Michael Tradford
Last Update:
September 13, 2021
This author was thoroughly tested and approved by the experts at before joining the editorial board to ensure a high content quality.
Author Bio:
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.
Michael was Marketing Director in Atlantic City and worked in the casino industry for several years before shifting over to numerous newspapers in New York and Chicago working his way up to Editor-in-Chief. His focus areas are mainly in the fields of sports, gambling, and politics. He has a Marketing Degree, visited Columbia University during his time in New York and is now Editor-in-Chief at AmericaGambles.

NHL Betting 2021: Odds & Strategies

While there are many great hockey leagues around the world, there might not be one that can compete with the NHL. Taking the top players from the USA, Canada, Europe and beyond, the NHL is a league that spans the United States and puts hockey talent across the country for the entertainment of fans. Adding to the entertainment of the NHL is the presence of NHL betting, where those wagering have a chance to win money by placing an array of picks on different facets of games around the league each season. In this guide to NHL betting, find out how to bet NHL games and what tips and tricks can help you as a hockey bettor.

Everything you need to know about NHL Betting
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  • The top hockey league in the world

  • Betting markets widely available

  • Short and long term markets to play

How does NHL betting work?

NHL betting is easy, no matter what kind of NHL bets are being placed. To place an NHL bet, a bettor must go to their preferred sportsbook and login. Once that easy step is completed, bettors can navigate to the NHL section of the sportsbook to see what markets and NHL betting odds are available for wagering on the National Hockey League. From there, bettors can select the different bets that they want to make, and choose the stake amount that they put into place for each of those picks. Those amounts will dictate the potential payout for each bet, after which bettors can confirm the bets that they are making and lock them in.

As is the case with any kind of bet, NHL betting works by requiring bettors to make a selection in the odds and markets that they are wagering on. Once they have made a choice across those odds, they can sit back and hope that their predictions come true in the form of successful new bets. There are different things that sports bettors need to keep in mind when it comes to NHL betting, depending on the betting market that a bettor is selecting. And with a robust selection of betting odds to choose from, bettors have no shortage of ways to make money betting on the NHL.

What kinds of NHL bets can I make?

There are NHL bets for every kind of bettor, from single game picks to bets where longer periods of time are covered. But no matter what types of bets are chosen, sports bettors have chances to make money wagering on the top hockey league in the world. Here is a list of the different betting odds that new and experienced NHL bettors can take advantage of.

  • Moneyline odds
  • Puckline bets
  • Totals odds
  • Prop odds
  • Futures odds

The moneyline bet in hockey works one of two ways. The first of the NHL betting lines on the moneyline requires sports bettors to choose which team is going to win a game with overtime and shootouts included in the odds. The other way only includes regulation, and lists the tie as an option to where a tie game after regulation results in a loss for sports bettors who did not bet on the draw. The puckline is similar to a spread betting line in other sports, where sports bettors have the ability to wager on either team with a handicap applied to their total. The handicap in puckline bets is usually 1.5 goals, with the favorite having that amount subtracted from their score or the underdog having it added to their total. Speaking of totals, totals picks in the NHL require bettors to figure out if the amount of goals scored in a game or period goes over or under an amount of goals set by the bookmaker.

Prop bets in hockey bring interesting twists to each NHL betting line, as sports bettors can wager on interesting line markets that cover a variety of componenst in each game. These cover things such as the number of saves that a goaltender will make in a game as well as whether or not a goal will be scored in the first 10 minutes of a game. And futures picks ask sports bettors to look toward the future, as they ask questions like who will win the Stanley Cup Final at the end of the season or which player will be deemed the league’s most valuable for the season.

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Important NHL events

There are a number of interesting NHL events that take place throughout each season. The most important of those events is the Stanley Cup Final. The NHL’s championship series, the Stanley Cup Final is a best of seven series that allows bettors to wager on single line games or on which team is going to win the entire series. With so much on the line in this event, bettors are free to feel the intensity of each game and each line shift on the ice, which makes for a more exciting wagering experience than most events could possibly provide.

The NHL playoffs as a whole are exciting to bettors and are what lead to the pairing that plays in the Stanley Cup Final. The top eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs, with the ability for all 16 teams to win a championship if they play well enough. Given how close each team is in terms of their talent level, games typically see sudden death overtime, with the potential for multiple overtimes as opposed to the shootouts that take place in the regular season. With so much at stake in each game, overtime playoff hockey is one of the most exciting phenomena in sports, and betting on hockey games that have gone to overtime leads to some memorable moments for bettors who are free to get wins in those games.

Things to remember when placing NHL bets

When betting on NHL action, bettors should remember that goaltenders are some of the most important athletes in all of sports. Due to the physical demands of the position and the fact that a fresh goalie is so important to postseason success, many teams will alternate goaltenders throughout the season to keep their net minders fresh. Those switches could greatly impact a team’s chances of winning games in the regular season, and bettors should keep an eye out for opportunities to make new value bets based on the changing of goalies.

Also worth remembering is the fact that there are often scheduling quirks throughout the season that could help bettors make money in the long run. With hockey being such a physically demanding game, playing games on back to back nights can be incredibly difficult for teams to navigate. Using those nights to place new bets against the teams that are dealing with fatigue from back to backs is something that bettors should not forget to do throughout the NHL seasons.

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NHL betting strategies

From a strategy perspective, NHL bettors would be smart to look at the performances of teams in specific periods. Some teams start out faster than others, which could lend value to new first period bets or new second or third period bets depending on when teams tend to play their best. This applies to totals as well, as some teams tend to score goals more efficiently early in games while others tend to score later on when their opponents are fatigued. Picking those spots is something that cannot be taught but bettors with a feel for those odds and how different teams perform within them can earn solid profits on their NHL betting picks.

Also strong for strategic NHL bettors is not being afraid to look at underdogs to win the Stanley Cup Final. At the start of the playoffs, there are a large number of teams that can conceivably win a championship, with the lowest seeded teams in the tournament often coming from long odds to win the Cup. Identifying which of those lower seeds can make a run through the postseason at long odds has the potential to net bettors a lot of money if they aren’t afraid to pull the trigger on longshots rather than sticking with the highest seeds in the tournament.

Find your perfect NHL betting site

In addition to the odds and betting markets that a site offers NHL bettors, things like the user experience and bonuses are also of interest. Finding a sportsbook that can meet your needs in those categories and beyond is key to having a positive sports betting experience. And our sportsbook comparison tool can help you do just that. By helping you compare betting sites to find the best one for you, you can stop wasting your time with books that don’t meet your needs and bet with better options. Don’t delay, compare sportsbooks now and get your bonus before placing your next hockey bet.

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Sports: 21+
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Min. Odds: -190
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Min. Odds: -300
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Min. Odds: -150 to +10,000
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Min. Odds: -200


Hot action on the ice
NHL betting requires bettors to see small advantages throughout the season as well as the big picture for the entirety of the year. Those who can do both of those things at once are at a huge advantage in the long run, as betting on the NHL is a season-long endeavor. While not subject to as many rest days as the NBA betting crowd, NHL bettors need to ha doe goaltender switches and other unique factors that make betting on the ice difficult yet rewarding in its own way. And with the intensity of playoff hockey, betting on the NHL can make that intensity even more palpable.
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