Tips For How To Make Winning Bets On The NHL - Learn How to Bet



How to bet on the NHL

• Betting
• Hockey
• Sports Betting

How To Bet On The NHL

Compared to the other United States sports betting markets, NHL comes in around fourth on the popularity chart. However, this does not mean that you cannot make money off of the NHL.

The market for betting on the NHL is indeed a little softer compared to the rest, but there is a lot of betting value to be had. One way to gauge your success, and if you are curious about NHL betting, you should compare how often you get the closing line correct.

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Top Five Most Popular Tips For NHL Betting

Since the NHL is a little less popular in sports betting than other leading markets, it operates less efficiently. This does not mean it is any easier, because you still need a strategy and tips to make the right bets. The top five most popular tips are:

  1. Choose the best sportsbook 
  2. What the odds mean
  3. Deciding what to bet on
  4. Look at the rankings
  5. Avoiding biases

NHL Live Odds


Choose The Best Sportsbook

Now, let us assume you already have a sportsbook, or you have one in mind. Is it living up to your expectations, or do you even care?

You should care, because you want the one that has the best payouts, is user friendly, great bonuses, and up to the minute updates on betting odds. You especially want a good one that follows live sports to a tee, if live NHL betting is your thing. 

You also want to check on reviews or features about your sportsbook of choice. Most are competitive with bonuses or incentives, but all are different in ways that alter the user experience.

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What The Odds Mean

The most popular odds in the NHL are going to be the moneyline. These odds are represented by a number with either a plus or minus sign in front of it.

Let us look at this example:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: +135
  • Boston Bruins: -150

By looking at this, bettors would have to wager $150 to net a $100 return on Boston. By betting on Toronto, you would have to wager $100 to net $135. 

The team with the minus sign is the team that is considered the favorite to win. Keep in mind also that odds will change daily as the market adjusts to fairness and bets received.

NHL Live Odds


Deciding What To Bet On

The awesome thing about betting on the NHL is that you will have an abundance to choose from and a different taste of each betting style.

Single-Game NHL Bets

This is a broad term for betting on events within a single game. You will encounter everything under the sun that could happen in an NHL game.

Puck Line

When betting on the puck line, you are always taking the favorite to win by two or more goals. Anything less than that or any other outcome, the underdog wins, and you lose.


As noted above, you are simply betting on who will win between two teams.


Also known as totals betting, you are betting on whether both teams combined will score over a certain amount. If you bet on the under, you are betting that both teams combined will score less than a certain number. The over/under is given by the sportsbook in case you are trying to look for it.


The parlay bet is any bet that involves more than one specific event. This can happen within a single game or across several other games. When you parlay the outcome of multiple games, you are betting that all of the outcomes will occur as you have them predicted. You stand to win a lot of money, but every single one of your picks must be correct to win a parlay.

Prop Bets

This is usually a fun way to bet. You are betting on certain players or events that might occur within a game. These bets are usually just a simple yes or no scenario.


These bets are ones that are asking for who you think will win the conference title or even the Stanley Cup. These events are in the "future," so you are placing a bet for things out in advance.


This is a straightforward bet and another example of a futures bet. Once the seeding has been set for each team, you can bet on who wins each game and the championship in the playoffs.

Live Bets

Live bets are exactly as it sounds. You are betting on the event in real-time, so odds may change since the game is going on. An example of an in-game live bet would be: Will anyone score in the last two minutes?

Look At The Rankings

To get a first look at a team and how they are performing, you should take a look at the current rankings. This will give you an idea of how teams will stack up head to head and will tell you if there is a potential upset or blowout waiting to happen. 

The market also has odds at the beginning of the season on who they think will win the championship. These odds will differ from one sportsbook to the next, but you will have a good representation of the overall outlook.

Avoiding Biases

One last thing you want to do is to avoid any biases or opinions of either a player or team. Just because you love the St.Louis Blues does not mean they are the best team that season. Even more so, you may have a bad judgment on a player and want to bet against him because you dislike him. 

It is important to always look at stats. Numbers do not lie or mislead you, but players' emotions and injuries are things you cannot account for. So leave the biases out of the equation to lessen the headache.

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How To Bet On The NHL FAQ

What are some NHL best bets?

Some of the best bets are the ones that are a little easier to read. For instance, if a team is on a terrible losing streak, their best players are injured, and they just fired their coach, you could almost bet on them to lose their next game.

If you can find more than enough information than you need to place your bets, then that is the type of bet you want to make for yourself.

How can I practice my strategy?

You try out your strategy in a few different ways. One, you could find a free version of a sportsbook or have a contest with your friends. This way, you can play around with something else other than your money and maybe earn bragging rights.

Another way to test it out is to write down your predictions before a game and see what happens. You will be able to put this into practice much sooner if you do it this way and have a better chance of fixing your strategy before losing any money.

What other types of futures bets are there?

Winning the championship is not the only type of futures bet for the NHL. Other bets will include:

  • Conference winners
  • Over/under for points in the standings for individual teams
  • Regular-season point totals for individual players
  • Team leading scorers
  • Postseason awards like the Vezina Trophy

This is a taste of futures bets and what you can bet on. Sportsbooks will offer many variations of futures betting, so be sure to check them all out.

Photo Credits: Scott Taetsch / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

About this author

Tyler Vaysman author profile

Tyler has a true passion for sports, DFS & sports betting in particular. Combine his love for sports with his journalistic background and you have a great guy to cover the latest industry news. He also enjoys disc golf, fishing and traveling in his free time.

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