Guide to Sports Betting, NHL
MONTREAL, QC. — The NHL is one of the big four sports in the US. This should come as no surprise, because even across the border, people are wild for the NHL. In 2022, 4.6 million viewers tuned in for the Stanley Cup Finals, which was a massive increase from the previous year.
Betting on the NHL is a great way to spice up your afternoon and potentially rake in a large profit. But how do you bet on the NHL, and what are the right bets to make? Here’s your beginner’s guide to the different bets you can make.
The simplest wager in hockey is the moneyline bet. The essence of this wager is you make a bet on which team you believe will win. Since there are just two teams involved, you are unlikely to find any great deals.
The best way to take advantage of a moneyline bet is to combine it with bonuses. Some of the best NHL bonuses will enable you to amplify your winnings through free bets and odds boosts, so make sure you’re looking out for them on game day.
The puckline bet is hockey’s version of the spread. Spread betting means that you are betting on whether a team will cover the spread. For betting purposes, it puts the favorite at a natural disadvantage.
For example, if the Florida Panthers have a +1.5 spread, it means that the Panthers will need to win the game by at least two goals to cover the spread. If you’re betting on the Panthers to cover the spread and they win by just one goal, you lose.
Over/under betting means you’re betting on whether there will be more or less than the stated number of goals. In hockey, the standard over/under bet is 5.5.
If you bet that there will be over 5.5 goals, the teams must collectively score six goals or more for you to win the bet.
NHL Grand Salami
The Grand Salami is a fun way to spend your weekend because it ensures you have action on every single game. The salami in the NHL is a bet on the total number of goals that will be scored across an entire game day.
At its heart, the Grand Salami is an over/under bet. The way it works in hockey is that the standard 5.5 is multiplied by the number of games. On a standard night when there are six NHL games, you will usually be betting on an over/under of 40 across the whole league.
Prop bets are the nonstandard bets you make on individual teams and players. They often focus on the statistical results produced by players.
For example, you may bet on your team’s star player to score two or more goals over the course of the game. It could also include the number of assists, points earned, combination bets and the number of penalties given against them.
Fantasy players live and die on these same stats, so if you love fantasy NHL, prop bets may be your go-to betting option.
Futures betting focuses on the season as a whole, rather than a single game. Most futures bets go on the team that will win the Stanley Cup at the end of the year.
The majority of bettors will make these wagers early in the season to get the best odds, but you can put on futures bets any time you like.
There’s more to this betting category than just the overall winner. You can also bet on the two teams that will make the finals or the teams that will make the playoffs.
Look up the stats
The stats are key to hockey, like in most other sports. Make sure you have access to the stats on the teams and players relevant to your particular betting strategy, including the latest NHL lineups.
The NHL’s own website has an excellent stats database to help you make the right decisions. However, stats will only take you so far. After all, hockey is well known for its randomness.
Extra tips for smart NHL betting
- Special teams are more important than ever before for scoring a victory.
- Home ice has a disproportionate advantage statistically.
- Beware of changing trends over the exceptionally long 82-game season.
- Watch for the backup goalies and how they can turn a game on its head.
- Avoid always backing the home team. It’s a surefire way to a long-term loss.
Nailing a big win in hockey is much harder than in more predictable sports like the NFL. Make sure you know your markets, avoid betting emotionally and take the time to analyze the stats before placing your bets.
What are your top NHL betting tips?