Complete NHL betting guide. Learn how to bet on NHL hockey with moneylines, puck lines, and totals. You’ll also learn about parlays and NHL prop bets. NHL puck line betting is like baseball run line betting. Shop moneylines for the best value. Carefully each line to find an edge. Review current odds to win the Stanley Cup, Eastern Conference and Western Conference below.
- Current Matchup Odds
- Easy Bets
- Exotic Bets
- Championship & Conference Futures
- ☞Live NHL Odds☜
- NHL Team Pages
How NHL Betting Works
Our NHL betting guide is broken into two sections. The first has the most common NHL hockey bets: moneyline, total and puck line. The second explains exotic bets. These are riskier and intended for more advanced bettors. They’re usually not ideal for generating long-term profits. Instead, use exotics for fun or highly favorable situations.
Easy NHL Bets
1. NHL Moneyline Betting
Bet on the outright winner.
A positive number indicates the underdog. A negative number indicates the favorite. Two -110 numbers indicate no specific favorite. This is a PK or pick’em bet.
The juice is included in each moneyline. A -220 true odds favorite, plus juice, may cost -230. A +350 true odds underdog, minus juice, might pay +330.
That means underdog bettors are rewarded with smaller wins compared to true odds. Favorite bettors must risk more than true odds.
Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100.
Tie games aren’t possible in the NHL due to overtime rules.
A tie score during regulation time leads to one 5 minute overtime period with a goalie and 3 skaters. If neither team scores, a 3-shot shootout follows. A tied shootout is broken by a sudden-death shootout. The final result will determine whether your bet wins or loses.
Most sportsbooks display hockey moneylines by default on the NHL odds page.
NHL Moneyline Example
Boston Bruins -170
Calgary Flames +150
- The Boston Bruins are the favorite. The Calgary Flames are the underdog.
- Boston bettors lay $170 to win $100. Calgary bettors win $150 for risking $100.
Our Moneyline Betting video explains this bet in detail. The complete moneyline tutorial also includes useful tips and strategies. Use the reference section to convert odds to and from moneylines, fractional and decimal formats.
2. NHL Total Betting
Sportsbook estimates a point total combining each team’s projected final scores. Players bet whether the result will be over or under this number.
NHL totals can be found below or between moneylines for each side. NHL totals will often be under 10. Sportsbooks provide the total’s juice to the right of the line. One side of the bet may have different juice than the other.
NHL betting odds will abbreviate over as “o” and under as “u”. The more expensive side will be provided. For example, 5½o-116 means anyone betting over 5.5 goals will lay $116 to win $100. -104 is the under juice. Under bettors would lay $104 to win $100.
Assume -110 when no number is given. That means the juice for both the over and under will be -110. Bettors taking either side lay $110 to win $100.
NHL Total Example
Winnipeg 6½ o-115
- The total line is 6½. The over has -115 juice. -105 is the corresponding under value.
- Over bettors believe the goal total will be greater than 6.5. They lay $115 to win $100.
- Under bettors believe the goal total will be less than 6.5. They lay $105 to win $100.
Result: Final total is 5. This number is less than 6½. That means all under bettors win.
Note: No tie bets are possible with a ½ point spread. The final result will either be over or under the sportsbook’s line.
Tie bets occur when the sportsbook’s line equals the final total. This happens with whole number lines like 5, 6, or 7. Sportsbooks will refund all tie bets.
Watch our total betting video and review our over-under tutorial page here. The reference section explains how to calculate the value for the opposite side of the line when sportsbooks charge more than -110 juice.
3. NHL Puck Line Betting
Bet is made on the expected score difference, just like a spread. Most NHL puck lines are 1½. Occasionally some will be 2½.
Taking the Favorite
A 1½ line rounds up to 2. Favorites must win by 2 or more goals.
Taking the Underdog
A 1½ line rounds down to 1. Underdogs must not lose by more than 1 or win outright.
Each side has moneyline odds.
The most likely line will be negative. The less likely line will be positive.
Positive numbers indicate how much you win for risking $100. Negative numbers indicate how much you risk to win $100.
Interpreting 1½ Puck Line Odds
- Determine the favorite and underdog. The favorite’s 1½ spread will be negative. The underdog’s 1½ spread will be positive.
- Moneylines indicate the likelihood each team will cover the spread.
- The underdog will have a negative moneyline because it is more likely this team will win or only lose by 1. You’ll win less than you risk.
- The favorite will have a positive moneyline because it is less likely this team will win by 2 or more goals. You’ll win more than you risk.
NHL Puck Line Example
Toronto -1½ +160
Buffalo +1½ -190
- Toronto Maple Leafs are the favorite. They must win by 2 or more goals.
- Buffalo Sabres are the underdog. They must not lose by more than 1 or can win outright.
- The Maple Leafs are less likely to win by 2. Their moneyline is positive. A $100 bet wins $160.
- The Sabres are more likely to lose by 1 or win outright. They moneyline is negative. A $190 bet wins $100.
Tip: Puck lines can offer higher expected value than a moneyline.
Compare the above example to a fictional -180 moneyline for favorite Toronto. You would lay $180 to win $100.
If you think Toronto will easily win by 2, you could take the puck line instead. You would lay $100 to win $160. You risk less money for a much higher reward.
Our Spread Betting video explains how spreads work. Make sure you understand how bets on each team win or lose. Also, review our moneyline betting video. You’ll learn how moneyline odds indicate which side is more or less likely.
Exotic NHL Bets
1. NHL Parlay Betting
Combine 2 or more money line, puck line or total selections. Parlay wins if all selections win. Parlay loses if any selection loses.
Each tie reduces the total number of selections by one. Therefore, a 5 team parlay with 1 tie becomes a 4 team parlay. An 8 selection parlay with 2 ties becomes a 6 selection parlay. Your actual payout will correspond to the adjusted parlay size.
NHL Parlay Directions
- Select 2-15 money lines, puck lines, totals or combinations of all three.
- Include matchups from other sports like football, basketball or baseball.
- All selections must be correct to win.
- Each tie reduces parlay size by 1 selection. Review your sportsbook’s parlay rules carefully.
Sportsbetting3.com created a parlay betting infographic here. It visually explains how to place a parlay bet.
The complete parlay tutorial provides examples and recommended bets. Also, a thorough discussion about what happens when one or more parlay selections tie. Learn the difference between standard parlay odds and true odds in the reference section. Finally, see why parlays benefit the winning bettor more than separate straight bets.
2. NHL Prop Betting
Sportsbooks offers odds on various events related to NHL hockey. Bettor decides whether an event will occur, in what quantity or both. Prop bets are considered side bets. They are not dependent on the game’s final outcome.
Postseason play and the Stanley Cup will offer the most prop betting opportunities. Conference championships may also get prop bets. Props for the regular will be posted before opening day. Monitor your sportbook’s wagering menu carefully.
NHL Prop Betting Directions
- Visit sportsbook’s NHL odds page. Select “Props” or “Specials”.
- Most props are announced before championship events. Others will be available throughout the season.
- Each prop has moneyline odds.
- Make selection and bet desired amount.
- Sports props win or lose after applicable game, season or playoff has concluded.
Note: Some props cannot be added to parlays. Bets will be graded “no action” if the prop cannot be resolved. This commonly happens when a player with a game point total gets injured before face off. Or, some other intervening event disrupts the prop bet entirely (natural disaster, scheduling change, etc).
Example NHL Prop Bets
Which Stanley Cup finalist will win the coin toss?
- Eastern Champion -105
- Western Champion -105
Will the Stanley Cup be won in 4 games?
- Yes +1200
- No -2500
Will a Central Division team win the Stanley Cup?
- Yes +500
- No -650
Prop bets are easy to play once you understand how moneylines work. See more about prop bets here. Also, a brief explanation about season win totals and why they’re a combination prop and futures bet.
Prop bets are usually just for fun. Some knowledgeable sports handicappers can do very well with considerable research and a little luck.
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