How To Bet On Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey Betting Guide

Outright betting on ice hockey remains a great way to make a profit while betting the premier competition, the National Hockey League, and other leagues. But of course, you have to have some patience because these types of bets are not ones that pay out quickly, unless you have placed them during the final days of the season.

Read more: Our latest Ice Hockey tips and best bets

Outright markets are straightforward and we will be using the NHL to explain how the work. For these markets you are betting on subjects such as Stanley Cup Winners, Conference Winners and Division Winners, and these prediction markets are available all season long so you can wait to see how a team performs before backing them in one of these markets.

So what markets are available? Read on for our ice hockey betting guide below.

Ice Hockey Betting Guide


The NHL Winner market is exactly what the title says – you are betting on who will win the Stanley Cup Finals and be crowned world champions. This market goes live very early on – you could bet on the 2018/19 Winner market as soon as the 2017/18 season was over – and the earlier you bet on it, the bigger the price you will get in most instances. Every NHL team is available at backable odds in this market – even the front-runners – but odds will fluctuate throughout the season so if you confident about one of the favourites getting the job done, you might want to jump on them early. And if you really fancy an outsider, it may not pay to leave it too long because if they hit a very good run of form, their price will shorten.

Conference Winner

Much like the NFL and the NBA, the NHL is split into two conferences with 16 teams competing in the Eastern Conference and 15 competing in the Western Conference. This market does not require you to back the team that will win the Stanley Cup Finals, you just need to back the team that will have the best record in their conference at the end of the season. Just like the Winner market, every NHL team is available at backable odds at the start of the season, but as the campaign unfolds and teams either do well or struggle, those odds will fluctuate.

Division Winner

Just like the NFL and NBA, not only is the NHL separated into two conferences, those conferences are then divided into two divisions. For this market you do not need to worry about who are crowned Conference champions and who are crowned world champions, you are betting on who will finish top their division standings at the end of the regular season. While some divisions may have clear favourites, others will be wide open and that means a really healthy profit could be made by betting on this market. But as with any outright betting market, the odds will shift around as the season progresses and if one team starts to take control of their division, their price will soon shorten.

Read more: Official NHL website

Money Line

The Money Line market is just like the Match Betting market in soccer – you are betting on who will win the game. However, this is not an easy way to make a sizeable profit when betting on the NHL because the only way you are going to land a big return here is by successfully backing an underdog to be victorious, and while upsets do happen you really have to be very confident about it to use this market. But don’t worry, that does not mean you should rule out betting on the outcome of a game because this next form of betting offers much more appeal than Money Line…

Spread Betting

Ever wanted to back a team to win but think their Money Line odds are far too short for you to claim? Spread betting offers you the chance to back a favourite at bigger odds, while you can also get even larger odds if you are looking to back an underdog.

Spread betting could not be any simpler. The bookmaker will give the favourite a fictional handicap and the underdog a fictional head start. So, for example, if the Philadelphia Flyers were favourites for a game against the New Jersey Devils, the bookies could give the Flyers a -1.5 handicap with the Devils +1.5. At the end of the game, depending on which bet you placed, you would either knock 1.5 goals off Philadelphia’s total or add 1.5 to New Jersey’s total. If your team still wins the game after this adjustment, your bet would be a winner.

For example, if you backed the Flyers -1.5 and they won 3-1, they would still be 1.5-1 winners once the handicap was taken off so your bet would be a winner. If they won 2-1, after the 1.5 goals were removed they would be 0.5-1 losers which means your bet loses. If you backed New Jersey +1.5 and they lost 2-1, you would be a winner because the Devils would be 2.5-2 winners once you add those 1.5 goals on.

The bookmakers offer Spread Betting for every single game and there will always be a variety of handicaps to choose from. Usually it is a case that the bigger the spread, the bigger the price so for those games where one side is a massive favourite, you may end up having to back them to win by a large margin in order to land a decent return.

Over/Under Betting

You can also bet on markets like Total Goals. The bookmakers will offer you a host of options to choose from, it just depends on how many goals you expect to see in a game. Are two great defenses going to be on show? If so, go for a low total. Are two incredible offenses going to keep the scoreboard staff busy? Go high.

So, for example, if you expect to see at least five goals when the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Tampa Bay Lightning, you would go for Over 4.5 Total Goals. It would not matter if the two teams combined for five goals, eight goals or 10 goals, as long as at least five were scored you would be a winner. And of course, if you expected to see less than five you would go Under 4.5, meaning your bet would be a winner if the two teams combined for four goals or less.

Odds will vary depending on the likelihood of a flurry of goals or a lack of them, and that means the bigger the risk with the Over/Under you select, the bigger the reward if your bet is a winner. Over-Under Betting is a great way to make a profit when betting on the NHL and these markets are available for every match-up from opening night right through to, and including, the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

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