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NHL Betting — NHL Sportsbooks, Bets, Odds & Top Picks 2023

It is no secret that hockey reigns supreme in Canada. While the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays have each grown in popularity over the years, they still pale in comparison to the NHL and its presence in the Great White North.

With the sheer number of ways to bet on games, it can be difficult for inexperienced bettors to know where to begin. Thankfully, we’re here to help you navigate the world of NHL betting with our comprehensive sports betting Ontario guides so that you can make more educated bets on your favourite hockey teams and players.

🏆 Top Sportsbooks in Ontario With The Best NHL Odds

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This operator is licensed and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and operates under an agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO). It is presented to you as it has passed evaluation criteria according to our editorial principles. You must be +19 to participate. T&Cs apply; proceed to the operator site to read before taking any action. Play responsibly.
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This operator is licensed and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and operates under an agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO). It is presented to you as it has passed evaluation criteria according to our editorial principles. You must be +19 to participate. T&Cs apply; proceed to the operator site to read before taking any action. Play responsibly.
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This operator is licensed and regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and operates under an agreement with iGaming Ontario (iGO). It is presented to you as it has passed evaluation criteria according to our editorial principles. You must be +19 to participate. T&Cs apply; proceed to the operator site to read before taking any action. Play responsibly.
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🔎 Types of NHL Bets

Despite the rich history of Canadian hockey, prior to August 27, 2021, fans were unable to place single-game wagers on NHL games. This meant that the only way people could bet on the NHL was through parlay bets (two or more bets rolled into one) and parimutuel betting (or pool betting), which were only available through each province’s lottery system.

Now, with Canada lifting its federal ban on single-game sports betting in August 2021, just two months after they passed the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act (Bill C-218), fans from New Brunswick to British Columbia can officially take part in various forms of legalized sports betting, opening up an enormous market for sportsbooks, particularly when it comes to the NHL.

NHL Betting Lines

With how low-scoring and unpredictable the NHL is in comparison to the NBA, NFL, and MLB, how you go about wagering on games will be vastly different. The good news is that because NHL betting isn’t as popular as other major sports leagues, oddsmakers typically don’t spend nearly as much time coming up with odds and bettors are massively rewarded as a result.

Similar to other team sports, NHL betting sites allow fans to place money on which side they believe will win the game, as well as more sport-specific lines like the total number of goals scored and various alternative odds markets as well. These odds are designed to show the probability or likelihood of one particular outcome occurring in any given NHL event, taking into account factors such as previous matchups, current form, and injuries to key players.

With that said, it’s also important to note that the odds and lines in these betting markets constantly change depending on which direction the public is leaning. As such, it’s vital to account for where the majority of the money is going so that you can make a more informed decision about whether or not a bet is worth making based on the potential payout and probability of winning.

Below we provide a more in-depth analysis of the available markets NHL sportsbooks provide for hockey bettors.


One of the most straightforward and popular ways to wager on NHL games is through moneyline bets, as you simply need to pick which of the two teams you believe will win the game. You don’t need to be a betting “sharp” or statistician to make money, but rather just somebody who watches the games and has some knowledge of the sport.

Using the American odds format, all moneyline bets have one favourite and one underdog. The team that is considered the “favourite” would carry negative odds (-), while the “underdog” would carry positive odds (+). The negative odds next to the underdog are equal to how much money you would have to bet in order to get $100 back, whereas the positive odds linked to the favourite would indicate how much money you would get back on winning a $100 bet.

In other words, let’s say that the Colorado Avalanche were facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins, with the Avalanche being the favourites at -130 odds and the Penguins being the underdogs at +120. Since this is a moneyline bet, you only have two options: Colorado to win (-130) or Pittsburgh to win (+120).

If you (like the sportsbook) are confident that the Avalanche will win the game, then you would need to bet $130 to win $100. However, if you’re sold on the underdog Penguins, then you could take home $120 on a $100 bet if they were to win the game. You would have to risk the same amount betting on either team, but you would receive a much larger payout if the underdog were to pull out the upset.

Win/Draw/Win (or 60-Minute/Three-Way Moneyline bets)

In addition to two-way moneyline bets, where the bettor can predict a team to win at any point in the game (regulation, overtime, or shootout) but must pick a winner, there are also Win/Draw/Win bets otherwise known as three-way moneyline or 60-minute bets. This bet type allows you to wager on the home team to win, the away team to win, or the match to end in a tie.

Win/Draw/Win bets are a popular form of NHL betting offered by most sportsbooks, particularly when it comes to sports like hockey and soccer, where ties are more common due to the low-scoring nature of the sport. And since it’s more difficult to accurately predict the outcome given three choices rather than two, Win/Draw/Win bets (or three-way moneyline bets) offer more value than traditional moneyline bets.

Let’s take a look at the example below to gain a better understanding of how Win/Draw/Win bets work.

In this scenario, the Dallas Stars (-200) are favourites to win against the New York Rangers (+170) in a two-way moneyline bet where you must pick a winner between the two. Because the Rangers are +170 to win as underdogs, you could stand to win $170 for every $100 spent rather than $200 to get $100 back by betting on the Stars. Obviously, your odds are much slimmer as they are the worse team, but your payout will be much larger if they win.

In a three-way moneyline bet, or Win/Draw/Win bet, overtime is eliminated from the equation, so you’re instead tasked with predicting the outcome after three periods of play. Using the example above, Dallas would still be considered the favourite, and New York would still be considered the underdog. However, each of their odds of winning would be much longer since there is now a third option in play.

This means that if you choose either team to win outright, you will see a far better return on Win/Draw/Win bets than you would on two-way moneyline bets, but since ties are less common, these would have the longest odds and biggest payout. So, for example, you might see the odds adjust to something like this: Dallas Stars (-125), New York Rangers (+280), and Tie (+310), the latter of which would provide better value if you believe the game will end in a draw.

Puck Line/Point Spread Betting

Aside from moneyline bets, every major sportsbook offers point spread betting or “puckline” betting as well. With these bet types, the goal isn’t just to try and predict which team will win the game but by how much. Essentially, will the favoured team win by more than the “spread,” or will the underdog not lose by more than the spread and/or win the game outright?

Puckline bets are exclusive to hockey and the NHL (hence the name) and basically combine the moneyline with the point spread, in that you will need to predict which team will win and by how many goals. As a result, puckline bets feature both the plus/minus moneyline component as well as the number of goals they would need to win.

To provide some context, let’s assume that the Carolina Hurricanes are the favourites against the Chicago Blackhawks, with Carolina’s odds to win at -135 and puckline odds of -1.5. Meanwhile, the Blackhawks would be the underdogs at +180 with puckline odds of +1.5.

In this instance, if you bet on Chicago at +1.5 (+180), they would need to lose by less than two goals or win the game outright for you to win the bet. However, if you were to wager on the favoured Hurricanes, you would need them to win by two or more goals to win the bet.

This is a popular form of NHL betting if you think that the underdog could win the game or, at the very least, suffer a close loss or if you are confident the favourite will come out victorious.

Over/Under (or Totals)

Over/Under (or Totals) bets are the ideal form of betting if you don’t know which team is going to win the game but have an idea of whether it will be a high-scoring or low-scoring affair. The reason is that, instead of picking a winner or which team will score a particular number of goals, you are trying to predict whether both teams will score more or less than a certain number of combined goals.

In regards to the NHL, betting sites generally set the over/under at somewhere between five and eight goals and always split a whole number (5.5, 6.5, 7.5, etc.). This way, they ensure there are no ties (or pushes) since there is no such thing as half-goals in hockey. Using this information, bettors will need to decide whether they think the final combined score of the game will be “Over” or “Under” that set amount.

So, if the Tampa Bay Lightning were to duel it out with their interstate rival Florida Panthers with the total being set at 6.5, you would be presented with two options: 6.5o or 6.5u. If you were to bet the over (o), you would need both teams to combine for at least seven goals to win the bet. However, if you bet the under (u), you would need both teams to combine for fewer than seven goals to win the bet. Your payout would then be determined based on the odds placed next to each option (-110, -150, +110, +150, etc.).

Over/Under bets are particularly exciting when it comes to wagering on the NHL because games are typically pretty close, and there’s tons of action leading up to the final minutes, meaning your bets are never dead.

Future Bets

Unlike the previously mentioned forms of sports betting, future bets are wagers that you would place on a team or player months ahead of time. This could include which team will win the Eastern or Western Conference, their division or the Stanley Cup, as well as which player will win the Hart Memorial Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, or lead the league in goals scored well before the winner is actually determined.

As you can probably imagine, NHL future bets require a lot of patience and good fortune since they are generally placed before the season even begins. That being said, they can also be exceptionally rewarding since the odds at the beginning of the year are much better than they are later in the year, on average.

Odds fluctuate drastically as the NHL season progresses once players actually hit the ice and goals start piling up, which is why the best odds are generally found before the regular season begins. For example, the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid was +250 at the beginning of the year to win the Hart Memorial Trophy, and now he’s at nearly -250 as the NHL’s leader in points (75), assists (42), and goals scored (33).

This means that if you bet $100 on McDavid to win the award right now, you might only win $140, but if you had bet $100 on McDavid to win the award before the start of the season, you could win $350.

Prop Bets

Prop bets are another enticing proposition for NHL bettors as they allow you to bet on a specific aspect of the game that generally has no effect or relation to the final score. Sportsbooks will often provide a wide range of prop bets with odds on an individual player or team performance as well as certain events to take place during the game (team props, player props, game props).

Team prop bets are focused only on the performance of each team but have nothing to do with the outcome of the game or the final score. For example, this could be the over/under for the total number of goals scored in a game by a certain team or in a certain period, which team, if any, will concede a goal in the first period and so on.

Player prop bets allow you to put money on a certain player and how they will perform throughout the course of an NHL game. With player props, you can either focus on individual players or put two opposing players against each other in what is known as “head-to-head” prop bets.

Game prop bets are determined based on events and happenings during the game. This could be throughout the entirety of the game or broken down into periods, but they typically include things like which team will score two goals first, guess the total number of shots on goal in the game, and will there be a goal in the first ten minutes, etc.?

Prop bets are fun, particularly if you’re just a casual bettor since they have little to no effect on the outcome of the game and a lot of them are completely random anyway. Plus, the payouts can be massive because they are generally so unpredictable.

Grand Salami

Another bet type for NHL bettors is the Grand Salami, which is a type of totals or over/under bet but with a slight twist. Instead of wagering on the total number of goals scored in a single game, a Grand Salami bet would allow you to bet on the total number of goals scored in every game for that specific day.

Typically offered for both the NHL and MLB, oddsmakers create Grand Salami bets by adding up all the totals for each game for that specific day and then adjusting them based on various factors. For example, let’s say that there was a slate of five NHL games tonight with totals of 5.5, 5.5, 6.5, 6.5 and 7.5, equaling a total of 31.5 combined goals scored. You would simply need to decide whether you think all five games would exceed this total or not.

Not all NHL betting sites offer the Grand Salami, and if they do, it would be found under daily prop bets or “other.” That being said, most of the bigger sportsbooks like Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet offer this unique bet type, presenting a fantastic opportunity to make money and be interested in every game.

Live Betting

With the advancement of modern technology, sportsbooks are utilizing as much as they can to create more clean and user-friendly websites and apps. As a result, one area of NHL betting that has become incredibly popular in recent years is live betting, where fans can bet on certain aspects of a game while it unfolds in real-time.

Once an NHL game is underway, sportsbooks will begin to release new point spreads, moneylines, props, and totals before each period and during scheduled breaks, presenting you with live odds during the game. These odds will fluctuate as the game goes on, but it allows bettors the opportunity to get in on the action at any point in the contest.

For example, let’s say that the rival Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens are set to battle it out in a heated mid-season contest. Before the game commences, the over/under is set at a whopping 7.5, but after the first period of play, you notice that neither team has scored any goals and Leafs’ superstar Auston Matthews has left the game with an injury.

While the odds will likely change to make up for this, you could easily jump into action and bet the under on the assumption that fewer goals will be scored moving forward. Even though the odds probably won’t be as generous as they would have been at the beginning of the game, they will still be enough for you to make a solid profit if you act quickly enough.

NHL Draft Betting

Lastly, a vast majority of Canadian sportsbooks will also offer NHL Draft betting odds, allowing passionate hockey fans to make predictions about how each selection in the draft will go. Generally, you can only wager on the first round of the draft, but if you think you know who will be taken first, second or third overall, then it’s another great way to make some coin.

For example, in the 2021 NHL Draft, Mississauga, Ontario’s own Owen Power held average odds of -1100 to be taken with the first overall pick, while the United States’ Matthew Beniers was slotted by many to go second overall with average odds of -300.

Being that these two were projected to be the first two players off the board months ahead of the draft, this was easy money just waiting to be won. While -1100 odds aren’t particularly enticing, had you placed even $50 down on Beniers to get drafted at No. 2, you still would have made a decent profit ($66.67).

💡 NHL Betting Odds Explained

The National Hockey League has a massive and incredibly loyal fanbase, a large percentage of which resides in Canada. Of course, the issue that so many sportsbooks face nowadays is trying to compete with all of the other oddsmakers. This is done by offering up better odds than their competitors. This is why shopping around and testing out different sportsbooks is so important before committing yourself to just one.

To help you get started, these are a few reputable sportsbooks available in Canada that are renowned for NHL betting: BetMGM, Unibet, BetRivers and DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM and DraftKings, in particular, are go-to options for numerous bettors in and outside of Canada as they both have easy-to-use apps to allow for mobile betting, various deposit/withdrawal methods, and top-tier customer service teams. They are also known for their generous welcome bonuses and live betting options.

BetRivers is another sportsbook with some enticing live betting options, as well as tons of daily promotions and an impressive loyalty program. While Unibet typically offers more markets than the average sportsbook, as well as some exciting parlay bonuses and boosts.

These probably only account for a handful of available sportsbooks in your location, but the point is that every bookmaker will offer competing odds in every market, even the NHL. So, to find the best game odds, you will need to do a little bit of line shopping before placing any bets.

🏒 NHL Betting Tips & Strategies

Stay up to date on player injuries – While this might sound like common sense, you’d be surprised by how many people just throw some money down on a bet without even looking at the injury report. Hockey, in particular, is a vastly different sport because it is so physical and serious injuries can happen at any moment. Not only does a team losing its star player affect its chances of winning, but it also has an effect on how the bookmakers set the lines for the game. Injuries to less significant players can still affect the game but will have little to no effect on the lines. If you play your cards right, you could beat the bookmaker by seeking out games where valuable contributors are injured, and the lines haven’t changed.

Keep up with team schedules – Believe it or not, scheduling plays a major role in the success of a team, especially in leagues like the NHL, where teams play an 82-game season. Due to the length of the schedule, teams not only have to travel around the country every week, but they also need to deal with some tough stretches of games, including back-to-backs. Back-to-back games and all of the travel alone can wear down the players, and teams may even decide to sit certain players to keep them fresh. By staying on top of this, you can try to predict when certain teams might be too fatigued to compete. For example, teams that have to deal with a lengthy stretch of road games or a team facing its third back-to-back game in a short duration of time.

Avoid parlays at all costs – One general rule of thumb when it comes to hockey betting is to avoid parlaying multiple bets into one. Part of what makes the NHL so fun to watch is the fact that any team can win any game on any given night, it’s arguably the most unpredictable sport in the world, and the best team doesn’t always win. While this might be exciting from a spectator’s viewpoint, it makes it incredibly difficult to bet confidently on games. So, the best thing to do is just stick to one or two bets you are 100% confident in and roll with those.

🍁 National Hockey League

The National Hockey League (NHL) has a long and rich history in the United States and Canada. Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1917, the NHL started modestly as a league with just a handful of teams and zero divisions or conferences. The first games were played that year, with Toronto clinching the first-ever NHL title.

Contrary to popular belief, the Original Six were not the first six teams to compete in the NHL, but rather the six teams that comprised the NHL between 1942 and 1967. Those teams were the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. After being the only six teams in the league for over two decades, six more were added to the mix in the 1967 NHL expansion.

Today, the NHL is made up of 32 teams, including the latest addition, Seattle Kraken, who was added in 2021. Montreal has the most Stanley Cup championships, with 24, followed up by Toronto (13), Detroit (11), Boston (6), and Chicago (6). There are still 12 franchises that have never won a Stanley Cup as of 2023.

League Structure

As previously mentioned, the current NHL is made up of 32 teams spread out across two conferences (Eastern and Western) and four divisions (Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, and Pacific). Each team plays a total of 82 games during the regular season (41 home and 41 away), and the top three teams from each division advance to the playoffs. Two Wild Card teams from each conference advance as well.

The playoffs feature a four-round elimination tournament, ending with the Standley Cup Final, and each round of the playoffs is a best-of-seven series (the first team to win four games wins the series).

Check More Detailed NHL Betting Guides

❓ FAQs

After signing up with a registered sportsbook, you can instantly start placing money on NHL games and events. Depending on the sportsbook you use, all you need to do is head into their “Hockey” section, search for “NHL,” and you will be met with dozens of different markets to wager on. Including the ever-popular moneyline, puckline, futures, and prop bets.

The most popular type of NHL bet is undoubtedly the moneyline, which accounts for over 60% of all bets placed on NHL games. While over 40% of NHL bets are placed on the puckline, and over 20% are placed on over/under bets. The most popular NHL teams to bet on are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers, which account for 25% of all NHL bets.

In Canada, you can legally bet on NHL games in person or online using any regulated operator. For example, in Ontario, every legal iGaming site is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and iGaming Ontario, which have already approved 26 online sportsbooks and more than 50 total gaming operators. It is worth noting, however, that there is no online option in Nunavut, Yukon or Northwest Territories.

📙 More Betting Guides By Sports’ Experts

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Rowan Fisher-Shotton

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Rowan is a sports betting journalist with an established presence in the sports media industry through his thought-invoking coverage and commentary surrounding major leagues like the NBA, NFL, and NCAA. While Rowan specializes in NBA, NFL, and NCAA college sports coverage, he consistently follows and reports on every major sport in North America.

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