NHL Betting Systems: What is an NHL Betting System, and does it work?

• Betting
• Betting Systems

Introducing NHL Betting Sytems

There is nothing out there like the NHL. While fast-paced action, brutal contact, and lightning-quick reflexes are elements of many sports, none display them in quite as visceral a way as ice hockey. That makes NHL games massively popular with spectators, and many like to highlight the excitement by betting on them. Of those who do, a good number also use NHL betting systems.

In this article, will explain what NHL betting systems are and why an increasing number of hockey fans like to use them. We will then present three simple systems so that you can explore their usefulness for yourself.


To illustrate this point about NHL betting systems, consider the following 'Crazy Underdog System' rules:

  1. Always bet on the underdog.
  2. If the underdog loses, double your stake.
  3. Bet the underdog in the next game.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you hit a winner.
  5. When the underdog wins, start afresh from Step 1.

That's a system, for sure, but it isn't a very good one. In fact, it's as crazy as its title. That's because your stakes could soar out of control long before you manage to bet a winning underdog.

For example, imagine that your first bet using this system is worth $10. Also imagine that you bet on six underdog losers in a row. In that case, your stake on the seventh game would be an eye-watering $640. And if that doesn't win, you'd need to stake four figures ($1,280) on the eighth game!

Clearly, the word 'system' is no guarantee of utility in the real world. For that reason, you need to be careful to test any system on paper before deciding whether or not to use it for betting with real money. 

NHL Betting Systems Give Direction

Using a betting system gives bettors a clear direction. Rather than having a multitude of betting opportunities to choose from, systems quickly narrow things down. This gives the bettor more time to look at a few markets in more detail than might be possible otherwise.

NHL Betting Systems Encourage Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is a key to success in all areas of life, and sports betting is no exception. NHL betting systems encourage self-discipline in their users by dramatically reducing the occasions on which a bet can be placed. 

If a system only allows you to bet on certain favorites, you don't bet on others. It takes effort and some willpower to adhere to such rules. But if you apply that effort and willpower your self-discipline will develop quite naturally.

NHL Betting Systems are Testable

Because NHL betting systems have clear rules, it is possible to test their efficacy before using them in practice. To do this, all you need to do is keep track of three things:

  • The selections provided by a given system.
  • The odds of those selections at the time.
  • How those selections fared.

After a few weeks of tracking hypothetical wins and losses, you can calculate whether a system would have given you a profit or a deficit. If the former, you could then choose to start using the system for real. But if the system would have lost you money, you can either continue testing it further or simply discard it and start testing a different one.

Where to Use NHL Betting Systems

You can use NHL betting systems no matter which sportsbook you happen to prefer. If you don't already have a sportsbook that you use for NHL betting, take a look at our online sportsbooks page or check out any of the recommended sportsbooks below:

The Value Betting System 

This strategy involves looking at two NHL teams and finding that one of them has odds higher than it 'should be'. Of course, the odds that a team 'should be' depends on their probability of winning, and that can be a difficult thing to quantify. 

If you are an experienced NHL fan then you may be happy generating your own probability of a team winning by studying their form and that of their next opponents. In that case, when you have generated at probability you should convert it into equivalent American odds using our Odds Value Calculator.

The alternative, if you aren't comfortable generating your own probabilities, is to take the first odds published by a sportsbook as the 'fair value' price and go from there.

When you know what the fair odds are for a team, you can apply the Value Betting System rules, which are as follows:

  • Only look at teams that are most likely to win according to past form.
  • If any of those teams is available at bigger odds than fair value suggests, bet on them to win.

You won't find many selections with this system, but when you do they will at least give you plenty of value. Exaggerated odds could crop up because an underdog has been underrated by a sportsbook, or simply because market forces have caused odds about the favorite to drift into value territory.

The Back-To-Back NHL Betting System 

There are a lot of games that take place in a season, and many of them involve teams having to travel considerable distances in a matter of days. Add into this reality the fact that playing hockey in the NHL is physically draining and fatigue becomes a factor that is always worth looking at.

Different teams have different approaches to dealing with fatigue, and this system is designed to help you bet accordingly. The rules are as follows:

  • For any game, look at the past form of the teams involved and see which one fares best playing at home after returning from being on the road.
  • If the team identified in Step 1 is playing at home and is also the favorite to win, bet on that team to win.

The Form Favorite Betting System

Picking a winning NHL team is often a lot more straightforward than many people imagine. The Form Favorite Betting System makes the most of that observation. This is perhaps the simplest of the free systems provided here, and its rules are as follows:

  • Look for a game where the favorites are in the top eight in the league and their opponents are in the bottom eight.
  • If the favorites won their most recent game, bet the favorites to win.

NHL Betting Systems FAQs

Where can I get free NHL betting systems?
You can find plenty of free NHL betting systems online. Perform a simple Google search on 'free betting systems' to see what's available. Of course, you need to remember to test any and all systems before using them with real money.
How do I read a moneyline bet in hockey?
Let us look at this example below to read the moneyline:
  • Bruins -200
  • Red Wings +185
The Bruins are the favorite, as indicated by the minus sign. You will have to wager $200 to net a $100 return if they win the game. On the other side, the Red Wings are the underdog due to the plus sign. A $100 wager will net you $185 return if they happen to win the game.
How much money should I bet?
Each person’s money situation is going to be different, so it all depends on your own comfort level in placing bets. It is very important that you keep an eye on your bankroll. Managing your money is one of the best things you can do when betting on sports. One common tip is to establish a bankroll for betting purposes and to bet a fixed percentage on each game. That could be anything from 1% to 10%, depending on your skill and attitude to risk.
How can I find up-to-date stats on teams?
NHL stats can be found via the official NHL website or a more general Google search.Before using stats from an unofficial source, be sure to check their accuracy. Not all NHL blogs and websites are equally reliable.