How does NHL Betting and Odds Work?

Join Now

How Does NHL Betting Work?


A Quick Guide to Understanding NHL Betting Lines and Odds

The National Hockey League is known as the fastest major sporting league in the world. The combination of elite athletes on ice results in players reaching breakneck speeds while executing dazzling passing and shooting plays. Hockey is a game of strategy and art, and in itself, is a true spectacle for onlookers. But when there’s an opportunity to cheer for your favourite team while also potentially making some cash in the process, hockey reaches a new level of excitement.

Betting on the NHL, like betting on any other major sporting league in North America, is as old as the league itself. Fans jumped at the opportunity to become personally engaged in games and player performances since the contemporary NHL organized in 1917. While options were limited back then, with a league consisting of just six teams, the popularity of the sport in Canada and abroad coincided with league expansion and a wider variety of betting opportunities. In this NHL betting guide, we’ll explore the wonderful world of NHL betting with Bodog Sportsbook.

We offer bettors a wide array of wagering opportunities when hockey fans want to increase the action on a game or season. The basic moneyline is the most popular wager in hockey betting. This type of bet consists of betting on one team to win a game straight up. Each game has an underdog and a favourite. For example, a game will have NHL lines with a favourite and an underdog for bettors to choose from. Each team has its own set of NHL odds that dictate how much you would be paid for a winning bet. We’ll look back at the 2018 Stanley Cup odds when the Washington Capitals faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights.


Golden Knights (-160)

Capitals (+140)


As noted by their negative odds, the Golden Knights were the favourite to win the 2018 Stanley Cup at the start of the Final round of the playoffs. In this example, a $160 bet would pay $100 if the Golden Knights came out on top. Conversely, the Capitals’ positive NHL odds means that they were underdogs in the matchup. Since the Capitals won last year’s Stanley Cup, bettors were paid $140 on $100 bets.

Another popular betting option in the NHL is betting on the puckline. Known as the spread in other major leagues, the puckline is a margin of victory that the favourite must cover in order for the bet to pay out. We’ll use the same 2018 Stanley Cup Finals to illustrate the puckline.


Golden Knights (-1.5)

Capitals (+1.5)


In this example, a fan could have bet that the Vegas Golden Knights would win Game 1 by more than 1.5 goals. Had they won by just one goal, bets on Vegas would have lost. If the Golden Knights scored two goals or more, the bet would have won. For Washington to cover, they would have needed to win the game or lose by just one goal.

The over/under, another betting option, is a favourite among NHL fans because it provides bettors an opportunity to show their knowledge of teams’ scoring prowess. The over/under bet, also known as the total, is a bet on whether the total number of goals scored in a game will go over or under the oddsmaker’s prediction.


Over 4.5

Under 4.5


In this example of Stanley Cup odds, if the Capitals and Golden Knights combined to score at least five goals, the over would pay out. However, if they scored four or fewer goals in the game, the under would pay out.

The previous examples give hockey fans an opportunity to predict the outcomes of a specific game and what might happen during that game, such as the number of goals scored or the difference in score. However, we also give bettors a chance to exercise their long game through futures betting.

Throughout the course of the NHL season, oddsmakers update the NHL Stanley Cup odds on the futures page. These are long-term bets that pay out after the championship is won. During the regular season, all teams have unique odds to win Stanley Cup glory, and as teams are eliminated from the postseason, they’re removed from the list. To further enhance the Stanley Cup experience, there are also prop bets, which are like side bets on things beyond the winner of a game or championship. Through prop betting, you can bet on things like the first team to score, whether a specific player will score or the exact score of a game. Bodog also offers the chance to wager on who will win league awards during the regular season, such as the Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP or the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender.

Regardless of the betting options you choose to explore, Bodog is your source for the most exciting NHL betting experience. Don’t miss our regular updates and many more NHL betting lines to choose from.


How does NHL Betting and Odds Work?