Interested in ice hockey betting? Our guide to NHL sports betting tells you how to bet on NHL games and what to look for in NHL betting sites. Read on for our handpicked selection of recommended sites and expert insights, and you’ll find that when it comes to choosing which site is for you, you won’t be skating on thin ice.
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Is NHL Online Betting Legal?
When the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in May 2018, it gave the green light to states to offer legal sports betting at their own discretion. Punters can now place online NHL wagers in:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
- Rhode Island
- New Hampshire
Sports betting has also been legalized, but not yet rolled out, in states such as New York and Arizona. Thanks to what is now a vast resource of online sportsbooks, it’s never been easier to enjoy NHL betting at home or on the move.
How to Sign Up at a Sportsbook to Bet on the NHL
If you want to bet on NHL games online, you’ll first need an online sportsbook account. Here’s a simple guide to signing up at NHL betting sites.
- Compare NHL betting sites
The first step is to compare our list of ice hockey betting sites. Some, including William Hill, BetMGM, and FanDuel, are exclusive betting partners of the NHL, but we have plenty of trusted sites to choose from.
- Sign up
When you’ve chosen your sportsbook, click through to the site and sign up for a new account. We’ll direct you straight to the registration page for new bettors, where it takes just a few minutes to get started.
- Deposit funds
No deposit welcome offers for the NHL crop up from time to time, especially in the run-up to events like the NHL Winter Classic or the NHL Playoffs, but it’s far more likely that you’ll need to deposit real money to enjoy NHL betting online. Most online sportsbooks offer a wide range of deposit options.
- Bet on NHL games
With money in your online sportsbook wallet, you’re good to go ‒ head to the NHL page of the sportsbook to see what sort of NHL betting markets are available. If you need to place a qualifying bet to claim the welcome bonus, be sure to pay attention to restrictions such as minimum odds.
NHL Betting Advice
Whether you’re a committed ice hockey fan or new to the sport, these general NHL betting tips are worth keeping in mind when you’re preparing to put money down.
Live NHL Odds
If you like the idea of betting on NHL games as they’re playing out, being able to see odds in real-time is a must. It’s common for various NHL betting sites to offer different odds for the same in-play bets, so shop around to make sure you’re getting the maximum potential payout.
An understanding of a team’s recent form can make all the difference when betting, but it’s obviously impossible to catch every single hockey game, or soak up all the salient details. This is where expert picks can help: you’ll find plenty of NHL betting tips online, and while there are never any guarantees, this kind of advice can enhance your knowledge of what’s happening.
Data and Stats
All sports today are saturated by stats, and the best NHL betting sites will provide data on the latest games and tournaments, better informing punters on the wagers to place. You can also check out what your fellow NHL fans think by looking up NHL consensus picks.
Live Betting Guide
Live odds reflect what’s happening in the game in real-time, but some NHL betting sites up the ante by making live betting guides available too. With commentary and tips provided by ice hockey experts, live betting guides can help you spot a good bet among a wide selection of in-play markets.
There’s little doubt that long flights and road trips with games in multiple cities can impact performance in the rink. Some bettors swear by the strategy of betting against an NHL team playing the last leg of a long run of appearances on the ice, while others adhere to the theory that it’s better to bet against a team playing their first home game in a while. Either way, it’s an important factor to consider.
With only six players from a team on the ice at any one time, an injury to a teammate has the potential to disrupt any franchise, which is why keeping abreast of injuries is a must. This information is freely available on NHL fan sites and sports news sites, so make sure you’re using it to your advantage.
How We Review NHL Betting Sites
Our sports betting experts pay close attention to all aspects of ice hockey betting sites. Here are some of the elements we assess.
Licensing and Safety
An NHL betting site must hold an appropriate license from the state in which it operates before we recommend it to our users. We also look at what IT security is in place to help keep sensitive information safe.
A good bonus deal can make a great bet even better. We like to see online sportsbooks welcome NHL fans with a fantastic sign up offer, as well as regular promos for existing customers too.
Banking and Payment methods
We like to recommend NHL betting sites that offer convenience to their customers, with plenty of ways to pay and be paid. We expect to see banking options like debit cards, wire transfers, prepaid cards, ACH, and e-Wallets, and those that can facilitate the fastest withdrawals are favored in our reviewing process.
Being able to easily get in touch with customer support is a must. We check to see if sites offer several ways to contact staff – ideally by live chat as well as email, phone, and social media accounts. To us, 24/7 immediate support is one sign of a great NHL betting site.
Markets and Odds
We think having the chance to explore a wide range of NHL betting markets makes the whole sportsbook experience way more enjoyable. So we look for sites that accept all kinds of bets, including highly specific props. Competitive odds also earn sites extra points.
The best NHL betting sites need to have style as well as substance. After all, a sportsbook may offer plenty of in-play betting markets for the NHL All-Star Game, but that won’t matter much if it’s a headache to navigate or keeps crashing. User-friendly design, intuitive interfaces and fast-loading mobile apps all contribute to good UX.
Types of NHL Bets
Ready to get into some NHL online sports betting? Here are some of the ways you can do exactly that.
Point Spread Betting
Point spread betting, or betting the puck line as it’s known in ice hockey, levels things out a little between the favorite and the underdog. With a puck line bet, the favorite has to win by two or more goals for a wager on that team to come good. Conversely, the underdog can lose by one goal and still make the bet a winner.
Whether you’re cheering from the bleachers for the Carolina Hurricanes or the Chicago Blackhawks, there’s only one thing that matters when it comes to winning a points total bet: correctly predicting the number of combined goals when the end-of-game whistle blows.
Moneyline bets are another simple way to enjoy ice hockey betting online. It’s a straight-up bet where punters simply back a team to win a particular game or tournament. For example, you might bet that the Anaheim Ducks will beat the Arizona Coyotes in their latest match-up. It really is that simple to bet the moneyline.
Parlays combine multiple wagers on the same ticket, multiplying the odds to generate a betting slip with larger potential returns but at longer odds. So, you might put a Bruins/Sabres point spread bet on the same slip as a moneyline bet for the Calgary Flames match-up against the Toronto Maple Leafs, along with a prop bet on who’ll score the first goal when the New York Rangers take on the Washington Capitals. The catch is that all your wagers will need to come in for the overall bet to win.
Prop bets are placed on outcomes related to an individual team or player. A prime example of a prop bet is putting money on Connor McDavid scoring the first goal in the Edmonton Oilers game against the Ottawa Senators. Props are popular with serious hockey lovers who like to make their play on the little details of each game.
Betting on the NHL Playoffs
The NHL Playoffs, better known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs, decide which team from the Eastern and Western Conferences of the league will win the much-coveted trophy once the regular season is over.
Tweaks to the format took place in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the tournament typically follows a format set in 2014, with 12 of 16 spots in the first round going to the top three finishers from each of the four divisions. The four next-best teams, two from each conference, earn wild card places.
With rules determining who plays who along the way, winning teams will progress through the first and second rounds to the Conference Finals, which determine which two franchises will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Each round of the tournament has a best-of-seven format, with the first team to land four wins earning a spot in the next round. With all these games taking place, there’s plenty of NHL betting action to be had. As always, research is crucial during the high intensity clashes of the playoffs ‒ keep track of how the players have been faring, if there are any injuries, and which teams have landed the home advantage by hosting the majority of the best-of-seven games on their own ice.
Stanley Cup Betting
The two winning teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences get a shot at lifting the ultimate prize — the NHL’s Stanley Cup. As with the playoffs, the Stanley Cup Finals consist of a best-of-seven series. The first team to put four wins on the scoreboard is the season champion.
As one of the major sporting events in North America, the Stanley Cup brings heaps of NHL betting opportunities. If you’re feeling particularly bold, you could try wagering on the winner while the playoffs are still underway, and take advantage of lucrative odds.
When the event actually gets underway, it’s important to have done your homework so you can place savvy prop bets. Which players have been goal-scoring machines in the playoffs? Have there been any injuries? And don’t forget, in the lead up to the Stanley Cup Finals, punters can bet on who they think will be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for the most valuable post-season player.
Can You Win Real Money Betting on the NHL?
Yes, you can. You’ll usually need to deposit your own funds to make real money bets, and all the NHL betting sites we recommend offer a range of secure payment methods. You can also potentially win real money using bonus funds and free bets, though it’s vital to check the terms in case there are wagering or playthrough requirements and other strings attached.
Get Started with a Top NHL Betting Site Today
Now you’ve got the lowdown on everything from how to sign up to ice hockey betting sites to how to bet on NHL games, you’re ready to get started today? Click through to any of the top NHL betting sites directly from Gambling Deals and sign up in minutes.