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How NHL odds work

Before you place a bet on NHL action at Canadian betting sites, it is important to understand how the odds work and what sort of bets you can place on hockey. There are three main types of NHL odds which you will see on different sports betting sites. Decimal odds are the most widely used around the world, there are American odds that you will see in Vegas and then there are fractional odds which are mainly used in the UK.

You are able to change the odds that you see on any betting site so you will always be able to get your preferred odds showing. An outcome that has a 50/50 chance of being a winner will be shown as 2.0, +100 and 1/1 respectively across the three NHL odds.

Decimal NHL odds

These are by far the most common betting odds used across the sports world. Your stake return is included in the odds so all you need to do to work out your winning returns on a successful bet is to multiply the odds by your stakes.

For example, if you place $5 bet on an NHL team at odds of 2.0, your return will be $10 if the team that you bet on wins. These are the simplest odds for anyone who is new to sports betting to use as they are the easiest to understand which has made them the most popular.

American NHL odds

If you have ever been on a trip to Las Vegas, you will have seen these American-style odds. They are represented by either a positive or a negative number, with the negative denoting the favoured team and the positive number showing the underdog.

They are shown to a $100 stake before the stake is returned, but this does not mean that you have to have this much on, only ever bet what you can afford to lose, that is just how they are created. So, for our 2.0 decimal odds above, the American odds would be +100, you get $100 back for every $100 that you have on the winning selection plus your $100 stake returned.  

Fractional NHL odds

As mentioned, these betting odds are much more of a UK thing, especially for bets on horse racing, but with more and more UK betting sites making the move into the markets in North America, they are worth discussing and understanding for the future.

There are two numbers, the numerator (top number) and the denominator (bottom number) which denote what could be won for what stake to put on. For example, the 1/1 that we mentioned earlier means that you would win $1 for every $1 you stake, plus your stake amount returned to you. Divide the numerator by the denominator and add one to make them decimal odds so 1/1 is 1+1 so the decimal odds equivalent is 2.0.  

What bet markets will NHL odds be offered on?

Bet on NHL

The other important thing when it comes to NHL odds is understanding the bet markets that are on offer and how each one is slightly different. The main markets that you will be offered for placing a bet on are as follows, moneyline, over/under and handicap or puck line, correct score, period betting and others depending on the NHL betting site in question.

Moneyline odds

This is the easiest bet market to understand. The NHL odds that are on display are for each team to win the game in question. This includes any overtime or shootout, it is plain and simple, which team will walk away with the two points in the standings when the game is over. 

Sometimes there will be a third set of NHL odds in a market which is known as 3-way, which brings a tie into the equation. In this case, the odds on each team to win the game will be larger as you are betting on them winning the game within the 60 minutes of regulation time. If you think that the game will go into overtime or a shootout, then you would bet on the tie in a 3-way market. 

Over/under odds

This bet market refers to how many goals the sports betting site believes will be scored in a game. The two most common lines that are set on the over/under market are 5.5 or 6.5 goals. If the line is 5.5, you bet on over if you think that the game will have six or more goals in it or under if you think there will be five or fewer. 

That is the same premise for the 6.5 where you are betting on there being seven or more goals in the game if you bet on the overs and six or fewer if you place a bet on the unders. Some betting sites may also offer what is known as alternative lines where you can choose a different over and under goals total which will change the NHL odds.

Puck line odds

The next main bet market which you will find is the puck line which is sometimes known as the handicap line. This is where the favoured team gives a hypothetical head start to the underdog in a bid to make the odds a little more equal. 

The favourite has a negative puck line and the underdog has a positive one so you will find it along the lines of -1.5 or +1.5. So, if you think that the favourite team can win the NHL game by two clear goals you would back the -1.5 but if you think the underdog can keep the deficit to one then you would back them with a +1.5 goal start.

The size of the puck line depends on the teams in question. The Toronto Maple Leafs at home to the Montreal Canadiens might only have a puck line of -1.5 while at home to the Chicago Blackhawks that might stretch out to -3.5. 

In the two above examples, the Maple Leafs would need to beat the Canadiens by two goals (3-1, 4-2 etc) to cover the line and by four goals to beat the Blackhawks, so 5-1, 6-2 etc. 

NHL correct score

This is a bet market that is not seen all the time but is one that can produce some big odds. Trying to predict the correct score of a game is a very tough task being set by the sports betting site but it is one where the reward for the risk taken is normally a bigger one. 

NHL period betting

The bet markets above can also be split down period by period so if perhaps you only have time to catch the first period of a NHL game before having to do some other task, you are able to split the game down in such a way. 

Other miscellaneous

Each NHL betting site may also have some other bet markets that are available which can often vary from odds provider to odds provider. These are often along the lines of player markets so you can pick a player to score the first goal, last goal or to score anytime as well as how many shots on goal certain players will have so these are worth checking out, especially if it is a team that you know well that is playing.

Find the best NHL Playoff odds

LeoVegas Free Bet

We have a huge range of betting sites on our site that will offer you all the best NHL Playoff Odds when the postseason is in full swing. The same sports betting sites that offer bet markets on a daily basis will also put up the markets for all of the playoff games so that you will never miss out on the opportunity to bet on NHL.

With each betting site offering slightly different odds from their competitors, it is a good idea to have accounts with a number of the odds sites that we have on our website so that you are always in a position to get the best NHL Playoff odds that are on offer across the industry in Canada.

Stanley Cup odds - futures betting

Futures betting is one of the best ways of getting larger NHL odds but it comes with a long time to wait and a bigger risk that comes attached to those bigger odds that are on offer. Generally, you will be able to place a bet on the next season’s Stanley Cup-winning team as soon as the trophy has been won during the current season. That means that you could have a year to wait to cash in those winning bets.

We have a preview looking at the Stanley Cup odds at the start of the season where we go over all of the teams and try to find some teams who have odds that are above what they should be. There are always a team or two whose Stanley Cup odds are too big and those who have watched plenty of hockey over the years will be able to spot those.

As we said, there is a long wait when it comes to futures betting but the top teams in the NHL will rarely have bigger odds at any point during the season than they are before the puck has been dropped.

The Stanley Cup odds will fluctuate through the season and it is not so long ago that the St Louis Blues were stone cold last in the standings in January before they lifted the cup so keep an eye on the fluctuations as the season goes on as there might be some NHL odds that tempt you.

What are the best NHL picks today?

With NHL odds action all the way from the preseason in September through to the Stanley Cup Finals in June, there are games almost every day for nine months of the year to bet on. There are a lot of betting sites that offer NHL picks but finding the right one is not an easy task.

It is best to sit and watch a number of those sports betting sites who have a good reputation for a while and see how they get on, track the profit and loss for each and it will show which can offer you the best NHL picks today. 

It is best to be able to make a decision for yourself on a NHL game and use these picks as an addition to your own knowledge and opinion to back up the judgement that you have made for yourself on the odds on offer rather than relying on others.

Tips for NHL betting in Canada

Having personal knowledge of any sport is a massive plus before you place a bet. While we can steer you in the right direction for some NHL betting opportunities from our betting tips & insights in Canada, it is always smart to bet on sports that you watch on a regular basis and have at least a solid knowledge of before you part with any cash.

Always keep an eye on an odds comparison site when you want to place a bet on NHL so that you are always able to take the best odds that are on offer. Even when the difference only seems very small, it all adds up to a considerable amount over time. Having sufficient different accounts can allow you to do this which is where our sites is invaluable with reviews of some of the best NHL betting sites to have.

Most importantly, do not bet more on the NHL than you can afford to lose. Betting on any sport should be a fun pastime to add some extra interest to a sporting event and not a way to try and make money or supplement your income. Always gamble responsibly.

Betting Insights

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