Hockey is one of America’s most popular sports, offering up plenty of betting opportunities at US sportsbooks. The National Hockey League (NHL) is the professional US hockey league, made up of 31 teams, 24 of which are based in the US and 7 in Canada. Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), hockey fans can place wagers on the sport. Betting on hockey can be a daunting task, especially for new bettors, but that’s where we come in. Here at Compare,bet, we have everything you need to know about betting on hockey, from where you can place your bets to a breakdown of the biggest betting opportunities on the hockey betting calendar.
Looking to bet on Hockey in New Jersey? We’ve got a line up of the best sports betting sites available to punters in the Garden State. Compare our expert reviews, scores and the bonuses on offer to pick out the bookie that suits you best. All of our featured sportsbooks are legal and regulated in the state of New Jersey. All that’s left for you to do is make your pick, sign up and start betting.
US States with Legal Hockey Betting
Despite the PASPA repeal, hockey betting is not yet legal in every state. You can currently bet on hockey in these US states:
Each of these states has separate rules and regulations when it comes to betting on hockey, and sports betting in general. While some of these states permit online sports betting at licensed sites, others only allow betting at a land-based commercial or tribal casino.
Guide to NHL Betting
The NHL is the biggest and most famous hockey league in the world so naturally, it’s often the main hockey league of choice for punters to place wagers on. As with most sports, you’ll find a variety of ways in which bets can be placed on each game, so read through our review of the best hockey betting sites and see which suits your requirements.
Let’s first look at the NHL in more detail. Overall, there are 32 teams across two conferences – Eastern and Western – and four divisions: Pacific, Atlantic, Metropolitan, and Central.
During the course of a season, each team plays 82 matches before the top 16 progress through to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The season runs from October until the end of April, with the playoffs beginning after the NHL conclusion date in April. The 2021–22 Stanley Cup was won by the Colorado Avalanche, following their participation through the Central Division in the Western Conference.
When it comes to hockey betting sites, there will be a variety of betting markets to choose from. As we always recommend, it’s important to stay within the parameters of regulated, licensed sites, such as the best hockey betting sites reviewed by Compare.bet. We only recommend sites that are licensed so you can always feel confident with the selection you make through us.
NHL teams are split by conference and division as a way of managing scheduling and playoff seeding. It also creates a strong rivalry between members of each division. 25 of the 32 teams that comprise the NHL are from the US, and the remaining seven from Canada. So it’s a league that not only pits cities, states and regions against each other, but countries too.
Eastern and Western Conference
There are four divisions within the Eastern and Western Conferences: the Pacific, Atlantic, Metropolitan, and Central division. At the end of the 2021–22 season, this is how the top of the Eastern Metropolitan Division and Western Central Divisions looked.
Eastern Metropolitan Division Top Five
Western Central Division Top Five
|St. Louis Blues
Major Hockey Events
Hockey may not be as popular football or basketball, but that doesn’t mean punters are limited in their betting opportunities.. Alongside the NHL is the American Hockey League (AHL), serving as the developmental league for the NHL. A total of 1,271 games are scheduled for the regular NHL season, which runs from early October through early April, making for plenty of exciting hockey action. But what are the big hockey events that sports bettors can take a punt on? Here is a quick rundown of the biggest hockey events to bet on.
Stanley Cup Playoffs
At the end of the regular NHL season, 16 teams qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. These 16 teams are made up of eight teams from the Western Conference and eight from the Eastern Conference. The playoffs are essentially an elimination tournament in which teams compete to enter the Stanley Cup Final.
The Stanley Cup playoffs work differently to the playoffs in other major league sports. Once the bracket has been finalized, teams compete in a best-of-seven series to advance to the next stage of the bracket. As there could be up to 98 games during the playoffs, there are plenty of betting opportunities.
Stanley Cup Final
The two teams that come out on top of the Stanley Cup playoffs face-off in the Stanley Cup Final for the most coveted prize in the NHL: the Stanley Cup. The Stanley Cup, originally commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports league. This is the most popular event in the hockey calendar and is full of betting potential as both teams will have to compete in multiple games before a winner is decided.
NHL All-Star Game
The NHL All-Star game is usually held during the regular season and sees the star players in the league face off against each other. Fans vote online to select the captains of four different divisions and the player with the most votes captains for that division. From there, the NHL hockey operations department selects the remaining 40 players for a total of 44 all-star players. The proceeds from this event go towards the players’ pension fund. As the players are mixed and placed in different teams that wouldn’t normally play together, this event is incredibly popular and is a must watch for hockey fans and bettors alike.
Hockey Betting Odds
Before betting on a hockey match, it is essential that you understand how betting odds work. While the majority of US sports betting sites display odds in the American format, you might also see them displayed as a fraction or in a decimal format. Check out our how to read odds guide for an in-depth look at betting odds.
Odds are essentially a sportsbook’s prediction of what could happen during a hockey game. These can help you to predict what would make a winning bet, but betting on the favourite doesn’t guarantee you a profit. Hockey odds can vary from sportsbook to sportsbook so it’s best to shop around to find the best odds for your chosen market.
Here’s a real-world example of hockey odds:
In a regular NHL season game between the EDM Oilers and BUF Sabres, a sportsbook could set odds of +110 for the Oilers to win. If you were to make a $100 bet on the Oilers to win, you would see a return of $210 if they were victorious. You will win back your initial $100 wager, as well as $110 for the successful bet. When it comes to negative odds, a successful $100 bet on the Sabres winning at odds of -110, would net you your initial $100 wager, along with a with a modest profit of $90.91.
Which NHL Team Should I Bet On?
As with all types of sports betting, there is no such thing as a guaranteed winner when it comes to betting on hockey. While a sportsbook’s hockey betting odds can give you an idea of the favourite team to win, the odds aren’t a failsafe prediction of the result. Although you can take hockey betting tips from tipsters, your best bet is doing plenty of your own research to help you make an educated wager.
Spend time checking out statistics and figures, which can be found on the official NHL statistics page, before placing a bet. Here, the league breaks down various stats such as points per game, penalty goals and team milestones. Not only can you check out a team’s stats, but you can also focus on one specific player and get a snapshot of their performance over time. This is especially helpful when it comes to placing prop bets.
2022–23 NHL Season Odds
One of the most popular NHL betting lines is for futures bets, where punters make predictions on a team to win a particular competition. For the NHL, this can involve betting on the winners of each division, conference and then the Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the NHL playoff champion each year.
For the 2022–23 season, at the time of writing, the favorites among many sportsbooks to win the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference is the Boston Bruins. Guided by head coach Jim Montgomery, the Bruins cemented an 8-point lead after 17 games played. As of November 2022, you could get them at odds of +350 to win the conference at some sportsbooks. In the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference, the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are the favorites to win the division and are in with a shout of winning the conference through the playoffs.
Over in the Western Conference, Colorado Avalanche from the Central Division are one to watch out for, along with Vegas Golden Knights, who led the Pacific Division by five points after 18 games.
So, who are the teams most likely to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup final? Naturally, it’s the same teams looking to finish at the top of their conference divisions. Colorado Avalanche have previously won the Stanley Cup three times; Boston Bruins have bagged it once; while the Vegas Golden Knights will be looking to win it for the first time since their formation in 2017. Pittsburgh Penguins have the most wins with five, but are currently way down the pecking order in terms of Stanley Cup odds — some sportsbooks had them at +3000 in November.
NHL Players to Watch
As well as betting on which teams you think will progress through the play offs, you can also pick out individual players to perform well. These are known as player-specific proposition bets — you can bet on which player will score the most goals, have the most time on ice per game, score the most power play goals and assists, and much more. Prop bets are available for both the full season and for individual matches.
Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid led the pack with 15 goals in his first 17 games this season; he’s certainly one to watch out for for the remainder of the year, if that wasn’t already obvious. McDavid is closely followed by Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks who bagged 14 goals in his first 17. As for the top assist-makers, Nathan Mackinnon of the Avs got off to the best start to the season with 20 assists in 15 matches.
Hockey Betting Markets
In the US states where sports betting is legal, the best sportsbooks offer a wide selection of hockey betting markets. Straight-up bets on which team will win a particular match are the most popular, but you can also make lots of other calls on specific elements of each match. Check out the range of NHL betting lines available at the top sportsbooks below.
This is a straight bet on the team you back to win an individual game in the season and can be made on both NHL and AHL hockey games. Vancouver Canucks fans may back their team to beat the Los Angeles Kings, for example.
Another straight bet, but this is on the team you believe will win an overall tournament, such as the Stanley Cup. Those looking for an underdog could bet on the Florida Panthers to win the cup for the first time.
Over/Under bets involve wagering on whether a hockey team will finish the game with more or fewer goals than a specified number. These markets are usually offered as ‘Total Goals’ at US sportsbooks.
Spread betting is known as the puck line in hockey, similar to the run line in baseball. These bets are based on a spread of 1.5. Negative points (-1.5) are for the favorites, while a positive spread is for the underdog (+1.5). This evens the playing field and means that you can get the same odds for each team. To win the bet, the favorite would need to win by a margin of two goals to overcome the 1.5 spread.
Here’s an example. Let’s say the LA Kings are taking on the VAN Canucks. VAN Canucks were the favorites with a puck line of -1.5, with LA Kings as the underdogs with a puck line of +1.5. For a bet on the Canucks to come off, they’d need to win by two goals or more. If the Kings lose by just one goal, draw, or win the match, those who backed them would win their bet.
Proposition bets, or prop bets, focus on the composition of the game, rather than the overall outcome. These bets might include ‘which team will score the most penalties’, or ‘how many goals will be scored in the first period?’ but can cover a range of different possibilities. There are also player prop bets — for example, you could back Washington Capitals’ forward Evgeny Kuznetsov to get an assist in an upcoming match.
A parlay wager is a single bet consisting of multiple different selections. This means you can increase your potential payout by betting on multiple teams at the same time. However, in order to win a parlay bet, all of the selections have to be successful. The maximum number of picks in a parlay varies between sportsbooks, with some allowing up to 20.
Here’s an example of a three-game moneyline parlay bet:
- Montreal Canadiens to win +160
- New York Rangers to win -137
- Vancouver Canucks to win +155
- Parlay odds +1169
- $100 stake returns £1169 profit
Grand Salami Betting
Grand salami betting gives hockey fans the opportunity to place a bet that covers the scores for all hockey games played on a single day. There might be seven NHL games scheduled for Saturday, on which bettors must estimate the total number of goals across all seven games. Bettors must then decide if that will be over or under the number set by the sportsbook. Think of it as higher stakes over/under wagering.
Just as it sounds, a league bet is simply a wager on who will win a particular division of the NHL. For example, you could back the BOS Bruins to win the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.
Here you’re betting on the total number of goals there’ll be in a hockey match. The oddsmakers will set a number and bettors will predict whether the total number of goals will be higher or lower than this number. For example, you may bet on the Hurricanes and the Rangers game to have under ten goals. The actual score is irrelevant but to win, the total must not exceed nine goals.
Features of NHL Betting Sites
The best NHL betting sites offer a wide array of features to enhance your betting experience. Here are some of the best features we recommend using.
Many bettors like to make their predictions before a match starts, or stick to NHL futures bets on upcoming events. However, another option is to place your bets while the match is ongoing. Live betting is an exciting way to get involved, allowing fans to adjust their predictions in real time in response to the match. You can also place bets on specific elements of the game that will be completed before the match is over, such as how many goals there’ll be in the next period.
Early Cash Out
During a game of ice hockey, NHL betting sites may offer you a cash out amount that you can take and close your bet early. There are several reasons why you might want to do this. For example, if you’ve backed a team that’s currently losing, you may wish to cut your losses and avoid losing your whole stake. Conversely, if your bet looks like it’s going to come in but you’d rather not see out the last agonizing minutes — potentially missing out to a last minute goal — you can take a reduced profit and call it a day.
Bet builders allow you to combine multiple selections from the same match into one bet. Similar to a parlay, which combines markets from a mixture of different games, a bet builder acts as a single bet with one set of odds. Get started by clicking into an NHL game — if the bet builder function is available it’ll be listed as one of the tabs. From there, you can browse the bet builder markets and put your choices together in the betslip.
Live streaming enhances the live betting experience further by giving you the option to actually watch the game you’re betting on. This not only increases the excitement, but can allow you to make better-informed predictions on what’s going to happen next in a particular ice hockey match.
Other Sports at Hockey Betting Sites
At the best hockey betting sites, you’ll also find a range of other popular sports with which you can place a wager. As with NHL betting, there will be a range of betting markets and odds to choose from. Read carefully through the details on your chosen betting site before placing a bet.
Let’s take a look at some of the sports you may find on hockey betting sites.
Similar to the NHL, the NFL, America’s National Football League, contains 32 teams. NFL betting is now legal in several US states, adding extra excitement to the nation’s biggest sport. Alongside the NFL, there is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) which fields the highest level of college football players in the country.
Standing as one of the most popular sports in the world, it is now legal to bet on basketball matches in several US states. This means that fans can place bets on major basketball events such as the NBA finals, which is the concluding point of the most famous basketball league in the world. As with all sports, there are a range of markets and betting types to choose from such as an NBA moneyline bet, or an NBA totals over/under.
Another well loved sport in the US is baseball, with the main focus on Major League Baseball (MLB). Hosting 30 teams in total and with a season that runs from April until November, you’ll have plenty of time to check through the betting guides and place a wager on your favorite teams. Have a look through our baseball betting guides and be sure to read up on all terms and conditions before registering to bet.
An internationally loved sport with the men’s competition coming primarily from the ATP and the women’s through the LTA. There are dozens of betting types that can be placed on tennis, such as simple match betting, or a more complex handicap bet where you wager on the performance of a player against their expected outcome. This type of bet requires a decent knowledge of the game and adds a real layer of intrigue.
Aside from the US Open in June this year, there’s a whole host of international golfing tournaments that offer betting opportunities. Take a look through our review of golf betting sites and see which events and betting markets particularly take your fancy.
Historically, horse racing is one of the betting world’s most popular sports, with an international racing schedule that’s full of gambling opportunities. Back in 1978, the Interstate Horseracing Act was passed, enhancing the potential of the sport and allowing people to place wagers on off-track horse races across the country. Since then the world of horse racing has developed to include a unique betting market that provides additional entertainment to race track viewers.
Bonus Offers at NHL Betting Sites
As well as providing a great range of features for hockey betting, the top NHL sportsbooks also offer a great range of bonuses for new and existing customers. Check out some of the most common bonus offers at NHL betting sites below.
Free bets are easy to use and a great way to have a risk-free shot at hockey betting. They’re set to a particular value, for example $5, and you’ll keep the profit if you win but usually not the stake itself — you can think of it as a free token. Free bets are often available as part of NHL betting sites’ welcome offers, but you can also pick them up as an existing customer for big matches.
A matched deposit is another common new customer offer at NHL betting sites. When you make your first qualifying deposit, you’ll be able to claim a percentage of bonus credit up to a set amount. For example, a 100% deposit match on a $40 deposit would effectively double your money, giving you $40 of bonus credit to bet with. If the maximum bonus is $100 and you deposit $110, you’ll still just receive $100 in bonus credit, rather than your deposit being doubled.
An alternative to a free bet is a bet refund offer, also known as a risk-free bet. Here you’ll be making a real money wager on NHL betting lines, but you’ll receive your stake back if you lose. With some risk-free bets, you’ll get your stake back as a free bet, while others may give it back to you as withdrawable cash. Bet refunds are therefore a type of betting insurance, and a great way to try your luck on a new sport.
Payment Methods at NHL Betting Sites
To get yourself ready for NHL betting, you’ll need to deposit funds into your sportsbook account. The best sites offer a range of different deposit options, as well as different methods for withdrawing your cash later. Here are some of the most common payment methods at NHL betting sites.
e-Wallets like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill offer many benefits for US sports bettors. They offer instant deposits and fast withdrawals that are completed within 1–2 days, so you won’t have to wait around too long for your cash. Digital wallets also save you having to share your bank details — you can just log in with your email and password instead. On the flip side, be sure to check the terms and conditions of any bonus offers, as e-wallets are often excluded when making qualifying deposits.
If you don’t fancy creating any new accounts, debit cards are a safe way to go. Although entering your card details the first time isn’t always the quickest process, once your details are saved your future deposits will be taken care of in an instant. Withdrawals are on the slower side — often taking up to five days — but if that’s not a problem for you there are no other major drawbacks.
Trustly is a great alternative if you want to use your bank account for deposits and withdrawals but would rather not share your card details. This payment service uses Open Banking technology to connect your bank with your chosen NHL betting site. To make the payment, you’ll be taken to Trustly’s secure portal, where you’ll then log in to your bank using your account details or with two-factor authentication. Withdrawals are often instant once the betting site has completed its internal processing, making Trustly a solid upgrade from using your bank card.
If you’re happy topping up your betting account with small amounts at a time, Paysafecard’s prepaid vouchers are a great alternative. Bettors can purchase these in stores in different amounts and then use them to add funds to their sportsbook account. All you’ll need is the 16-digit PIN found on the card, so it’s a highly secure way to pay and a good way to keep track of your spending. The main disadvantage is that Paysafecard generally can’t be used for withdrawals, so you’ll need to use an alternative payment method for that step.
Mobile Hockey Betting
Thanks to developments in recent years, mobile hockey betting is now legal in multiple states. This allows residents and visitors to these states to place sports bets from anywhere within state lines. Mobile sports betting is available in:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- West Virginia
In these states, residents and visitors can use mobile apps or online betting platforms to wager on hockey from the comfort of your home. In these states, mobile sports betting apps are usually available for both Android and iOS devices. It is also worth noting that online odds and offers can differ from those offered a land-based retail sportsbook.
However, it is important that you are aware of the state-specific gambling laws before choosing a sportsbook, as the sign-up process can differ from state to state. For instance, in Nevada, you will need to visit a land-based sportsbook to verify your identity and register your account, before you can place a bet online via a mobile betting app.
For more information when it comes to picking the sports betting app that’s right for you, check out our mobile betting apps guide.
Online Hockey Betting in New Jersey
|William Hill Sportsbook
|Hard Rock Atlantic City
Online Hockey Betting in Nevada
||Where can I sign up?
|B-Connected (Sports and Horses)
||Cannery, The California, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, The Orleans, Gold Coast, Fremont, Main Street, Jokers Wild, Eldorado, Eastside Cannery
||Planet Hollywood, Bally’s, Paris, The Cromwell, Flamingo, The LINQ, Rio, Caesar’s Palace, Harrah’s
||Golden Nugget Laughlin, Golden Nugget Las Vegas
||MGM Resorts International
||Aria, Bellagio, Circus Circus, Excalibur, Luxor, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Mandalay Bay
||South Point Casino
||South Point Casino, Rampart Casino
||Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, The Venetian, The Palazzo, The M, Palms, Tropicana, Silverton
||El Cortez, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Greer’s, Barley’s Casino, Wild Wild West, Wildfire Casinos, Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station, Texas Station, Boulder Station, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station
|TI Mobile Sports
||Westgate Las Vegas
||Westgate Las Vegas Casino SuperBook
||Wynn Las Vegas
||William Hill US
||The DSLS, Hooters, Plaza, Downtown Grand, Tuscany, Binion’s, Four Queens, Ellis Island, Silver Sevens
Online Hockey Betting in West Virginia
Always Gamble Responsibly
Always Gamble Responsibly at NHL Betting Sites
With so many different markets and bonuses available at NHL betting sites, it’s easy to get carried away. That’s why it’s so important to follow responsible gambling guidelines and keep your gambling activities casual and fun. Below are some warning signs to stay mindful of, and a list of betting tips you should adhere to if you think your gambling is starting to become a problem:
Warning signs of problem gambling:
- An increased preoccupation with gambling
- Becoming irritable when not able to gamble
- Chasing losses
- Feeling the need to gamble more money to reach the same level of excitement as before
- Lying about gambling habits
- Stealing or borrowing money for gambling
- Negative impacts on other areas of life, such as your professional or social life
- Unsubscribe from promotional material from gambling sites
- Set up time-outs to limit your time spent on gambling sites
- Set up deposit and loss limits to help control your spending
- Use self-exclusion tools for set periods of time if you feel you need to stop gambling entirely
Responsible Gambling Organizations
If you’re worried about your gambling habits, always remember that you’re not alone and the first step to receiving help is to share your problems with someone. There are many resources out there to help if you or one of your loved ones need support. You can start by checking out our problem gambling page here at Compare.bet. For further resources, see the following:
- The National Council on Problem Gambling – the oldest organization on gambling issues in the US. Offers a 24-hour confidential helpline and live chat
- Local Support – the National Council also has a page dedicated to signposting local support for residents in each state
- Gamblers Anonymous – a fellowship of people who share their experiences and support each other
- Gam-Anon – a self-help organization for the loved ones of compulsive gamblers
- GamTalk – a 24/7-moderated online peer support forum
Get Started with One of Our NHL Betting Sites
Now that you’re all clued up on US hockey betting, you’re ready to get out there and make a bet on the action. Want to know the latest on legal sports betting in your state? Here at Compare.bet, we’re tracking all the movements of sports betting in America and will continue to provide you with the latest sports betting news and legal developments.
No. Just like any other type of sports, there is no winning formula or method when it comes to placing a bet on hockey. As with any other form of gambling, you could win, or you could lose, nothing is guaranteed. Different bet types carry different levels of risk, a straight bet would be much safer compared to a parlay bet which yields a higher payout but is much riskier. If you’re new to betting on hockey we suggest dipping your toes into the sports betting pool by placing a bet that carries less risk before placing high stakes wagers.
Yes, as long as you place your bets with a licensed and regulated sportsbook. In the states where sports betting is legal, all sportsbooks, land-based and online, must be regulated and granted approval before they can accept bets. Regulatory bodies ensure that these sportsbooks offer bettors fair chances and implement security measures to protect customer information, but it is up to bettors to gamble responsibly and never bet more than they can afford to lose.
Yes. Each sportsbook has a number of promotions and bonuses, such as free bets offers and matched deposit deals. These cover a wide range of sports, though some offer bonuses specifically for hockey betting markets. The exact bonuses vary, depending on the sportsbook you choose, so it’s well worth shopping around to find the best deal for you.
Yes. In states where sports betting is legal, sportsbooks offer odds on a variety of different professional and amateur sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer and darts. Some sportsbooks even offer odds on NCAA hockey games.
No. Offshore betting sites are not licensed to operate in the US and are therefore unregulated. This means that these sites are not required to meet basic player protection standards. On top of this, there is no way of seeing who is managing your money and some even engage in predatory marketing and advertising practices. If you want to bet on hockey online stick with a regulated site. If online sports betting is not legal in your state we recommend waiting until it is.
Yes, it’s possible to make in-play bets through the best hockey betting sites. You’ll find that odds for in-play betting will only change during breaks, meaning you have a chance to reassess the game and place your bets without missing any of the action.