NHL Betting Guide for 2020

In Canada, the National Hockey League is king. There’s nothing that matches its popularity, and so NHL betting is equally popular.

Whether you’re a newbie, or just looking for some tips, our guide will take you through how to bet on the NHL. On this page, you’ll find:

  • The best sportsbooks for betting on the NHL in Canada
  • How betting on the NHL works, including for live matches
  • What the different NHL online betting options are
Top NHL Betting Sites in 2020
Maple Leaf Icon CANADA'S FAVOURITE
1
Maple Leaf Icon
CANADA'S FAVOURITE
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2006
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2
MansionBet Sportsbook
2003
Bonus C$100
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Paytime 24 hrs
interac
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3
Spin Palace Sportsbook
2001
Bonus C$250
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4
Sports Interaction
1997
Bonus C$90
Payout 97.22%
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888Sport
2008
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How NHL Odds Work

At first, understanding how to work out NHL bets and their odds can look confusing, but it’s actually simple to grasp. Below, you’ll find a guide on how basic NHL betting works, using a fictional match-up between two popular Canadian teams.

Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
1.5
Montreal Canadiens
Montreal Canadiens
3.75

In this example, you’ll see that Toronto are favourites, as they have the lower odds. Working out how much you could win is simple: just multiply your bet by the odds.

So, if you bet C$10 on the Maple Leafs, you’d win C$10 x 1.5 if they came out on top. This would be C$15, giving you a profit of C$5.

If you bet on the Canadiens and they won, you’d receive a prize worth C$10 x 3.75, which is C$37.50 – a profit of C$27.50. So, the less likely a bookmaker thinks a team is to win, the more money you could win when betting on them.

In Canada, most people use decimal odds, as shown in this example. In the US though, they generally use moneyline odds, while fractional odds are popular in the UK.

Understanding betting odds can be confusing at first, which is why we’ve come up with a handy NHL odds calculator below:

NHL Betting Options

NHL Match Bets
  • NHL MoneyLine

    NHL MoneyLine

    The NHL moneyline bet is the most basic option available for this sport. Just predict which team will win a match.

    Eg:
    Oilers
    Oilers
    vs
    2.25
    Flyers
    Flyers
  • NHL Period

    NHL Period

    This is similar to the moneyline bet, but it only applies to one period. Eg: The Wild to score more goals than the Islanders in the first period at 3.25.

    Eg:
    The Wild
    The Wild
    vs
    3.25
    The Islanders
    The Islanders
  • NHL Over/Under

    NHL Over/Under

    This bet sees you predicting whether there will be over or under a set number of goals in the game.

    Under 4.5 total goals
    to be scored

    2.10
  • NHL Puck Line

    NHL Puck Line

    This is like a moneyline bet, but you’re betting on the outcome if 1.5 goals are added or deducted from a team’s score.

    Eg:
    The Canadiens
    The Canadiens
    vs
    1.80
    1.5 goals
    added
    Maple Leafs
    The Maple Leafs
  • NHL Handicap

    NHL Handicap

    These are like puck line bets and are often called NHL betting lines, but the number added or subtracted isn’t fixed at 1.5.

    Eg:
    Red
    Wings
    The Red Wings
    vs
    1.75
    3.5 goals
    added
    The Lightning
    The Lightning
NHL Futures
  • Stanley Cup Winner

    Stanley Cup Winner

    This is one of the easier markets to grasp, as you’re betting on which team will win the Stanley Cup this year.

    The Oilers

    to be champions

    23.00
    The Oilers
  • Conference/Division Winner

    Conference/Division Winner

    This is similar to the above bet type, with the only difference being you’re betting on the team to win a specific conference or division, not the Stanley Cup.

    Eg:
    The Senators
    The Senators

    to win
    55.00
    Atlantic Division
    Atlantic Division
  • Prop Bets

    Prop Bets

    These come in many different forms, but often concern the performance of individual players.

    Brayden Point

    to score a goal

    2.10
    Brayden Point

What is NHL Live Betting?

You can wager on the action as it’s taking place with live NHL betting. This allows you to use your expertise to analyze a game and determine what you believe will happen next.

  • Live NHL betting can add an extra edge of excitement to any game. You could even find a game between two teams you don’t support to be interesting when betting live on the NHL.
  • There are many types of NHL live bets, including final score and next goal scorer, plus you’ll sometimes find more unusual bets, like next player to be sent to the sin bin.
  • Odds for bets change throughout a game. For example, the Jets might start a game with odds of 3.50 to win, but this might move to 1.50 in third period when they’re winning by a goal. Prizes are paid out as soon as a bet is won, not at the end of the game.
  • NHL live bets can be placed on your mobile too, meaning you can bet on a game while you’re at the rink, watching in a bar or sat at home. Mobile betting can be done via your browser or using NHL betting apps.

NHL 101: Rules and Intro

The NHL is the world’s top ice hockey league, featuring teams from Canada and the USA. Below, you can learn about the basics of this famous league…

  • There are currently 31 NHL teams. Seven of these are Canadian, with the rest all based in the United States. A new team, the Seattle Kraken, will join from the 2021/2022 season.

  • The seven Canadian teams playing in the NHL are the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

  • The teams are split into two conferences, namely the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

  • Each conference has two divisions. The Eastern Conference has the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions, while the Western Conference has the Central and Pacific Divisions.

  • Each team plays 82 regular season games. 16 teams then qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The top three teams in each division qualify, plus the two next best teams in each conference also get a place.

  • Playoffs consist of three rounds, each of which is a best of seven series. In the opening round, top ranked teams are pitted against those with lower rankings.

  • The final two teams left standing play in the Stanley Cup Finals, which determines the NHL champions.

  • The current Stanley Cup champions are the Tampa Bay Lightning, who beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 in the 2020 finals.

  • There is then an off-season, which lasts for round six months, with the next season beginning in April.

  • During the off-season, a draft is held, allowing teams to select the most promising up-and-coming players. The team with the worst record picks first, while the champions pick last, unless any trades are made.

Recent NHL Champions

  • 2020
    Tampa Bay Lightning
    Tampa Bay
    Lightning
  • 2019
    St. Louis Blues
    St. Louis
    Blues
  • 2018
    Washington Capitals
    Washington
    Capitals
  • 2017
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    Pittsburgh
    Penguins
  • 2016
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    Pittsburgh
    Penguins
  • 2015
    Chicago Blackhawks
    Chicago
    Blackhawks
  • 2014
    Los Angeles Kings
    Los Angeles
    Kings
  • 2013
    Chicago Blackhawks
    Chicago
    Blackhawks
  • 2012
    Los Angeles Kings
    Los Angeles
    Kings
  • 2011
    Boston Bruins
    Boston
    Bruins

NHL History Timeline

Amateur Hockey Association of Canada formed, featuring five teams. The first winners of the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, later called the Stanley Cup, were Montreal Hockey Club.

1893

NHA, PCHA and Maritime are invited to participate in the tournament to win the Stanley Cup.

1915

The first American team wins the Stanley Cup, as the Seattle Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens.

1917

The Western Canada Hockey League is formed and added to the competition. The WCHL changes its name to the Western Hockey League in 1925.

1922

The Victoria Cougars of the WCHL become the last team from outside the NHL to win the Stanley Cup.

1925

The WHL folds and its assets are bought by the NHL, leaving the NHL as the only league competing for the Stanley Cup.

1926

The largest ever expansion of the NHL takes place, with six teams added. This starts a long period of expansion for the NHL.

1967

The NHL merges with the World Hockey Association, with four WHA teams joining the competition.

1979

Wayne Gretzky, considered by many to be the greatest hockey player of all time, retires after playing for 20 seasons.

1999

The latest expansion to the NHL is announced, with the Seattle Kraken scheduled to join the league in 2021. This will take the number of teams in the NHL to 32.

2018

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NHL Betting FAQ

What is the NHL?

The NFL (National Hockey League) is a professional ice hockey league featuring teams from Canada and the United States. It is regarded as being the number one hockey league in the world.

As long as the sportsbook or gambling site is based offshore, then UFC and sports betting is allowed in Canada.

Is NHL betting legal in Canada?

Yes, it is legal to bet on sports online, including the NHL, in Canada.

This is providing you’re old enough of course. The minimum age to bet is 18 or 19, depending on the province you’re in.

What are the most popular NHL bets?

Some of the most popular NHL bets include:

  • Moneyline
  • Period
  • Over/under
  • Puck line
  • Handicap
  • Stanley Cup winner
  • Conference winner
  • Live betting
What are the best NHL betting sites?

We have found that the top NHL betting sites, offering many hockey markets and top security, are:

  • 888 Sport
  • Betway Sports
  • Spin Sports
  • Karamba Sports
  • Betsafe Sports
Can I bet on the NHL on mobile?

Yes, you can bet on the NHL using most mobile devices, including those running on Android and iOS operating systems.

Most top sportsbooks offer a betting app, while others require you to gamble via your mobile browser.

What is NHL live betting?

NHL live betting is when you bet on a game that is ongoing. Odds and markets are updated in real time, in order to reflect the current state of the game.

What is the NHL moneyline?

The NHL moneyline is the most common way to bet on the NHL. It is simply a bet on which of the two teams will win.