NHL Betting



NHL Odds

NHL Odds

Hockey reigns supreme north of the border. The crunching body checks, flying pucks and technical skills performed on ice make it a sport like no other. Every hockey season culminates with a thrilling postseason that draws lots of NHL betting action in the sportsbook. The NHL’s best-of-seven postseason format works well with sports betting, as there are gamelines, series prices and Stanley Cup odds, all offering unique ways to get into the action. If you’re keen to elevate your NHL experience from simple spectator to invested sports bettor, read this guide on getting started with NHL betting tips and explanations at Bodog Sportsbook.

A History of NHL

Similarly to a lot of America’s top sports, the NHL was formed off the back of a dispute between rival leagues. A seven-year disagreement ended with the inception of the NHL in 1924, and it has never looked back from an entertainment perspective.

During WWII, the league was reduced to just six teams, and the NHL gained control of the Stanley Cup in 1947. Can you imagine the two not going hand in hand today?

The league has increased in size over the years from just six, to 18 in 1974. 21 teams became 22 in 1991 with the addition of the San Jose Sharks, and now there are 32 teams battling it out to lift the famous Stanley Cup at the end of a grueling season.

But who are the most successful team in NHL history?

That award goes to the Montreal Canadiens, with 24 Stanley Cup triumphs. Their last victory came in 1993, with the likes of Tampa Bay Lightning, Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins enjoying recent success. The Toronto Maples Leafs have won 13 Stanley Cups while Detroit Red Wings have won 11 of the 24 finals they’ve appeared in.

NHL Betting: Best Players in NHL History

When discussing the best players to ever take to the ice, it is impossible to exclude Sidney Crosby. The no.1 pick in the 2005 draft has hoisted the Stanley Cup three times in his illustrious career, and can boast of an array of individual accolades as well. The likes of Mark Messier, Jean Beliveau, Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr all have to be included in the discussion, but the top of the pile really comes down to whether you’re a fan of old school or new school.

More recently, you aren’t dubbed “The Great One” without being a generational phenomenon. Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals and 1,963 assists is untouchable. In fact, no player in NHL history has amassed more goals and assists combined than his assist total – his numbers are just terrifying.

Lemieux is the only other player to register more than 160 points in a season – managing that feat an impressive four times. For content, four time Stanley Cup champ and nine time Hart Trophy winner Gretzky managed it on nine occasions – nine!

The old school will point to Gordie Howe as hockey’s GOAT. The “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” consisted of a goal, an assist and a fight in a single game, but his game was about so much more than gimmicks. 22 consecutive 20-goal seasons will likely never be beaten, and six MVP awards make Howe a great of any era.

Spread Win Total

Pittsburgh Penguins +1.5 (-210) +115 O 6.5 (-110)

New York Rangers    -1.5 (+175) -135 U 6.5 (-110)

How to Bet on the NHL

There’s no faster game in the world of sports than professional hockey. Since 1917, the NHL has captivated its fans with a beautiful combination of dazzling offensive skill, rugged physical force and acrobatic goaltending that can’t be found anywhere else. In Canada, children dream of winning the Stanley Cup and immortalize their favourite players by donning their jerseys. From Gretzky to Lemieux to Crosby, the NHL has produced some of the greatest sports heroes of all time.

With this NHL betting guide, Bodog wants to bring fans closer than ever to the action, so you can take your love of hockey to the next level. Whether you want to bet on your favourite team, predict the Stanley Cup Champion or make the Hart Trophy race extra interesting, you can do that and more at Bodog Sportsbook. Read on for a list of all of the most popular betting options and we’ll explain exactly how to bet on the NHL.

Analyze the NHL Odds

As hockey bets, betting odds for NHL season come in the form of puck line betting, moneylines and totals. Knowing how the bets work is the first step to recognizing good value when scanning odds in the sportsbook. The puck line is similar to spread betting on NFL, which is where you bet on a team to cover the posted win margin, which is typically 1.5 goals in hockey. The favourite team would need to win by at least two goals to cover this spread, while the underdog could lose by a single goal and still pay out. 

Moneyline betting simply has odds assigned to each team, and your pick pays if they win straight up. For the most part, the odds are negative for the favourite, indicating how much money you’d need to bet to win $100, and positive for the underdog, indicating how much money you’d win off of a $100 bet.

Totals let you wager on how defensive or offensive you think a game will be. A number is posted in the Totals column, and you bet on the game’s goal total (combined between both teams) going over or under the posted number. 

Odds for big postseason games, like Conference Championships and the Stanley Cup, are available throughout the regular season in the NHL futures market, where all of the contenders are listed with their respective odds of winning. 

Fill out and NHL Bet Slip


The Bodog Sportsbook bet slip is always visible at the corner of the screen; when you select the odds you want, be it puck line, moneyline, or totals, the NHL odds will pop up on the bet slip, where you’ll key in the amount you want to stake and see the amount you can win. On the slip, extra betting features will appear, such as the option to parlay multiple bets together. Once you’re ready to submit your slip and lock in your odds, hit the “Place Bets” button on the slip and be sure to watch the game. 

The simple act of betting on games leads to a more engaging NHL experience. Put your hockey insight to the test and get rewarded when your predictions come through on the rink. It’s the perfect way to top off a win from your favourite team.

Fill out and NHL Bet Slip


With this NHL betting guide, Bodog wants to bring fans closer than ever to the action, so you can take your love of hockey to the next level. Whether you want to bet on your favourite team, predict the Stanley Cup Champion or make the Hart Trophy race extra interesting, you can do that and more at Bodog Sportsbook. Read on for a list of all of the most popular betting options and we’ll explain exactly how to bet on the NHL.


NHL Puck Line Betting Explained

One of the most popular ways to bet on hockey is through NHL puck line betting. If you’re wondering what an NHL puck line bet is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. The puck line is a margin of victory that the dominant team must win by. Often a 1.5-goal spread, the puck line requires the stronger team (the favourite) to win by at least 2 goals, while allowing the underdog to lose by 1 goal and still cover the spread. Through the spread, the puck line evens out the playing field by making the underdog a more enticing pick. This makes it easier to balance the action.

Puck lines are expressed as a spread with odds in parenthesis. We’ll use an example from 1989 when the Calgary Flames were up against the Montreal Canadiens in the Finals:


CAL +1.5 (+150)
MTL –1.5 (–110)


Montreal, the home team, is the favourite in this scenario. The “–“ negative sign in front of the spread always denotes the favourite. In order for a bet on Montreal to win, they must cover the spread by beating the Flames by at least 2 goals. If they win by only 1 goal, the bet loses. As for Calgary, a 1.5-goal underdog, they can lose by 1 goal and still cover the spread. The half-point in the spread ensures that all puck line bets will win or lose. If the spread were 2 goals, and the Canadiens won by 2 goals, bets on Montreal would result in a push.

By looking at the odds in the parenthesis, you can tell how much money you’d win on either bet. Odds with a “–“ negative sign show how much you’d need to bet to make $100, whereas odds with a “+” positive sign show how much you’d win off a $100 bet. In our example, you’d win $150 off a $100 bet on Calgary. As for Montreal, you’d have to put down $110 to win $100. Oddsmakers are able to balance the action between both sides by shifting these odds.


NHL Moneyline Betting Explained

What are Moneyline Odds in NHL Betting?

For no spread, betting on the NHL moneyline is available. With these bets, you simply pick the team you think will win the game outright. It doesn’t matter how many goals the team wins by – a win is a win when it comes to the moneyline. These bets are popular when there’s an underdog that looks poised to pull off an upset, as the underdog payout on the NHL moneyline odds board is often higher than what you’d get on the puck line. Let’s use the same example as before to illustrate a moneyline bet.


CAL +170
MTL –135


Montreal is the favourite, as you can tell by the negative sign in front of their odds. They’re also the home team because they’re the second (bottom) team listed. With moneyline betting, you win less money when you bet on the favourite and more money when you bet on the underdog; this ensures the action is spread between both teams.

The payouts that you get from moneyline betting are indicated in the odds, just as they were with the puck line. In this case, you’d win $100 when betting $135 on Montreal; bets scale up and down if you bet more or less than $100. As for Calgary, they had never won a Cup before the big win in 1989, so they were the underdog going into the game. A bet of $100 would have yielded a $170 payout – as they did end up winning that game. Oddsmakers can shift the odds to make sure the action is spread evenly between both teams.


NHL Total Betting Explained

How does Betting on NHL Totals Work?

Instead of betting on the winner of a game, you can bet on how offensive or defensive a game will be. NHL game total betting involves guessing if the total number of goals scored between both teams will be Over or Under a number predicted by oddsmakers. Each bet (the Over and the Under) have their own odds attached. Let’s look at the same example:


CAL 5½ (–120)o
MTL 5½ (EVEN)u


In this example, oddsmakers think about 5 or 6 goals will be scored between both teams, so they set the NHL total at 5.5 goals. Once again, the half-number is used to avoid a push. Any time the actual game total matches the total predicted by oddsmakers, the result is graded as a push and all bets are returned.

If you think a lot of goals will be scored, you can bet Over, and if 6 or more goals are scored between both teams, you win. With –120 odds, the Over pays $100 on a $120 bet. If you think the game will be more defensive, betting the Under will get you even money (bet $100 and win $100) if 5 or fewer goals are scored.


NHL Futures Betting ExplainedFutures

What are NHL Futures?

In addition to betting on individual NHL games, you can bet on big events by betting on NHL future odds. Essentially, any long-term bet is considered a futures bet. Stanley Cup winners, Conference winners, and Division winners can all be found in the futures section of the sportsbook. But keep in mind, you won’t get paid for your bet until the result is settled, which is typically at the end of the season; that’s the nature of futures betting.

Many futures bets are standard and offered every season. For example, at the start of every season, all NHL teams are given odds to win the Stanley Cup. For the 2017-18 season, these odds ranged from +800 to +20000. As the season progresses, the futures odds shift to reflect the probability of each team making it that far. As teams miss out on their opportunity to get into the playoffs, they’re scratched from the futures market.

In general, the further ahead you place your futures bet, the better value you get. There’s less information to go on early in the season, which increases the risk and reward in a proportional way. It’s hard to tell who’s going to win the following year’s Stanley Cup in the offseason, but if you have an idea, you’ll get a big payday if you guess right.


NHL Prop Betting Explained

What are Props in NHL Betting?

Short for proposition bets, NHL props are a fun way to bet on things other than the winner of a game or event. These side bets are a great way to add interest to the NHL season beyond trying to predict the top-performing teams. Once the oddsmaker comes up with a proposition, appropriate betting options, such as a “Yes” or “No,” a total, or a list of player names will be provided for the public to bet on. Here are some examples of the different ways to bet on props.


Understanding NHL Player Props

A prop on players’ statuses or accomplishments can be found under Player Props. An example of a player prop is whether or not Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will score in a given game. Another example, which would also fall under NHL Specials, might be: Will Erik Karlsson or Max Pacioretty be traded at the Trade Deadline? This prop would include “Yes” or “No” betting options – each with its own odds.


Understanding NHL Team Props

Anything involving the accomplishments or stats of a team is part of the team props. Examples of team props include regular season win totals and odds for each team making the playoffs.


Understanding NHL Game Props

When there’s a big game coming up, you may want to bet on more than just the winner of the matchup. That’s where game props come in, providing many more opportunities to get involved in the game. For example, you could wager on the team to score first in the game or whether or not the game will go into Overtime.


NHL Parlay Betting Explained

How do Parlays Work in NHL Betting?

There are big benefits to grouping bets together. Through NHL parlays, you can combine 2 to 12 lines into one mega bet. Lines that can be parlayed include totals, puck line and NHL line odds, and some props and futures. In order for the parlay to win, each bet within it must win. A single loss in a parlay results in a loss of the entire bet. To balance the increased risk, parlays offer much bigger payouts than single bets. Let’s use an example of an Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks game to illustrate the difference in payout.


OTT +130         5½ (+105)o
VAN –150         5½ (–125)u


Let’s say we want to parlay Ottawa winning on the moneyline (+130) with the Under winning on the totals (–125). We’ll put $100 on each line individually for a total of $200 staked. If both bets pan out, we win $210 total. However, if we parlay them together and bet a total of $200, we win $628 if both bets come through. The more teams you have in your parlay, the bigger the payout – as well as the risk.

When using parlays, some of your lines will occasionally result in a push. When this happens, the line is removed from the parlay, which is then reduced in size. For example, if you have a four-team parlay and one bet pushes, your parlay becomes a three-team parlay by default. If you have only two bets in your parlay and one is a push, your parlay will turn into a single bet.


NHL Live Betting Explained

There’s nothing more thrilling than betting on the NHL while the game is happening live. The puck line, moneyline and total are all available for live betting on the NHL, and their odds keep shifting to reflect the direction of the game. You can also bet on things like which team will score next, and which period will have the most goals. If there’s an injury to a key player, the odds will shift to reflect it. These scenarios are often full of value for sports bettors who are good at predicting come-from-behind wins.

If you thought hockey couldn’t get more exciting than it already is, think again. NHL betting will add another layer of excitement to the frenzied pace of the game. Whether you like the big picture betting style of futures, or the detailed nature of props, Bodog Sportsbook’s got you covered for all things NHL.


bodog since 1994

Gambling should be entertaining. Remember that you always risk losing the money you bet, so do not spend more than you can afford to lose. If you think you may have a problem, click here.