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Gambling 101: National Hockey League Betting

Our Sports Gambling 101 series continues with a breakdown of National Hockey League betting. How do bettors get in on the action and what are popular NHL wagering options?

Established in 1917, the NHL is the second oldest of the four major professional sports in North America. Known as the “Original Six,” Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, New York and Detroit, were the first six cities with NHL teams. With Seattle (2021) as the newest franchise, 25 teams are based in the United States and seven teams are located in Canada. Available during the 82-game regular season, plus four rounds of playoff action, NHL odds are plentiful.

Puck Line NHL Betting Odds

Known as point spreads in basketball and football, plus run lines in baseball, puck lines are offered as the spread betting option in the NHL. Puck line favorites are saddled with a -1.5 goal pregame handicap and need to win by at least two goals to cash winning tickets. Pregame underdogs receive a +1.5 goal head start and must win outright or lose by just one goal. Average puck line juice ranges from +100 to upwards of +/-300 depending on the teams involved.


Moneyline NHL Betting Odds

Available as a standard “big three” hockey betting option, NHL moneylines are often reasonably priced. Moneyline favorites are posted with a negative number while underdogs are listed with a positive price. In the odds example below, Buffalo (-140) is the favorite. The Sabres need to win, in regulation time or overtime, for bettors to earn a $100 profit for every $140 wagered. Ottawa (+120) is the underdog and bettors earn $120 on every $100 bet if the Senators win.


Game Total NHL Betting Odds

NHL total odds ask bettors to predict the combined goals scored in a game. Two-way odds include regulation time and one goal is added if a match goes into overtime. Three-way goal total odds add a TIE into the mix and those bets are always graded at the end of regulation time. Lines range from 5.0 to 6.5 goals and juice prices are usually within the +100 to +/-130 range. Bettors should consider OVER when a high scoring squad faces a team with a leaky defense.

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NHL Futures and Prop Betting Odds

From Stanley Cup playoff futures, to a variety of player and team props, exotic NHL betting options are plentiful. During the preseason, and while the season plays out, bettors can place futures wagers on division and conference champs plus the Stanley Cup winner. From leading scorer, to top goaltender, player props are also available as futures bets. From the 2020 Stanley Cup odds below, bettors earn an $800 profit on every $100 wager if Colorado claims the Cup.


Shop Around for Best Priced NHL Odds

Shopping for best-priced odds is important prior to placing bets. Land based sportsbooks, plus online betting apps, are now available in many states. That makes funding an account at more than one bookmaker quick and easy. Comparing prices can help bettors generate a larger payout or reduce original risk. NHL Eastern Conference odds illustrate that as Washington and Pittsburgh prices are better at FanDuel while Philadelphia has added moneyline value at DraftKings.


NHL Betting Bottom Line

Since NHL betting action is available throughout the year, players are reminded to set a steady pace. Along with proper bankroll management, bettors also need to research the sides involved prior to placing bets. Comparing offense and defense statistics, along with recent history of the teams involved, are solid starting points. Key injuries, team travel, plus home and away records, should also be reviewed. Check our NHL updates for additional gambling information.