by the oddsmaker, although you also have the option of doing the selection yourself. And to win, all outcomes on the bet slip must occur as you predicted.
· In-game betting: In-game bets allow betters to wager on a game as it unfolds. Their odds are dynamic and change with in-game events, making them one of the most intense.
Special hockey betting lines
These are the betting methods unique to hockey.
60 minutes (or three-way)
A 60 minutes line is a money line bet that concludes after three periods. You’re betting on which team will be winning in sixty minutes. And unlike other hockey betting lines, there is an option to bet on a tie, thus it sometimes being called a “three-way moneyline”.
A “Grand Salami” is a hockey bet that resembles a totals bet. But in this case, the bettor wagers on the total amount of goals scored in all games on a particular day. So, if you have a 6-game day, you can make a Grand Salami of 30-40 goals.
Top 5 Hockey leagues to bet on
There are many hockey leagues around the world. Some of the most competitive, and thus, best leagues to bet on include;
The National Hockey League
The NHL is the best and most popular hockey league. With the 32 NHL teams having the best players in North America, the league is as competitive as it gets. The ultimate goal for each team is to win the prestigious Lord Stanley’s Cup. Therefore, they will fight hard through the season to get to the playoffs.
If you want some fast-paced and intense betting action, don’t let NHL games pass you by.
The Stanley Cup playoffs
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most exciting event in hockey betting. Starting May this year, they’re the playoffs no hockey or betting fan wants to miss. Games are faster and more physical. Every team wants to be at the top, and players are ready to give it all on the ice. This makes predicting outcomes all the more challenging.
Sportsbooks know this. Thus, they offer competitive odds. There are also some of the most exciting props of the NHL betting season.
NCAA Hockey League
What about a league for players on their path to becoming NHL stars? This is the NCAA Hockey League. It is a top development path for American hockey prospects. Full of young, hungry players, the NCAA is one of the best hockey leagues to bet on in the United States.
American Hockey League (AHL)
Developing prospects often pass through the AHL before making their way into the NHL. This makes it a hub for some of the most talented players in North America. And where there is talent, there is entertainment and competition. Coaching prospects will also spend some time in the AHL before graduating to the bigger league.
This combination of coaching and player talent makes the AHL quite popular among hockey bettors.
Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Let’s cross over the Atlantic to Europe to one of the best hockey leagues in the world; SHL. The SHL has 14 teams that play across a 52-game season. There are two major betting events; the playoffs and the Kvalserien.
The top eight teams make it to the playoffs, where the top-three seeded teams can pick their opponents out of the bottom-seeded teams for the first playoff round.
There is also a relegation and promotion system. Here, the bottom seeded teams in the SHL face the top teams in the second-tier league. This is the Kvalserien, and it’s insanely competitive.
Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
If Europe is too far, head north to Canada to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). It’s known for some exceptional talent, making it a good league for hockey betting.
Where to get hockey sports betting promo codes
Hockey betting is an exciting journey in itself. However, the risk can be a little too daunting. This is why it helps to grab some cash bonuses and promo codes for your first wager. With an NHL sportsbook bonus, you can wager less money for the same winnings. But where do you get hockey betting best cash bonuses and promo codes?
Normally, sportsbooks like DraftKings, FanDuel, Betrivers, etc., give you promo codes and bonuses on sign-up. But to make things easier, we have all hockey betting best promo codes. These are valid for the following online sports betting sites;
BetMGM is considered by many as the best sportsbook for everything hockey. It features attractive odds across various hockey leagues in North America. You’ll also get a welcome bonus and risk-free bets of up to $1,000.
Get started with our BetMGM promo code today.
FanDuel also offers the latest NHL odds for spreads, money lines, totals, futures, and other hockey betting lines. In addition, new players enjoy risk-free bets of up to $100 and our very own FanDuel promo code.
DraftKings sportsbook is known for many things, and hockey betting is one of them. NHL, NCAA, and SHL fans can bet on top games and events on the platform with the latest odds. New users also get a risk-free bet and qualify for a 20% bonus of up to $1,000.
Get started with our DraftKings promo code today.
Caesars sportsbook is home to some pretty attractive odds on NHL games and other hockey leagues. Get the best Caesars promo bonus code here.
Hockey Betting FAQs
Is online sports betting legal?
Yes, it is; that is, as long as you’re doing it with legal online sportsbooks like Caesars, Draftkings, Betrivers, etc. Still, make sure to check on your state’s gaming enforcement rules.
What are the top three ice hockey leagues in the world?
As of April 2022, the top three hockey leagues in the world were the National Hockey League (NHL), Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).