NHL Betting Guide

Hockey GuideNHL is one of the topmost priorities for bettors along with NBA, NFL and MBL. Although it seems to have a slightly smaller audience than the mentioned three, NHL is still hugely popular in the areas of Canada and the USA. Let’s know more about this league dedicated to ice hockey and how to play with its perks.

What is the NHL?

NHL stands for National Hockey League. It is the professional group of a number of ice hockey teams based in the North American continent. This league has been playing games since 1917. After completing a century of its existence last year, it is still going strong.

Ice Hockey Rink Dimensions

Ice Hockey Rink Dimensions

It began its journey with just four teams from Canada but now consists of 31 teams from both Canada and the USA. A new team is supposed to join it in 2021 making a total of 32 league members. One of those teams come out as the league playoff champion after each season ends and is awarded the prestigious trophy of Stanley Cup. They are also divided into four divisions named Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific.

NHL Hockey

NHL Hockey

This league is considered to be the most popular ice hockey leagues in the world, as well as one of the most influential ones in both participating countries. Even though the teams belong to only 20 countries, the players of these teams come from all around the world. The current players of this league comprise the beauty and diversity of 20 countries. Such diversity and popularity helped NHL set the record of the highest viewership back in 2009.

How To Bet On The NHL?

Being one of the most popular sports in Canada, NHL tends to have many bettors online trying their best to predict the outcome or twists and turns of a game. If you are just starting your journey in the betting world and need some guidance, this is just the place for you! You can pick any of the following betting types to place a bet on the NFL: 

Money Line

Similar to many other league betting variations, money line takes the cake in NHL betting. It is the most common form of betting in NHL because it is the most straightforward one. In a money line betting, you just need to bet on the ultimate winner of the match. Almost every match has a favorite and an underdog. Bet on either of them and if your chosen one wins, you get the rewards.

20-cent Line

This is another common betting type offered by a majority of sportsbooks. The 20-cent part represents the difference of odds between the two participating teams. Of course, the difference can be much larger than this but 20 cents is considered the standard number.  There are other variations of this betting type like 10-cent line and dime line.

Puck Line

The puck line bets in NHL are similar to the run line bets of baseball. These bets take place with 1.5 on each side. The sign preceding this number is what differentiates the favorite from the underdog in a match. The side with +1.5 is the favorite. Hence, if it wins the game or loses it by just one goal, the players who placed bets on them will win the rewards. If you bet on the team with -1.5 handicap, you can get the rewards only if this team wins by 2 goals or more.

Pinnacle Odds

Pinnacle – The best NHL Odds


You can also bet on the total number of goals in a game. The sportsbook will help you in this case by putting out an estimated number. Generally, this ranges from 5 to 6.5 for NHL games. Then the bettors need to place the bet that the resulting score will be greater or less than this specified number. That is why this betting category is also called over-under.


Parlays refer to a combination of all the above-mentioned betting types. You can select multiple or all of the bets – money line, puck line and totals – to make your own customized parlay bet. The catch here is that you need to win every single one of them to win the parlay rewards.

The Grand Salami

The Grand Salami lets the bettors place their stakes on multiple games taking place on the same day. This is usually gambled on the number of goals scored in these games collectively. For instance, 53 to 60 goals are estimated if there are 10 matches scheduled for one day. It works similar to the totals betting by the sportsbook placing a particular number and the bettors going over or under it.

Live Betting

Live betting is extremely popular among all bettors regardless of the sports type. This allows them to bet on any outcome throughout the entire duration of a game. As a result, it makes for an exciting and entertaining time for every party involved – bettors, players, audience and the sportsbook!

Prop Bets

These bets happen only in the high-profile NHL games like the Stanley Cup playoffs or final. You need to place these bets before the puck drop happens. Such bets are typically concerned with which team will score the first goal or how many goals can a particular player score.

NHL Betting: Understanding the rules

There are some rules you need to know and follow before entering the world of NHL betting. Some of the most common NHL betting rules are:

  • In case of money line and puck line bets, the game must go on for at least 55 minutes for it to have “action”.
  • In case of totals betting, the game must go on full-time for it to have “action”.
  • If a match is postponed or canceled before its 55 minutes are up, it can still be considered to have action only if its results have already been decided.
Ice hockey rink

Ice hockey rink

NHL Markets

The market for NHL is a lot less competitive than other betting markets like NBA, NFL and MLB. So you already have an upper hand going into this market. You can enhance your chances by keeping a few things in mind like these:

Closing line value

If you are looking for a measure to judge your own progress as a bettor, you can take a look at how often you are beating the closing line value. For instance, if you bet for team A at -125 against team B at -115 and the game closes with team A at -130, you are doing well. If your recent records don’t play well against the closing line values, you may need to re-assess your strategies.

Adjusting score

There are many advanced statistics available like Corsi For, Corsi Against and Fenwick on sportsbooks. However, a bettor needs to know how to adjust scores during a match according to the latest developments.


HDSC stands for High-Danger Scoring Chances. Natural Stat Trick tracks these chances and can get you a better idea about all the games matching their criteria. You can take their help to make bets which have a higher probability to win.


This is considered to be the trickiest part of betting in NHL. A goaltender of hockey is the same as a goalkeeper of soccer. The goaltenders need to stop the other team from scoring a goal. To figure out how strong the goaltenders of both the participating teams are, take help of certain stats like the 5v5 SV% (save percentage), xSV% (expected save percentage), dSV% (delta save percentage) and GSAA (goals saved above average).

Hockey markets

Hockey markets

NHL Odds

The odds in NHL work the same way as in other betting sports. There is the point spread which indicates by how many points the favorite team can win. In ice hockey, the money line replaces this point spread but indicates almost the same thing. Instead of decimal points, they tend to be the value of money placed at stake (generally over 100). The money line of the favorite is preceded by a minus sign while that of the underdog is prefixed by a plus sign.

NHL odds

NHL odds at Betway

The mentioned amount is what you win or lose by placing a bet of $100. All these odds are usually displayed beside the team’s name in a sportsbook. If team A is the favorite with a money line of -120 and you bet $120 on them, you will earn $100 if they win. On the other hand, if team B is the underdog at +120 and you bet $100 on them, you win $120 if they win.

Major events

All events in NHL can be divided into two distinct categories – regular season and the post-season playoffs. Let’s learn about each of them one by one:

Regular Season

Each team of NHL needs to play a total of 82 games in the regular season. So each season comprises of 1271 games scheduled including 480 inter-conference matches. Although, the last season brought some changes which will probably persist. For instance, every team has to face 4 or 5 teams of their own division and all teams from outside their division thrice. The regular season ends with 16 teams qualifying for the prestigious Stanley Cup playoffs.

Stanley Cup

The 16 teams who made it so far then participate in an elimination tournament. There are three rounds here and each round runs on a best-of-seven format. The three best teams from three divisions and two wild-card entries advance to the next round. The two winning teams participate in the exciting final match and only one of them gets to take the cup home.

NHL Favourites

Toronto Maple Leafs

This NHL team is based in Ontario and currently stands 2nd in the Atlantic Division. They have come out as the champions of Stanley Cup tournament 13 times so far. Understandably, it is always counted among the top favorites for Canadian audience and bettors. It has been playing these games since 1917. Although the team has changed its name a few times, the impact has always been consistent.

Montreal Canadiens

This team is another favorite for the Canadian viewers since it has won 24 Stanley Cup trophies as of now. It also has a high chance of winning the cup this year as well. It has taken part in the NHA and NHL since 1910. A century of experience and legacy has surely enriched its appeal to the ice hockey lovers.

Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings are also part of the Atlantic Division and is one of the six original teams of NHL. So far, they have achieved 11 Stanley Cups making them the biggest champion among the USA-based ice hockey teams.

NHL Hockey Betting Tips

Here are a few handy tips to get you going with the NHL betting:

Prepare the schedule

When the dates of an upcoming NHL season is nearby, print out the whole season’s schedule for each team separately. If you go through them, you will observe some patterns which will help you make the estimations better.

First goal

It is crucial to have enough knowledge on who is going to score the first goal in an NHL match. Follow reliable sources (like dailyfaceoff.com or goaliepost.com) to reach the most foolproof conclusion.

Avoid short odds

The totals of NHL games tend to be around the same figures of 5, 5.5 and 6. Statistically, about 25% games tend to be below 5 and thus there are more chances to lose these games. So try to avoid these totals of short odds and only bet on games lined at 5 or higher.

NHL Hockey Betting FAQ

Q: What does regulation time mean in ice hockey?

 A: Regulation time is the regular time an ice hockey match is expected to run. Any professional ice hockey match will have a regulation time of 3 periods, each consisting of 20 minutes. If the two teams are tied after the 3rd period has ended, an extra round of overtime or shootout takes place.

 Q: What is a puck drop?

 A: Puck drop refers to the first puck made by the guest of honor. This officially begins the match and ends all festivities preceding the match.


Now that you are highly educated in ice hockey and everything associated with its betting, you can hop on to a sportsbook to begin your journey as a wise novice bettor. Take wise decisions at every turn and make us proud!

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