How To Bet on NHL Games

The National Hockey League (NHL) is the premier professional ice hockey championship in the USA and Canada, featuring top players competing in major sporting venues. Bettors can find a variety of betting markets, including championship winners, money lines, point spreads, and prop bets, among others, with LeoVegas Online Sportsbook.

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What is the National Hockey League (NHL)?

The National Hockey League - or the NHL - is the premier Ice Hockey championship in the USA and Canada. The world's best players do battle on blades in some of the biggest sporting venues, and the sport's popularity burns eternal - attracting millions of television viewers throughout the season.

We break down a mini NHL encyclopedia below!

How to Bet on NHL

Betting on the NHL with LeoVegas Online Sportsbook is straightforward. Head to our industry-leading sports betting client and use our dynamic search function to type in NHL - you will be instantly redirected to the Hockey betting page, where our full selection of outstanding hockey odds awaits.

NHL Betting Lines

One of the reasons the NHL is so popular among sports bettors is the sheer range of betting opportunities on all aspects of the game.

Examples of NHL betting markets include:

  • Championship Winner (outright, also known as NHL futures) - bet on the team you think will get their hands on the trophy at the end of the season
  • Money line - bet on the team you think will win an individual game.
  • Point Spread - predict the number of points a team will win by. One of the spread bet types.
  • Total Points - bet on the number of points scored in a single game.
  • Prop bets - punt on players to perform in specific games. You can bet on the number of goals they score or assists they provide.
  • Puck Line - in hockey betting, a puck line is a type of point spread that is used to even out the odds between the two teams playing. Outside of hockey, you’ll recognize this bet line as spread or handicap betting.
  • Grand salami - this is an exciting bet that focuses on the ‘Total’ (over/under) number of goals that are scored in all the games that are played on the same night. On a night where you've got six NHL games going all with individual totals of 6.5, the Grand Salami number would be somewhere around 40 total goals scored.

    How to Bet on NHL Draft

The NHL Draft refers to an event whereby the league's franchises compete to sign the best young talent or the most sought-after free agents.

You can bet on the NHL Draft at LeoVegas. We offer excellent odds on a player's next franchise. Fancy a player to go somewhere? LeoVegas is where you follow your hunch!

How to Bet on NHL MVP

The MVP refers to the Most Valuable Player and is awarded in games and across the season to the player who contributed the most from an individual standpoint.

If you like the look of a player, how many goals they're scoring, or their general form, you can bet on them to be the MVP with LeoVegas!

Special NHL Bets

We spread our NHL betting net far and wide - players can bet on several player-focused accolades throughout the regular season.

They are as follows:

  • Art Ross Trophy: Awarded to the player with the most points.
  • Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy: Awarded to the leading goal scorer in the NHL.
  • President's Trophy: Awarded to the team with the most points during the regular season.
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy: Awarded to the best defensive player in the NHL.
  • Vezina Trophy: Awarded to the best goaltender in the NHL.
  • Hart Memorial Trophy: Awarded to the player adjudged MVP in the NHL, voted for by Professional Hockey Writers' Association members.

NHL Betting Odds

Finding NHL odds is easy at LeoVegas - head to the Ice Hockey sports betting page and search for the NHL competition.

When you read the odds of a specific market or outcome, you will see two numbers - one outcome's number (or price) will be shorter than the other, and this denotes the expectation of the result. Sometimes the value will remain the same - the oddsmakers cannot split the two franchises.

For example, you fancy there to be more than 5.5 goals in regular time. LeoVegas is pricing it at 1.70 that there will be over 5.5 goals, and at 1.90 that there will be under 5.5 goals. A $1 bet on over 5.5 goals will return $1.70,while a $10 bet on over 5.5 goals would return $17 - and so on!

NHL Game Rules

NHL is a straightforward sport - six players per team take to the ice, each equipped with protective padding and menacing sticks to strike a miniature plastic disc into the opposing side's goal.

Each franchise can take a maximum 20-player roster to any game, with rolling subs permitted. There are two goaltenders and 18 outfield players per franchise.

The game runs over 60 minutes, divided into three segments of 20-minute periods. A point is awarded for every goal scored - the team with the most points at the end of the game adds three points to their league total. If the game is tied, the game goes into overtime - the team that wins in this period gets two points to their standings, while the loser gets one point.

How many teams play in the NHL?

Thirty-two teams compete in the NHL - 25 from the USA and seven from Canada. There are two conferences - the East and the West - and four divisions - the goal for all teams is to finish at the top of their respective divisions. Each team plays 82 games per campaign.

NHL Teams

There may be 32 teams, but some franchises have been more successful than others! Here are three of the most successful NHL teams in history.

Montreal Canadiens

Top of the list lies the Canadiens - the NHL's most successful side in the competition's 100+ year history. They have won the Stanley Cup 24 times - their first success was in 1925, while their most recent was in 1993. They are also the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide. It's been a while since they were last in the winner's enclosure, though they did make the 2021 final.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Another Canadian team fills the top three most successful sides - founded in 1917, they can count 21 Stanley Cup appearances in their history - amassing 13 trophies along the way. They haven't made a single final appearance since 1967, however.

Detroit Red Wings

The American outfit was established in 1926 and have reached the final 24 times in its existence, winning the Stanley Cup on 11 occasions. They also boast six conference, 19 divisional, and six President's trophies.

Canadian NHL Teams

There are seven Canadian Ice Hockey teams playing in the NHL - two of them are mentioned in the list above among the most successful sides in the competition's history.

The complete list of Canadian teams in the NHL is as follows:

  • Montreal Canadiens
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Edmonton Oilers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Calgary Flames
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Winnipeg Jets

NHL Top Players

There are several players standing out from the crowd. Here are some of season's top-performing players:

Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers): The star of the show last season - he topped the polls in almost every pick around the league's best player. He finished with 123 points from 80 games. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, he has scored 73 points more than his closest rival.

Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche): What a season it was for Makar - for a defenceman to score 28 goals in one season for only the 24th time in the league's history is special! Can he replicate his excellent form last year?

Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs): The center was the MVP for the NHL last season - and it's not difficult to see why. He hit 60 goals last season, a new Maple Leafs single-season record and the 24th-highest of all time!

Canadian NHL Players

We will take Connor McDavid out of the equation on this one - he's already got enough recognition. However, some other highly talented Canadian players are on the NHL roster.

They include:

Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars): The heavy-hitting, highly-rated winger has been a consistent performer for the Stars throughout the last seven years. His service to his franchise was recently recognised when he was awarded the captaincy.

Taylor Hall (Boston Bruins): Over his decade-plus career in the NHL, Hall boasts more than 218 goals and 345 assists for 563 points. He's now plying his trade for the Boston Bruins after stints at the Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes.

Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks): His career spans three decades, having been drafted in 2006 by the Blackhawks, a franchise with which he remains. He boasts several individual accolades, including the Frank J. Selke Trophy, a Mark Messier Leader of the Year Award, a Conn Smythe Trophy, Six NHL All-Star nods, two World Junior gold medals (2006 and 2007) and two Olympic gold medals (2010 and 2014.)

NHL Regular Season

The regular season was exciting for Ice Hockey fans - the free-scoring Florida Panthers stole the show in the Atlantic Division. They bagged 340 goals in the regular season at an astounding rate of 4.11 per game, finishing with 28 more goals than the next nearest team.

Other impressive performers included the Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, and Toronto Maple Leafs - each boasting points percentages ranking above the 0.701 mark.

The Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens propped up the performance stats - with abysmal win percentages at 0.348 and 0.335, respectively.

NHL Playoffs (Stanley Cups)

The Playoffs work much like other American and Canadian professional sports do. There are 16 playoff spots up for grabs - the top three spots of each division are guaranteed to make the playoffs. The four remaining places are completed by the following two highest-placed finishers in each conference, according to their regular-season record, but without division consideration. These teams are also known as wildcards.

The NHL Playoffs are split into two brackets of eight - the divisional winners are paired with Wild Card teams, while the second and third-placed teams in the regular season also match up.

If a team finishes with the same number of points, there are formulas to separate them - including the total number of wins by a team, the goals scored, and the best goal differential, among other factors.

There are four Playoff rounds - the First Round, the Second Round, the Conference Finals, and the Stanley Cup Finals. Each round is decided over a seven-game series - once a team reaches an unassailable lead, the series is over, and the victorious side advances.

NHL Hockey Betting FAQs

Who won the 2021-2022 Stanley Cup?

The Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for only the third time in their history and for the first time since the turn of the Millenium.

Who is favoured to win the 2022-2023 Stanley Cup?

The Colorado Avalanche are favourites to retain the Stanley Cup

Which team won the first NHL title?

The first Stanley Cup was awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club back in 1893 - the sport and its franchises look a little different these days.

What team has won the most NHL titles?

The Montreal Canadiens have won the most NHL titles - winning the Stanley Cup a whopping 24 times.

Has an NHL team ever gone 16-0 in the playoffs?

No - no team has ever gone undefeated in the playoff rounds.

How many games are played during NHL regular season?

With the 32 team schedule, the NHL has a total of 1312 games to play during the regular season.

Who is the dirtiest player in NHL?

Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins: He may be missing the start of the 2022-23 season due to double hip surgery, but he has imprinted his prestige for devilry on the NHL for eternity. In 2012, he was suspended for five games after delivering a ludicrously cynical hit on Sami Salo of the Vancouver Canucks. His reputation has preceded him ever since.

How does betting on NHL games work?

Head to the LeoVegas ice and hockey betting page and select a game. Find the market you want to bet on, and click the selection. It will add it to your betslip. Simply input your stake and press the "Place Bet" button. Boom - your bet is on, and you're in the game!

What types of NHL bets can I place?

Some of the most common types of NHL bets include money line bets, puck line bets, totals and prop bets.

How are NHL betting lines determined?

Highly-trained traders are tasked with setting odds - these are experts in the sport and must provide fair odds for customers to enjoy.

How does live betting work in the NHL?

The odds for live betting in the NHL are much more dynamic than pre-match. They fluctuate according to the state of play. If a team is 3-0 up in the first half, the odds on them to win will dramatically shorten.

What is spread in NHL betting?

Spread betting refers to a handicap bet. For example, if you expect a favourite to win comfortably in a game, you would be on the point spread. Instead of predicting them to win - they are selecting the franchise to win by a minimum of more than one goal.

What does over and under mean in NHL betting?

Over/under betting in the NHL refers to absolutes in a hockey game, and predicting the outcome. For example, if you predict there to be lots of goals in a clash, you would bet on the Over Goals market.

Is NHL easy to bet on?

If you are a vivid hockey fan, ice hockey wagering can seem simple. Hockey bettors can wager on the money line or outright, focusing on the favoured teams. In game wagering is usually more challenging and requires more betting experience.

What are the most important factors to consider when betting on NHL games?

Some of the most important factors to consider when betting on NHL games include the strength of the teams and their recent form, injuries and lineup changes, home and away records, and head-to-head records.

NHL Draft Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Learn all you need to know about the NHL Draft in our comprehensive guide and the inner workings of the hockey business.

NHL Playoff Scoring Leaders

Who are the top ten-point scorers in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Find out which skaters have scored the most to become immortalized in the NHL records here!

Stanley Cup Winners By Year

We summarized the Stanley Cup Finals results for the past 24 years. Count how many times your favourite team has won!

Do NHL Players Wear Girdles?

Have you ever wondered how NHL star players can reach such high speeds in all of that gear? It might come down to a choice of pants or girdle.

Your Complete Guide to All of the NHL Mascots

NHL mascots are pivotal to the game-day experience and even have their own event at the All-Star celebrations. Find out more about these zany characters here!

Who are the Oldest and Youngest NHL Players?

If the youngest ever NHL skater played until the age of the oldest, they would have played for 36 years. These are the NHL’s oldest and all-time youngest players.