Originating in Canada in the late 1800s, ice hockey is a team sport that is popular across North America, as well as Scandinavia and other European countries. It is known for its speed, skill and aggression. Besides following the action, many players enjoy betting on it as well, leading many online bookmakers to accept wagers on matches. If you are wondering how to bet on ice hockey, stay tuned. We will introduce all available bookies and markets, as well as tips on the most profitable ice hockey betting strategy. So, whether you want to wager on the NHL, the Champions Hockey League or the Olympic Games, be sure to keep reading.
How to bet on ice hockey and win
There are a number of reasons why the sport continues to go from strength to strength. However, before placing any ice hockey bets, it is vital to understand how it works with online bookies. Ice hockey prices will be high on Canadian and Scandinavian betting sites, with odds with international bookies likely to be lower than those surrounding football ad tennis etc.
If you are looking to answer the question of how to bet on ice hockey, we advise you to keep a close eye on 2-way markets, given the implied probability of winning. While the number of leagues covered by bookies is increasing, it is the NHL that stands out. Coming with a greater number of markets, a large amount of statistics, news and highlights surrounding the NHL makes picking a winner easier.
What to examine before placing ice hockey bets
Those with a good understanding of ice hockey will likely be able to find value odds, as, for most bookies, it is not a priority. So, your knowledge of the teams and players involved may actually be better than those calculating prices. Of course, ice hockey bets will not always result in winnings. However, those who are prepared to do their homework, looking at recent results, head-to-head records and player availability, stand a good chance of making a profit. Below, we take a closer look at what to consider before getting started.
Improve your Knowledge
If you are a newbie, you must familiarise yourself with the rules. For example, home-ice advantage is very much present, while some teams are better at goaltending than others. A considerable amount of pre-match information is available online too. So, there is no excuse for missing out on key team news. For example, the odds on the Pittsburgh Penguins beating the New Jersey Devils may be greater due to the absence of a star player. The best way to bet on ice hockey is to take on as many relevant details as possible before comparing statistics with betting odds. For example, the Power play is when one team has a numerical advantage due to a penalty. Meanwhile, overtime periods are sudden death, meaning the first team to score wins.
Pick the right bookmaker
The vast majority of online bookmakers accept bets on ice hockey today. As such, there are certainly no issues regarding accessibility and betting on ice hockey. However, selecting a site that caters well for your needs is essential. For example, if you are about utilising the best prices, a quick odds comparison tool will show which ones score the highest in this area. Meanwhile, you may be looking for a hefty welcome bonus and hockey-specific promotions. Whatever you are searching for, our recommended sportsbooks have all bases covered. Remember that you can sign up on more than one bookie.
Learn the leading markets
High-profile games come with hundreds of different markets, including pre-match, in-play and outright options. However, some stand out from the crowd. Moneyline is the most popular. This is mainly due to its simplicity; you only have to bet on the team you believe will win. Elsewhere, puck line is the name given to spread betting. For example, the favourite will be given a deficit of -1.5 goals, while the underdog is handed a surplus of 1.5 goals. Totals are another prominent option for a bet on ice hockey. You can wager on the number of goals, whether over or under a specific figure. For example, over 5.5 goals to be scored between Canada and Russia.
Best Ice Hockey Betting Tips
It is crucial to have some form of ice hockey betting strategy before you get underway. It is easy to place bets using a scattergun approach. However, this is not the most effective system for sticking to a budget. Meanwhile, some ice hockey betting tips will help punters, regardless of the league, game or market. We have analysed the critical parts in order to produce the following advice:
Do extensive research
As we have mentioned already, it is vital to carry out ample research before betting on ice hockey. Each league is different based on the number of teams and game duration. Meanwhile, injuries and suspensions can have a significant impact on results. Such information is readily available, meaning there is no excuse to be unaware of a last-minute broken finger or coach/player fallout. Ice hockey teams often go on long winning/losing streaks, with details surrounding recent form, H2H and goals scored/conceded being invaluable.
Pay attention to advanced statistics
It is worth considering how a potential pick performs during a power play, as well as goaltending figures and overtime success. Such data is often overlooked when bettors consider how to bet on ice hockey. This is where having an expert understanding of in-game rules pays off because you will find better value odds at bookmakers. Algorithms are even used to predict results, with total goals and past encounters among the stats considered.
Live betting strategy
Live, or in-play, betting makes it possible to wager on games that have already started. As soon as the face-off in the centre circle is complete, odds fluctuate based on what occurs on the ice. Ice hockey live betting is another way of finding value odds. However, you must be prepared to be patient. Live markets include the next team to score, moneyline and correct score. Those who strike at the right time often reap the rewards. However, you must be quick, with live odds constantly changing. Bookies will also suspend markets regularly when goals are scored and other major incidents occur.
Which are the easiest leagues to place ice hockey bets?
Ice hockey is not as global as the likes of football and tennis. However, it has a significant following in the United States, Canada, Russia, Scandinavia and selected Asian countries. When placing ice hockey bets, it is likely to be the following leagues that appeal in particular:
⏩ NHL: The National Hockey League (NHL) was founded in 1917. Now involving 32 teams across the US and Canada, the NHL is known as the best ice hockey league in terms of quality. Regular season and Playoff games are available to bet on annually, with many punters viewing the NHL as the best way to bet on ice hockey.
⏩ KHL: Teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and China make up the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). Founded in 2008, 22 teams make up the league, with Russian outfit Ak Bars Kazan holding the record for the most titles.
⏩ European leagues: The Champions Hockey League is Europe's highest-profile ice hockey league. Featuring teams from Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Czech and Switzerland, Norway, Belarus, France and the UK, the competition was launched in 2013. Meanwhile, domestic championships from Austrian, Finland, Germany and Denmark are also available.
⏩ ALIH: Asia League Ice Hockey (ALIH) was created in 2003, involving just six teams in all, coming from Japan and South Korea. Anyang Halla has won a record six titles to date.
Can betting on ice hockey be profitable?
Those who form a successful ice hockey betting strategy will likely regularly make a profit. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees that you will do so. Punters can maximise their chances of beating the bookies by focusing on top ice hockey leagues, including the NHL. Meanwhile, when researching before placing a bet on ice hockey, ensure that your sources are reliable.
This means that statistics and news articles are up to date and accurate. Selecting a bookie that offers a variety of ice hockey markets and promotions is also advised. Betting sites with the best odds are likely to attract punters more than others. Ahead of NHL games, including the season-ending Stanley Cup, check out our expert predictions.
Generally, most ice hockey markets only take into account regular time. Separate bets can be placed on the possibility of overtime or the outcome coming to the end of overtime.
When betting on ice hockey, moneyline, puck line and totals are the standout markets. A large number of additional pre-match and live markets are also found. Meanwhile, outright bets can be placed on the winner of ice hockey leagues.
When forming an ice hockey strategy, you must know your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your budget and goals before deciding which leagues and markets to focus on. Having a system is essential. Otherwise, you are likely to throw money down the drain.
Popular ice hockey pro bets include team and player options. Team prop bets have the most penalty minutes and over/under shots on target. Meanwhile, player props come in the form of anytime goalscorer and first penalty.
Some bookies offer better ice hockey betting odds than others. A quick odds comparison will show where the best prices can be found, with our top-ranked bookies often featuring at the top of the list.
Ice hockey betting offers include free bets, money-back specials and price boosts. Promotions are available to both new and existing customers, with our recommended bookies each having their unique welcome offer.
Puck line markets, also known as spreads, involve betting on ice hockey games where the teams involved have been given a handicap. For example, you can bet on the United States to beat Austria at -1.5.