At first, understanding hockey betting and NHL odds seems as fast-moving as a puck on ice. But NHL betting isn’t as complicated as it seems—and it won’t take long for your bets to sail into the goal. Learn how to read NHL odds and how to bet on NHL games with DraftKings Sportsbook for the ultimate hockey betting experience.
Like all betting odds, NHL odds tell you two things: Who’s favored to win, and how much you can win if you bet on (or against) them. NHL odds tell you how much you’d need to risk to win $100.
For example, in a Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens game, the Boston Bruins may be listed -130, meaning that you must bet $130 for a $100 profit if the Bruins win. But if the odds for the Canadiens are +130, you’d win $130 profit for a $100 bet (higher payout and lower bet for the underdog team).
Sometimes, very evenly matched teams will both have minus signs. But generally, you’ll see a sportsbook choose one team as the favorite, and one team as the underdog.
Betting on which team is going to win is just one part of the NHL betting experience. When learning how to bet on hockey, you have moneylines to consider, plus puck lines, over/unders, and futures. It may seem like you’re skating on thin ice, but don’t worry—there’s no penalty for taking a few moments to learn about which types of hockey bets you can make on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Known as the puck line in hockey, a spread is a margin of points by which you’re betting a team will win. It adds an extra element to NHL bets that depends more on the score than the win/lose outcome of the game.
For example, if the NHL spread between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils is 1.5 goals, the favorite’s puck line is -1.5 and the underdog’s puck line is +1.5. The favorite team must win by at least 1.5 goals for that bet to pay out. However, a bet on the underdog pays out even if the other team wins but fails to cover the spread.
A moneyline is a straight bet on who will win or lose the game. Payouts are determined by the odds listed in the NHL odds sheet, with favorites garnering higher bets and giving lower payouts, and underdogs requiring lower bets and giving higher payouts.
Unlike the game line on an NHL lines sheet, the 60 Minute Line bets on which team will win at the end of three periods (regulation time, not including overtime). Also called a three-way bet, the 60 minute bet provides better odds than a moneyline bet because players can bet on a winning team at 60 minutes, or they can bet on a tie result. However, if the game goes into overtime, the bet loses.
When you place an over/under (O/U) bet in hockey, you’re betting that the total number of goals scored will be over or under a given number. A typical O/U in hockey is 5.5, meaning that an over bet wins if the score totals 6 or more (6-0, or 5-1, or 4-2, for example). An under bet wins if the score totals five or fewer goals (2-1, or 4-0, for example).
If the score matches the O/U exactly—such as O/U of 6 for a 4-2 game—the result is a push, meaning that bets are refunded without profit.
Placing a player props bet means that you’re wagering on an individual player’s performance and/or statistics. Player props bets range from standard (total number of goals in a game) to more obscure (how many shots on goal will occur in a game).
You can also bet on a particular team’s specific performance beyond a win—for example, whether the Edmonton Oilers or the Calgary Flames will score first in their season opener.
If betting on an individual game isn’t exciting enough, you may find that parlay bets are more your speed. They involve betting on a larger swath of games, combining multiple legs in one bet. While parlay bets can pay out big time, the risk is high—losing just one of your legs loses the entire bet.
Futures betting in sports involves betting on the results of a future event. In NHL betting, futures bets include wagering on a team’s chances of making the playoffs, winning the division and conference, and taking home the coveted Stanley Cup. At DraftKings Sportsbook, you can check out Stanley Cup odds and other odds for futures bets before making your decision.
On DraftKings, you’ll find a section in the NHL odds sheet labeled Season Specials. These bets are season-specific bets on players, teams, and winning streaks. The odds can be higher or lower for these bets based on their probability, and they change from season to season.
For more of an in-the-moment sports betting experience, NHL live betting allows players to make bets on games after they’ve begun. These pages load in real time and reflect changes as they come. Live bets include a player’s probability of scoring the next goal or the spread between the teams in the game as you watch it. Players who like the thrill of sports bars and betting in live casinos may enjoy this element of NHL betting.
Once you’ve decided where you want to place your NHL bets, just log on to DraftKings Sportsbook and click your desired wager for a digital bet slip. Then watch the game—and collect any payouts that come your way.
If you’re new to hockey and can’t tell a twig from a biscuit, make sure you review these terms before you get too deep into the NHL betting experience.
Watching the puck fly back and forth in an NHL game makes you feel like you’re right in the middle of the action. Adding the element of NHL betting can enhance the experience, whether you’re placing a straightforward moneyline bet or a multi-leg parlay.
Always wager responsibly when playing NHL bets. Set a budget and stick to it, and avoid live bets if it feels too impulsive for you. If you’ve hit your betting limit, sit back and enjoy the game—that’s the best bet of all.
New to Sports Betting? Click for some helpful tips before you get started!