It is a common thing that almost all bookmakers you can think of tend to devote more than half of the total odds offered to soccer since it is regarded as the most popular sport in the world. They do that based on the knowledge that the majority of punters mostly follow soccer and understand at least the basics of placing a bet regarding that sport.
However, sometimes, when there are no attractive soccer games to watch and bet on, people turn to other sports that have major league competitions going on at that moment. Also, some sports lovers prefer other games and want to have the opportunity to place a bet on them.
Hockey is one of the sports which is widespread across Canada and North America, especially the Ice variety, but betting on it sometimes might not be understood that well. Therefore, if you are interested in making your favourite ice-hockey game more exciting, check out the guide below for detailed instructions.
Table of Contents
Before you even think of placing any bets, the first step is to understand the rules of the game. Of course, since there are two goals on two opposite sides, the basic rule is to score more goals than your opponent.
Each team can have 20 players in total, but on the ice, you can have six: three attackers, two defenders, and one goaltender. Also, there is an unlimited number of substitutions throughout the match that can be performed at any point in time.
The field is marked with red and blue lines. Blue lines divide the ice into three zones: an attacking, a neutral, and a defending zone. The red line is there to split the ice into two halves, similar to any other field or court in other sports.
There are two basic rules that you need to be aware of in ice hockey: offside and icing. You are probably already familiar with offside, and here it is the same — you cannot enter your opponent’s defending zone before the puck.
Icing means that you cannot strike the puck from your half of the ice straight into the opponent’s goal without it touching any other player. I mean, technically you can, but the goal will not be accepted, so there’s no point in trying.
Now that you know the basics of the sport, let’s move on to the betting itself.
Best NHL Betting Sites
Get yourself over to any of the betting sites listed below, for not only will you find a plethora of NHL-related betting opportunities on offer at all of these Canadian sports bettor-friendly betting sites, but plenty of Canadian Dollar free bets and bonuses are also up for grabs and available to be claimed.
You will be very hard-pressed to find a collection of ice hockey betting sites offering NHL bets and wagering opportunities than those we have listed above, and if you are interested in claiming any of their free bets and special new player bonus offers mentioned then you need to verify that they are still available as they can change at any time, and to do this simply visit the website of any betting sites whose offers interest you.
How Does NHL Betting Work?
An NHL game consists of three periods, each of them lasting for 20 minutes, commonly known as regulation time. In case the match is tied after the regular time given, the overtime follows, and if it is still a tie at the end of overtime, the final step is a shootout.
The vital thing to know is that in NHL betting, there’s no such thing as a draw, so – be mindful of that.
A shootout represents a round of three penalties for each team. The winner is the team that scores more goals. If they happen to be that good and both score all three penalties, then the penalties continue until one team misses while the other scores.
The league consists of 31 teams, with 24 of them in the US and 7 in Canada. The regular season starts in October and ends in April, and there is a schedule according to which you can plan your bets. Before that, it would be good to get acquainted with the teams and the players to help you be a better punter.
Types of NHL Bets
As in every sport, you’ve got various kinds of bets in ice hockey that can be combined for the best possible results. For a start, you can choose the simple ones and, as you become more experienced, move to the more complicated types. Let us now give you a few ideas in regard to the many different types of NHL wagers and bets you can place. You will find many of our top betting sites listed will let you place Handicap Betting wagers and also place bets on the 60 Minute Line, the Away Total Score, whether the result will be Odd or Even plus the Away Total Goals.
Other betting opportunities on offer on all NHL matches include things such as the Double Result the Home Total as well as both the Total Goals Line and the Total Goal Winning Margin and as such you are never going to go short in regards to betting and wagering opportunities when you bet at our rated betting sites!
The first and the most basic bet is the money line, which is the bet on the winning team. You check the fixture and try to guess which of the two teams has more chance to come out as a winner, no matter if it happens in the regular time, overtime, or shootout. Decide the amount of money you would like to invest, and the game can begin.
This bet reminds us of handicap betting and serves to even out the changes between the favourite and the underdog. Simply put, these bets have a typical set point spread of +1.5 on the underdog and -1.5 on the favourite. If you bet on the favourite, the team needs to win by two or more goals. On the other hand, if you bet on the underdog, it can either lose by one goal or win the game.
Another bet commonly placed in NHL is to predict if the overall number of goals scored by the two teams will be above or below a set figure. Usually, this set number is in a range from 5.0 to 6.0 but can differ from one bookmaker to another.
If you are a massive fan of one team and don’t want to take any chances, you can place the same bet as the previously mentioned one, but apply it to one team only. In other words, you can bet on the home team to score more than 2.5 goals, regardless of the outcome of the game.
Both Teams to Score
Although there is no such thing as a tie, you can place a bet on both teams to score in a match. Again, it is not important who wins in the end, as long as the game doesn’t end with one team being totally prevented from scoring.
To Score First or Last
The name of the bet is self-explanatory and probably familiar to all the regular punters out there. For the bet to be valid, the team you named has to score first. The same goes if you put your bet on them scoring last. As simple as that.
Again, the bet is similar but more likely to be seen in NBA betting. You can choose a specific player and bet on their performance which can include the goals scored, if any, or the penalties that they got during the match.
First Period Betting
There is a possibility to bet only on the outcome of the first 20 minutes of the match. You can either use the money line bet or the over/under goals. Additionally, some bookies offer to bet on the second and third periods as well, where the same rules are followed.
The Grand Salami
For all NHL ice-hockey lovers, there is a bet to keep you occupied the whole day. The Grand Salami offers a bet that includes the total number of goals scored in all the matches on a specific day. You can bet the standard over/under goals, but the condition is to place a bet before the first game of the day.
NHL Betting Strategies
If you are a novice in ice-hockey betting, you will probably start with the most straightforward bet — which team will win the game. After you become more experienced, you will be drawn to try the other betting options as well.
Once you reach that point, you will need to come up with a particular approach to betting in order not to rapidly waste all your money. This approach is called a betting strategy, and it proved to be very useful for the majority of punters.
Smaller Amounts, More Bets
This strategy is suitable for those who want to play it safely. Instead of putting all your money on a single bet, divide your betting budget into smaller amounts. Then invest these smaller amounts in different types of bets to cover more aspects of the game.
With this strategy, your chances to win are higher but don’t expect to win a large amount since the winnings are directly proportional to the investment.
All in is the strategy that is often seen in regular bettors who religiously follow the sport and can store a lot of information which they later use when it’s time to place a bet. This bet is based on choosing the right bet and then investing all your money there.
If you get it right, the gain will be spectacular. On the other hand, if the bet does not go through, your betting for the day is over.
Even though this is more of a casino betting strategy, it can be applied in sports betting as well, especially if there are many exciting matches to bet on in one day. It is based on doubling your bet after every loss to ensure covering your losses faster than with fixed bets.
What can happen though is the losing streak, and you need to be mindful when it lasts for too long, in which case you should stop placing bets.
The Reverse Martingale
Since you are already familiar with the Martingale, now hear something completely opposite. Unlike the Martingale which suggests doubling your bet after every loss, the Reverse Martingale proposes that you double your bet after you win. In case you lose again, just go back to your original bet and start over.
This strategy is useful if you don’t want to lose all your money fast since you keep investing the same amount when you lose, while after every win, you practically use the money you have won.
NHL Betting Tips
Apart from types of bets and betting strategies, there are some general rules that you should always have in mind in order to bet successfully.
Set a budget — Before you even take a look at betting odds, think about the amount of money you are willing to spend on betting and put it aside. The moment you spend that amount, stop betting immediately.
Do Your Homework — NHL has 31 teams in total, and each team has 20 players. This means that you can try your luck and blindly guess an outcome or two, but it won’t pay off in the long run. Instead, research the teams and players to get an idea about who are the favourites and underdogs, as well as which team has the best players and so on. The more information you have, the easier it will be to place a promising bet.
Check the Statistics — Another great way to gather useful information is through statistics. If there is a fixture you want to bet on, check how both teams performed in the last couple of games, as well as what are their head-to-head results. This can help you find a pattern and use it to your advantage.
Home/Away Game — While this might not sound important, trust me when I say that it has a lot to do with how a team performs. Ice hockey is a full-contact game which often includes a lot of back-to-back matches and stress on the body in a physical aspect. Add to it a long trip across the country, and you can imagine how difficult it can be to win an away game.
Players’ Well-Being — All the clubs have individual players that are considered pillars of the team. When such players are injured or for any reason cannot play, the team is automatically weakened and might lose the match even against the underdogs.
Top NHL Betting Events
National Hockey League matches are of course playing throughout the season, however with plenty of them up and running at any one time, you may be looking to place a wager on one of the more popular events, and if this is the case then you can, of course, opt to wager on events such as the Stanley Cup, the Eastern and Western Conference or any of the NHL Division matches.
If you do decide to bet on any of these events then one thing is guaranteed, and that is there are a huge number of betting sites offering you odds on your selections and predictions on the outcome of any match you wager on! However, make sure you take a look at what is offered by all of our top-rated NHL betting sites listed below for these are the top sites at which to place such wagers.
This guide was created with the intention to explain everything you need to know about NHL, as well as the best way to bet on upcoming matches. All that is left for you to do is to carefully inspect all the types of bets, betting strategies, and betting tips, and then choose the right combination for yourself. However, do not forget that the betting should be done for fun and that the primary goal is to enjoy a good game of ice hockey.