How betting odds work in NHL


January 8, 2021 1:00 PM

Most of us have seen sports odds before and understand when an NHL team is favored and who is the dog — particularly if the Red Wings are playing!


How do NHL odds work?


NHL betting has many popular options, particularly the puckline, moneyline and over/under options. There are prop bets too, which allow you to wager on almost anything which can occur within an NHL regular season or playoff game. 

Vegas usually sets the standard and determines the pro basketball odds for sportsbooks across the United States. Wanting to know the why behind the odds you see in our NHL Bet Hub and sportsbooks America-wide [link]?

All of the answers are here for you, right now!


How are NHL odds determined?


The function of NHL odds making isn’t to truly represent the probability of an outcome occurring. Vegas and sportsbooks actually put forth certain odds to make a profit and in the hopes of attracting bettors to both sides (either team etc). 

Ultimately oddsmakers are in cahoots with sportsbooks. They are trying to reduce the risk of sportsbooks losing large. 

That’s why books hate when a big favorite wins, because they lose big. NHL betting odds certainly aren’t determined on the gut feel of a sports predicting genius. 

Sports statisticians and mathematicians are heavily involved in the hockey odds you see on a sportsbook’s site and app. The X’s and O’s of basketball odds comes from examination of the wider betting market, statistics and data. 


Why are NHL odds not real probabilities?


Like any business, sportsbooks want to make a profit. They don’t sell clothes or shoes, but they do sell odds to you, the bettor. How do they profit? Let’s look at the below.


Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins 

Pittsburgh Penguins  -250 (implied probability of 71.43%)

Boston Bruins +200 (implied probability = 33.33%)


For all you super nerds out there, those percentages don’t add up. Well, they do, just not to 100% — yes we had to use a calculator. The sum of the two percentages equals 104.76%. How can an NHL game have an implied probability of 104%?! 

It can’t really. The extra 4% is the profit margin this sportsbook is taking home. With such a strategy — commonly implemented across America— a book will make a profit over time.


Favorites loss = Sportsbook win


When there’s a big upset in the NHL, bookmakers rejoice. This is because most of the money is heavily poured on the favorite, meaning the sportsbook takes all of it home. Big favorites losing is a sportsbooks’ golden goose.

Now that you know where odds come from, find the best hockey odds in America with Dimers. We have exclusive promo codes for each of the biggest and most secure sportsbooks. If you’re wanting to succeed at ice hockey betting, check out our NHL Bet Hub.


Why do sportsbooks have similar odds?


Sports betting is going gangbusters on a global scale. Surprisingly, hockey betting is far more advanced in places like Australia, United Kingdom and Asia, while it is just getting started in America, Vegas aside.

Due to the globalization of NHL betting it isn’t uncommon for sportsbooks to simply copy the odds of other books. This method is cost effective and they end up with the same odds without all the data and betting analytics research. 

We don’t know which books copy others but we do know how you can find the best odds for every major sport in the United States.


How to take advantage of NHL odds


Sportsbooks look to make money off your bets, and set odds in such a way to favor their interests. So, how do we fight back and win money from sports betting?

The answer is simple — take advantage of the edge. What is the edge, you ask? 

This is where the probability of an event occurring is more likely than the sportsbook’s odds. In other words, our predictive analytics model suggests a hockey team/player has a much better chance of winning than the sportsbooks think! 

Taking these bets gives you a better chance of being a successful gambler long-term. Of course, the higher the edge, the better. While you’re not guaranteed a W, taking picks with an edge gives you a greater chance of being profitable well into the future. This is super important when trying to be a successful NHL bettor.

For every major sports match including NHL, NFL, College sports, NBA and more, Dimers has the edge and exclusive promotional codes waiting for you.