How to Bet on NHL Games

Betting on the NHL has never been simpler! Whether you want to wager against a rival or put some capital behind your team, is 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.

NHL Puck line / Spread

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, the puck line number doesn't tend to change from game to game.

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 (including OT). 

An underdog team is given a ‘head start’ in the form of 1.5 goals. To cover the line, a favored team needs to win the game by 2 or more goals. Meanwhile, the dog can either win outright or lose by a goal.


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. 

NHL Alternate Puck line or 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.

MORE: How do NHL odds work?

NHL Over/Under (Total)

Betting the Over/Under in an NHL games 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 Over/Under will hover around 5.5-6.5 goals each game. 


Avalanche vs. Sabres — Over/Under (Total) 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. 

MORE: How to live bet on NHL

NHL 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 (including OT). 

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


  • 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.

MORE: Betting strategies for NHL

NHL 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.


Popular NHL futures bets include:

  • Stanley Cup Winner
  • Presidents’ Trophy Winner 
  • Hart Memorial Trophy Winner/ NHL MVP
  • To make the playoffs
  • 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, though, they can pay off big. 


NHL 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. 


Common NHL 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.

PLAY: Dimers' free-to-play contests

NHL 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.


You could take the NY Rangers (-1.5) to cover against the Blackhawks and take the Over 5.5 goals total in a same game parlay. You could add bets from other games, say the Red Wings to beat the NJ Devils at the Moneyline (H2H). 

More legs = higher odds and a greater chance at a larger return. This of course also means that the likelihood of hitting may be less, but boy, if you win if feels good!

In any parlay you will need to get each event correct for there to be a payout. Unless your book is running a special offer (they often are) then you won't be given a refund for hitting say 7/8 legs.

PLAY: Best sportsbooks reviewed

NHL 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. 


  • Moneyline
  • Puck line or Spread
  • Prop bets
  • Next team to score
  • Next player to score

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.

Join a sportsbook in your State and start betting today

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