With its fast pace, end-to-end excitement, non-stop action and heart-stopping intensity, there's nothing else like betting on hockey.
NHL Betting Tips
The opportunities to wager on the NHL are seemingly limitless. You can keep it simple by picking a winner of a game, or you can go more in-depth and try to determine which team, or even which player, will score first in a particular game.
Unlike football with its point spread, hockey has the moneyline. With a moneyline wager, you have to correctly pick the straight up winner of a particular game and you're a winner as well.
Here's how it works:
Say the Anaheim Ducks are playing away to the New York Islanders. Each team is assigned an opening moneyline by a sportsbook.
The betting favorite is indicated by a minus sign in front of its moneyline, while the underdog is designated a plus number. So the Ducks, if they are listed at +130, are the underdogs in the game and were you to wager $100 on them to win $130. Contrastingly, the Islanders would be favorites if they were given a moneyline of -120. In this instance you would be required to wager $120 on the Isles to win $100.
Another option is the puck line, which is kind of a hybrid between the point spread and the moneyline. The puck line on every game is always plus or minus 1.5 goals.
If you bet on the favorite in the game, they must win by a minimum of two goals for you to cash in. On the flip side, should you bet the underdog, all they need to do in order to make you a winner is lose by no less than one goal. The same odds will apply as on a moneyline wager - a plus number attached to the underdog and a minus digit handed the favorite.
A third game-day option is the over/under. Each game is assigned a total number of goals both teams are expected to score. You wager that either the two teams score more or less than the offered total.
Some sportsbooks offer parlay wagering, where you can package a number of games on one bet. All of the games must go your way in order to win but if they do, the payday can be quite significant.
Prop wagering is a form of betting offered that narrows your focus. For example, if the Chicago Blackhawks are playing you can bet on whether Patrick Kane will score a goal or get a point in the game. There is also live betting, which allows you to make wagers on a game in progress, such as what the score will be at the end of each period, which team will score first or which team will score next.
If you are a patient sort, futures wagering could be your ticket. At the start of each season, odds will be attached to every NHL team's chances of winning their division, conference and the Stanley Cup.
These odds will fluctuate as a season continues, and often the best time to bet on a team in this scenario, especially a contender, is early in the season. But long shots can come in, too. Last season the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins were 25-1 to win the Cup as late as Feb. 15.
You can also make future bets on which player will win each of the NHL's major awards. You can even bet on which coach will be the first to be fired during the season.
So what's the best bet when it comes to betting hockey? Well, stick with moneylines on games if you enjoy seeing results in short succession. It's the easier wager to make. But if you don't mind waiting to get paid, take a hard look at a futures wager. A correct call there can prove quite rewarding.
Have a look at the NHL schedule, find out the best betting lines for every regular-season game and heed some in-depth betting tips on how to make more money from your NHL bets.