NHL Betting Odds: Complete Guide on How to Read NHL Betting Lines and Win Your Bets

Understanding NHL betting lines and NHL betting odds is a fundamental requirement for successful NHL betting. Wagering on ice hockey has soared in popularity since it became legal in multiple states in 2018. It is therefore unsurprising that NHL odds are now offered on all games by the vast majority of online sportsbooks in the US and around the world.

The National Hockey League gives fans a variety of betting opportunities to choose from, but you need to understand the main markets before you can benefit from them. Fortunately, the most popular markets aren't at all difficult to get to grips with, and by the time you've finished reading this guide, you'll know all you need to get involved.With the help of our special guide, you will also be able to see current NHL future and awards odds. On top of that, you should definitely take a look at our special NHL Live Odds widget. It will show you the best lines among all major US online sportsbooks and the NHL line movement so that you know which direction the betting public is taking.

NHL Future Odds

Learn how to use the NHL betting lines and odds for futures like NHL MVP odds in your favor via the complete How To Bet guide

Betting on NHL Future odds involves making a prediction about an event that is due to take place at some point beyond the next game.

You might, for example, be offered odds to name who will win the draft lottery, or NHL awards odds on who will be selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) or Rookie of The Year. You might also see NHL odds to make playoffs and NHL odds to win Stanley Cup offered in the Futures category, especially early in the season.

These markets are more volatile than many others because the odds will naturally change as the season progresses. If a team among the initial underdogs were to make some blockbuster trades and get to the playoffs, their lines would shorten dramatically over the course of the season.

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular hockey betting markets involving NHL Futures odds.

NHL Odds To Win Stanley Cup

Betting on the NHL odds to win Stanley Cup requires you to pick the next team to win the title. With this market you might get some really attractive opening lines, but at the same time there’s a lot that could change during the course of the season. Coach changes, injuries and suspensions for instance can all lead to major shake ups in the fight for the title.

For that reason, the advice of How To Bet’s experts is to wager smaller sums at the beginning of the campaign and wait for a couple of months during the season to find more accurate and appealing NHL Championship odds. This approach will increase your probability of winning, albeit maybe on lesser profits.

In case you’d like to try your luck with Stanley Cup betting now, here are the best NHL odds to win the cup so take advantage of our ‘goal assist’.

TeamBest odds*Online sportsbook(s) providing them
Colorado Avalanche+600Caesars
Tampa Bay Lightning+800Caesars

* These best NHL odds to win the cup were last updated on June 13, 2022.

NHL Odds To Make Playoffs

To give you an example of this type of NHL Playoffs odds, we will present you tables for each conference from previous stages of the season. When the first lines come out next season, we will have them published here on this How To Bet page so bookmark it and come back regularly for a check.

Eastern Conference

TeamNHL odds to make playoffs*
Florida Panthers-20 000
Tampa Bay Lightning-10 000
Toronto Maple Leafs-10 000
Carolina Hurricanes-10 000
Pittsburgh Penguins-5000
New York Rangers-2500
Boston Bruins-2000
Washington Capitals-1200
New York Islanders+600
Columbus Blue Jackets+2000
Detroit Red Wings+2000
Buffalo Sabres+3500
New Jersey Devils+3500
Ottawa Senators+3500
Philadelphia Flyers+3500
Montreal Canadiens+4500

*These NHL Playoffs odds were valid as of February 3rd.

Western Conference

TeamNHL odds to make playoffs*
Colorado AvalancheOTB
Minnesota WildOTB
Calgary FlamesOTB
St. Louis BluesOTB
Edmonton Oilers-1600
Los Angeles Kings-1450
Nashville Predators-850
Dallas Stars-410
Vegas Golden Knights-138
Winnipeg Jets+6500
Vancouver Canucks+6500
Anaheim Ducks+15 000
San Jose Sharks+15 000
Chicago BlackhawksOTB
Seattle KrakenOTB
Arizona CoyotesOTB

*These NHL Playoffs odds were valid as of April 5th.


We will show you an example of NHL MVP odds from the final stages of the 2021-22 regular  season ending this week. As you can see, the Hart Trophy odds board is full of some of the household names in the hockey world and this league.

Let's see what everyone’s chances were from this list for the NHL MVP odds as of April 27.

Auston Matthews-310
Connor McDavid+300
Johnny Gaudreau+1000
Jonathan Huberdeau+2000
Igor Shesterkin+2500
Roman Josi+9500
Alexander Ovechkin+15 000

*The NHL Hart Trophy odds were posted by FanDuel on April 27, 2022

NHL Rookie of The Year Odds

Wagering on NHL Rookie of The Year odds, or NHL Calder odds, is one of the most popular betting markets in the hockey world. How To Bet presents you an odds board from the end of the regular 2021-22 season.

Moritz Seider-250
Michael Bunting+400
Trevor Zegras+600
Lucas Raymond+750
Anton Lundell+5000
Jeremy Swayman+5000
Tanner Jeannot+5000
Matt Boldy+9500
Cole Caufield+9500

*The NHL Rookie of The Year odds were posted by FanDuel on April 20, 2022

NHL Draft Lottery Odds

The NHL Draft Lottery Odds are hugely popular in the US and Canada because they give an opportunity to the weakest teams the previous season to add the best talent in the country. In terms of betting, there aren’t many options in this market, yet we’ll present you the NHL lottery odds for 2022.

Important fact: the league altered the way the lottery works in March of 2021 and now only the top 11 teams in the drawing can possibly win the first overall pick. Also, the weakest team of all cannot fall below picking 3rd.

And now let’s see the NHL Draft odds for 2022.

Montreal Canadiens18.5%
Arizona Coyotes13.5%
Seattle Kraken11.5%
Philadelphia Flyers9.5%
New Jersey Devils8.5%
Chicago Blackhawks7.5%
Ottawa Senators6.5%
Detroit Red Wings6.0%
Buffalo Sabres5.0%
Anaheim Ducks3.5%
San Jose Sharks3.5%
Columbus Blue Jackets2.5%
New York Islanders2.0%
Winnipeg Jets1.5%
Vancouver Canucks0.5%
Vegas Golden Knights0.5%

NHL Money Line

Learn all about the main NHL betting lines and odds markets with our expert guide

If you have ever attempted to try betting on any sport, you're almost certain to have come across the money line market. These NHL money line odds are the most common out there because this market just happens to be the easiest to comprehend. 

In this market, you are simply betting on who will win a particular game. There are other factors involved, but the main principle is for you to decide who you think will come out with the victory. 

Consider the following example of the NHL money line market for a game between the Dallas Stars and the Colorado Avalanche.

Dallas Stars+124
Colorado Avalanche-139

As you can see in this NHL money lines example, both teams have a number next to their name. The Dallas Stars have a positive (+) number of 124. This means that if you bet $100 on them to win, then you would win $124 if they come out on top. They are considered the underdog. 

The Colorado Avalanche have a negative (-) number of 139. This means you have to bet $139 in order to get a $100 return if they win. They are considered the favorites. 

These NHL betting odds will often change as wagers are coming in. Most of the time, you will have a clear underdog and favorite, but sometimes you will have teams that are very close, so they might both have a minus sign before their respective lines. 

You might see something like that in NHL Playoff odds or NHL Finals odds since the teams are more evenly matched. For Opening Night, you will most likely see lines similar to the example above.

NHL Puck Line Odds

Now that we know how to read betting odds for the NHL money lines, the other markets will be a little easier to understand. 

The NHL puck line, the hockey form of the point spread, is another great option for the bettors and fans. This market effectively places a handicap on the favorite in an effort to even up the odds on each team. Consider the following example:

Montreal Canadiens+1.5-270
Winnipeg Jets-1.5+220

You will note that in this NHL puck line market, the Canadiens have been given a theoretical advantage of +1.5. At the same time, the Jets have been given a handicap of -1.5. When you wager on either team, you are betting that they will win the game either with the help of the advantage, or despite the handicap, as appropriate.

If you wager on the Canadiens in this market, they will need to win the game outright or lose by no more than 1 goal for your bet to succeed. If you wager on the Jets, they will need to win by 2 goals or more for your bet to succeed.

NHL Lines Over/Under

When looking at NHL betting odds, you will also come across the totals betting market. It is also referred to as an over/under bet, for reasons that will soon become clear.

This wager is excellent for people who want to focus on the game's score rather than which team will win or lose. Your job here isn't to predict who will win the game, but to make a judgment call about the total number of goals that will be scored by both teams combined.

Consider the following example for NHL lines over/under:


Here the sportsbook wants you to predict whether the total number of goals scored will be over 5.5 (o5.5) or under 5.5 (u5.5). Since hockey is generally a lower-scoring game, this number is very common.

If you bet Over, you are saying that both teams will have a combined score of 6 or more goals. If you wager Under, you are betting that both teams will score 5 or fewer goals in the National Hockey League game. 

NHL Betting Lines on Props

Prop bets are ones that concern outcomes unrelated to the end result of the game itself. For example, you can place a prop on who you think will win a given period, whether a particular player will score a goal or which team will score first.

These are all interesting markets, but most serious sports bettors view them as supplementary to the main moneyline, puck line, and totals options.

NHL Betting Odds on Parlays and Same Game Parlays

See how to multiply your NHL betting lines and odds via parlay bets and Same Game Parlays

In addition to these single bets, almost every online sportsbook offers the appealing opportunity to multiply your NHL betting odds with parlay bets and Same Game Parlays. The parlay bet combines two or more selections into one larger wager where all  the individual legs must win for you to be successful. Parlays and Same Game Parlays, where you can put multiple bets from one game into your slip, are a great way to increase your payout.

Opening NHL Betting Lines

Opening NHL betting lines are the first set of odds posted by sportsbooks for a game or an event and it’s a great idea to look at them right away. These will move from the time they are posted until the end of the event in question. You can see which NHL betting lines have changed (and how) when you compare the opening ones against the current odds because of factors like public betting, important injuries, and more. Check out our NHL Live Odds widget so that you save precious time. More on that a little later…

NHL Live Odds

The ability to follow NHL live odds can make you lots of money because the sportsbooks algorithms are still not quite as sophisticated for in-game wagering in comparison to pregame betting. The operators will provide you with up-to-the-second NHL betting lines on every game and covering almost every market. Then it’s your job to hunt for the precise moment to strike and extract the maximum value possible. This is the main strength of wagering on NHL live odds.

NHL Line Movement

Learn how to use the NHL betting lines movement in your favor and win big money with the How To Bet special NHL Live Odds widget

Following the NHL betting lines movement is a fundamental skill in the world of sports betting. It helps you detect the latest developments surrounding the game or event you’ve chosen for placing your wager(s). Any injury, suspension, coach or weather change for example can be a factor for adjusting the NHL betting odds.

The special How To Bet odds widget is there to help you out in that regard though. There you’ll find the latest NHL line movement and the best updated odds among all major US online sportsbooks. So if you’re wondering where to find the best NHL sportsbook, check this widget out and take advantage of it.

Don’t forget to benefit from the most attractive bonus & promo offers from online sportsbooks as well. You’ll see them right after our NHL betting odds comparison widget.

NHL Betting Lines and Odds FAQ

Why do NHL betting lines and odds change?
NHL Betting odds reflect a variety of factors that can and do change. For example, a key player might be traded or injured. Such developments affect the chances of the team winning, and so the odds will be changed to reflect that fact.  Market forces will also influence the odds available. For example, if everyone is betting on the favorite and nobody is doing so on the underdogs, the sportsbook might adjust the odds to try and balance the books a little.
What is the best sportsbook for NHL betting odds?
All sportsbooks that operate legally in the US will offer a good range of NHL betting lines and odds. Of course, if you happen to live in a state in which several sportsbooks operate, you can take your pick of them. Visit our online sportsbooks page to find out more.
About Oscar Cooper
Oscar Cooper author profile

Oscar is a keen sports fan with an even keener eye for advantageous betting odds. The only thing he enjoys as much as watching his favourite teams win is being able to land sportsbook winners at the same time. He takes a strategic and mathematical approach to betting and he encourages others to do the same.

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