Welcome to our Ice Hockey online betting 101 how-to-gamble guide. AmericanGambler.com asked experts such as Canadian hockey columnist Robert Duff to answer basic questions about hockey and NHL betting. Share your knowledge as well!
An outright bet in hockey is to select a team to win a particular competition. The season begins in October and the favourites for the 2019/20 NHL are Tampa Bay Lightning, currently trading at 7/1. Last year’s runners-up Boston Bruins are second favourites at 10/1 with holders St Louis Blues at 14/1.
Hockey betting odds are also available for next year’s world championships in Switzerland. Canada are the favourites at 14/5 while the USA are available at 8/1.
On individual ice-hockey games the moneyline or win bet is the most common. You can also bet on the tie or draw – overtime then kicks in to determine the winner.
The puck line handicap in hockey betting is also popular with the puck line normally set at 1.5. The underdog receives a 1.5 handicap meaning if you bet on the underdog you win if they win, and you still win if they lose by one.
You can also bet on the number of goals scored in a hockey game; the sportsbook gives a figure and you bet over or under that figure.
The key to hockey betting, like all betting, is giving yourself the edge. Know your sport and the roster: how good is the goalkeeper; whether the top scorer is firing or suffering from a dip in form. Also make sure you know how to read baseball odds.
There is also the option of in-play betting with many American gambling sites offering hockey odds after the start of a game. Check out these legal sites: betamerica, draftkings and pointsbet for the latest odds and in-play options. In-play betting is becoming more available in the US with states lining up to follow the likes of New Jersey, Montana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania to offer the service.
Follow the game on NBC to help give yourself that edge in betting, and to keep up to date with the latest hockey news.
THE National Hockey League, NHL, makes up one of the four North American professional sports leagues. Ice hockey is popular in many areas across the globe, with the NHL seen as the premier world league for the sport.
Originating as a Canadian sport, the NHL was located in Montreal in Canada before moving headquarters to New York City in 1989.
The sport as an organized contest dates back to Montreal in 1875, the first game played at the city’s Victoria Skating Rink between two teams of nine. The ‘puck’ was a flat piece of wood and the rules were based on the English game of field, or outdoor, hockey.
The game quickly took hold in Canada and by 1893 there were around 100 teams in Montreal alone, along with leagues across the country. In the same year Yale University and John Hopkins University held their first ice hockey match but ice polo, played with a ball rather than a puck, was still the popular ice game in the US.
In 1896 the first hockey league was established in the US but the NHL, formed in 1917, was initially a Canadian-only league. In 1924 the Boston Bruins joined and until 1967 the NHL remained a six-team league.
With TV increasing its interest in the sport it quickly expanded, and it is now made up of 31 teams – 24 from the US and seven from Canada.
Today the game is played between two teams of six – five outfield players and a goalkeeper. The puck is a rubberized disc and the game is played over three 20-minute periods.
While the National Football League, NFL, draws mainly on talent from the US, the NHL boasts players from at least 20 countries including Russia, Finland and the Czech Republic.
The NHL is split into two conferences, Eastern and Western, and each conference is split into two divisions. In the Eastern Conference, teams play four times against each team in their division, and three against the teams in the other division. They also play each team in the Western Conference, home and away.
The two conference winners then play each other in the Stanley Cup Final, a best-of-seven play-off. The 2019 Stanley Cup was won by Western Conference champions St Louis Blues, defeating the Boston Bruins 4-3.
The all-time record for Stanley Cup wins is the Montreal Canadiens with 24, their last success, however, was in 1993.