The NHL (National Hockey League) offers the perfect alternative to football for many UK punters during the winter break. In this article, we explain all you need to know about NHL betting, including the best betting sites, top tips and strategies, the best betting markets and more.
- Best Betting Sites for NHL Betting
- Best Bookies for NHL Betting – Top 5 Ranked
- NHL Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions 2021/22
- 5 Reasons to Bet on the NHL
- NHL Betting Sites With Live Streaming
- The 5 Best Ice Hockey Betting Sites – Reviewed
- NHL Betting Tips & Strategy
- Popular NHL Betting Markets
- What is the NHL?
- How is the NHL Structured?
- NHL Teams
- History of the NHL
- Upcoming Sporting Events
- NHL Betting FAQs
- ThePuntersPage Final Say
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
18+ Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
New customer offer. Place 5 x £10or more bets to receive £20in free bets. Repeat up to 5 times to receive maximum £100bonus. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Exchange bets excluded. Payment restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
T&Cs APPLY, 18+ ONLY
18+ Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days. To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days. Wagering requirements vary by game. Deposit methods, Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.org #ad
Best Bookies for NHL Betting – Top 5 Ranked
NHL Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions 2021/22
NHL Betting Odds 2022
|Colorado Avalanche||4/1||Paddy Power|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||13/2||Betfair|
|Vegas Golden Knights||7/1||Unibet|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||9/1||888sport|
|Boston Bruins||18/1||William Hill|
|New York Rangers||18/1||Paddy Power|
|Calgary Flames||25/1||William Hill|
|Los Angeles Kings||50/1||888sport|
NHL Betting Tips & Predictions 2022
- With the NHL taking a mini break, in part due to the Winter Olympic Games, it is a good time to take stock. By doing this, we can assess the chances of the leading contenders, and discuss their chances of winning the Stanley Cup.
- A good place to start is with the reigning champions – Tampa Bay Lightning. After 46 games, their record stands at 30-10-6, and while they may have not gone into turbo mode just yet, they are always a force to be reckoned with. They are well placed to carve out their own bit of history, and having won it twice on the trot, they will be looking to claim a unique three-peat this year.
- Only three teams have a better win percentage than Lightning this season (71.7%), and they beat San Jose Sharks 3-2 in their last fixture before the winter break, so that will surely give them some confidence. Although the Lightning are trading as second favourites at around the 6/1 mark, their odds could be trimmed in the coming months.
- The Florida Panthers, meanwhile, are also worthy of a mention, and they could be in the mix come the end of the regular season. They have managed to keep the Lightning at arm’s length, and they have a three-point cushion at the top of the table. At the time of writing, the Panthers have played one game more than the Lightning, but their record is very impressive – 32-10-5 – although they will be hurting from their most recent defeat, which was a 5-2 hammering at the hands of the New York Rangers.
- Nevertheless, there have been many highlights this season, including Mason Marchment tying the record of the franchise for the Panthers with six points. This came in an 8-4 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last month, as he supplied two goals and four assists. The Panthers are certainly capable of going deep in the play-offs, and the Lightning should be aware of them. Currently, the Panthers are priced at around 23/4, but we will learn a little more about their chances over the next few months.
- But perhaps one franchise that has been overlooked, are the New York Rangers. So far, the Rangers have been one of the surprise packages of the NHL to date. They are currently second in the Metro Division with a 30-13-4 record to boot, and while there is an idea that they have been carried by their goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who has the best save percentage (93.7%), the Rangers are more than the sum of their parts. There have been doubters, but each time, the Rangers have silenced their critics. It seems almost a bit insulting that they are lower down in the outright market at the 18s mark with the bookies to win the Stanley Cup, but the Rangers could prove us wrong. We will just have to wait and see!
NHL Betting Promotions 2022
5 Reasons to Bet on the NHL
- It’s the biggest hockey league on earth.
- All of the very best ice hockey players are involved
- As well as the biggest hockey franchises.
- For the fights!
- For the Stanley Cup.
NHL Betting Sites With Live Streaming
The 5 Best Ice Hockey Betting Sites – Reviewed
(**Odds displayed above correct as of 08/2020 and are subject to change**)
bet365 has some of the best odds for NHL betting. As an international site that caters to US, UK and Canadian punters, they know exactly what hockey bettors are looking for. They offer odds in the American style, including game lines, 3-way lines, in-play betting and much more for all NHL games and the NHL series. You can also bet on smaller competitions, such as Club Friendlies, the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), Eicehockey and more.
Sign up now to get up to £50 in free bet credits!
Betfair offers NHL odds in a more familiar format for UK punters. Bet on win / loss / draw as you would for a football match, or choose handicap bets or over / under goals. Bet on NHL Matches, NHL Series, NHL Outrights, NHL Playoffs, Russian Liga Pro, Comet Division, Russian KHL or the Swedish SHL. You can also choose your own odds at the Exchange.
Join now and get up to £100 in free bets.
3. William Hill
William Hill is another staple for international and UK hockey punters. Besides the NHL, you can bet on the AHL, the Czech 1.Liga, German DEL, OHL, Swiss NLA and the WHL, among others. You can also bet on three-way matches as well as hundreds of other markets. William Hill offers boosted odds for various ice hockey specials, both for NHL and European matches.
If you join now and bet £10, you will get £30 in free bets. William Hill also has dozens of other promos, such as boosted odds, top price guaranteed, cashbacks on in-play bets, and more.
Ladbrokes is another internationally oriented betting site for hockey. Just like bet365, they offer ice hockey odds in the American format. Bet on Moneyline, Over / Under Goals, Period markets, Race Markets (e.g. First to 3 goals) and more, including NHL and NHL series markets. Other competitions include the Russian KHL, the IHF World Championship and Club Friendlies.
Bet £5 to get £20 in free bets today!
888sport is serious about ice hockey – so serious, in fact, that they offer both UK and American style odds on all NHL matches as well as NHL series. Choose between Match odds, Moneyline odds, Handicap NHL odds, over / unders, and dozens of other markets. Punters can also bet on the Russian KHL, the Swedish SHL and Club Friendlies.
Bet £10 and get £30 in free bets plus a £10 casino bonus today!
NHL Betting Tips & Strategy
NHL's ice hockey is a simple sport to watch and understand, though it can be challenging to pick a winner. Below we have compiled some excellent resources and general betting strategies for NHL betting.
American Sports Sites
Some of the best NHL betting tips come from American sports sites. Here are a few of the best:
- Sportsbookwire.usatoday.com: The sports section of USAtoday.com has some of the best free hockey tips. They offer their predictions, along with each tipster’s record, free.
- Doc’s Sports: Doc’s Sports offers free NHL betting tips, as well as a $299-a-month service with expert picks.
- SB Nation: SB Nation is a network of sports blogs. You can find a dedicated blog for each NHL team, as well as College and Women’s Hockey.
- Sky Sports: The UK’s biggest sports network online and on TV and also the broadcaster that carries the NHL in Great Britain.
- BT Sports: Another popular broadcaster who extensively cover the NHL in the United Kingdom.
Hockey Betting Reddit
r/hockey on Reddit is full of inside information, news, updates, tips and more. Discuss anything you like with the other members, and find numerous subreddits dedicated to individual events and players.
Just like in football, expected goals (xG) can also be a relevant metric for hockey. They show you shot-based metrics that give you a better idea of a team’s average strength, compensating for the inherent variance in actual goals. Not all shot attempts are graded equally; some have a higher chance of success than others do. A shot from the slot will always have a higher success rate than one from the point.
The Importance of Goalies
A goalie is one of the most important players, as he is the last line of defence and the only player who can catch the puck. When analysing any game, it is important to see who the goalie will be and how well he performs on average.
Goals Against Average (GAA) is an important metric, though it can be misleading since the team’s overall defensive ability determines it.
Save Percentage (SV%) shows how many goals are saved but does not account for how good the saves are. A team with strong defence will limit High-Danger Chances (HDC). This will boost a goalie’s SV%.
A more meaningful metric is the Expected Save Percentage (xSV%) and Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA). These account for the quality of the shot faced by the goalkeeper. By comparing SV% and xSV% you can see how good a goalkeeper is.
Pay Attention to Line-up Changes
It can be hard to determine an NHL team’s strength. Unlike a football team that has to stick to 11 players with 3 possible substitutions, an NHL’s line-up (including the goalie) can be substituted at any time during the match.
Because of this, it is important to keep up with a team’s starting line-up and changes; team beat writers on twitter are often the best way to do this.
Home-Ice Advantage is Overrated
In football, home teams have a definite advantage, but home advantage is much more limited when it comes to ice hockey.
Pay Attention to Travel Schedules
A team’s travel schedule can greatly influence its line-up and strategy. When teams have to play back-to-back nights, they will often start one of the games with the back-up goalie. This can greatly affect the betting lines.
Popular NHL Betting Markets
Most betting sites offer similar styled betting odds for NHL, based on what the American bookies offer. Betting on hockey has become very popular worldwide over the past few years and interest is growing in the UK, too, hence the rise of ice hockey online betting UK. Because it is a team sport, you will find similar markets to British team sports like rugby and football. If you do happen to be new and inexperienced to hockey betting or wagering on the NHL, then it might be a good idea for you to take advantage of some of the ice hockey free bets UK or NHL free bets UK that are out there. That way you can practice and perfect your hockey online betting UK strategy. Common hockey bet types include Moneyline, Puck Line Handicap, Total Match Goals (Over / Under), and 3-Way Betting (60 minutes Betting).
In general, the Moneyline refers to the American style of displaying odds, (such as +110, -155, etc.). See our Odds Conversion Calculator.
However, in terms of NHL, the Moneyline refers to a specific type of bet. Ice hockey matches include an overtime, meaning there will always be a winner in the case of a draw. Moneyline bets in ice hockey means betting on the winner of the match, rather than win, lose or draw at the end of 60 minutes.
Best NHL betting site for moneyline: Coral
3-Way Betting (60 minutes Betting)
Similar to a football match, a hockey match can have team A winning, team B winning or a tie after 60 minutes. This bet is based around the first sixty minutes of the match and does not apply to the result after overtime, which may or may not be required. Just like in football, you can bet on each of the three options.
Best NHL betting site for 3-way: Betfair
Puck Line Handicap Betting
Just like in football, you can bet on whether your team would win if they had the added benefit of +1.5 or more or -1.5 fewer goals. This is a handicap bet that is not an uncommon way to wager in the UK and you may have come across such bets before. It is a good way of levelling up the playing field, from a betting perspective at least.
Best NHL betting site for puck line handicap: William Hill
Total Match Goals (Over / Under) Betting
Total match goals is another popular market. With this betting market, players can bet on the number of goals scored in a match or by a single team being over or under a stated amount. Think of a rugby match and betting on the amount of tries being scored in a game and you get the idea. Just simply bet on over / under the amount of goals for the whole match, or for a specific team.
Best NHL betting site for over/under: BoyleSports
NHL Prop Betting
Prop bets can provide some of the most fun while delivering a whole new level of excitement to betting on the NHL. These are merely wagers that are placed on specific occurrences in the game. For example, hockey matches begin with a face-off and you can place a bet on who you think will win it. Also, which team will score first, how many minutes a certain player will spend in his opponent’s penalty box are other examples.
Best NHL betting site for props: Betfred
What is the NHL?
The NHL is the most prominent professional ice hockey league in North America and the most prestigious league in the world. It currently comprises 32 teams: 25 from the United States and 7 from Canada. The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America. It goes to the league play-off champion every year.
The NHL tournament starts in October and runs until July each year. Teams play 82 regular season games, 41 at home and 41 away. Teams are awarded two points for a win which counts for both overtime wins and shoot out wins. There is also one point awarded for a defeat so long as it comes in overtime or as the result of a shoot out. No points are on offer for a loss in regulation time.
How is the NHL Structured?
NHL has a very different seasonal structure compared to the Premier League or other European sports.
It starts with a preseason which plays out in September and early October, before progressing, and goes to the regular season that runs from October through mid April, reaching the postseason Stanley Cup playoffs.
Each team plays four or five games against other teams in its division, while playing all other teams in its conference three times. They also play 30 or 32 inter-conference games, while playing every other NHL team at least once.
There is a three-day Christmas break, with no games on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The team with the most points in the regular season is awarded the Presidents’ Trophy.
If a team can reach 4 games won, they advance to the next round.
The NHL is divided into two conferences: Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Each consists of two divisions, with 8 teams.
- The Eastern Conference consists of the Metropolitan Division and the Atlantic Division.
- The Western Conference consists of the Central Division and the Pacific Division.
NHL Eastern Conference
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Montréal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL Western Conference
- Arizona Cayotes
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Dallas Stars
- Minnesota Wild
- Nashville Predators
- St. Louis Blues
- Winnipeg Jets
- Anaheim Ducks
- Calgary Flames
- Edmonton Oilers
- Los Angeles Kings
- San Jose Sharks
- Vancouver Canucks
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Seattle Kraken
History of the NHL
Recent NHL Winners
|2021||Tampa Bay Lightning||Montreal Canadiens|
|2020||Tampa Bay Lightning||Dallas Stars|
|2019||St. Louis Blues||Boston Bruins|
|2018||Washington Capitals||Vegas Golden Knights|
|2017||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators|
|2016||Pittsburgh Penguins||San Jose Sharks|
|2015||Chicago Blackhawks||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|2014||Los Angeles Kings||New York Rangers|
|2013||Chicago Blackhawks||Boston Bruins|
|2012||Los Angeles Kings||New Jersey Devils|
Upcoming Sporting Events
NHL Betting FAQs
In the UK, viewers can watch the NHL on Sky Sports.
While moneyline usually refers to American odds (such as +125, -250, etc.), in terms of NHL, moneyline simply means betting on the winner of the match, instead of win, lose or draw when the 60 minutes are up.
NHL 3-way betting is betting on which team will win, lose or draw at the end of 60 minutes. This is similar to football betting, where there can also be a winner or a draw at the end of 90 minutes.
Betting +1.5 means that the favoured team must win by more than that number of goals. The underdog will receive that number of goals as a head start. If you wager on the St. Louis Blues +1.5, they need to win the game by any score, or lose by less than 2 goals.
NHL has a few common betting markets, though some websites offer hundreds. The most common are moneyline (betting on the match winner), 3-way betting (betting on team A, team B or draw after 60 minutes), Puck Line Handicaps (adding +1.5 or -1.5 goals), and over / unders for the match or each team.
The Stanley Cup is awarded to the team that beats the others in the play-offs. Unlike the Super Bowl, which is a single match, a team must beat the team from the other conference at least four times (best of 7) in order to win the trophy.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
The NHL is an exciting league full of action, fights and surprises, with a unique seasonal structure that creates extra suspense. Ice hockey is much more suited to European tastes than American Football (due to the latter's constant restarts and complicated rules), baseball or basketball (with often more than 100 points per team). It is simple and easy to understand, with very few breaks in the action.
At the same time, since UK punters tend to be less passionate about ice hockey than, say, football or rugby, it can be easier to bet in a purely mathematical way, without your judgement being clouded by your favourite team or player. With a little education, you could have a fun and profitable new favourite sport on which to bet.