How to Wager on NHL Hockey - A Guide for Bettors
August 13, 2016
NHL hockey provides sports bettors with a wide variety of wagering opportunities. With each of the league's teams playing an 82-game regular season that runs from October until April, followed by a two-month playoff tournament in which the top 16 teams battle until only one emerges as champion, sports bettors can cash in wagering on individual games as well as overall team performances.
Individual game betting options include moneyline betting, puckline betting, and totals, while futures betting allows for wagering on the eventual winners in each of the NHL's four divisions and two conferences, as well as which team will win the coveted Stanley Cup.
NHL Moneyline Betting
Moneyline betting involves placing a bet on a team to win a game outright, as opposed to beating a pre-determined point spread.
Odds are set on each team in an individual game, with the favored team's odds represented by a negative number indicating the size of the bet required to win $100. The underdog's odds are represented by a positive number indicating how much a winning $100 bet would pay.
In the above moneyline odds example, a successful $100 bet on underdog Toronto to beat Montreal would win $130, while it would take a $140 bet on Montreal to win $100.
NHL Puckline Betting
Puckline betting exists in place of point spread betting, which is popular in high-scoring sports like basketball and football.
Each team in an NHL game is given moneyline odds on whether they will win or lose by a margin of 1.5 goals.
Toronto +1.5 (-160)
Montreal -1.5 (+180)
In the above puckline betting example, a bet on Toronto to lose by no more than one goal would cost $160 to win $100, while a bet on Montreal to beat Toronto by at least two goals would win a healthy $180 on a $100 wager.
NHL Totals Betting
Totals betting enables sports bettors to wager on the total number of goals scored by both teams in a single NHL game. Totals in NHL games typically range between 4.5 and 6.0 goals, with moneyline odds often attached to wagers on the total finishing OVER or UNDER the posted number.
NHL Futures Betting
While betting on individual NHL games occurs daily throughout the season, futures betting allows for wagering on eventual season outcomes and playoff performances.
Starting in the offseason and carrying on throughout the season, every NHL team sports odds of winning the Stanley Cup, while wagering on division and conference champions is also available at online sportsbooks like Bodog.
NHL hockey fans can also bet on which team will emerge victorious in each playoff series, right up until the Stanley Cup final in June of each year.