How to Bet on Hockey Online: Beginner's Hockey Betting Guide

Learn everything you need to start betting on hockey today.

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If you’re an ice hockey fan looking to add extra excitement to the game, learning how to bet on hockey can take your passion for the sport to the next level. Whether a seasoned bettor or new to sports betting, this comprehensive guide provides the knowledge and strategies to make well-informed wagering choices on hockey games.

From understanding the different types of hockey bets to analyzing key factors influencing outcomes, we take you through the essential tips to enhance your hockey betting experience.

The Various Types of Hockey Bets Explained

Money Line Bets 

Money line bets in hockey are the most popular and straightforward type of wager. When placing a money line bet on hockey, choose which team you believe will emerge victorious. Each team is allocated odds that represent their probability of winning. 

For instance, let’s say the Boston Bruins are playing the New York Rangers, and the Bruins have odds of -150, while the Rangers have odds of +120. In this scenario, a $150 wager on the Bruins will return a profit of $100 if it wins, while a $100 wager on the Rangers will result in a profit of $120.

Puck Line Bets 

Puck line bets, or spread betting or spread bets, involve betting on the margin of victory in a hockey match. The favorite is assigned a puck line of -1.5 goals, meaning the team must secure a win by at least two goals for the wager to succeed. On the other hand, the underdog is given a puck line of +1.5 goals, which means that the team can lose by one goal or win the game outright for the bet to be a winner. 

For instance, if the Detroit Red Wings are the underdogs with a +1.5 puck line against the Chicago Blackhawks with a -1.5 puck line, a bet on the Red Wings would be successful if it wins the game or loses by only one goal.

Over/Under Bets 

Over/under bets, also referred to as totals, involve predicting whether the cumulative score of the game will surpass or fall below the modified total.

For example, you can bet the over if the set total is 5.5 goals, and you believe the game will have a high-scoring affair. If the final score is 4-3, making seven goals, your bet would be successful. Conversely, if you bet the under and the final score is 3-2, making a total of 5 goals, your bet would be a winner.

Parlay Bets 

Parlay wagers entail merging multiple individual bets into a unified stake. All individual bets within the parlay must be successful to win a parlay bet. Parlays offer the possibility of higher payouts because the odds multiply with each added bet. However, if a hockey bettor individual bets in the parlay lose, the entire parlay is considered a loss. 

For example, you could create a parlay wager by combining a money line bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs, an over/under bet on the total goals in a game, and a puck line bet on the Winnipeg Jets. If all three bets are successful, you will receive a higher payout than placing each bet individually.

Prop Bets 

Prop bets, or proposition bets, are wagers on particular occurrences or results within a hockey match that don’t necessarily affect the final result. 

These can include bets on player performances, such as the number of goals or assists the player will score, or team-specific occurrences, such as the first team to score a goal or the total number of penalties in a game. Prop bets offer a wide range of options and can add excitement to individual aspects of the game.

For example, a prop bet between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens could be, “Will Auston Matthews scores a goal?” You can place a wager on whether or not Auston Matthews, a star player for the Maple Leafs, will score a goal during the game. If Matthews scores at least one goal, your bet is successful.

Grand Salami Bets

Grand Salami bets in ice hockey involve wagering on the total number of goals scored in all games played on a specific day or during a particular time frame. The sportsbook will set a line representing the combined total, and you can bet on whether the total goals scored by all teams will be over or under that line. 

For instance, if the Grand Salami line is set at 32.5 goals for a day with multiple hockey games, you may wager on whether the total goals scored in all the games exceed or fall below 32.5. This bet allows you to have a stake in multiple games simultaneously.

Period Bets

Period bets focus on specific periods within a hockey game, typically divided into three periods. You can place wagers on the team with the highest score in a particular period or the total goals scored by both teams. This type of bet allows you to direct your attention to shorter intervals within the game and can offer opportunities for more immediate results. 

For example, you can wager on the Pittsburgh Penguins to outscore the New York Islanders in the second period or bet on the total goals scored in the first period to be over 1.5.

Futures Bets

NHL Future Bets

Future wagers in ice hockey involve wagering on long-term outcomes, such as predicting the winner of a specific tournament or championship. These bets are typically placed before the season begins and can provide an extended period of anticipation and excitement to hockey fans. 

For example, you can wager on a team to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the season or on a specific player to win the Hart Trophy for “the most valuable player” in the league. Futures wagers provide the potential for significant payouts but call for patience as the results may not be determined for a significant period.

Team Prop Bets

Team prop bets focus on specific team-related outcomes or performances within a game. These can include bets on the total number of goals scored by a specific team, the number of power-play goals they score, or even the number of shots on goal. Team prop bets allow you to direct your attention to the performance of a particular team and offer possibilities for more targeted predictions. 

For example, you can wager on the Boston Bruins to score over 2.5 goals in a game or bet on the Colorado Avalanche to have more shots on goal than their opponents.

Specials and Exotic Bets

Specials and exotic bets encompass unique and specific wagers not commonly found in standard bet types. These bets can include predicting events such as the first goal scorer, the outcome of a shootout, or even the exact score at the end of regulation time. Specials and exotic bets add extra excitement and variety to betting on hockey, allowing you to explore different aspects and scenarios within a game.

For example, let’s consider a scenario where the Vegas Golden Knights are playing against the Edmonton Oilers. One of the available bets could be, “Will there be a hat trick in the game?” You can place a wager on whether any player from either team will score three goals (hat trick) during the game. If a player achieves a hat trick, your bet is successful, regardless of the team to which they belong.

How Does Live Betting on Hockey Work?

Live betting on ice hockey allows you to place bets on various outcomes during a game in real time. As the game progresses, the odds and available betting options may change based on the current score, time remaining, and other factors. You can place bets on events such as the next team to score, the full tally of goals in a period, or the outcome of a specific play.

For example, during a live hockey game between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers, if the Bruins are leading 2-1 in the second period, the odds for the Rangers to score the next goal may become more favorable, reflecting the shift in momentum. You could then place a live bet on the Rangers to score the next goal, taking advantage of the updated odds.

Similarly, you could bet on the total goals tally in a period. If several quick goals are scored early in the game, the live betting odds for the total goals in that period may increase, providing an opportunity to place a bet on the over or under.

To make the most of the opportunity to “live” bet on hockey, consider the following tips:

  • Stay Informed: Stay updated with the game’s progress by watching the live stream or following real-time statistics. This information can assist you in making more informed decisions when placing live bets. You don’t need to be sat on the computer to do this—a good mobile sports betting app lets you carry this information around in your pocket.
  • Analyze Momentum Shifts: Hockey games can see momentum swings, with teams gaining or losing momentum during different periods or after key events like goals or penalties. Pay attention to these shifts and use them to your advantage when assessing betting opportunities.
  • Assess Team Strategies: Understand the teams’ playing styles, strategies, and line combinations. This knowledge can help you anticipate their performance in different game situations and identify value in the live betting markets.
  • Follow Key Player Performances: Individual player performances can significantly influence the result of a hockey game. Keep an eye on star players, goalies, and special teams because their contributions can affect the betting odds and provide opportunities for profitable live bets.
  • Timing is Key: Live betting odds fluctuate rapidly, so timing is crucial. Act quickly when you identify a favorable opportunity because the odds may change, or the betting market may be suspended. The best hockey sportsbooks make it quick and simple to place and adjust bets so that you don’t miss out on opportunities.
  • Set a Budget and Stick to It: As with any form of betting, it’s essential to set a budget and adhere to responsible bankroll management. Avoid chasing losses or making impulsive bets based on emotions. If you do have a smaller budget, opt for a low minimum deposit sportsbook that lets you start betting with $10 or less.
  • Utilize the Cash Out Feature: Cash out sportsbooks are operators that let you settle bets before the outcome of the wager has been determined. This special feature is popular for live betting. For example, if the hockey team you bet on is only marginally winning at halftime, you could cash in your bet early to secure a win (rather than wait for a potential loss at full-time).

Hockey Betting Strategies

Research and Analyze Team Statistics

Dig deep into team statistics like goals scored and allowed, power play efficiency, penalty kill effectiveness, and recent performance. Look for patterns and trends that can assist you in making informed in-game wagering decisions.

Pay Attention to Goaltender Matchups

Goaltenders can have a significant impact on game outcomes. Consider their save percentage, goals-against average, recent form, and head-to-head records against opposing teams.

Keep Track of Injuries, Suspensions, and Lineup Changes

Injuries to key players or unexpected lineup changes can significantly affect a team’s performance. Stay updated on the latest news and adjust your bets accordingly.

The Strategy of Bets After the First Period

This strategy involves observing the first period of the game and making live bets based on the performance and momentum of the teams. It allows you to assess the game’s flow and make more informed bets as the match progresses.

Understand Home-Ice Advantage

Home teams often have an edge due to familiarity with the rink and support from the crowd. Consider a team’s home/away records and performance in specific arenas.

Monitor Betting Trends and Line Movement

Keep an eye on how the betting public is wagering on a game and how the odds change. Identifying value in the odds and spotting discrepancies can facilitate you in developing smart bets.

Bets on Total Over 1.5 in the Third Period

This strategy focuses on the third period of the game and involves betting on the total number of goals scored in that period to be over 1.5. It considers the tendency of teams to play more offensively in the final period, leading to increased goal-scoring opportunities.

Parlay Bet for Hockey

Consider Advanced Statistics

Advanced metrics like Corsi (shot attempts) and Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts) provide deeper insights into a team’s performance and can help you evaluate their quality.

Evaluate Special Teams’ Effectiveness

Power play and penalty kill percentages can significantly impact a game’s outcome. Analyze a team’s special efficiency and how it matches up against their opponent’s special efficiency.

Look for Motivation Factors

Some teams may be more motivated than others based on aspects such as playoff positioning, rivalries, or seeking revenge. Consider these intangible factors when assessing a team’s chances of success.

Consider Fatigue, Scheduling, and Travel

Hockey is a physically demanding sport, and these factors can affect team performance. Teams playing back-to-back games or traveling long distances may be at a disadvantage.

Manage your Bankroll Wisely

Practice responsible bankroll management by setting betting limits, betting within your means, and avoiding chasing losses. This strategy helps ensure long-term sustainability and minimizes the risk of significant losses.

Favorite’s Betting

This strategy involves betting on the favorite team to win the game. Favorites are generally perceived to have a higher chance of winning due to their superior skills, lineup, or recent form.

Underdog Betting

In contrast to favorite betting, this strategy involves wagering on the underdog team, which is perceived to have a lower chance of winning. Underdog bets can offer higher potential payouts if the underdog team pulls off an upset.

Gifen System

The Gifen system focuses on analyzing the goal difference between teams. It involves betting on teams with a significant goal difference in recent games, suggesting team members are either in good scoring form or have a strong defensive record.

Against Total Over

This strategy involves betting against the total number of goals predicted by bookmakers. If you believe the game will have fewer goals than the predicted total, you can place a bet on the under, taking advantage of potentially favorable odds.

Hockey Odds Explained

Ice hockey odds are a crucial aspect of sports betting because they determine the potential payout for hockey bettors’ wagers. The best reduced juice sportsbooks offer high-value odds that give you better returns on your stake. Understanding how ice hockey odds work is essential for making informed betting decisions. Below are a few suggestions to assist you in grasping ice hockey odds:

  • Decimal Odds: In most cases, ice hockey odds are presented in decimal format. For example, if a team has odds of 2.50 to win, if you bet $1 and the team wins, you will receive a total payout of $2.50, including your initial stake.
  • Money Line Odds: In some cases, ice hockey odds may be displayed using a money line format, particularly in North America. A positive money line indicates the potential profit on a $100 wager, while a negative money line represents the amount you need to bet to win $100.
  • Betting Markets: Ice hockey odds cover various betting markets, such as the match winner (which team will win the game), the puck line (similar to point spread betting), and the total goals scored in a game (over/under).
  • Understanding Favorites and Underdogs: Ice hockey odds reflect the relative skill level of each team or individual. The favorite is the team expected to win, indicated by lower odds. The underdog is the team expected to lose, reflected in higher odds. Betting on the underdog can yield higher payouts if it manages to win.
  • Line Movement: Ice hockey odds can change leading up to a game based on team news, injuries, or betting market trends. It is essential to monitor line movement and take advantage of favorable odds when they are available.
Hockey Proposition Bets

Here’s an example to illustrate how the odds work in ice hockey:

Let’s say there’s a match between Team A and Team B. The sportsbook sets the odds as follows:

  • Team A: 2.00 (even odds) 
  • Team B: 3.50

If you decide to bet $10 on Team A to win, and it emerges victorious, you will receive a payout of $20. This includes your initial stake of $10 plus a profit of $10.

On the other hand, if you bet $10 on Team B to win and it comes out on top, you would receive a payout of $35. This includes your initial stake of $10 plus a profit of $25.

The odds reflect the implied probability of each team winning. In this example, Team A has even odds, indicating a 50% chance of winning, while Team B has higher odds, suggesting a lower probability of winning.

Understanding how the odds translate into potential payouts allows you to evaluate the risk and potential reward of different betting options in ice hockey.

How to Bet on Hockey: Hockey Betting Made Easy

The following section will show you how to get started with hockey wagering in a few simple steps:

1. Select a Reputable Sportsbook

Choose a trustworthy and safe sportsbook that offers a diverse array of hockey betting markets and competitive odds. The best real-money sportsbooks also hold valid gaming licenses, friendly customer support, and secure payment options. For help choosing a top-rated site, refer to our sportsbook reviews.

2. Create and Fund Your Account

Sign up for an account with the sportsbook of your choice by providing the necessary information. Then, deposit funds into your account using a secure payment method. Leading betting sites provide a range of payment options so there is something for everyone—from crypto sportsbooks to sites that support credit cards, debit cards, or bank transfers.

3. Browse the Hockey Betting Section

Once logged in, find the hockey section or navigate the sports menu to access the available hockey wagering options. Explore the available bet types, such as money line, puck line, over/under, and prop bets. Select the bet type that aligns with your betting preferences and strategies.

4. Select Your Bet and Set the Stake

After choosing the desired bet type, click on the corresponding odds for the game or market you want to bet on. Enter the stake or amount you wish to wager. All operators limit the maximum amount you can wager in a single bet. To avoid this restricting your betting, we suggest signing up for one of the best high-limit sportsbooks.

5. Confirm Your Bet

Review your bet slip to ensure the accuracy of your selection and stake. Once a bet has been placed, it cannot be reversed. Double-check the odds and potential payout. Once satisfied, click the “Place Bet” or “Confirm” button to submit your wager.

7. Follow the Game and Track Your Bets

Watch the game and monitor the progress of your bets. Many offshore sportsbooks provide live updates and statistics to keep you informed.

8. Withdraw Your Winnings

If your bet is successful, you’ll receive your winnings in your sportsbook account. You can then withdraw the funds using the available withdrawal methods provided by the sportsbook.

BetUS Hockey Sportsbook

The Most Common Hockey Betting Mistakes

Ignoring Team Form and Performance

One common mistake is to overlook the recent form and performance of teams. It’s crucial to consider factors like team injuries, winning streaks, head-to-head records, and home/away performance when assessing the potential outcome of a game.

Betting on Your Favorite Team

Emotional attachment to a favorite team can cloud judgment and lead to biased betting decisions. It’s essential to be objective and base your bets on data and analysis rather than personal preferences.

Overlooking Lineup Changes and Injuries

Team lineup changes and player injuries can impact a team’s performance. Failure to stay updated with these changes can lead to misguided bets. Before placing your wagers, keep track of injury reports, line combinations, and goalie confirmations.

Chasing Losses

After experiencing a losing streak, some bettors may be tempted to increase their wager sizes to recover their losses quickly. This approach, known as chasing losses, can lead to further financial setbacks. Sticking to a predefined betting strategy and avoiding impulsive decisions based on previous outcomes is essential.

Neglecting to Shop for the Best Odds

Different sports betting platforms may provide varying odds for the same game or market. Failing to compare bookmakers can result in missed opportunities for higher potential returns. Take the time to shop around and find the best odds available before placing your bets.

Lack of Bankroll Management

Effective financial management is essential for long-term success in betting on hockey. It’s important to put down a budget for your gambling activities and allocate a specific portion of your bankroll for each wager. Avoid placing large bets that exceed your predetermined limits, as this can lead to financial strain and poor decision-making.

Not Doing Proper Research

Successful betting requires thorough research and analysis. Failing to research teams, players, statistics, and other relevant information can lead to uninformed bets. Take the time to gather data, study team performance, analyze trends, and consider various factors before making your betting decisions.

Betting on Too Many Games

Overextending yourself by betting on too many games simultaneously can be overwhelming and decrease your ability to make well-informed decisions. Focus on quality over quantity and choose your bets selectively based on thorough analysis and confidence in your selections.

Hockey Betting FAQs

What does over/under mean in Ice hockey betting?

In ice hockey wagering, “over” and “under” refer to the total number of goals scored in a game. The over/under bet, also known as the total bet, allows you to wager on whether the total number of goals scored by both teams will be over or under a specific value set by the sportsbook.

How are Ice hockey betting odds calculated?

Ice hockey wagering odds can be calculated in different formats, such as fractional and decimal. Fractional odds express the potential profit relative to the stake, while decimal odds represent the total potential payout. Fractional odds are displayed as a ratio, while decimal odds are expressed as a decimal number. Sportsbooks use various factors and statistical analysis to determine the odds, aiming for a fair representation of the potential outcomes.

Which are the best ice hockey tournaments to bet on?

Some of the top ice hockey tournaments that attract significant betting interest include the National Hockey League (NHL games), the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, the Olympic Ice Hockey tournament, and significant professional leagues in Europe, such as the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and the Swedish Hockey League (SHL).

Is it legal to bet on hockey in the United States?

Yes, many states have legalized sports betting, including betting on hockey. However, gambling laws in the US are decided at the state level. Whether or not it is legal for you to bet on hockey depends on where you live. You must also meet your local minimum age requirement for gambling, which also varies on a state-by-state basis.

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