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Hockey – Betting Guide

Betting on hockey is one of the most entertaining ways to make sure you are following the game and have the ability to make a little bit of money on the side. This will run essentially as a betting on hockey for dummies as we will dive into how to bet on hockey games. We discuss also do a hockey bets explained portion diving into all different types of wagers you can make watching the game of hockey. 

To get started with betting on hockey, the first thing you are going to want to know is what different types of wagers you can choose between? What do they even mean and what will be the best wagers for me? To answer that, we will discuss all the types of wagers that you can choose from with some real examples, so that will make it a little easier to follow. 

Related pages:

Where to bet on hockey 

How betting on hockey work? 

There are a few different ways that we can end up betting on hockey and we are going to discuss each one. The goal is to help you find out exactly what you are looking for in terms of hockey betting as there are a few different avenues to do just that. Let’s dive into the first way so you know exactly what you are doing. 


Betting on the moneyline is the simplest form of wagering on sports as it is just choosing a winner. Of course, not all teams have the same talent on the roster and are dealing with injuries, so the odds tell us which team is considered to be the stronger team that is expected to win. 

Team Odds
Vegas Golden Knights +110
New York Islanders -120

In this example, the New York Islanders are considered the favorite in this game and the odds tell us that if we were to wager $100 on the Islanders and they won, it would end up giving us $83.33 in profit. If we were to bet on the Vegas Golden Knights and they ended up winning this game, it would have us win $110 dollars in profit. 

In short, bet on which team will win the game outright.


Spreads in hockey are referred to as “puck lines” so that is how we will refer to them in this section. The puck line will typically give the better team (the favorite) a better chance so the sportsbook will say they need to win by more than 1.5 goals in order for that wager to hit. 

Team SpreadOdds
Vegas Golden Knights +1.5 (-175) +110
New York Islanders -1.5 (+130) -120

This is showing us that despite the Vegas Golden Knights being underdogs on the moneyline, they are favored on the puck line. If the score was 2-1 Islanders and you wagered that the Vegas Golden Knights would cover the puck line, your bet was successful as they have a 1.5 goal cushion. However, if you bet the New York Islanders to cover the puck line with a 2-1 score, they failed to win by more than 1.5 goals so that bet would be considered a loser. 

In short, this is making the playing field as even as possible. 

Over/Under Totals 

This wager is simple so it’s not going to need to go in depth. The over/under is just adding up the score of both team’s goal count for the game and determining if it will hit over or under a certain point. Most sportsbooks will provide you with a .5 at the end to ensure there are no bets with the exact amount and that will be considered a push or a no contest. 

Team Spread OddsOver/Under
Vegas Golden Knights+1.5 (-175) +110Over 5.5
New York Islanders -1.5 (+130) -100Under 5.5

This is how it will look at the sportsbook and this is telling us that they believe the number is 5.5 combined goals will be scored in the game. Simply put, if the score is 3-2 then the under will hit but if it is a 6-0 game then the over is the winner here. 

In short, betting on how many points will be scored for both teams. 


Parlays are essentially combining two or more wagers in an attempt to make the odds a bit better. However, there is risk involved as if a single one of the things you wagered on in your parlay fails to hit, the entire parlay is considered a loser. You can parlay with the same game for

multiple bets or go through different games and find which bets you believe in the most. 

For example, let’s say you have the Islanders on the moneyline and the New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning scoring over 5.5 goals. If both of those hit, you will have significantly better odds than betting each thing by itself. However, if the Rangers and Lightning only combine for five goals, that entire ticket is considered a loss. 

In short, combining multiple bets to get better odds. 


Futures are exactly what they sound like, betting for something in the future. It is not on a game however, instead this would be for who you believe will win the Stanley Cup Finals or an individual award/statline. This is where you get incredibly solid odds at the beginning of the year with more and more people in on the race but the odds decrease as the season goes on and the field gets going. 

Over 112.5 Points -104
Under 112.5 Points +100

This would be how the typical futures bet would look like. Let’s say this is for the New York Rangers team at the beginning of the season and how many points they will have in the standings. The odds are juiced up as the beginning of the season showcases there are many different twists and turns a team can have. 

In short, betting for something that will happen in the future. 

Prop Bets 

Prop bets are a similar layout to future bets as it will be listed in a similar way. This is betting on how an individual player or team will do during a single game. 

Over 30.5 Points -120
Under 30.5 Points +110

In this example, we are looking at Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry’s saves for a game. The over 30.5 is considered to be the more likely situation, thus being considered the favorite. It does not matter how many goals are scored, just how many saves he is credited with at the end of the game. 

In short, how a player or team will perform in an individual game.

Tips for getting started with hockey betting 

Tip 1: Having reliable resources to supplement your picks. Everyone believes they have an idea of what will happen because they have watched a few games or have a “gut feeling” about it. This is exactly how people lose and instead with the internet right at your fingertips, have a reasoning behind every pick with information to back up your decision. 

Tip 2: Keep track of injuries. One thing about hockey is they can be very sneaky with discussing injuries as coaches will announce an upper body or lower body injury. However, we will know if they are going to play in the game and whatever decision that is will ultimately affect whether a bet will be good or not. Keep an eye on the beat reporters and what they say as well as the injury report before the game. 

Tip 3: Don’t go into this expecting to walk out a millionaire. Not everyone is going to win a wager since there is a lot that goes into betting and the game can turn all around throughout the course of the three periods. Understanding that the process is almost more important than the results to begin will help you and not to get too greedy. 

Avoid these beginner mistakes 

Mistake 1: Bankroll management. Think of your bankroll (the money in your account) as 100 units. If you have $100 then every $1 is a unit while if you have $500 then $5 is considered a unit. Never bet anything more than 10 units to ensure that you are not risking all your bankroll and instead have a foundation to still build on. That is why if you hear people giving out picks, they will typically say to bet a certain amount of units instead of a dollar amount. 

Mistake 2: Don’t pay for picks. Paying for picks is going to put you in the red. There are thousands of people pretending to have inside information on betting hockey and have made tons of money off it. If you are unsure of how to approach it, look up free bets with reasoning behind it. If you really want to pay for someone’s picks, at least ask them for a spreadsheet of bets they have made to see how much they have made recently and determine whether that is something you still want to do. 

Mistake 3: Spreading yourself too thin. You can have 50 different bets combining player props, puck lines, and totals but the biggest thing is to study and attack lines that you see a discrepency in. Only betting on 5-7 things at once will save your bankroll and having a plan for attack will really help you out in the long run from having to deposit more money into your account.

Is there any differentiation between betting on NHL & College Hockey? 

Betting college hockey is not always available so that is a major difference compared to the NHL. Typically, avoid collegiate hockey betting unless you are a diehard and your sportsbook allows it because many do not. 

Is betting on hockey legal in the US? 

As of this writing, 30 states in the United States have legalized sports gambling. Make sure to research if your state has allowed it and if it does, then get some skin in the game and continue to follow the advice. If your state has not yet, it could be coming soon and this is a way to prepare before having any risks in the game. 

Is betting on hockey profitable? 

Betting on hockey has the potential to be profitable. There is no for sure answer to that question as it depends on outside factors than yourself. Following the guidelines we talked about throughout the article and avoiding the common mistakes will give you the greatest opportunity to success, but remember that this is a competition and competitions do not always go to plan. 

What is handicap betting on hockey? 

Handicapping hockey is something that isn’t really considered. However, the closest to it would be the puck line, listed in the “Spreads” section of this article. For more information about that, I suggest checking that section in order to understand it more completely. 

How to stop betting on hockey? 

Betting can become an addiction and it is important to identify that and only wager what you are willing to lose and still be comfortable with. If you are looking to stop betting on hockey, there are multiple resources to help you out. One includes blocking the webpage completely to prevent you from being tempted. Another is communicating to the sportsbook’s customer support and telling them you want to temporarily freeze your account or permanently delete it. 

Which hockey betting site is the best? 

There are thousands of sites to use to bet on hockey, however, one that I personally love is DraftKings due to their promotions that will give you odds boosts and their live in-game betting that makes it easier to place wagers at any point. There are many sites so make sure to look around and figure out what is important to you: speed, odds, customer service, promotions, bonuses, etc.