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How To Bet On NHL
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How To Bet On NHL

Ice Hockey’s popularity may be slipping in the United States, but it remains the number 1 sport in Canada and its popularity is growing all across Europe, where there are 43 official member countries of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The NHL is the focal point of this continued growth, and the many gambling opportunities this league brings has helped to propel its popularity to new heights. In this guide we’ll look at popular ways you can bet on the NHL. There are many markets here that fans of football, rugby, and other popular sports will recognise, but there are a few unique ones as well.

Common Betting Markets

There are three common betting markets available on a typical NHL game. A betting site that offers lines on that game will almost always include these three markets:

Line: European bettors will recognise this as the “handicap” market. It theorises that one team begins with a minus score and the other team begins with a plus score, thus increasing/decreasing the odds and allowing for more variety.

Total: This is an ‘over/under’ market for the total number of goals scored in the match, including overtime. The line is typically set so that one of the bets returns odds of 1.95 (around 10/11) and it uses half scores (for example, 6.5 goals or 7.5 goals) to ensure a result.

Money Line: In this market the bettor picks the team they think will win, based on odds set by the bookmaker. This often includes overtime, and may be referred to as 2-way due to the absence of ‘draw’ as an outcome.

Prop Bets

Prop bets allow bettors to be a little more experimental, breaking the game up and giving them a chance to bet on multiple different markets, much like the corners/cards markets in a football game. They include:

Double Chance: Gives players a chance to hedge their bets and stake their money on one of the teams in addition to a regular time tie.

Correct Score: Bet on the exact score at the end of the game.

Winning Margin: How many goals will the winning team win by?

Alternative Markets: These offer additional bets on the “Total” and “Line” markets.

Team to Score First: Which team will score the first goal?

Team to Score Last: Which team will score the last goal?

Full Time Betting vs Regular Time Betting

Full Time Betting: Often referred to as money line or ‘including overtime’
Regular Time Betting: Also known as 3-way, or ‘including draw”

One of the ways that NHL betting differs to other sports is that overtime is often implied for the main betting markets, and unless otherwise stated you should assume that it counts. This is true for many common betting markets and even some prop bets, but there are clearly “regular time only” markets that do not include overtime.

You’ll find that our tipsters will use a mix of these money line and regular time bets. Money line will have two outcomes on the betting market (Team A or Team B) while regular time will have three potential outcomes; Team A, Team B or the draw.

Full Time Betting

When browsing a money line / 2-way bet you’ll see only two betting options. For example:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning

Here’s how it looks on Bet365:

Bet365 NHL Betting

As you can see you can only bet on 2 outcomes. This means that the draw is not a possible result for your bet. Instead, your bet is settled based on which team goes onto win whether that’s in regular play or during overtime.

Regular Time Betting

When browsing a regular time / 3-way / ‘inc draw’ you’ll see three betting options. For example:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning

Here’s how it looks on Bet365:

Betting on NHL

As you can see, there are now three outcomes for the game with the tie (or draw) now being included as an option. Betting on the 3-way markets (or those which include the draw) are essentially the same markets that most punters would be used to when betting on the football.

You’ll find that the 3-way will give higher odds due to the greater number of possible outcomes.

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