As one of the 'Big Four' sports in North America, ice hockey, known simply as hockey in the US and Canada, is one of the most globally recognised sports. Hockey betting sites are easily found, and the number of online bookmakers offering a wide range of hockey betting markets is increasing all the time. The types of hockey betting options that are offered by the best betting sites can vary from bookmaker to bookmaker, but this guide will give you all the details you need to find exactly the wager you are looking for.
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Ice Hockey betting (or hockey betting, for those in North America) is a very popular recreational activity for people all over the globe. With the majority of professional hockey played in the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia, it makes sense that hockey betting is most popular in these regions.
However, there is a lot of interest from further afield particularly around playoff time in the NHL. In recent years, many NHL betting apps have expanded their hockey betting options dramatically, and it is now quite normal to see in excess of a hundred different markets offered for a regular season NHL game.
The purpose of this page is to recommend the very best sites for placing your hockey bets, and as such, it is important to break this down into a number of different criteria:
The experience that you have when using your hockey betting site should be smooth and enjoyable. If a site is slow, laborious or complicated, then the chances are that you won't want to return. Catching the right bet in time can be the difference between a positive experience and a negative one, so being able to navigate quickly and easily is paramount. We value the betting sites that place an emphasis on the overall experience, with pages that load quickly and journeys that are easy and intuitive to follow.
The recent explosion in player-based betting or player prop bets, driven largely by the popularity of fantasy hockey, means that there are now more hockey betting markets than ever before. Whether you fancy a specific winger to shoot a lot, or a starting goaltender to make a lot of saves, the bookmaker you choose should cater for these demands. As well as these, you should be able to bet on the regular markets that have been around for years, such as moneyline, puck line, or total goals betting.
Betting on hockey can be fun, but most bettors are not tied to one sport, and we understand that. In order to be worthy of recommendation, a betting site should cater for a wide variety of options like NBA betting and NFL betting. Not only that, but we appreciate betting sites that do multiple sports well. Those are the sites that tend to find their way to the top of our rankings.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of signing up for a new betting site is the bonus that you can receive for doing so. Nobody ever turned down free money, and why should you? Whether it's a 'Bet and Get' style of offer, a percentage-based offer, or an enhanced odds offer, a sign-up bonus should always work in your favour. Beyond this, the loyalty offers that a betting site might use to keep your business, can be just as important. Early payouts, accumulator bonuses and money-back guarantees are just some of the ways in which many hockey betting sites reward their customers.
These bonuses are examined in more detail, later in this guide.
With hockey being an international sport, it naturally follows that your hockey betting site should be global. Betting regulations can mean that placing a wager is not possible from certain locations, but wherever possible, you should expect your site of choice to accommodate you, wherever you find yourself.
Possibly the most important thing to consider when choosing a bookmaker for your online hockey betting, is how you will fund your account. It is vital that the site you choose supports at least one payment method that suits you. For that reason, a bookmaker with a wide range of available and reliable payment options, will be more favourable in our eyes. These payment methods include PayPal, Neteller, VISA Debit Cards, Skrill, Paysafecard, ApplePay and Bank Transfer, amongst others.
Sit back, relax, and let us do that for you! By comparing multiple hockey betting sites, we've already compiled the information that is most important when choosing a site. With the above list, you can choose the site with accompanying offer that you find most appealing, and click through to the bookmaker's site, in order to utilise this promotion. Once you are on the site, you will need to sign up with the appropriate information, and then make your qualifying deposits and/or bets to receive your welcome bonus. Make sure you are familiar with the terms and conditions of the offer in advance, as these can vary, from site to site.
In recent years, hockey betting sites have evolved dramatically, with many sites adding social or 'hive-mind' features to enhance the betting experience. You will be able to see the most popular bets on site, selections that are most relevant to your own betting patterns and tastes, and even view a live feed of bets that other users are placing. Beyond that, you can now also view live streams of many games, region-depending, and view a schedule of upcoming live games that might interest you. It can also be important to choose a site that allows you to keep control of your betting habits, through the use of profit/loss trackers and deposit or staking limits.
The above list gives you our up-to-date rankings, of who we feel are currently the industry-leaders amongst betting sites. With that said, it is important that you are able to form your own decisions by visiting these sites, checking out the look and feel of their offering, and choosing the bonus offer that is most suited to you. Once you have been thorough with your own research, you can then begin the sign-up process and start placing your bets.
It is becoming increasingly common for the best ice hockey sportsbooks to incorporate a statistics portal into their offering, particularly on the more high-profile sports and events. When a user is able to better inform their wagering by backing it up with some statistical analysis, they have every reason to feel more comfortable and confident in their betting. Keep an eye out for a statistics area on your chosen hockey betting site, as this will become a useful tool for you in the months to come.
Hockey betting offers are used by bookmakers as a means of encouraging new players to sign up and try out their service. This is a great way for the punter to try their hand at a new site, whilst making the most of the additional value provided by such an offer.
One downside to these offers, however, is that they can become somewhat complicated or confusing to new users. That is where we come in. We will dissect these offers into manageable and meaningful bitesize chunks, in the terms and conditions page of each offer.
It is worth re-stating that it is very important that you read the qualifying requirements that are specific to your offer. There might be a minimum staking requirement before you can unlock your bonus, or perhaps your qualifying bets might need to be placed at or above a certain minimum odds value.
Once you understand these requirements, there should be no reason why you cannot have an enjoyable first experience with your new hockey betting site, and be able to grab yourself a few winning bets through our carefully selected daily US sports picks.
Some sites will also offer bonuses such as additional returns on top of a winning parlay, or an early payout if your team goes two goals ahead. Others might offer a bookmaker free bet. These promotions can make a big difference to your overall betting experience, in the longer term, and should be considered when deciding on your next hockey betting site.
By far the most renowned hockey league in the world, the National Hockey League (NHL) is where every hockey player on the planet strives to play. With such a high calibre of talent, the majority of online hockey betting activity on both US and Canada betting sites is placed on games that take place between the 32 teams, based in the United States and Canada. The season is divided into the regular season and playoffs, with the Stanley Cup awarded to the last remaining team after the four playoff rounds.
Depending on your personal preference, any good NHL betting site should allow you to view the odds for these games in either decimal, fractional or American odds format. Before you place your NHL bet, it is worth keeping in mind that North American sports tend to order the team names with the away team first (e.g. - Seattle @ Vancouver), whereas most European leagues will display the home team first (e.g. - Frolunda v Leksands).
At one level below the NHL, the AHL (American Hockey League) is home to the professional minor-league teams in the United States and Canada. With many hockey betting sites offering odds on these games, interest is certainly high as bettors find themselves drawn towards the talent of both today and tomorrow. Each team in the AHL is affiliated to an NHL team, meaning that the followers of NHL teams will often also have a vested interest in an AHL team's games.
The Kontinental Hockey League, or KHL for short, is Russia's answer to the NHL, but also features teams from Latvia, Kazakhstan, Finland, China and Belarus. Founded in 2008, the league is home to some of the world's top talent, and players regularly move back and forth to the NHL during their career. The KHL league structure also supports the VHL as a second-level competition, and MHL as a minor-level competition, and betting is commonly available on games from each of these leagues.
Outside of the NHL and KHL, the highest standard of hockey is generally seen in Swedens's primary hockey league, the SHL. Making it one of the most popular sports on Sweden betting sites. Fourteen teams from around the country compete in a 52-game regular season, followed by four rounds of playoffs to determine the overall champion. Unlike the NHL, teams are promoted and relegated to the SHL each season, from the second tier, known as Hockey Allsvenskan.
Given the success of the UEFA Champions League in football, it made sense that the format should be adapted for hockey in Europe. Since launching in 2014-15, the Champions Hockey League has gone from strength to strength, as now 32 teams from 13 domestic leagues around Europe compete in a group stage, followed by a series of knockout rounds. Scandinavian teams have dominated the competition to-date, with Czech, Swiss and Austrian teams also proving competitive in the latter stages.
Every four years, the Winter Olympics gives the major hockey nations from around the world the chance to claim gold, and a place in history as the top hockey nation of their time. The annual World Championships are slightly less prestigious, as they take place during the NHL playoffs, thereby narrowing the pool of players available to compete. The World Junior Championships (WJC) take place at the end of each year, and showcase the future stars of the sport. Betting availability on the WJC can be dependent on your location, as the players involved are under the age of 18.
With so many different leagues available to bet on at the best online sportsbooks, hockey bettors are sure to be spoiled for choice after opening a new account, with the variety of options on which their new customer free bet can be used.
As US Betting sites continue to open on a state-by-state basis, so the interest in hockey betting is rising accordingly. Around 60 percent of the USA has now legalized sports gambling, with New York betting sites, Ohio betting sites, Illinois betting sites and Maryland betting sites now available online. As the home of the biggest league in the world, it is no surprise that the United States and Canada should become the biggest betting market for the NHL quite quickly.
With a sharp increase in the number of potential bettors, we have seen huge growth in the number and variety of markets that are being offered by bookmakers. Traditionally, markets were limited to the basic game events; number of goals, which team will win, etc. Now there are detailed markets available on specific player events, and this growth is set to continue as the US market matures. With an existing and longstanding interest in fantasy sports, the US market already has a head start when it comes player prop betting.
In recent years, several NHL teams, as well as the league itself, have announced partnerships with betting firms. This serves to further highlight the upward trajectory that hockey betting in the USA and Canada is taking. As more and more states open up to online sports betting, you'll find everything you need to know about different states' online betting landscape in the links below.
Since the regulation of online sports betting in Sweden in 2019, the market has been opened up to an assortment of hockey betting sites. Despite Sweden being a diverse sporting country, with a broad range of achievements and interests, hockey remains right up there as one of the nation's most beloved sports. In fact, outside of Americans and Canadians, Swedish players are the most common players in the NHL, comprising of about 10% of the league's professionals. Coupled with a strong domestic league system, this makes hockey betting in Sweden a popular pastime.
Although Ice Hockey is not one of the most prominent sports on Irish and UK betting sites, there is significant interest in betting on the major leagues around the globe, coming from this region. In particular, the NHL has a small but loyal following in the British Isles, and this is reflected in the hockey betting opportunities. Most UK-based bookmakers will feature the NHL prominently in their offering, often promoting the big games on their home pages during the week.
Due to the time difference, NHL games tend to take place late in the evening or overnight, UK time. At weekends, matinee games can take place in the early and late evening, making them more appealing to the UK audience. With the NHL, UK Elite League, SHL and CHL all being widely covered on UK sports channels, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy what the sport has to offer, in the UK and Ireland.
Beyond Sweden and the UK, there are various pockets of the European continent where hockey ranks amongst the most popular sports. With the advent of the Champions Hockey League in recent years, the European hockey leagues have been brought even closer together, and exposure to a variety of leagues from around the continent is now more and more common. The most popular leagues include the Czech Extraliga, Swiss NLA, Liiga in Finland, and the DEL in Germany, all of which feature NHL stars of the past and future. Whilst betting on these leagues is less common than the higher-profile associations, most hockey betting sites will offer odds on a variety of markets within these leagues.
The Puck Line, often also referred to as handicap or spread, is a means of balancing the odds by applying a handicap value to the teams in an NHL game. The puck line value, almost without exception, is a 1.5 goal head-start to either the underdog or the away team. When the game ends, if your chosen team has covered the handicap, then your wager wins.
As an example, if you place a bet on the Boston Bruins (-1.5), then you are betting on the Bruins to win by a margin of two or more goals. If Boston go on to win 5-3, then your bet would be a winner. Similarly, if you bet on San Jose Sharks (+1.5), then you simply need San Jose to finish within 1 goal of their opponent. Even if San Jose were to lose 4-3, your bet would still be a winner as the additional 1.5 goals take them above their opponents score. This is the most popular of all NHL bets.
The puck line betting market will generally be available in a sportsbook's live betting section while the action is taking place and the best NHL betting sites will even have cash out available on the market, so you can get out of your bet before the end of the game.
If puck line betting sounds too complicated, then betting the moneyline might be an easier option. As hockey games are settled either in regulation time, overtime, or a shootout, there must always be a winner and a loser. Moneyline betting is simply picking a side and placing your bet on that team. If the team wins, by any of the above means, then you win! Of all the NHL betting options, the moneyline is by far the most straightforward.
In 60 minutes betting, a bet is placed on what you believe the outcome will be at the end of regulation time. This is different to moneyline betting which covers the possibility that the game might finish in a tie. If you back either team to win in 60 minutes, then they must do so within the regulation 60 minutes, but not in overtime or a shootout. The odds offered on each team will therefore be higher than the moneyline odds, to reflect this.
The over/under market for total goals lets you decide whether you think the number of goals in a game will be higher or lower than the number the sportsbook has set. The number quoted will usually start at around 5.5 or 6.5, for an NHL game, and can fluctuate up or down once the game goes live and switches to in-play betting. Total goals markets can sometimes be marked as being 60 minutes, but it is more common for this market to refer to the entirety of the game and overtime, also including a shootout where appropriate. A shootout win will add one goal to the winning team's goal total for that game.
Total goals markets can also be listed as 3-way markets. This simply adds the possibility of betting on an exact number of goals being scored in a game (e.g. - exactly 5 goals).
Double chance allows the bettor the chance to combine two of the possible outcomes from the 60 minute betting market, into one bet. This market comprises of three possible selections: 'Home team and tie', 'Away team and tie', or 'Home team and Away team'.
Given the average number of goals in an NHL game, predicting the correct score in any given game can represent quite a challenge. However, the long odds that are offered by bookmakers for these bets reflect this fact, and this can make for an enticing market for someone who is looking to win at high odds. Unless otherwise stated, the correct score market will always include overtime and a shootout, but this may vary from one sportsbook to another.
Each of the above markets can be condensed and applied to a single period of play. The relevant period will always be called out in the market name, and the bet works in the exact same way as it would for the entire game, except it treats a single period as an individual game. Generally, the first period will be offered pre-match, and the second, third and overtime periods offered in-play.
In a similar fashion to touchdown scorer betting in American Football and goalscorer betting in soccer betting, many bookmakers will now offer goalscorer betting on higher profile hockey games, and particularly on NHL games. A list of popular players is generally available, sorted in ascending odds order, for first goalscorer, last goalscorer and anytime goalscorer. These markets do include overtime, but do not count goals scored in a shootout.
One of the more recent hockey betting developments, player props, allow the bettor to place wagers on a variety of player-based statistics. Although the number of bookmakers who are currently offering these markets is relatively small, this is sure to expand in the future, as the appetite for stats-based betting grows year-on-year. Those who are familiar with fantasy hockey will enjoy these markets, and can choose from the likes of assists, powerplay points, shots, saves and more.
Futures betting is another term for betting in season long markets. For example, in NHL, you're effectively betting on who wins the Stanley Cup final at the end of the NHL season. It is, of course, different to a prop bet or many other NHL betting markets, since you will have to way a much longer time for the outcome. Placing a futures bet can pay off big though, if you manage to pick the right team.
As with betting on any sport, it is important that you understand how the odds work. Whether you choose a decimal, fractional or American odds format, it can be useful to become familiar with an online betting calculator, such as the one we offer on our site, to help you to conquer the numbers before placing a bet.
As well as this, there are a whole host of hockey betting-related resources available to you at online sportsbooks, where the hockey analytics gurus will use their models to attempt to successfully predict the outcome of each night's slate of games. Whilst there is no guarantee that you will be successful in following such a model, it might well prove to be more successful than blind luck. There are also many ice hockey betting sites who will offer you a statistics page, where you can view things such as form, goalscoring trends, hot-or-cold players, and much more.