TOP ONLINE BOOKMARKERS 2020
BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO BETTING ON HOCKEY
Hockey is a sport that is enjoyed primarily in the northern hemisphere, where naturally occurring ice and cold weather are readily available. The sport is now considered the official sport of Canada, but is quickly gaining popularity in the United States, and is prevalent all across Eastern Europe as well. The top players in the world play in the NHL which is based out of the United States and Canada, and although it may never have the viewership or media coverage of the NFL or NBA, the NHL is quickly gaining popularity, especially amongst the younger sports viewing audiences.
The origins of hockey most likely date back to variations of stickball games that were played in England back in the 18th and 19th centuries. From there, the games were brought over to North America where the game of ice hockey as we know it now was developed at some point in Montreal, Canada during the latter part of the 19th century. The first professional league was created by 1900 which paved the way for the formation of the NHL in 1917.
Hockey is not just a North American sport though, as many Eastern European and Scandinavian countries excel at the game, as is witnessed by how many of these stars dominate the NHL. Just as the game was being developed in Canada, it was also being played in European countries as early as the 1900s. This international component to the game explains why ice hockey is such a popular sport at the Winter Olympics as well as at other international tournaments like the World Juniors or the World Cup of Hockey. Today, the NHL has 31 professional teams with seven in Canada and 24 in the United States. There is also about to be a 32nd team when the expansion team called the Seattle Kraken joins the league in the 2021-2022 season.
Interesting Facts About Hockey:
1) The NHL leader in total career points is Wayne Gretzy with 2,857 points. In fact, Gretzky has more assists than any other player has points with 1,963.
2) Even though there are only seven Canadian teams, not one of them has won a Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens did in 1993.
3) Speaking of the Montreal Canadiens, they hold the record for most Stanley Cup victories by a single franchise with 24.
4) The ice playing surface size is different in an NHL game than it is in an international game.
5) Believe it or not, but NHL teams have called local goaltenders who have never played professionally to be the backups if there are too many injuries. Some have even been forced into action!
Tips on How to Start Betting on Hockey
Ready to start betting on hockey games at your preferred online sportsbook? We always say that if you want to start betting on sports with your hard-earned money, you should take the time to learn the rules of the games you want to bet on.
While we cannot provide actual betting advice in this guide, we have accumulated some of our favorite tips to help you get your online hockey betting off to a fun and hopefully profitable start!
Tip#1: Set a limit on your bets and stick to it – This is one of the biggest issues that new sports bettors are faced with and can be the single biggest reason why new players burn through their bankrolls when they start to play. The excitement of how easy and fun it can be to bet on sports online, usually means players bet more than they can afford to when they first start out. Set a limit on how much you can afford to lose in a given week or month and stick to that rule. You should find that you are able to maintain your bankroll a lot easier just by instituting a bit of control.
Using systems of control like proportional betting to help maintain your bankroll definitely helps and try to avoid placing bets with low odds with higher payouts like parlay bets. If you are able to stick to single-game bets and while using proportional betting, wager a percentage of your bankroll each time.
Tip#2: Learn the odds system: Sometimes the posted odds, puck line, or goal total may not match what your read is on the game. It is these edges that will give you an advantage in the long run. If you do not think the Toronto Maple Leafs should be underdogs, then you should bet on the Maple Leafs using your own system.
Remember that the posted odds are merely a guideline set by the bookmakers to get the most amount of action on both sides of the game, not necessarily an indication of how good each team is compared to each other.
Tip#3: Educate yourself on the rules of football: For any sport, you want to start betting, it definitely pays dividends to learn the rules and the nuances of the game. It never hurts to watch the game you want to bet on and realize which parts of it can help you in your betting. Hockey is a fast-paced game with tons of action, but very few goals.
In this way, it can be very similar to football, where if you know the team rosters and the strengths like defense or goaltending, you can use that qualitative information to help you place bets. The rules can be complex, but the basics are not impossible to pick up after watching a few games. Things you will want to consider learning are team speed and pace of play, special teams efficiency, and even each team’s coaching style.
Tip#4: Find which bet types suit your style and knowledge: This seems straightforward but learning which types of bets you succeed at more often can be a good indicator of which facets of the game you understand more. If you are good at betting on first-period totals then bet on the first period totals. If you are bad with puck lines, then don’t bet on puck lines.
Watching the actual hockey games rather than just reading the boxscores every morning can give you a huge advantage in understanding how odds and lines are made by sportsbooks as well. Try and learn how teams perform in situations like if they are on the road or on a back to back or playing in the morning or afternoon versus playing at night. Knowing these team tendencies can go a long way in helping you stay profitable as a bettor.
Payment Methods Used in Hockey Betting
Most reputable online sportsbooks will accept all of the usual forms of digital payments that we are so used to seeing on any website. Credit cards, direct bank transfers, and PayPal are almost universally accepted now across any e-Commerce platform you use.
There are other newer options that have been gaining popularity such as eWallets and Cryptocurrencies, but they are far from being the standard and are less common than the big three options below:
- Credit Cards: This is still the most common way that players can deposit right into their online sportsbook accounts. Most of the major companies are accepted including Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. Make note that some credit card companies do not allow the cardholder to make purchases on sports betting or gambling sites, so look into the rules of your credit card before trying to use it with your online sportsbook.
- Direct Bank Transfer: A direct bank transfer is a debit from your personal bank account and is just as fast as paying by credit card and generally has a higher success rate for transactions than credit cards as well. You may need to enter your bank account details so have that information handy as you sign up for your online sportsbook account.
- PayPal: PayPal.com is the premier site for transferring money online but you do need to sign up for an account and link it to your bank account before using it at any online sportsbook. It is safe, trustworthy, and easy to use and has become increasingly used at online websites as a method of payment. PayPal is great if you need to use different currencies as well
Player Support when Betting on Hockey
Need some assistance or have some questions or concerns well don’t worry because you are not alone!
Every reputable online sportsbook provides their customers with 24-hour around the clock customer service. Because online sportsbooks and online casinos are open 24 hours a day and seven days per week, there is always some form of customer service available via email, toll-free telephone number, or an instant chat function.
These customer service representatives can assist you with anything from deposit or withdrawal issues to questions about specific hockey-related bets you have placed.
HOCKEY – THE GAME
The basic premise of ice hockey is quite simple to follow, of course as with any sport, things can get more complex the deeper you go. At its core, ice hockey is a game played on a sheet of ice, usually a rink, with five players on each side as well as a goalie. The primary goal of the game is to shoot the puck, a vulcanized piece of rubber, past the goalie into the net that they are protecting. The defending is obviously trying to prevent goals from being scored on their goal.
The five players are divided into three forward positions: a center, left-wing, and right-wing, as well as two defensive positions. Players make substitutions or line changes, either at whistles or on the fly. The total time of the game is split into three periods of twenty minutes each, and if the game is tied at the end of regulation time, there is an overtime period and a shootout in a regular-season game, or continuous overtime for the playoffs. The team with the most goals at the end of the game, no matter how that may be decided, is the winner.
When you are finally set up with your online sportsbook and ready to start placing some bets on some real live hockey games, it is crucial that you learn the different types of bets that you can make. Like with any sport these days, online sportsbooks have made it possible to bet on nearly anything that can happen within a given hockey game.
From total goals scored to whether a team will score in the first period to individual player props, literally, anything can be wagered on. Let’s go over a few of the more basic types of bets and then a few more that are a little bit more fun and unique:
Unlike sports like basketball or American football, hockey is considered a moneyline based sport which means most bets will be placed on who the bettor thinks the winner of the game will be. Here is an example:
Example: In decimal odds
|The Odds || Los Angeles Kings (2.50) Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (1.50) |
|The Outcome ||You can see that given the moneyline odds, the Penguins are perceived to be a much stronger team than the Kings, or have a better-perceived chance to win this particular game, and so the lower payout odds reflect this. |
When you combine two or more moneyline bets on the same ticket to win a larger amount it is called a moneyline parlay. Heavy moneyline favorites are often seen as sure-bet winners and so many people parlay those to increase their odds.
|The Odds || Penguins ML (1.50) + Canucks ML (1.60) x $100 = $240.00 – $100 bet = $140 profit |
|The Outcome ||If the Penguins are (1.50) and the Vancouver Canucks are (1.60) to win their game, then if you combine them on the same bet you will be paid at higher odds than if you played them separately. |
Chiefs ML (1.20) + Ravens ML (1.40) x $100 = $168.00
This is similar to the point spread bet that is popular in basketball and American football betting, but for hockey, the puck line is always (-1.5) or (+1.5). This means the winning team will win by more than one goal (-1.5) or the losing team will lose by one goal or win the game outright.
|The Odds || Calgary Flames Vs. Edmonton Oilers (-1.5) |
|The Outcome ||The (-1.5) indicates that you are betting on the Oilers to win the game by more than one goal for the final score. Alternatively, if you want to bet on the Flames they would be read as (+1.5) which means they need to finish the game within two goals of the Oilers, or they can win the game outright. |
Chiefs ML (1.20) + Ravens ML (1.40) x $100 = $168.00
OVER/UNDER or TOTAL GOALS SCORED
Your online sportsbook will provide a goal total number for each game and you can place a bet on whether the total goals scored in the game will be higher or lower than that total. You can also bet on individual team totals, or goal totals by period as well. Here is an example:
|The Odds ||Las Vegas Golden Knights Vs. Dallas Stars (6.0) |
|The Outcome ||The over/under number for this game has been set at six runs, so the Golden Knights and the Stars would need to combine for over six goals for you to win the bet. If you bet the under, you would want both teams to combine for less than six goals. If the total lands exactly on six goals then it is considered a push and the bettor would get their money back. |
Chiefs ML (1.20) + Ravens ML (1.40) x $100 = $168.00
Player prop bets are extremely popular these days and allow bettors to focus on individual player performance, rather than how the entire team does. For example, you can bet on how many saves Robin Lehner will have in the game or on specific players to score a goal.
Depending on your online sportsbook, these player props can get very specific. Take some time to learn some strategies like how often a team takes penalties, so you can get an edge on how many power plays a player will have a chance to play on.
Futures bets are also gaining popularity as ways to get action on teams at great odds before the season starts, and during the season as well. Do you think you know who is going to win the Stanley Cup? Smart bettors also can use this as a way to hedge later on in the season, depending on how their picks are doing. Futures bets also include things like individual player awards, who will score the most goals, division wins, playoff series winners.
Futures bets are another part of the sports betting industry that is gaining a lot of popularity. In the futures market, players can place bets on future outcomes such as the outright league winner or team win totals. The best part about betting futures is that players are provided higher odds, the earlier they place their bets. The downside of course is that any funds player bets on futures bets will be tied up until the end of the season, or when a team’s win total is hit.
WHICH ODDS DO YOU PREFER?
There are a few different types of betting odds that players can use and it is completely up to personal preference and has no effect on the bets or the outcome of the bets.
- Decimal odds: These are easy to understand and make complete mathematical sense as they are directly proportionate to the amount you wager. If you bet $100 at 1.50 odds you will win $150.
- American odds: These are slightly less clear to read but once you learn how the numbers work it makes sense. You will notice American odds use (-) or (+) symbols before their numbers with the (-) indicating a favorite and the (+) the underdog in the matchup.
- Fractional odds: Again, similar to decimal odds mathematically but using fractions instead of decimals.
These can all be used depending on the bettor’s preference. Keep in mind that they are not interchangeable as 2.00 in Decimal odds does not equal +200 in American odds and vice versa.
Hockey Leagues You Can Bet On
The NHL is the premier league for ice hockey in the world and currently is made up of 31 franchises across the United States and Canada. Seventeen different countries from around the world are represented by NHL players with Canada and the U.S. making up a majority of those players with 47.9% and 24.3% respectively. Sweden, Russia, Finland, and the Czech Republic all have decent amounts of players as well and as the game continues to grow internationally, we see players from the Netherlands and Australia making their way into the league. The KHL and the Swedish Elite League are a couple of the bigger leagues in Europe where many players play in before coming to the NHL.
Ice hockey has several international tournaments as well including the World Junior Championships, the World Cup of Hockey, the Spengler Cup, and previously even the Winter Olympics. There are several minor leagues as well including the AHL which serves as farm teams or feeder teams to the NHL, the CHL which is a major junior Canadian Hockey League where many of the NHL draft picks are from, and even NCAA College hockey as well. Women’s hockey is gaining tremendous popularity as well with professional leagues starting all around the world, as well as having a part in the Winter Olympics.
LEARN TO BET GUIDES
Pick the Sport you want to bet on, learn the dynamics of the games, and tap into the best betting strategies developed over the years. Can you build that elusive hot streak? There’s only one way to find out. Always remember, Bet Responsibly, Bet Greatly:
American Football Guide
SPORTS COUNTRY AND STATE BETTING GUIDES
Wondering how the different U.S. States approach sports betting? the KGB team has provided in-depth guides on how various State or County laws stack up on sports betting. Check out the guides below, where we’ll investigate each state and help you in your quest to start Sports Betting:
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Guide
New Jersey Sports Betting Guide
Oregon Sports Betting Guide
Illinois Sports Betting Guide
West Virginia Sports Betting Guide
HOCKEY BETTING FAQs
The NHL is a moneyline sport which means bettors generally pick which team they think will win the game. Can the NHL be profitable? Sure, but just as with any sport, do your due diligence into the teams and you will find yourself being more successful with your bets.
Again, this is going to be based on your own style of betting. Do money lines or pucklines make sense to you? Or do you prefer looking at goal totals instead? If two teams are evenly matched, look towards the goal totals for an easier edge in placing bets.
Yes, the NHL and most of the other professional hockey leagues like the KHL are also available at any reputable online sportsbook.
No. Some locations, states, or countries do not allow betting on non-professional sports leagues so always be aware of your local betting laws before attempting to partake.
Yes, if online sports betting in your country is legal, then the NHL should also be legal to bet online. Always check with your local online sports betting laws to make sure you know the regulations.
Yes, as long as the online sportsbook you use has a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site, you can use your mobile phone to bet on the NHL or any other sport available at your online sportsbook.
Again, this depends on where you are physically betting from. Your online sportsbook will determine your location either by GPS signal on your mobile phone or your IP Address on your computer internet connection.
There is a large group of bettors who believe this to be true. If a team in ice hockey is leading near the end of the game, the losing team usually pulls their goalie for an extra player. This makes it easy for the winning team to score on an empty net, securing the Puckline of -1.5.