NHL layout and betting options
There’s a lot of action each year when it comes to the NHL. That’s because each hockey team plays 82 games in a single season, running from October to April. And with 32 teams in the tournament, this means that there are 1271 hockey games for you to watch and potentially place a bet on. All of these teams battle it out through the season to claim the Stanley Cup.
Once the regular season is over, only 16 teams advance to the next round for the Stanley Cup and the playoffs. Then, this becomes a four-round tournament that runs until June, and the winner of the cup is finally decided. In each round, there are best-of-seven series, with the first team to get four wins the team that moves on to the next round.
Types of NHL betting
If you’re going to get involved in NHL betting, then you really need to understand the different types of bets available for the season or individual games. Each of these bet types offers something slightly different, which is why it’s so important to get to grips with bet-type terminology.
Possibly the easiest, simplest bet out there, the moneyline bet is also the most common. All you need to do for this bet is choose which of the two teams you think will win in their game against one another. The NHL doesn’t have overtime or shootouts, which makes this type of bet incredibly straightforward when it comes to the payout aspect. There are two main outcomes: a win or a loss. No ties or pushes are provided on this bet. You can also only bet on a specific team to win, not that they will lose.
Also known as puck line betting in the NHL, this is very similar to the run line in the MLB. For this type of bet, you need to check the odds very carefully in order to see where to bet. The underdog will have a +1.5 puck line, while the favorite will sit on a -1.5 puck line. Once these lines have been set, they’re not going to change, which is where this type of bet differs from the NFL or NBA bets of this type. Instead, on a puck line bet, only the odds change.
So, how do they work? Well, to win, you need to choose which side you’re betting on. If you bet on the favorite, then they have to win by at least two goals for your bet to pay out. Conversely, if you bet on the underdog, for your bet to pay, the underdog needs to lose by a goal or more. Depending on the game, the puck lines can, and do, change depending on how much more one team is preferred over the other. All puck lines have a 0.5 though, in order to prevent a tie or push bet from occurring.
Often referred to as total bets, it is an NHL bet that is based on guessing or betting on the total number of goals scored in a game. This is not just for an individual team, but is the total combined score of both teams. The line for this type of bet will be provided by the sportsbook. Typically, it will be something like over/under 4.5 goals. There is always a 0.5 in the bet to prevent a tie from occurring. For you to win such a bet, the total number of goals needs to be five or more if you bet over. However, for the same bet, you could choose under, in which case you need the total number of goals to be four or less in order to get the payout. It’s a good betting option in an NHL game if you don’t like the look of the spread or moneyline. Or, if you think this will be a very high or very low-scoring game, this is a good option.
Props — player and team
This type of bet is one that revolves around individual or team actions within a game, but the results of which don’t actually impact the final game result. For player props, you can bet on the occurrence (or not) of a specific action, such as how many shots at goal they take, how many assists they make, or if you’re betting on the goalie, how many shots they save.
Similarly, team prop bets are offered in the same manner. Instead of betting on the overall team performance, you can simply bet on specific events taken by the team as a whole. For instance, you can bet on the team’s total points. Alternatively, you can choose other options like which team will score first, which team reaches 20 points first, or which team wins the first quarter. These types of bets can liven the game up in all areas, rather than just sitting and waiting for the final outcome.
As NHL games are incredibly fast-paced, things change all the time. At any moment, there could be a goal or a penalty, which really changes the trajectory of the game. Because of this, live betting means that the game can be even more exciting when watching as it plays out. And this is where live or in-play betting comes in.
Unlike traditional betting, live bets do not have to be placed before the game kicks off. Instead, live bets are placed as the game moves forward. This means you can actually bet on the game right up until it actually ends. However, it’s important to bear in mind that not all bet types are available as a live bet. Additionally, the odds on live bets fluctuate more and are generally lower than those on the same but traditional bet. You can also change bets in real-time, add new ones as you watch the game unfold, or even cash out early in some cases.
It takes place long before any of the games kick off; as the name suggests, this is all about looking to the future. Typically, for the NHL, this would be a bet on who will win the Stanley Cup at the end of the season. The earlier before the season begins, the better odds you’re going to be given. However, this does mean you won’t have seen the current form of the teams, so you will have less of an idea of their performance potential.
You don’t have to stick to the main Stanley Cup future, though. There are plenty of others as well, including which team will win a conference or which will win a division, or you can opt for player futures. These include picking in advance which player will win the Hart Memorial Trophy and so on. As these take place long before the final outcome, you can get good odds on bets like these, though the odds will decrease the closer it gets to the result.