NHL Betting


NHL Betting











Stanley Cup Odds: NHL Betting Preview 


With the falling leaves and cooler temperatures settling in, NHL fans rejoice - hockey season is here. 2017-18 was a season of unprecedented storylines: Ovi finally got his Cup, the Vegas Golden Knights went from Stanley Cup odds underdogs to favourites and Taylor Hall went from castoff to league MVP.


The 2018 offseason was just as exciting as the regular season. Never before have we witnessed more high-profile players changing teams. At the epicenter of this offseason’s flurry of change was John Tavares. After spending nine seasons with the New York Islanders, the centre decided to bring his talents to his hometown and make a Cup run with the burgeoning Maple Leafs. Much has changed since the Capitals raised the Cup last June, and with October fast approaching, we’ll preview that altered landscape and see who has emerged as early favourites on the NHL Vegas odds board for this year’s Stanley Cup.



NHL Odds Breakdown


After signing the most sought-after free agent this offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs lead the pack of NHL betting favourites. Snapping at their heels are the Tampa Bay Lightning, who re-signed Nikita Kucherov to solidify their strong odds to win Stanley Cup glory. And don’t forget the Winnipeg Jets, who had a breakout season last year; they’ll be eager to push further into the playoff bracket this season. The Nashville Predators and Vegas Golden Knights also find themselves in the top five of the Stanley Cup odds board with much of both rosters returning in 2018-19. 



Toronto Maple Leafs - +650 NHL Odds


Auston Matthews will no longer be the Maple Leafs’ lone savior; he’ll have John Tavares backing him up as Toronto looks to end its multi-generational Stanley Cup drought. With their youthful roster gaining another year of professional experience and the addition of an elite scoring veteran in Tavares, the Leafs look poised to take the next step and push for the Cup.



Tampa Bay Lightning - +800 NHL Odds


Tampa Bay is no stranger to the top of the NHL odds list. They’ve been an elite team for several years, and with players like Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman suiting up every night for the Bolts, it’s no surprise. While these players are still in their prime, the Lightning are focused on winning now. As their second-tier core continues to mature and get better, they won’t be able to keep everyone for long. Tampa’s window to win may be closing, so they’re feeling the pressure to win now.




Join Now



Winnipeg Jets - +850 NHL Odds


The Jets proved to the hockey world that they’re here to stay. With one of the younger rosters in the league led by Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, and Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg has elite players up and down the lineup. Though they ultimately ran out of gas against last year’s Cinderella team in the Western Conference Finals, it’s clear that the Winnipeg Jets have arrived. Expect them to bring that rugged high-flying style of play back in 2018-19.



Nashville Predators - +1100 NHL Odds


The Nashville Predators earned top spot in the NHL’s regular season last year with an astounding 117-point performance. They’ll be bringing back much of the same roster, so there’s no reason to expect anything but top-tier results from the Preds in 2018-19 and a top spot on the NHL betting lines throughout the season. PK Subban will no doubt be a force again on the back end for Nashville, as he looks to lead arguably the best defensive corps in the NHL. The only question that remains for the Predators is which version of Pekka Rinne will they receive this season. The veteran net minder has been inconsistent over the past two seasons, so the team’s success, come playoff time, will fall on his shoulders.



Vegas Golden Knights - +1100 NHL Odds


There’s no duplicating last season’s sensational story for the Vegas Golden Knights. Coming into an expansion year, they not only succeeded, but set the hockey world on fire. With the addition of Max Pacioretty this offseason, they’ll look to be more dynamic offensively, while still sticking to their speedy defensive mentality that got them to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. They may not have as enticing NHL Stanley Cup odds as last preseason, but at +1100, they’re a great value pick.  


The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins are also grouped in with the Golden Knights and Predators at +1100 odds. Caps fans are eager to see how the team gels with new rookie head coach Todd Reirden, who seems to already have the players’ support. As for Boston, their success depends on the level of play goaltender Tuukka Rask brings to the ice. 







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.



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 Explained


What are NHL Futures?


In addition to betting on individual games, you can bet on big events by betting on NHL futures. 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 moneyline 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.



*Odds as of September 18, 2018