How to Bet on Hockey and Win

Joseph Havens

Casino expert

How to bet on hockey

Hockey betting has never been clearer.

Find all about how to bet on hockey at online sportsbooks in simple and effective terms. Our online casinos CA experts created this article just for you.

Hockey betting – what you’ll learn about today

Hockey betting - what you’ll learn about today

  • How to bet on hockey 
  • Hockey betting markets
  • Hockey bet types
  • How hockey betting odds are displayed
  • A few bankroll management tips
  • Key starting points for a healthy betting strategy and more. 

Betting for fun vs. betting long-term

There are two different types of bettors at an online sportsbook: the ones looking for fun and those who take betting as a serious business, and are willing to learn strategies to develop their skills. 

This guide is specifically designed for the latter, respectively for Canadian bettors that want to enhance their skills and devise their own long-term betting strategies.

Why using a strategy is crucial

Why using a strategy is crucial

You are prone to make mistakes when you only bet for fun or entertainment. This is because you don’t pay enough attention to your returns. However, wagering strategically helps you have fun, avoid simple mistakes, maximize your bets, and win more. 

Don’t forget to bet responsibly

Improving your betting skills doesn’t mean you should throw caution away and wager carelessly. Follow these responsible betting steps to learn how to bet on hockey the right way:

  • Pick the best CA online casinos
  • Don’t chase your losses
  • Keep your stake size fixed
  • Implement your online bookie’s responsible gambling tools
  • Add limits to your account
  • Don’t bet based on emotions
  • Don’t drink and bet

Step 1: Keep your hockey betting Canada markets

Market Meaning Options 


Who will win

Team A vs Team B

Point Spread


Team A -1.5/ Team B +1.5


Total goals in a match

Over/Under 1.5 – 8.5 goals


Winner/runner-up in a league

Best-rated teams in the season

60-minute line

Result after three periods (adds the draw possibility)

Team A / Draw / Team B

Grand salami

Total goals in a matchday (per league)

Over/Under expected tally 

Picking winners – Moneyline betting 

Picking winners - Moneyline betting

This is only a bet on who will win the hockey match. It is the most encountered method of betting on the National Hockey League.

Most sportsbooks in Northern America display Moneyline odds using the American hockey betting odds format. 

American odds

Moneyline betting involves Moneyline (American) odds. 

To better understand how to bet on hockey matches, let’s say you come across a Moneyline bet featuring the Boston Bruins at +250 and the New York Rangers at -150: 

  • It means the New York Rangers are the team most likely to win, and you should wager $150 to win $100;
  • In this match, the Boston Bruins are the underdogs. The team less likely to win the game is referred to as an underdog, and displayed with a (+) in front of their names;
  • An odd of +250 means you will win $250 for the bet if you stake $100 and the bet wins. With your initial stake of $100, it means you will get a total return of $350; 
  • However, you don’t need to have $100 to wager this match; it’s just the simplest way of explaining American odds in terms of +250. 

The point spread

The point spread

Also known as handicapping, the point spread is a line that sets a goal difference to fill the gap between the favourite and underdog.

In the NHL, point spread or puck line refers to the number of goals the favourite is expected to win by. It is usually displayed as Team-X with goal numbers. 

How much is the point spread in hockey?

How much is the point spread in hockey

In a hockey game, the point spread is usually around -1.5 goals for the favourite and +1.5 for the underdog.

Using the example in the previous section regarding how to bet on hockey matches, the following apply:

  • If the New York Rangers puck line or point spread is (-1.5), it must win the match by two or more goals to give you a payout;
  • However, Boston Bruins, with a (+1.5) puck line, must win the match outright or lose by less than 2 goals to win the point spread;
  • You can either bet in favour of the point spread or against it. Wagering against the point spread and on the underdog opens you to two channels of winning. You get a payout even if the underdog loses but not with the expected number of goals.


This is a simple wager you can make on the total number of goals scored by the two teams, and it is often placed by users of top casino mobile apps

Bookies set a number, and you can wager whether the total goal number will be above (Over) or below (Under) the set figure. 

Special hockey betting lines

Depending on where you play, you will find a variety of special bets on league winners and the total goals in any given match week. 

Check out hockey betting explained in relation to Canadian markets below:



  • Futures allow you to wager on the overall results of NHL, like trophies or total points;
  • For instance, you can wager on the Stanley Cup, the Eastern or Western Conference, teams to play the final, and several others;
  • Future odds often come with big odds, especially before the season starts. 

60-minute line hockey bet

60-minute line hockey bet

  • The 60-minute line hockey bet is also known as a three-way market; this wager does not include extra or overtime;
  • You can only wager on three possible outcomes with a 60-minute line bet: home wins, away win, or a tie; 
  • This bet comes with better odds than standard Moneyline bets. 

Grand salami bet

Grand salami bet

Grand Salami is a multiple form of over/under bet. It adds every game on the schedule on a single bet.

Like over and under, the bookie sets a Grand Salami total for the day’s game listings. You can then bet that the total goals scored will be higher or lower than the set number. 

For instance, the bookmaker can fix the Grand Salami at 18.5 goals if four matches are to be played. You will then have to choose Over or Under this number. 

Step 2: Get in-depth into hockey bet types

Here are the main types of hockey bets:



As its name implies, a single bet is one in which you wager on one particular outcome of an event. 

It is the easiest and most common bet you can place at a sportsbook, so it’s preferable to try it first if you’re just starting to learn how to bet on hockey. 

In short, it involves betting on a single hockey team to win a game. You receive a payout if the bet wins. 



Parlay bets are also called multi-event bets. They allow you to wager a single amount across multiple betting markets to get a possible larger win. 

Parlays often involve bigger payouts than other sportsbook wagers. 

For instance

If you bet on four underdogs at +120, each would pay you 2.074 (1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 1.2).

Step 3: Master your odds

Odds type Odds example


Team A to win: -500 

Fractional odds

Team A to win 1/5

Decimal odds

Team A to win 1.2

Betting odds indicate the outcome’s probability and the potential win you stand to get. 

This is an essential part of learning how to bet on hockey, as it helps you make informed choices. 

Hockey bets are usually displayed using the Moneyline, Fractional and Decimal odds. 

Here’s what you should know:

Here’s what you should know

  • With decimal odds, you can calculate your payout by multiplying your stake with the odds displayed;
  • Fractional odds show you your potential winnings in relation to your stake;
  • A keen observer, following our guidelines, would then realize that all of the odds on the table above mean the same thing;
  • For instance, if you wager $100 and your bet on Team A wins. Your payout will be; decimal = $100 x 1.2 = $120;
  • Fractional odds here mean you will get $1 for every $5 stake, so your winnings will be $20 (100/5) plus your initial wager; total payout = $120;
  • Moneyline odds = $100 is the baseline here; to arrive at your payout, divide 100/500 = $0.2.

Step 4: Decide your bankroll and implement a staking system

Step 4 Decide your bankroll and implement a staking system

To maximize your bets while learning how to bet on hockey, you need to have mastered the art of managing your bankroll. 

Follow these tips to properly manage your cash when staking on hockey games: 

  • Divide your starting bankroll into any equal unit of your choice; this unit is what you bet on every game;
  • Stick to a flat bet amount;
  • Analyze your bets and the amount you have used wagering at a sportsbook; it could be daily, weekly or monthly;
  • Have a winning target.

Step 5: Create your own strategy

Step 5 Create your own strategy

You are about to discover the ultimate strategies that complete your “how to bet on hockey” learning process. So:

Keep an eye out for travel tiredness 

Sometimes the home team wins not because of the “home stadium advantage”, but because the visiting team is tired and jet-lagged. 

A hockey team may also not perform well if their key players suffer from tired legs after playing several games back to back.

It is important then to check the team’s physique and away stats before betting on them, particularly if you are placing a Moneyline bet. 

Find a good stats provider but don’t stress on it 

Find a good stats provider but don’t stress on it

You can’t negate the power of research when betting on all sports, including hockey. 

A team that lost their last two matches will likely lose the next or at most play draw, especially if the team is playing against a bigger club. 

To get the right facts when it comes to head-to-head statistics, goal totals, and previous game performances, you need to check a good stats provider. However, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find one. With a little bit of patience, bettors can even conduct the research themselves.  

Consider how the teams line up 

Lines in hockey can make a great difference in determining the team that scores the highest shots. 

Considering the way a team lines up, you can decide whether it is going for an offensive or not.

The body types between players on a line also matter 

Check if the team prepares a power-play line with scorers, even after you’ve learned how to bet on hockey. 

Compare bookies’ odds

Hockey is a highly popular game, so you will find it being offered at virtually every sportsbook in Canada. 

Bookmakers offer varying odds; to make the best of this market, you need to compare their odds and go for one that catches your fancy. 

Balance betting on the favourites with well-researched underdog betting

Balance betting on the favourites with well-researched underdog betting

Sports outcomes can be unpredictable, so there isn’t a way to learn how to bet on hockey that guarantees success. Statistics have shown that favourites don’t win all the time. 

There are also scenarios where the underdog has surprised everyone by beating the favourite black and blue. Those who believed in the underdog at these times smile home to the bank with big wins.

Don’t stick to betting favourites every time! 

You can also bet on underdogs after you have done your due research on both teams. 

To exemplify, put into consideration the underdog’s:

  • Previous matches;
  • Position in the league;
  • Performances against big teams. 

Find value in your way

Value in sports betting simply means looking for a bet at odds that gives you an edge over the bookmaker. It’s as if you are using bookies’ odds mistakes to get an advantage. 

It only works when you see a game outcome having a better chance of return than the odds the bookmaker sets. 

For instance

If a bookie offered decimal odds of 1.50 on the Flames to beat the Panthers:

  • The probability of this event happening is 66% (100/1.50). However, if you carry out an objective assessment and realize that the Panthers have a chance of 70% or more to win the match, you have a value bet and an edge;
  • This is due to the fact that, considering your observations, the odds should be 100/70 = 1.42;
  • Knowing this, if you stake more funds on the odds the bookie sets, you will make a profit. 

However, keep in mind that the bookmakers use sophisticated software to determine their odd lines. Therefore, they are not usually too far from the right probabilities. 

If you are not very sure about your assessment, you shouldn’t bank on value odds.

Canadian legislation on single bets

Canadian legislation on single bets

Canadian sports betting laws allow you to place single-match bets at a sportsbook. 

Starting August 27, 2021, the Canadian government made the laws more lax regarding single-event sports wagering. This refers to events such as:

  • The Super Bowl
  • The Stanley Cup Finals
  • The Grey Cup.

It is also the prerogative of provinces to offer single-game sports betting or to allow licensed operators to provide this service. 

However, for the single-game wagers to be legal, you have to bet on government-owned lottery corporations. 

With the recent legalization of online gaming and sports betting in Ontario, you should be able to place single wagers and other betting types at several licensed sportsbooks via your desktop or mobile devices. 

Be aware of illegal sports betting sites! Despite regulation developments in Canada, many illegal sports betting sites still have a high number of users. Accessing such websites puts both you and your funds in danger, so double-check all information before adding any payment methods.

You’ve mastered hockey betting in 5 steps

You’ve mastered hockey betting in 5 steps

Betting on hockey matches can be very profitable if you follow the right steps. 

We have covered virtually everything you need to know about having a successful hockey betting experience in this article, and here’s the recap:

  • Have proper bankroll management; 
  • Stick to your playing budget; 
  • Don’t chase your losses; 
  • Don’t always bet on favourites because there is an element of surprise in hockey games;
  • Research both teams before placing your wager; 
  • Compare bookie odds to get the best from hockey betting Canada; 
  • Look at a team’s lineup, travel fatigue, and past statistics;
  • Be objective; don’t always bet on a team because you are a fan.