How to Bet on NHL Games

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January 6, 2021 1:00 PM

Betting on the NHL has never been simpler!

Whether you want to wager against a rival or put some capital behind your team, we’re here to show you how to bet on the National Hockey League. 

So, let’s break down the best betting options when it comes to Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and all 31 teams.

 

Spread/Puckline

 

Often you’ll hear the term against the spread in sports, however it is known as the puck line in NHL betting. Unlike the NFL, it is not the most popular option when hockey betting. 

The spread bet is generally a sportsbook’s way of leveling out two unequal opponents. However, given the low scoring nature of hockey, the spread/puck line is always set to 1.5 +/-. 

An underdog team is given a ‘head start’ in the form of 1.5 goals. To cover the spread a favored team needs to win the game by more than 1.5. Meanwhile, the dog can either win, tie or lose by a goal to cover.

Example 

 

Washington Capitals -1.5

Pittsburgh Penguins +1.5

 

Using the example above, if you bet Pittsburgh +1.5, they would need to win outright, tie or lose by 1 goal to cover the spread. 

Conversely, if you bet Washington (-1.5) against the spread, the Capitals would need to tie or win by 2+ goals for you to profit. 

Alternate Spread

 

You will also come across alternate spreads for NHL games. Often the spread is changed by 0.5 or 1. This alternative will either give you a better chance of covering, or larger odds.

Over/Under (Total)

 

Betting the over/under in an NHL match simply means you are wagering on how many goals will be scored overall, NOT how many one team will score, nor who will win.

Generally the O/U will hover around 5.5-6.5 goals each game. 

 

Example 

 

Colorado Avalanche v Buffalo Sabres — Over/Under 5.5

 

  • Bet the Over (6+ goals to be scored by both teams) 

  • Bet the Under (5 goals or less to be scored in total). 

 

There are other options to choose from, including goal totals in a particular period, home team goals and more. 

Moneyline (H2H)

 

The moneyline is the simplest and most popular NHL bet to make! Betting the moneyline simply means you are picking a team to win the game outright. 

If a team is favored they will have a “-" next to their name. Conversely, the underdog will have a “+.” 

Example 

  • If a team has a -200 moneyline it means you need to wager $200 in order to win $100. 


  • If they have a “+” moneyline, the goalposts shift. The + tells us how much you would win betting $100, if you win of course.


  • For example, a +150 moneyline would mean — if successful — a profit of $150.


  • Similarly if a team has a +185 moneyline, you would make $185 profit — $285 total — when betting $100. 

 

Futures 

 

Futures bets are exactly what they sound like. You are wagering on an often far away event. If you’re looking to lay down some capital in the hopes of large winnings down the line, this is the bet for you.

Example 

 

Popular future bets include:

 

  • Stanley Cup Winner
  • Presidents’ Trophy Winner 

  • Hart Memorial Trophy Winner/ NHL MVP

  • Stanley Cup Playoff Team

  • Calder Memorial Trophy Winner/NHL Rookie of the Year 

  • Conference Champions

  • Division Winners 


The only downside to futures bets is they can take weeks or even months to occur. If you’re patient, they can pay off big. 

Prop Bets

 

Prop bets are popular throughout the NHL season and enable you to bet on almost anything which may unfold in a hockey game. 

You can wager on player props; choosing whether they will score in a game and so much more. 

Example 

Common prop bets include:

  • First team to score

  • Last team to score

  • Anytime goalscorer

  • Totals Goals - Odd/Even

  • Highest scoring period 

Depending on the sportsbook, there may be options to include props in a mixed parlay. Although most books force you to have a parlay strictly involving props. 

In Dimers’ NHL Bet Hub you have the perfect opportunity to locate some of the best prop bets across the United States. Our predictive analytics model simulates each hockey game 10,000 times to give you the best probabilities for over/under, moneyline, spread betting and same game parlays.

 

Multiple-Game Bets



Parlay 

 

A parlay simply involves more than one wager combined together for greater odds. You can place a same-game NBA parlay — multiple events from one matchup — or alternatively, events across multiple games.

Example 

You could take New York (-1.5) to cover against Chicago and take the over 5.5 goals total in a same-game parlay. You could add bets from other games, say the Detroit Red Wings to beat New Jersey (moneyline). 

More legs = higher odds and a greater chance at a larger return. Beware, some sportsbooks do not allow you to bet both the moneyline and spread within the same game. Books may even cap the number of events you can have in a parlay, although there are those without limits.

In any parlay you will need to get each event correct for there to be a payout. Often there is no refund for getting 7 out of 8 accurate. 

Live Betting 

 

Live or in-play betting is where you wager on a hockey game currently in progress. As odds shift throughout the game, you can find the bet to suit you whilst the action continues on. 

Example 

  • Moneyline

  • Spread/Puckline

  • Prop bets

  • Next team to score

  • Next scorer 

 

Utilize the Dimers live in-play probabilities section to increase your knowledge and chances of winning on your live bets. 

The live probabilities of any NHL match can be accessed through the scoreboards at the top of the Dimers website, the Live Now section and even in the NHL Bet Hub.

Move fast in the live betting space, otherwise your odds will disappear quicker than the Red Wings’ playoff hopes.