Whether you’re new to sports betting or you’re a diehard hockey fan, betting on the NHL can add a ton of excitement to an already exhilarating sport. With highly competitive teams and one of the most exciting playoff structures in all of sports, the NHL can provide you with exciting and profitable opportunities for newcomers as well as seasoned pros.
Today, we’re going to help you pick out a real money NHL betting site, teach you the basics of betting on hockey, and give you the tools to start building your own strategies. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to start placing bets. Below we have included our list of the best online sportsbooks for betting real money on the NHL.
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Our team of experts at The Sports Geek has spent hour upon hours combing through dozens of online sportsbooks with NHL odds to bring you our selections for the best real money NHL betting websites. We used an extensive list of criteria to evaluate nearly every aspect of each site so we can help you to make the best selection possible. When choosing to play on any website we recommend, we can guarantee you will have the best possible online betting experience.
It’s worth noting that none of the online NHL betting sites that make our recommendations lists ever pay for placement. We want to intentionally remain as objective as possible so we can provide you with quality recommendations free of outside influence. Further on in the article, you’ll see a few of the criteria we used in choosing which sites made our list.
Resources for NHL Betting
Free Expert NHL Picks
The first essential resource you’ll find on The Sports Geek is our expansive section full of expert picks. This is where you will find critical insights and hot tips that will not only inform your picks but can give you a valuable glimpse into what the pros are thinking. Our detailed analysis included data on previous games, stats on top players, and other critical data. By keeping an eye on these picks, you can spot correlations and patterns that will help you improve your strategy. Our expert picks are like having a mentor who can give you insider knowledge while you are still learning how to bet on NHL games for money.
NHL Computer Picks
In addition to expert picks, we also provide access to advanced AI picks. AI, or “artificial intelligence,” is a computer that uses inputs and outcomes to learn over time. Using sophisticated algorithms and advanced predictive models, the system generates picks. These picks reflect the most statistically probable outcome after taking into account hundreds of different factors. The coolest thing about these systems is that they get more accurate over time. Each incorrect pick becomes a new data point to refine the model and improve future success rates.
NHL Betting News
Another critical part of having success in sports betting is keeping up with current events and regularly reading NHL news. Stats are beneficial and provide a ton of useful data, but sports betting is not all quantitative. Having a pulse on what’s happening around the league will give you the extra bits of insight that separate the best bettors from the rest. We are here to help by tracking all the breaking news around the NHL and reporting it on our news page. These up-to-the-minute reports will keep you informed about everything from players trades to controversies.
Penguins GM Rutherford Abruptly Resigns
NHL Notes: Yandle, Larkin, Canucks’ Winger Search
NHL Opening Night Game Odds Released
NHL Notes: Pastrnak, Marchand, Thornton, Stars
Longtime Bruins Captain Chara Signs with Capitals
NHL Notes: Lundqvist, Hoffman, Perry, Athanasiou
Canada’s Dach Out for World Juniors
Lightning Forward Kucherov Out for Regular Season
NHL Notes: Predators, Nylander, Blackwood, Lightning
NHL Notes: Chara, Engelland, Battle of Alberta, Helmet Ads
Inside the Finer Details of the 2020-21 NHL Season
Oilers’ Klefbom Out for the 2020-21 NHL Season
Breaking Down the 2020-21 NHL Season Announcement
NHL Notes: Lundqvist, Steen, Valimaki, Flames
NHL Notes: Lindblom Cancer-Free, Hubs Possible, Bowman Promoted
NHL Betting Blog
On top of our news coverage, we also face off with tons of other great topics in our NHL betting blog. Here you will find dozens of informative looks into everything from strategy to tips and tricks. In our blog, we move beyond just current events and address topics that are relevant for both new players and seasoned vets. These pieces are a great resource to help take your NHL betting knowledge to the next level.
Handicapping NHL Trade Deadline Futures
NHL Coaching Futures: Sabres’ Next Coach, Next to be Fired?
NHL Head Coaching Specials: Predicting Coaches for the Habs, Kraken
Updated 2021 NHL Hart Trophy Odds: Matthews Makes His Move
Identifying NHL Awards Odds Shifts
Identifying Early NHL Divisional Odds Shifts
Predicting NHL Individual Stat Over/Unders
Predicting the First NHL Head Coach to be Fired
NHL Playoff Special Predictions for All 31 Teams
Predicting NHL Team Point Total Over/Unders
NHL East Division Preview, Odds & Predictions
NHL North Division Preview, Odds & Predictions
NHL Central Division Preview, Odds & Predictions
Updated 2021 NHL Hart Trophy Odds & Predictions
2021 World Junior Stat Leader Odds & Predictions
NHL Betting Strategy
Finally, The Sports Geek provides a variety of excellent tools to help you build your own online NHL betting strategy. There is more to successful sports betting than picking the winner. You need a plan if you want to succeed in the long term. Our strategy resources can help you learn everything from the basics to advanced tactics for squeezing value out of every bet. Here, you will find a wide array of tools that can benefit every player, whether you are just learning how to bet on the NHL or have years of experience betting on sports for real money.
What Makes a Good NHL Betting Website?
The first thing you want to look for when picking an NHL betting site is a juicy new player signup bonus. This is a bonus given exclusively to new players as a way to help their website stand out among the competition. Generally, these bonuses come in the form of a deposit match when the account is initially funded.
A massive boost like this can work wonders for your sports betting bankroll and can have a considerable impact on the bets you can take. Even though taking full advantage of these bonuses might mean starting with more money than you intended, consider trying to get the max value out of these freebies.
Competitive NHL Betting Odds
As you would expect with any sports betting site, you need to bet on an NHL betting site that offers the best possible odds. NHL betting odds are how an online sportsbook tells the bettor what payout corresponds with which bet. We will discuss NHL odds later on in the article, but the most important thing to remember is that you want to play on a site that has the best odds, so you maximize your winnings when your bet hits. Since each bookmaker makes their odds, you’ll find a wide range of odds for the same bet depending on which site is offering the bet.
Promos can be similar to signup bonuses, but they are less exclusive and can vary widely. These are regular events run by NHL betting sites to get players betting more money and to encourage players to bet more often. Promotions can take various forms, including bet matches or odds boosts. Always be sure to check which promos are active before placing bets. Many times, the promotions your NHL betting website is offering will overlap with bets you are already planning to place, but you’ll need to be opted in to get the promo value. By taking advantage of promos, you can easily boost the value of wins while also gaining access to risk-free ways to try new bets.
After coming into the mainstream in recent years with Bitcoin’s explosion in 2017, cryptocurrencies have taken popular culture by storm. These digital currencies offer a range of benefits over conventional payment methods that made them a perfect fit for online gambling. Cryptocurrencies are generally easier to transfer between users, incur fewer fees, and offer much more anonymity. With thousands of currencies being traded by millions of people, crypto is here to stay, and some NHL betting sites will even provide crypto bonuses for players using this new form of payment.
One of the core elements of a high-quality NHL betting website is site security. You must play on a real money NHL online sportsbook that ensures all player data remains secure by using state-of-the-art technology. Our security experts have vetted all of the sites we recommend, and they are each verified secure. You can be sure that if you choose to play on any website we recommend, you will have the safest and most secure online gambling experience possible.
NHL Betting Platforms
In this day and age, players want to be in control over their gaming experience. This means being able to bet when and where they want, even if they aren’t in front of a computer. To accommodate modern players, each site on our list offers a variety of options when it comes to betting. Players can place bets on their computer, on their phone, or even on their tablet. With these convenient alternatives, you can be sure you’ll never miss an opportunity no matter where you are.
Along with their variety of platforms, any site we recommend needs to provide users with a great on-site experience. The NHL sportsbooks online we chose have all made significant investments in building clean, straightforward, and beautiful customer interfaces. Not only will any of these NHL betting sites be easy to use, but you will enjoy spending time on it.
Last but not least, high-quality customer service is a must in the world of online gambling. These online NHL betting sites provide a variety of contact options and are available to help 24/7. By reaching out via email, phone, or chat, you’ll be able to get help with any issue almost immediately. We want to support NHL betting sites that put their players first, and each of these sites has a long reputation of getting customers a speedy and professional resolution to all their issues. Should anything ever go wrong, they have your back.
Understanding NHL Odds and Lines
The first step to learning how to bet on the NHL online is to understand odds and lines. These are simple concepts but can look intimidating to the uninitiated. Don’t worry. We’ll lay it all out for you. These little, information-dense tables tell you everything you need to know about a specific bet. We’ll give you an overview of these concepts then show some real examples of exactly how they work.
First up are odds. Like we mentioned before, odds are how a bookmaker communicates the payout on a bet. These are generally represented by a positive or negative number with the negative number denoting the favorite to win. This value represents the payout you would get for winning the bet in relation to betting $100.
Second, the “spread” (or the “line”) shows you the margin by which a team is expected to get beat or by how much they should win. We’ll discuss more details about betting the spread next, but just know that the spread is represented by a positive and negative number assigned to each team, usually in increments of half a point. If a team is showing -5.5, they are expected to win by 5.5 points, and if a team is showing +5.5, they are expected to lose by 5.5 points.
Most Popular NHL Bets
In the old days, sports betting simply meant picking which team you thought was going to win. Over the years, betting has made great strides and has become significantly more complex and more involved than just picking a winner. Below are a few of the sports bet types you’ll find when looking through your real money NHL betting site. You can use some or all of these types to add diversity to your strategy. May pros only use one or two, so determine which ones make the most and stick with those.
NHL Spread Bets
Betting the spread is one of the most common ways to bet on NHL hockey games online. You’ll also see these referred to as puck line bets. The idea of puck line betting is to “level the playing field” between two teams that are not perfectly evenly matched. Since no two teams are the same, there will always be small differences that make one team more likely to win than the other.
Sportsbooks account for these variances by offering what is referred to as the “spread” or the “line” to equalize the teams. The spread simply reflects the number of goals a team needs to win by for the bet to pay. If bookmakers didn’t offer a spread, people would always simply bet on the favorite and win most of the time. In effect, they are adjusting the expectations so that for the better team, it is not enough just to win. Let’s check out an example.
Here, we see that the Sabres are projected at -1.5 while the Oilers are projected at +1.5. As we discussed earlier, the negative number denotes the favorite. We read this as “the Sabres are expected to beat the Oilers by one and a half goals.” These bets equalize the teams because rather than winning being the goal, beating these expectations is the goal (pun intended). One thing to notice is that the half-point is generally used to prevent ties. If the bookmaker doesn’t use half points, there is the possibility of a “push” or a tie. However, since there are no “half goals,” this eliminates the possibility of a push.
You win one of these bets by “beating the spread.” This means your team needs to do better than the expectation represented on the line. From our example above, the Sabres not only have to win the game, but they must win by at least two goals. If the Sabres win by 2, you win. But if they only win by 1, then you lose. Conversely, If the Oilers lose by 1, you win, but if they lose by 2, you lose. Obviously, if the Oilers were to win the game, you would also win as you bet on the underdog.
The line will change as the bookmaker tries to balance bets between the two teams. Their goal is to have an equal value of bets on each side, so they adjust the line to encourage or discourage betting based on the balances of bets they have taken. Let’s say they have too many bets on the Sabres and not enough on the Oilers. They could decide to move the line to -2.5, meaning the Sabres need to do even better to win the bet. Simultaneously, this makes the Oilers more attractive because they can do worse than before and still win the bet.
NHL Moneyline Bets
Placing moneyline bets is also very popular across most NHL online sportsbooks. These are more straightforward than spread bets in that you just focus on picking the winner. However, these bets are still not a 50/50 proposition. Just as with spread bets, the teams will still never be identical and are therefore never perfectly matched, so we need a way to account for that. With moneyline bets, rather than adjusting the expectations of each team, we change the payouts to account for the inequity.
Below is how your NHL betting site will show a moneyline bet. Each team is assigned a number that represents the payout that relates to a winning bet placed on that team. Just as with the spread, the negative and positive numbers tell us who is expected to win and who is expected to lose. The wider the gap between these two numbers, the bigger the perceived difference in the quality of the matchup. If the numbers are far apart, it’s expected to be a blowout. If they are close together, the teams are more evenly matched.
The most important thing you need to remember when placing real money NHL moneyline bets is that your team still needs to win the game for you to win your bet. In spread betting, your team can lose the game but cover the spread. In moneyline betting, if your team loses, you lose. Also, the payout on your bet is scaled to the probability of your team winning. Because of this, you often win much less when you successfully bet on the winner. Let’s take a look at a winning bet placed on each of the teams in our previous example.
- First, let’s say you place a $100 moneyline bet on the Oilers, and they win this game. They are offered at +105, which means they are expected to lose. As a result of them defying the odds and winning, you win $105 plus the $100 you bet for a total payout of $205. You more than doubled your money!
- Next, let’s say you place a $100 bet on the Sabres, and they win. In this case, they are favored to win at -125. This means you win just $80 plus your $100 bet for a total payout of $180. In this case, you can see that since the moneyline was reasonably close, the teams were more evenly matched, resulting in a smaller gap in payouts. Here, a successful bet on the underdog only pays $25 more than a successful bet on the favorite because the bookmaker thinks it should be a good match.
As you might have expected, you win more for successfully betting on the team the bookmaker thinks will lose. In our example, however, the payouts were relatively similar because the teams were considered to be evenly matched. However, despite being closely matched, there will still always be differences leading to differences in payouts. Regardless of what makes the teams different, you’ll see all those factors accounted for in the odds. The real key in moneyline betting is to use your knowledge to find bets where you think the odds don’t accurately reflect the actual risk. Finding variances like this can lead to getting more value and giving yourself an edge.
NHL Over/Under Bets
Perhaps rather than betting on a specific team, maybe you are looking for a different way to bet on NHL games online as a whole. Over/under bets allow you to bet on the total goals scored in the game rather than on who will win. Let’s refer back to our previous example to see how the over/under works.
Above, you will see two numbers designated with “O” and “U.” These represent the number of goals that differentiates between the over and the under. Despite these lining up with teams, the team is irrelevant. In our example, we can either bet that the total goals scored will be over six or under six. Based on the expected likelihood of each, the payouts vary accordingly. Although more conservative, these bets can be useful if you have reason to believe a game will be particularly offensive or defensive.
NHL Prop Bets
Finally, let’s discuss prop betting. These bets are some of the most fun, and they can add a whole new level of excitement to betting on the NHL. Prop bets are wagers you place on specific outcomes within the game, separate from the overall result. For example, you might be able to bet on who will win the faceoff, which team will score first, or the number of minutes a particular player will spend in the penalty box. Prop bets can make online NHL betting significantly more complicated, particularly when they are part of a larger parlay.
A significant advantage of NHL betting online is that online sportsbooks with odds on NHL games can provide lots of prop bets that brick and mortar sportsbooks can’t offer. Since the typical live sportsbook has so many different things happening at once, it’s impossible to support all of the more granular prop bets that are often available online. When playing on any of the NHL betting sites we recommend, you’ll have access to a wide array of prop bets that can make each aspect of the game more enjoyable.
If you are just looking to have fun, try any bets that sound interesting. But if you’re a serious bettor, look for the prop bets that require skill. Some bets can be more predictable and more profitable if you are willing to put the time in to bet them right.
NHL Future Bets
While these are necessarily a type of betting on their own, it’s worth mentioning that you can place bets on events in the future. Just as you might suspect, these are bets placed long in advance of an event taking place. Most commonly, people will place future bets on their team to win the Stanley Cup or make the playoffs. Betting on your team to win before the season starts will pay much more than betting on them late in the season, so there is potential for massive wins with future bets. These can be great for people who want to be a bit more hands-off in their betting, but still want a bit of skin in the game.
Summary on NHL Betting Online
Betting on the NHL can add tons of excitement to watching the games and can make it much more profitable. With lots of betting styles, competitive matchups, and a postseason that provides some of the best entertainment in sports, NHL betting should be on your radar even if you aren’t currently a hockey fan. Be sure you check out all the resources here and elsewhere on The Sports Geek as you build your NHL betting knowledge. We have tons of great content that will help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls while also helping you improve rapidly. Always gamble responsibly, have fun, and good luck!