Online Hockey Betting

NHL Betting Basics | NHL Moneyline Betting | NHL Spread Betting | NHL Over/Under Betting | Free NHL News & Expert Picks | NHL History and Notes

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The Basics of Betting on NHL Hockey

National Hockey League (NHL) betting includes the moneyline, spread and total. Exotic bets such as parlays and round robins are also available. The spread in hockey is known as the “puckline”. Futures wagering and prop bets are also popular among hockey enthusiasts. With 82 games played by every team each season, there are plenty of opportunities for action.

NHL Moneyline Betting

Betting on the NHL moneyline is pretty straightforward. As a bettor, all you need to do is chose the team you think will win. In most cases, there will be a favorite and an underdog listed for each game. Placing a bet on the favorite will offer a lower payout while placing a bet on an underdog will offer a premium payout. The NHL moneyline is typically listed based on the bet required to win $100 if betting on the favorite vs. the potential win for a bet of $100 placed on the underdog.

For example, imagine that the New York Rangers are hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs. A game line would look something like this: New York -140 Toronto +160.

Based on the above moneyline, the payoffs on a hypothetical bet would pay out as follows:

  • Risk $140 on the Rangers to win $100
  • Risk $100 on the Maple Leafs to win $160

In addition to current records and which team is at home, the amount of rest between games and the starting goaltenders typically have a big impact on NHL moneylines. If the team with the better record is dealing with cross-country travel or short rest, that might even up the odds a bit between two teams that might seem otherwise a bit mismatched.

Making a Puck Line Bet

In addition to moneylines, NHL games will also feature a spread or “puck line” between two teams. Rather than simply picking a winner, this form of betting features a 1.5-goal spread on the final score of any game.

Consider the following example of hockey spread betting:

  • Anaheim Ducks +1.5 -170
  • Las Vegas Knights -1.5 +140

In this instance, a $170 wager on the favored Anaheim Ducks will pay out a $100 win, but only if the Ducks win by 2 or more goals. A 1-goal win or a loss will result in a losing bet.

By contrast, a $100 wager placed on the underdog Knights will pay out a $140 win if the Knights either win or lose by only a single run.

Betting the NHL spread or puck line can be a great option in certain scenarios. For example, if you expect a favored team to win by several goals, betting the spread will get you better odds than going with the traditional moneyline.

NHL Over/Under Bets

Let’s say two hockey teams seem evenly-matched, but both goaltenders have been playing poorly, and you expect a high number of goals to be scored. In this instance, you may want to consider betting on the “over/under” total for a NHL game, rather than picking a winner. This type of bet is often referred to as a totals betting.

An NHL totals bet involves simply choosing whether you think there will be more total goals scored by both teams, or less total goals, than what is listed on the published line. In hockey, the totals line is almost always set at 5.5 goals, though there are sometimes exceptions. Here’s an example:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Ottawa Senators: 5.5
    • Over (-110)
    • Under (+130)

Based on the above NHL totals line, either of the following two bets can be made:

  • Wager $110 to win $100 if the total number of runs scored by the Lightning and Senators combined is 6 or more
  • Wager $100 to win $130 if the total number of runs scored by the Lightning and Senators combined is 5 or less

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Facts & Historical Info About the National Hockey League (NHL)

The NHL was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world. Since the first round of expansion in 1967, the league has grown from the Original Six teams to 31 teams – 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. Here’s a brief history of expansion.

  • 1942 – Following the demise of the Brooklyn Americans, the NHL’s Original Six era begins. The Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs make up the League for the next 25 seasons.
  • 1967 – The NHL adds six teams, the largest expansion in professional sports history. The LA Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, St. Louis Blues and California Seals join the NHL.
  • 1970 – The NHL expands to 14 teams with the Buffalo Sabres and Vancouver Canucks.
  • 1972 – Two more teams added as the New York metropolitan gets a second team with the NY Islanders and the first team in the South is added with the Atlanta Flames, who would relocate to Calgary in 1980.
  • 1974 – Two more teams added including the Washington Capitals, who would win their first Stanley Cup in 2018.
  • 1979 – The NHL takes four teams from the World Hockey Association including three from Canada, Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets and brings the NHL to 21 teams.
  • 1991 – A new era of NHL expansion began with the addition of the San Jose Sharks.
  • 1992 – Two more teams are added with the Ottawa Senators and the first team in Florida, Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • 1993 – the 25th and 26th teams are added with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Florida Panthers (in Miami).
  • 1998 – The Nashville Predators are added to bring the teams to 27.
  • 1999 – Atlanta gets a team again with the Thrashers, who relocate again in 2011 to become the second iteration of the Winnipeg Jets.
  • 2000 – Seven years after the North Stars departed for Dallas, Minnesota gets a team and returns to St. Paul as the Wild. The Columbus Blue Jackets are also added.
  • 2016 – The Las Vegas Golden Knights are added and begin play a year later as the league’s 31st team. The Golden Knights are the first major professional sports team in Las Vegas.

The NHL headquarters have been in New York City since 1989 when the head office moved there from Montreal. A labor-management dispute led to the cancellation of the entire 2004-2005 season. A new collective agreement including a salary cap was implemented the following prior to the 2005-2006 season.

The league currently consists of 31 teams in two conference and four divisions. Following the leagues regular season, eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. The top three teams in each division plus two wild cards with the best remaining records compete for conference title. The final two teams play for the league’s championship and coveted trophy, the Stanley Cup.

The leagues official website is http://www.NHL.com.

International Competition

There are various additional leagues throughout the world which BetAmerica offers odds on. These include, but are not limited to, the leagues listed below. Odds for the World Cup and Winter Olympics are available when appropriate.

  • Europe – Champions League Hockey
  • Russia – KHL
  • Sweden – Swedish Hockey League and Swedish Hockey Alfedsken
  • World Cup
  • Winter Olympics