If you are into your ice hockey NHL betting then you will know that the sportsbook lines are maybe not so accurate all the time and that creates wagering opportunities.
You could do your own handicapping on the NHL betting.
Simply look at a match you are interested in and work out which team needs what head start to be the equal of the other team. Then go and see how the sportsbooks price it. If there is a significant difference between what you think and what they think then there is every reason to follow your judgement. If you do this then you have just become a handicapper. Handicappers work out the betting lines before looking at what the sportsbooks have made them. That way you can spot when you are disagreeing with the sportsbooks, and that is the time to grab some value betting odds.
The NHL season and its betting opportunities
The NHL or National Hockey League regular season stretches from the very first week in October right through to early or mid April. If you want yet more NHL betting opportunities you can also bet on the exhibition season in September as well as the post season Stanley Cup playoffs.
During the regular NHL ice hockey season the 30 teams that comprise the league will each play 82 games, 41 at home and 41 as visitors. Correctly assessing the degree of home advantage is a key factor for wagering on the National Hockey League.
In each match, two points will be awarded to the victorious team. Unlike any other large scale professional league, the NHL provides a possible consolation prize of one point for the losing team if the game goes to overtime or a shootout. If the game is decided in regular time the losing team will receive zero points.
At the conclusion of the regular season the team that has accumulated the greatest number of points within each of the three divisions becomes division champion and the overall leader of the NHL will receive the coveted President’s Trophy.
The highest volumes of NHL betting action take place during the Stanley Cup playoffs in April, May and June. The three NHL division champions are joined by the five highest point scoring teams in each conference for the elimination tournament.
The NHL ice hockey betting options
The growing popularity of NHL ice hockey action has led to a great choice of betting options for both professional and occasional bettors:
NHL Money Line Betting
Unlike many US sports, the preferred betting method for NHL is money line. Money line betting is not just the most common type of betting for NHL but the easiest to understand. All you have to do is pick the team that will win the game and then find the best odds on offer for your selection. You don’t have to worry about margins of victory or what will happen in the event of a draw as, since the NHL rules changed in 2005-2006, there is always a decisive result. Sportsbooks will offer you odds for each team with the favored team paying out much less than the underdog in the event of a win.
NHL Over/Under Betting
Whilst over/under betting is not as prevalent for NHL as it is for many other sports in the US, there are plenty of opportunities for fans of this type of betting. Over/under betting involves betting on the total number of goals scored in a game. The online sportsbooks will generally provide a set number such as 5.5 for a specific game. You can then decide whether you think that the total number of goals scored will exceed that number (in which case you would bet the over) or be lower than the number quoted and bet the under.
One general betting tip here which applies as much to ice hockey as any other sport is that the majority of people prefer to bet the over so there may well be money making opportunities in doing exactly the reverse.
Puck Line NHL Betting
A less well known type of ice hockey betting is described as puck line betting. This type of betting has many similarities to MLB run line betting and is basically a form of handicapping. The favored team will be given a specific spread, most frequently 1.5, which it will have to exceed for the puck line bet to pay out. This means that if you bet the NHL favorites to win, they will need to win by a margin of two goals or more for your bet to pay out. A bet on the underdog in this NHL ice hockey game will pay out if they lose by only one goal or if they win. Whilst 1.5 is easily the most popular spread offered, some sportsbooks offer lines of 2.5 or 3.5 so you have a number of NHL puck line betting options.
NHL Ice Hockey Prop Betting
If you enjoy a gamble on something that doesn’t relate to the actual outcome of a game, prop betting could be exactly what you are looking for. NHL prop betting can involve anything from individual player performance to specific period scores. You will find prop bets including who will be the first team to score available throughout the regular season but the scale of betting action increases dramatically during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
NHL Futures Betting
If you want to bet during the off season, you will always find NHL futures betting options on each team’s chances of winning the Stanley Cup.
Tips for ice hockey NHL betting
If you want to make money in NHL betting, make sure you do your research. You need to know if a key player is injured or just not playing well and who the starting goaltender will be.
Do not feel obliged to bet on every game. Look for the games where public opinion has swayed the odds and there is good value to be had backing the underdog instead.
There is a good reason why many systems basically involve going against the consensus of public opinion. The theory behind this one is that the sportsbooks will always want to achieve equal action on both sides of bets so there may be some good value on the less popular teams.
Many of the tipsters major on the underdogs too. The current NHL salary cap environment has led to much greater parity between teams so there are plenty of opportunities for bettors to profit.
Don’t miss your opportunity to get involved in the ice hockey NHL betting action and sign up with one of our recommended online sportsbooks for US bettors now.