How to Bet on the NHL

From the Habs, Sens and Leafs to the Jets, Flames, Oilers and Canucks, NHL hockey is central to Canadian identity. Hockey betting is about to become an even bigger part of that identity with widespread NHL odds hitting private online sportsbooks.

While NFL and NBA betting see most of the heavy betting action south of the border, NHL betting will rule in Canada. Below we’ll show you how to bet on the NHL online in Canada. If you want to get straight to tonight’s NHL odds direct from online sportsbooks, have at ‘er.

How to bet on the NHL online in Canada

Private online sportsbooks and sports betting apps including DraftKings Sportsbook CA and FanDuel Sportsbook Canada can now offer virtually any kind of NHL bet under the sun. And they bring fair-market NHL odds with them.

The very first step of placing bets on the NHL in Canada is signing up for an online sportsbook. Creating a new account can be done in a few easy steps on either a computer or phone, so you can be placing bets on NHL games quickly. Take the following steps:

  • Click on one of our links to be redirected to the signup page for the sportsbook of your choice.
  • Fill out all required information (email, address, upload photo ID) to create your new account. This takes just a few moments and will activate your welcome bonus.
  • Deposit into your new sportsbook account. If you’re receiving a deposit match bonus, this will be reflected in your balance.
  • Once your account has been filled, both your balance and any funds claimed from your signup bonus can be used as you begin placing bets.

Best online sportsbooks for NHL betting

Top online sportsbooks for betting on the NHL offer very competitive lines for every NHL game and futures odds surrounding every NHL team. These online sportsbooks also have partnerships with the NHL itself, which allow the organizations to use official NHL data and offer you some additional value with a variety of NHL-specific betting content.

The best sportsbooks for NHL wagering also offer NHL-specific betting promos, including odds boosts or risk-free bets and bonuses, among others.

DraftKings Sportsbook for NHL odds

DraftKings Sportsbook Canada has all the NHL betting options you’ll likely need, including:

  • Moneylines
  • Puck lines
  • Over/unders
  • Season-long futures
  • Team and player props

DK also has a large number of live in-game NHL markets for every game thanks to its use of Simplebet’s micro-betting tech.

White background with DraftKings logo on the left, Turner Sports on the right, and NHL in the middle

DraftKings is now the exclusive sportsbook for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report’s coverage of the NHL as well. Turner Sports inked a broadcast rights deal with the NHL in 2021 that will bring 50 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals to TNT in the US for the first time.

DraftKings subsequently provides NHL betting info to the TNT TV broadcasts and Bleacher Report online. Original content includes DraftKings’ NHL odds and daily fantasy stats plus editorial content and automated alerts online.

On a larger scale, DraftKings is also an official sports betting, DFS and iGaming partner of the NHL itself. The two reached an agreement in 2021 that gives DK the opportunity for betting content integrations via the league’s different media platforms.

That means DK gets access to NHL assets, including official marks and logos, to enhance the NHL betting experience or its customers. DraftKings can run NHL-themed sweepstakes and promos during the regular season, NHL All-Star Weekend, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Stanley Cup Finals, as a result.

Check the DraftKings Nation NHL channel and NHL Betting News section at the online sportsbook for the latest. The types of NHL-specific promos you can expect at DraftKings include:

  • 100-1 odds boost on any NHL game
  • 100-1 odds on any NHL team to score a goal

FanDuel Sportsbook for NHL betting

FanDuel Sportsbook signed a deal in 2018 to become the exclusive daily fantasy partner and an official sports betting partner of the NHL. The exclusivity no longer exists, but FanDuel Sportsbook and the NHL are still partners. That means FanDuel still gets access to official NHL data, including advanced real-time data.

FanDuel Sportsbool Logo in White and light blue on a dark blue backgroundPlus, FanDuel still offers US customers access to its free-to-play NHL contests and promos, like NHL Parlay Insurance (eg. up to a $25 refund to anyone placing a 4+ Leg parlay bet on any NHL game who loses just one leg).

In terms of content, FanDuel Sportsbook signed a deal in 2020 to live stream NHL games directly to its platform. FanDuel runs streams of up to two games every night throughout the NHL regular season. The games are viewable for FanDuel customers as long as they have a funded account or placed a bet on the game. Different out-of-market games air each night and local blackout rules apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook Canada has all the standard NHL bets, lines, and odds of any sportsbook, although it likely falls a bit behind DraftKings when it comes to total prop selection. Lots of value-added content you can use to help you make your NHL picks can be found on its NHL Research page.

PointsBet for NHL betting

PointsBet was named an official sports betting partner of the NHL in early 2021. The long-term agreement gives PointsBet the right to use NHL marks and logos and opens up a variety of NHL sponsorship and promo opportunities. The NHL took equity in PointsBet as part of the deal.

PointsBet Sportsbook Canada will have competitive NHL betting lines and odds and its unique PointsBetting system can be used to bet on NHL games. It gives you the chance to win or lose more depending on the difference in the score of a game. PointsBet has also applied its unique Good Karma Payouts and Early Payouts promos to NHL action.

Just last season, PointsBet Good Karma Kommittee instituted PointsBet Overtime Insurance for NHL games, offering refunds on NHL moneyline bets for games that lost in overtime or a shootout.

On the content side, PointsBet’s deal with the NHL opens up opportunities for enhanced TV and digital integrations with mutual partners like NBC Sports. PointsBet has the ability to integrate NHL betting content into live NHL broadcasts on NBC Sports, NBC Sports Regional Networks, Altitude TV, and others.

The sportsbook started running odds, data, and insights on pregame, in-game, and postgame broadcasts last season.

BetMGM for NHL Odds

MGM Resorts became the NHL’s first official sports betting partner back in 2018. As a part of the agreement, MGM Resorts’ BetMGM sportsbook got access to NHL intellectual property, including trademarks, for marketing and promotion. Plus, official league data and real-time advanced game data for content and betting purposes.

Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky wearing a suit in front of a Brown & gold tinged background. Text (top): BetMGM Text; (bottom) Welcome to the team, Wayne GretzkyThe BetMGM app in Canada has a huge variety of NHL betting opportunities and promotions. BetMGM has run NHL promotions that have included a Free Live Bet for placing a live wager of $50 or more on any NHL game on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

From a content perspective, BetMGM became the exclusive sports betting partner of hockey media giant The Hockey News in 2021. The pair now collaborate on print and video content and The Hockey News has access to BetMGM’s odds for integration into its NHL news and content.

BetMGM also inked a deal with NHL great Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky is now a marketing spokesperson for the brand with an eye on expansion into new states and territories, including Canada. The BetMGM Sports Betting Guide also offers some added value in the form of a tutorial on NHL betting.

​​BetRivers Sportsbook and the NHL

BetRivers Sportsbook is not an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NHL but it is the Official Sportsbook of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Sister-sportsbook-site PlaySugarHouse is the official sportsbook partner for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center where they play.

As a part of these deals, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened the new BetRivers Lounge at PPG Paints Arena, where the Pens play. The lounge features luxury seating and a bar area replicating the retail sportsbook area at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Two branded sports lounges were built inside the Wells Fargo Center ahead of the Flyers’ 2019-20 season. Patrons can bet on games from their phones at the lounges.

BetRivers Sportsbook in Ontario has very competitive NHL betting odds and promos, likely surrounding the Pens and Flyers. BetRivers gives Pennsylvania customers a 50% Profit Boost on hockey bets when they attend a Pens or Flyers home game. BetRivers has also been known to offer:

  • Bet and Win NHL promo
  • 20% live profit boost on NHL bets
  • Bet and Get NHL Preseason promo

Best NHL bets for beginners

While there’s little chance you’re new to the NHL, there’s a good chance you’re new to NHL hockey betting. That means you should probably stick to the basics. Here are some NHL bets we recommend for beginners.

Stanley Cup futures

Stanley Cup futures bets are great for beginners. You can pick a team in the offseason or early season, and the prices are almost always good, even on the real favourites. Good futures prices give you the chance to win a lot for very little and give you bets to sweat all season long.

  • Win In Regulation: Just like it sounds, a win in regulation bet, the 60-minute line, is a bet on a team to win in regulation. Overtime and shootout wins don’t count, so the team you bet on must get it done in three periods. This alternative to the standard moneyline bet offers better prices, making it a little easier to bet on big standard moneyline favourites.
  • No Scoring: Bets on a shutout in regulation time often pay well and can be good for beginners when two defensive-minded teams match up. It’s not a basic bet per se, but only basic research is required, and even small bets on both teams failing to put the puck in the net offer decent paydays.
  • Totals: Starting out with over/unders (for a period, game or team) is recommended because they are very simple bets to understand and follow along. When betting moneylines, many new bettors gravitate toward favourites, which can be costly. Betting on totals means using much more modest lines and not risking as much compared to moneyline favourites.
  • Shots On Goal: This is an under-the-radar prop bet that is easy to understand. Many Canadians that may not have started single-game betting could be interested in fantasy hockey, and shots on goal is a category that fantasy players are likely know well and could enjoy.
  • First Period Unders: The first period of nearly every NHL game comes with a total of 1.5 goals. When two starting goaltenders are in net, especially when the teams are strong defensively, taking the under can be a valuable bet. It also doesn’t require beginners to watch the entire three-hour game. The wager covers only one period.

NHL puck lines/moneyline/totals

Puck LineWin betLock in currently posted odds on favorites (-) or underdogs (-)Pays at odds posted when you place your bet
MoneylineWin bet with a puck line, or spread, factored into the final scoreLock in currently posted odds on favorites (-) or underdogs (-)Pays at odds posted when you place your bet
TotalsTotal combined score betOpens equal on both sides with small vigPays at odds posted when you place your bet

How to read NHL betting odds

The first step to betting on NHL games is knowing how to read the odds. Understanding the line and calculating the potential wins and losses will help you decide if there is any value on a particular side.

Let’s look at an example of what NHL bettors in Canada will see. Using lines from Caesars Sportsbook, we’ll break down each of the main betting markets.

William Hill NHL betting lines

Canadian online sportsbooks are likeliest to display odds as decimals, so bettors should get used to this visual. Decimal odds are the amount you can win for every dollar you risk. The line includes the original amount bet on top of the profit.

An example of standard decimal odds would be 1.9 (or -110 in American odds). This means that for every $1 risked, you can win $.90, making the total $1.90 including both the risk and the winnings. From there, the math is easy, based on how much you bet.

How does moneyline betting work in hockey?

Moneyline bets are simply on which side will win a game. Regardless of the score or anything else, all moneylines require is the team you selected to emerge victorious.

When reading moneyline decimal odds, use the number 2.00 as a line of demarcation between favourites and underdogs. Most games will have one team with odds below 2.00 favourite and one team with odds above 2.00 (underdog). The higher the odds go, the larger the potential payout.

When oddsmakers feel the two sides are equal, it is possible for both sides to have odds slightly under 2.00. But in many cases, the favourite and the underdog will be clear by looking at the odds.

In our example, the Winnipeg Jets are the favourite with 1.67 odds. This means that a $1 risk wins $0.67 in profit for a total of $1.67. If you wanted to risk $100 on the Jets, you could win $67 in profit for a total of $167.

The Senators are the underdog at 2.40, which means a $1 bet can win $1.40 in profit and a total $2.40. If betting the same $100 on Ottawa, the bettor can win $140 and gain a return of $240 in total.

Unless otherwise noted, moneylines in hockey involve regulation time along with any potential overtime or shootout. And the same thing goes with baseball. Unless stipulated, all moneylines include extra innings.

How does puck line betting work on NHL games?

Puck lines are the hockey betting version of a point spread. So even if some Canadians haven’t heard that exact terminology, understanding the puck line is simple if you grasp the point spread in other sports.

The puck line represents how much a team must win or lose by in order to win the wager. The favourite has a negative symbol next to its puck line, and the underdog bears a positive sign.

What separates puck lines from point spreads, however, is the fact that puck lines don’t change. In other sports, like the NFL and NBA, the spread could be four points for one game and nine points for another game, and payouts are similar on both sides. But when betting on hockey, the favourite is always -1.5 goals, and the underdog is always +1.5 goals. Oddsmakers account for the difference between NHL teams by altering the odds that accompany the puck line, rather than the line itself.

Favourites need to win by two for a successful wager, and the odds are enhanced compared to moneylines. In our example, the Jets play this role at -1.5 (2.65). A $100 bet on Winnipeg means winning $165 in profit and earning a full return of $265 into your sportsbook account, if the Jets can win by two or more goals.

Underdogs can lose the game by a goal and still win the wager. The extra goal on the puck line can make for a safer bet while also making the odds a bit worse for the bettor. If taking Ottawa +1.5 (1.54), you win if the Senators are outright winners or lose the game by just one goal. A $100 bet would bring back $54 in profit for a total of $154 returning to your balance.

Many Canadian online sportsbooks will also offer alternate puck lines. These are essentially prop markets that allow you to buy or sell goals in exchange for modified odds. This is where bettors can sell goals and take either team -2.5 or -3.5 goals for a much larger payout. Or you can play it safe and buy goals on a +2.5 or +3.5 line and get lesser odds.

How do I bet on totals in hockey?

Totals, also known as over/unders, are relatively simple bets to understand. All bettors are required to do is guess whether the combined score of the game will be over or under the total set by oddsmakers. In most situations, both sides of the total will have similar odds and potential payouts.

In our Jets-Senators game, the total is set at six goals for both sides. A wager on the Over 6 (1.95) means winning $.95 in profit for every $1 wagered. For example, a $10 bet would win $9.50 in profit for a total of $19.50.

On the other side, an Under 6 (1.87) bet involves winning $.87 for every $1. This means a $10 bet could earn $8.70 in total profit, giving you $18.70 in total.

Betting on NHL props & futures

NHL futures and props start with picking the Stanley Cup winner but extend well beyond that. Here’s a look at some of the most popular NHL futures and prop bets:

  • Win Totals: Bet on a team to win more or fewer games than the line set by oddsmakers in the offseason.
  • Division/Conference Winner: Bet on a team to win its division or make the Stanley Cup Finals by winning its conference.
  • Playoffs: Bet on a team to make the playoffs or win a series.
  • NHL Awards: Bet on who will win an annual NHL award, including:

For NHL props within a single game, look for:

  • 1st/2nd/3rd Period Moneylines, Spreads and Totals
  • 1st/2nd/3rd Period Correct Score
  • 60 Minute Moneyline (three-way ML including ties)
  • Goal Scorer (First, Last, Anytime)
  • Player Shots On Goal (Over,Under)
  • Player 1+, 2+, 3+ Points
  • To Score First & Win
  • Team Total Goals (by period & full game)

NHL Playoffs and Stanley Cup betting

The playoffs are one of the most exciting spectacles on the sports calendar. When they arrive, betting sites see an increase in action. As teams push for Lord Stanley’s trophy, sportsbooks prepare by offering even more betting options than during the regular season.

In addition to the many single-game markets outlined above, each playoff series comes with its own slate of futures betting options, including the following:

  • Series Winner
  • Exact Series Outcome
  • Total Games In Series

Of course, you can also bet on the Stanley Cup champion and the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for MVP of the playoffs throughout the postseason.

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is a set bracket format consisting of four best-of-seven series. The top three teams from each of the four NHL divisions in two conferences make up the first 12 playoff teams. The other four spots are filled by the two teams with the next best records in each conference, regardless of division.

The first round sees the division winner with the best record in each conference play the lowest-seeded Wild Card team. The division winner with the next best record in each conference plays the other wild card, and the teams finishing second and third in each division play each other. Teams advance through the bracket headed by their respective division winners. Home-ice advantage goes to the team with the best record in each series.

Standard betting extends from teams to make the NHL Playoffs, to the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals and to each series and each game in each series. Check the latest playoff odds for all of the Canadian teams here:

List of Canadian Stanley Cup winners

It has been almost 20 years since a Canadian NHL team won the Stanley Cup. Here’s a look at all Canadian NHL Stanley Cup winners since 1927:

TeamStanley Cup Years Won
Ottawa Senators1927
Montreal Canadiens1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1993
Toronto Maple Leafs1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967,
Montreal Maroons1935
Edmonton Oilers1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990
Calgary Flames1989

Live betting on NHL hockey games

In-game NHL betting is the evolution of NHL betting. It takes game-watching to another level by allowing you to bet in the middle of the action. You place your bets at odds that change on the fly with the action on the ice. For the most part, the betting happens inside the same markets you bet on before the game, at constantly changing odds. However, in-game wagering also opens up an increased number of props.

It’s a fun and exciting way to bet on the NHL. But most of all, it’s fast, making it hard to get a bet down without the use of a betting app on your mobile phone. Live sports betting odds can change that fast.

NHL betting partnerships in Canada

Global sportsbook operator PointsBet inked a multi-year strategic partnership with the NHL in 2021. That means PointsBet offers the most markets in the world for each NHL game and enhanced TV and digital integrations with mutual broadcast partners.

The agreement does not currently extend to Canada, but might if and when PointsBet enters any Canadian province.

The NHL has had a similar agreement for data sharing with MGM Resorts International since 2018. The league added William Hill (now Caesars)  as an official sports betting partner of the NHL in 2019 and made FanDuel its official daily fantasy partner in November 2018.

Can I bet on NHL hockey fights?

Fighting is a part of hockey, but it’s not really a part of NHL betting. That’s mostly because fights are not sanctioned or scheduled. That said, there are penalties for fighting, and you may be able to find props on penalty minute totals.

Does overtime count for hockey betting?

In the NHL regular season, tied games go to overtime, and if they’re still tied after that, they go to a shootout. A win in OT or a shootout is still a win and an official result, meaning this counts in most NHL bets. Of course, you can bet on a team to win in regulation. Then, OT and shootouts don’t count.

Hockey betting rules

Sportsbooks publish rules for how they handle all NHL betting. Read them. Plus, peruse this list of basic hockey betting rules to see how most books work when it comes to NHL wagering:

  • Only official NHL statistics and results count.
  • Overtime goals count for totals and player props.
  • Shootout wins are equal one goal.
  • Trades, teams moving and changing names in season do not void futures.

Why should you choose legal betting sites in Canada?

With Canadians betting up to an estimated $14 billion on sports through illegal channels every year, you may have placed an NHL bet with an offshore online sportsbook before.

The provincial lottery corporations offering limited parlay sports betting have always provided government-backed consumer protection for you. They still do with single-game betting. Parlay betting and less-than competitive odds may have kept you going back to illegal offshore online sportsbooks, but single-game wagering eliminates that need.

Betting with offshore online sportsbooks means zero consumer protection. That means nowhere to run to if you have an issue and the possibility these books could close up and disappear with your money overnight. With illegal offshore online sportsbooks your money and personal information are never safe. With legal and licensed sportsbooks, the provincial and federal governments guarantee security.

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