In the U.S., online hockey betting is considered a “runner-up” to betting on football, basketball, and baseball. It’s less popular than these other sports. The scores tend to be low, which makes it difficult to keep the interest of sports fans and casual bettors. That said, if you enjoy NHL hockey contests, and are willing to invest the time to analyze the players and teams, you could do very well. There are always opportunities that informed bettors can exploit.
Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know to start placing wagers on hockey games. Most online hockey betting is focused on NHL contests, but the best online sportsbooks also offer lines on NCAA tournaments, European leagues, and even Olympic hockey games. We’ll explain the types of bets you can place, and provide a few tips to help you gain an edge over your competition. We’ll also point you to the four top online hockey betting sites that we use.
Top 4 Online Hockey Betting Sites At A Glance
- Bovada Sportsbook – Bodog rebranded. Reliable, fast payouts, and straightforward sports betting.
- BetOnline – Easy deposits with Visa and Mastercard as well as good promotions.
- BookMaker – Bulletproof reputation, easy to register and place bets immediately.
- 5 Dimes – Huge list of betting options, great odds, and exciting promotions.
Further down this page, we’ll provide additional details about each of the NHL hockey betting sites listed above. We recommend registering accounts at all of them. That way, you can compare odds, and find the best lines.
Online Hockey Betting: Rules Of Engagement
A typical NHL game is composed of three periods, each of which lasts twenty minutes. In the event the scores are tied at the end of the third period, the teams square off during a sudden-death period. It lasts five minutes. This structure varies a bit during the playoffs; namely, the sudden-death overtime is longer.
As with betting on football and basketball, the most popular type of bet on hockey is the money line. This is a wager on which team wins. If you’ve bet on sporting events in the past, the format will look familiar to you:
New York Rangers +120
Philadelphia Flyers -130
The numbers represent the odds. The positive (+) number reflects the underdog.
You can also place puck line wagers. These are similar to run line bets in baseball. They may appear intimidating, but are relatively easy to understand. A puck line adds 1.5 goals to the underdog. Here’s an example:
Anaheim Ducks +1.5 (-160)
Los Angeles Kings -1.5 (+120)
Think of the above as a combination of the money line with a point spread. A bet placed on the Ducks would win if the Ducks score higher than the Kings, or lose by a single goal. A bet on the Kings would win only if the Kings score at least two more goals than the Ducks. Once you memorize how the puck line works, you’ll find it easy to remember.
Totals, and to a lesser extent parlays, are also a big part of online hockey betting. Totals are wagers on the combined scores of the two teams. Since hockey is such a low-scoring sport, most online sportsbooks adjust the odds rather than offer a wide range of totals.
Parlays are known as an exotic wager. They are placed on the outcomes of a group of hockey contests. If all of the teams in your parlay win, you’ll win the wager. If a single team loses, the bet is lost. Parlays are popular since a sports bettor can win a large sum after posting a small bet.
The best online sportsbooks offer prop bets for hockey. These are wagers placed on the outcomes of specific events that do not influence the result of the game. For example, you might place a prop bet on which team in a given contest will score first.
Also worth mentioning, you can participate in online real money fantasy hockey games. They take place daily, and allow you to build your own team with the players you choose.
How To Gain An Edge On Other Hockey Bettors
The more information you have about the teams and players involved in a game, the better chance you’ll have of winning. Becoming informed requires a bit of research. The good news is that most sports bettors neglect to spend the time and effort. That gives you a powerful edge.
Find out which players are benched due to injuries. If a scoring dynamo is out due to a pulled hamstring, his team may fare poorly on the ice.
Consider recent trades that might interfere with a team’s chemistry. A new player can throw off the synergy a team enjoys to the point of making them less effective.
Look back at past confrontations between the two teams. Which team has won? There’s a good chance that team will continue the trend.
These details can prove valuable, especially if they are not accurately reflected in the line or point spread.
Top-Rated Hockey Sportsbooks Online
Even though NHL online hockey betting receives less attention and fewer dollars than football and basketball, you’ll find lines offered by most of the online sportsbooks. There are millions of fans, and many of them actively bet on the games. Earlier, we introduced you to the top four sites to bet on hockey. We’ve personally reviewed each one, and found them to be a cut above the other sportsbooks.
- Bovada Sportsbook – The highly-respected Bodog brand pulled up its stakes and left U.S. shores at the end of 2011. The company was rebranded as Bovada to cater to U.S. bettors. With a top-notch site design that has an intuitive feel, first-rate customer support, and a full range of betting options, Bovada picks up the place where Bodog left off. Take a look at Bovada.com.
- BetOnline.com – If you’re testing the waters as a new sports bettor, head over to BetOnline.com. They’ve made it easy by providing generous bonuses along with a large amount of helpful content. For example, they offer a 25% bonus on every qualified deposit (make sure you’re familiar with the restrictions). They also have a “What the Puck!?” promotion that gives you a way to earn a refund for certain bets. Visit BetOnline.com today to learn more and register your account.
- Bookmaker – Bookmaker has been around since the mid-80s, making them one of the oldest and most reliable online sportsbooks in the industry. You’ll find conventional and exotic betting options on a huge range of sports. They also offer a number of attractive bonuses and promotions to new and longtime members. For instance, you’ll receive a 10% reload bonus on every deposit you make (Diamond Level members receive 15%). You’ll also receive a separate 20% reload bonus on Tuesdays. Check out Bookmaker to grab a 20% sign-up bonus. Make sure you use the bonus code “AMP” to lock it in.
- 5Dimes – Great odds, flexible deposit and withdrawal options, responsive customer support, and coverage of most sports. These are a few of the many reasons serious sports bettors gravitate to 5Dimes. They host one of the most extensive lists of betting options among online sportsbooks. They also extend great bonuses and promotions, including their popular Reduced Juice Reward Program. Take a trip to 5Dimes.com to see for yourself.
Ratings of Top Online Hockey Sportsbetting Sites
Online hockey betting is the often-neglected cousin to football and basketball betting. But it offers just as many – if not more – opportunities to make money. Start with the sites above when you’re ready to bet on hockey.