Olympic Hockey Betting Guide for 2021

Hockey is one of the most popular sports on the Winter Olympics programme for fans in Canada and the United States.

Canada sits proudly at the top of the table of Gold medal winners. Its men’s team has ended on top of the podium nine times, and its women on four occasions.

Sportsbooks facilitate betting on the Olympics action, enabling bettors to get involved with the action. In this guide we’ll answer your questions, including:

  • How do I bet on Olympic hockey?
  • What do Olympic hockey fans like to bet on?
  • How do I get involved in live betting on Olympic hockey?

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An Introduction to Olympic hockey

The Winter Olympics are staged every four years, two years before/after the Summer Games since 1994. Hockey has been on the programme at every Winter Games since its inception in 1924, as well as the summer edition in 1920.

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 1

    Since 1976, 12 teams have participated in the men’s tournament

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 2

    The top nine teams in the world rankings receive automatic places, while three other nations advance from qualification rounds

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 3

    Originally, the players had to be amateurs but professionals now take part

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 4

    However, NHL stars are sometimes forced to miss the Games because they clash with the regular season

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 5

    The Olympic rink, at 85ft wide, is 15ft narrower than an NHL rink

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 6

    Teams are split into three round-robin groups of four, which is followed by a playoff round to decide the quarter-finalists

  • Olympic hockey - Fact 7

    From that point, it is a single-elimination process to reach the final and play for Gold

How Olympic Hockey Odds Work

Betting on Olympic Hockey is just the same as wagering on regular NHL action. You will find plenty of ways to bet when you visit a hockey betting site.

To show how odds work, let’s take the example of a simple market – who’s going to win the match? The odds, expressed as decimals, might read:

Canada
Canada
1.5
Germany
Germany
2.4

For every C$10 you stake on Canada, the favourite, you win C$15. If you put C$10 on Germany, the underdog, you can win C$24.

Do bear in mind that odds can be shown in other formats, such as fractional and moneyline (also called American) odds.

Fortunately, most sportsbooks give you a choice of how you want to see the odds. You can use our Odds Calculator to see how to move between systems.

Olympic Hockey Betting Options

Match Bets
  • Match winner

    Match winner

    The simplest choice of all. Who do you think is going to win one particular match?

    Eg:
    Czech
    Republic
    1.6
    Czech Republic
    Norway

    2.30
    Norway
  • Total goals – over or under

    Total goals – over or under

    How many times do you think the teams will score between them? The sportsbook sets a number and you predict whether the total will be more or less. If you think there will be more, you go over.

    Eg:
    Under
    6.5
    1.90
    Over
    6.5
    1.90
  • Puck line bets

    Puck line bets

    This is a handicap bet that is unique to hockey. The sportsbook hands one side a 1.5-point start, which means the favourite needs to win by at least two goals to cover the spread.

    Eg:
    United States
    +1.5
    1.90
    United States
    Slovenia
    -1.5
    1.90
    Slovenia
  • Correct score bets

    Correct score bets

    This is harder bet to get right, but most sportsbooks will carry a market on the exact outcome of the match.

    Eg:
    Sweden to win 5-3
    16.0
    Sweden
  • First period bets

    First period bets

    Which team will make the faster start? If you have spotted that one nation is quicker to get warmed up on the ice, this could be the bet for you.

    Eg:
    Slovakia
    2.1
    Slovakia
Future bets
  • To qualify for Olympic Hockey

    To qualify for Olympic Hockey

    There is a stringent qualification process for nations not in the world elite. If you think a shock is in the offing, you’ll be able to back your opinion.

    Eg:
    Australia
    25.0
    Australia
  • To win their preliminary group

    To win their preliminary group

    You may believe one nation’s players will be top of their four-team group.

    Eg:
    Finland
    5.5
    Finland
  • To reach the Gold medal match

    To reach the Gold medal match

    Sportsbooks offer markets well in advance, so you’ll be able to wager on how far your fancy is likely to go.

    Eg:
    Slovenia
    21.0
    Slovenia

Olympic Hockey Live Betting

  • No longer are bettors restricted to playing only in advance
  • Virtually all sportsbooks now give you the chance to bet after play starts, and move their odds according to the action
  • A broad choice of markets is available, such as winner of the next period
  • You can still, however, bet on the winner of the match
  • Betting live on hockey, with odds changing constantly, is a great way to add extra excitement to the Winter Olympics
Olympic Hockey Live

Brief Timeline of Olympic Hockey

Ice hockey is included in the Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm and Canada take Gold

1920

Canada win Gold for the fourth Games in a row in Lake Placid

1932

Canada miss out on Gold for the first time as they lose out to Great Britain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

1936

Canada win Gold for the second Games running, in Oslo – but it’s the last Gold in hockey for the Canadians for 50 years

1952

The Soviet Union take the Gold for the fourth games in a row

1976

A young, amateur United States team stuns the hotly-fancied, experienced Soviet Union in Lake Placid in the ‘Miracle on Ice’

1980

Sweden defeat Canada in a shootout to take Gold in Lillehammer

1994

NHL players are allowed to compete for the first time – and the inaugural women’s tournament is won by the United States

1998

Canada’s men claim Gold for the first time in 50 years

2002

Canada's men win Gold on home ice for the first time, in Vancouver

2010

Canada’s women take Gold for the fourth Games in a row in Sochi

2014

Recent Olympic Hockey men’s winners

  • 2018
    Russia
    Olympic
    Athletes from
    Russia
  • 2014
    Canada
    Canada
  • 2010
    Canada
    Canada
  • 2006
    Sweden
    Sweden
  • 2002
    Canada
    Canada
  • 1998
    Czech Republic
    Czech
    Republic
  • 1994
    Sweden
    Sweden
  • 1992
    Soviet Union
    Unified Team
    (6 former Soviet republics)
  • 1988
    Soviet Union
    Soviet
    Union
  • 1984
    Soviet Union
    Soviet
    Union

Conclusion

Olympic hockey is one of the highlights of the Winter Games for fans of the sport in the United States and Canada.

Hockey bettors can enjoy a wide range of markets on the Olympic action. With smartphone ownership so widespread in Canada, and with sportsbooks offering so many ways to bet, it’s a great way to get extra engagement with the sport on offer.

Check out our hockey betting guide for more details on other competitions to bet on.

Interested in the Summer Olympics? Then read our comprehensive Summer Olympics 2021 betting guide.

Conclusion

FAQs

Ice Hockey What is Olympic hockey?

Hockey has been part of the Olympic programme for men since 1920, and for women since 1998. It’s played on a slightly narrower rink than the NHL, but the action is as exciting as ever.

Star Icon What are the most popular bets on Olympic hockey?

Experienced hockey bettors like nothing more than to try to predict which team will win each match.

FAQ Site Icon What are the best Olympic hockey betting sites?

Our online betting guide should pass on all the advice you need to choose one of our recommended sites that really work for you. We focus on a range of criteria including security, licensing, range of bets and bonuses.

Mobile Icon Can I bet on Olympic hockey on mobile?

Of course! Modern sportsbooks offer apps that can be used on virtually all devices, enabling you to bet on the action wherever you are.

Live Icon What is Olympic hockey live betting?

Hockey is a non-stop, all-action sport – in the modern era the odds reflect that. Even after the match is under way, sportsbooks offer a chance to wager on the action.

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