How to Bet on the NHL – NHL Betting Guide

Learn how to bet on the NHL with moneylines, totals, and puck lines. You’ll also learn about parlays and NHL prop bets. NHL puck line betting is like baseball run line betting. Carefully check each line to find an edge. Review current odds to win the Stanley Cup, Eastern Conference, and Western Conference below. We’ve also got each NHL team’s season win totals.

NHL Betting Sites
State
Bonus Bet
BetRivers Sportsbook
#1 BetRivers
REVIEW
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCHBet Now

Chapters

  1. Current Matchup Odds
  2. Straight Bets
  3. Exotic Bets
  4. Championship & Conference Futures
  5. NHL Season Win Totals
  6. Live NHL Odds

Current Matchups

Next 8 NHL Matchups
+ Displays more odds

Game
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet

How to Bet on the NHL

This tutorial has two sections. The first contains common NHL straight bets. These include the moneyline, over-under total, and puck line bets. Winning sports bettors should stick to these bets. They’re the most profitable in the long haul.

The second section discusses exotic NHL bets. These include the parlay, if bet win-only, parlay card, and props. Careful, all of these bets come with a higher house edge. Smart handicappers only place these wagers when they think they have an advantage.

NHL Straight Bets

BetRivers Pennsylvania Sports Betting Site
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCH
Bet Now BetRivers Pennsylvania

How an NHL Moneyline Bet Works

A moneyline bet is placed on a team or side to win the game outright. Some sportsbooks also offer moneylines for the 1st period, 2nd period, and occasionally the 3rd period.

Favorite
The favorite will have a minus number. A minus number indicates how much you risk to win $100.

Underdog
The underdog will have a plus number. A plus number indicates how much you win for risking $100.

Placing a Moneyline Bet
Select “Moneyline” from your sportsbook’s betting menu. It may also be abbreviated as “ML”. Next, select a game segment: game, 1st period, 2nd period, or 3rd period. Finally, select either the favorite or the underdog.

Sportsbooks include the juice in each moneyline. They usually add 10 cents commission to each side. A -220 true odds favorite would get a -230 line, while a +150 true odds underdog would get a +140 line.

NHL Moneyline Example

Moneyline
Game
Line & Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina Hurricanes
2/11/22 8:05pm EDT
-150
+180
  1. The Carolina Hurricanes are the underdog. Risk $100 to win $180.
  2. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorite. Risk $150 to win $100.

Example Result: Tampa bay wins.
All favorite Tampa Bay Lightning bettors win. All underdog Carolina Hurricanes bettors lose.

Note: If the game ties, all moneyline bets push. All bets will be refunded.

More Moneyline Info

Our moneyline video explains this bet completely. The entire moneyline tutorial also includes useful tips and strategies. Use the reference section to convert Moneyline odds to equivalent Fractional or Decimal values. Note required break even percentages for moneyline odds.

BetRivers Pennsylvania Sports Betting Site
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCH
Bet Now BetRivers Pennsylvania

How an NHL Total Bet Works

A total bet line combines the estimated final scores of each team including overtime. Sportsbooks may also offer total lines for each period. You bet on whether the actual result will be Over or Under the sportsbook’s line.

Placing an Over-Under Total Bet
Select “Over-Under Total” from your sportsbook’s betting menu. Next, select a game segment: game, 1st period, 2nd period, or 3rd period. Finally, select either the over or the under.

Pick the Over or the Under

Taking the Over
Over will be abbreviated as “o”. A bet on the Over wins if the final total is greater than the sportsbook’s line. For example, consider a 4.5 goal total line. If the actual game total is 5, over bettors win.

Taking the Under
Under will be abbreviated as “u”. A bet on the Under wins if the final total is les than the sportsbook’s line. Consider again a 4.5 goal total line. If the actual game total is 4, under bettors win.

NHL Total Example

Total
Game
Line & Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina Hurricanes
2/11/22 8:05pm EDT
5 o -141
5 u +120
  1. The Over-Under Total line is 5.
  2. Over bettors believe the final total will be greater than 5. They risk $141 to win $100.
  3. Under bettors believe the final total will be less than 5. They risk $100 to win $120.

Example Result: Final goal total is 6.
The 6 goal final total is over the sportsbook’s 5 goal line. That means all over bettors win.

If the final goal total was 4 or fewer, all under bettors would win.

Note: Tie bets are possible when the total is a whole number like 3, 4, 5, or 6. Your bet will be returned if the final goal total equals the line. This is also called a push. All bets will be refunded.

More Over-Under Total Info

Our total betting video makes the over under bet easy to understand. The reference section explains how to calculate the value for the opposite side of the line when sportsbooks charge more than -110 juice. Note, most sportsbooks provide juice for both sides of a line at their websites. Calculating the opposite side is only necessary when viewing condensed third party odds tables.

BetRivers Pennsylvania Sports Betting Site
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCH
Bet Now BetRivers Pennsylvania

How an NHL Puck Line Bet Works

The puck line is similar to a football or basketball point spread bet. A puck line bet is made on the expected score difference. The puck line attempts to equalize two mismatched competitors. Favorite teams give goals to the underdog. The underdog takes goals from the favorite.

Sportsbooks commonly offer puck lines for the game and 1st period. Major events like the NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup playoffs may get puck lines for the 2nd period and 3rd period. Period puck lines are typically a ½ goal.

Placing a Puck Line Bet
Select “Puck Line” from your sportsbook’s betting menu. Next, select a game segment: game or 1st period. Finally, select either the favorite or the underdog.

Pick the Favorite or the Underdog

Taking the Underdog
Underdogs have a plus sign next to their puck line. An underdog bet wins if the final score difference is less than the puck line. A +1.5 goal underdog must win outright, tie, or not lose by more than 1 goal.

Taking the Favorite
Favorites have a minus sign next to their puck line. A bet on the favorite wins if the final score difference is greater than the spread. A -2.5 goal favorite must win by 3 or more goals for your bet to win.

NHL Puck Line Example

Puck Line
Game
Line & Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina Hurricanes
2/11/22 8:05pm EDT
-1.5 +225
+1.5 -278
  1. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the -1.5 goal favorite.
  2. Favorite bettors risk $100 to win $225 on Tampa Bay.
  3. The Carolina Hurricanes are the +1.5 goal underdog.
  4. Underdog bettors risk $278 to win $100 on Carolina.

Example Result: Tampa Bay wins 4-2.
The final score difference is 2 goals. 2 goals is greater than the 1.5 goal line. That means all favorite bettors win.

If the Carolina Hurricanes lost by 1 goal, tied, or won outright, all underdog bettors would win.

Note: NHL puck lines always contain ½ goals. The most common puck line is 1.5. 0.5 and 2.5 puck lines are less common.

No NHL Game Market Live Example TBD: Check back soon!

More Puck Line Info

Watch our spread betting video and read our complete spread tutorial here. You’ll also find betting strategies, spread to moneyline conversions, and other insights.

Exotic NHL Bets

State
Bonus Bet
BetRivers Sportsbook
#1 BetRivers
REVIEW
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCHBet Now

NHL Parlay Betting

A parlay bet combines 2 or more selections into one bet. Puck lines, Point spreads, over-under totals, moneylines, and some prop bets are commonly combined to make a parlay bet.

How to Place an NHL Parlay Bet

  1. Select 2-15 puck lines, totals, moneylines, or a combination of all three.
  2. Matchups from other sports like football, basketball, soccer, or baseball can be included.
  3. All selections must be correct to win.
  4. Each tie reduces a parlay payout by 1 selection. For example, a 3 selection parlay with 1 tie becomes a 2 selection parlay.

More Parlay Bet Info

Our parlay betting tutorial explains this bet in detail with examples and suggested betting options. Learn what happens when one or more parlay selections tie.

The reference section discusses the difference between standard parlay odds and true odds.

Winning bettors should always choose the parlay over separate straight bets. Your +EV (expected value) is much higher for a winning parlay.

NHL If Bet Win-Only

An if bet win-only is a sequence of 2-7 straight bet selections. The next selection only sees action if the previous selection wins.

Think of an if bet win-only as a simple chain of “if – then” statements. If my first selection wins, then my second selection sees action. If my second selection wins, then my third selection sees action, etc.

Why place an if bet win-only bet?
Make multiple bets when you only have money for one. That makes if bets ideal for players with small bankrolls.

The if bet win-only is a single action wager.

How to Place an NHL If Bet Win-Only

  1. Select 2-7 puck lines, moneylines, totals, or combinations of all three from one or more different sports leagues.
  2. Your next selection sees action if the previous one wins.
  3. The sportsbook will grade a tie selection as a loss.

NHL If Bet Win-Only Example

Let’s place a 2 selection if bet win-only. We’ll risk $150 on the first selection. Note how the odds affect the potential payout.

Boston Bruins +1.5 -150 Puck Line
Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 4.5 o -110 Total

The following tables show different outcomes depending on each selection’s result. Remember, the sequence ends after the first losing selection.

This table shows the Win/Loss result when both selections win.

Both Selections Win
Selection Result Risk/Win Total Win/Loss
Boston Bruins +1.5 -150
Puck Line
Win $150 Risk
$100 Win
$100
Florida Panthers vs.
Toronto Maple Leafs o 4.5 -110
Total
Win $110 Risk
$100 Win
$200
($100 + $100)

The second selection, Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs o 4.5, sees action after the first selection won.

You win $200 for risking $150 because both selections were correct.

More If Bet Win-Only Info

Our helpful if bet win-only tutorial offers an in-depth explanation of this bet.

The reference section compares the performance of 2 losing straight bets versus a losing 2-selection if bet win-only.

Hint: A losing if bet win-only is less costly than separate losing straight bets. The if-then sequence ends after the first loss while separate straight bets cannot be canceled.

NHL Parlay Card Betting

A sportsbook will create a list of puck lines, point spreads, totals, or player props from one or more leagues. The list will be printed on paper for in-person betting or found on a sportsbook’s website for online betting.

Your parlay card wins if all your selections win. A tie selection counts as a win if you bet a “ties win” parlay card.

Your parlay card loses if any of your selections lose. It also loses if you bet a “ties lose” parlay card and one of your selections tied.

Sportsbooks offer 3 types of parlay cards. Rules and payouts vary for each:

  • ½ Point Parlay Card (most common)
  • Ties Win Parlay Card
  • Ties Lose Parlay Card

A common parlay card minimum bet is $2. Parlay card maximum bets will be subject to sportsbook approval. Most players bet less than $100 per card. Maximum payout amounts range $100,000 – $200,000.

How to Bet an NHL Parlay Card

  1. Parlay Cards are readily available at Las Vegas sports books. Bet “off the board” parlays at online sportsbooks.
  2. Review all matchups and player props. Make 3-12 selections. Fill out your card carefully.
  3. Ties are subject to the parlay card’s rules. Ties aren’t possible with ½ point parlay cards.
  4. Return to the sportsbook with your winning receipt or stub to collect winnings. You may also collect your winnings by mail.

More Parlay Card Info

Our parlay card tutorial offers a comprehensive explanation of this popular exotic bet. It also includes an image of a real parlay card. Review each parlay card’s potential payouts. The more selections you make, the more you can win.

Each payout is fixed in advance. Be sure to read the rules. Carefully review minimums for prop bet cards, contingencies for tie bets, and how to claim your winnings.

Important: Parlay cards are like lottery tickets. They must be filled out completely. Bubble-in your selections with a good pencil or pen. Retain the card until all matchups have finished.

Note the redemption mailing address. Winning cards can be mailed in for a return check.

BetRivers Pennsylvania Sports Betting Site
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCH
Bet Now BetRivers Pennsylvania

NHL Prop Betting

A prop or proposition bet is side bet placed on an event that isn’t dependent on the game’s final outcome.

Common prop bets are for whether a particular event will occur or not. One side of the bet will be “Yes”, the other side “No”. The sportsbook will offer odds for each outcome.

NHL Season Win Totals
Season win totals are a combination prop and future bet. These bets are available before the season begins.

How to Place an NHL Prop Bet

  1. Select the game or event from your sportsbook’s list of upcoming matchups.
  2. Each prop bet outcome will have moneyline odds.
  3. Make a selection and bet your desired amount.
  4. Your bet wins if you picked the correct outcome.

Note: Some props cannot be added to parlays.

More Prop Bet Info

Read our expansive prop betting article. These bets are popular with knowledgeable sports handicappers if the numbers are right.

State
Bonus Bet
BetRivers Sportsbook
#1 BetRivers
REVIEW
$250 Bonus - 100% Match on First Deposit - Code: 250MATCHBet Now

NHL Stanley Cup & Conference Futures Odds

2023 Stanley Cup Odds

Team
BetRivers BetRivers
Colorado Avalanche
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina Hurricanes
Florida Panthers
Edmonton Oilers
Vegas Golden Knights
Calgary Flames
New York Rangers
Minnesota Wild
Pittsburgh Penguins
Boston Bruins
St. Louis Blues
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
New Jersey Devils
Ottawa Senators
Washington Capitals
Nashville Predators
Dallas Stars
Columbus Blue Jackets
Vancouver Canucks
Detroit Red Wings
Winnipeg Jets
Seattle Kraken
Anaheim Ducks
Philadelphia Flyers
San Jose Sharks
Buffalo Sabres
Montreal Canadiens
Chicago Blackhawks
Arizona Coyotes

NHL Season Win Totals

The season win total is part prop, part future hybrid. The plus and minus values assign odds to either side of the team’s win total line. This bet functions like a total bet. Choose either over or under the sportsbook’s line.

Example Boston Bruins Season Wins

  • 41.5 u -120
  • 41.5 o +150

This win total line includes ½ games. That means no tie bets are possible.

Options:
Risk $120 to win $100 that the Boston Bruins win less than 41.5 games. A result of 41 or fewer wins.
Risk $100 to win $150 that the Boston Bruins win more than 41.5 games. A result of 42 or more wins.

Handicap a team’s NHL win total using its upcoming schedule, likely starters, and any recently drafted players. Remember, you can bet bet under the sportsbook’s line if the win total is too high. If you believe a team is likely to have a losing season, bet under a win total line that looks too high.

NHL Season Win Totals by Conference

2022 NHL Eastern Season Win Totals
+ Displays more odds
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet
2022 NHL Western Season Win Totals
+ Displays more odds
BetRivers BetRivers
Bet

Tip

Place small bets. Your money will be tied up until the wager can be graded. This commonly happens at the end of the season. Or, when the team can no longer win enough games to exceed the win line. Then the under wins.

NHL Odds Comparisons

NHL Required Reading