Just watching a close hockey game is a high stress affair on its own. Every possession has game changing potential and the heart skips a beat when the wrong team slaps the puck towards your number one goalie. Now, take that stress and double it and you’ve got a close approximation of what it feels like to have real money on the line at hockey betting sites.
Why do we do this to ourselves? I don’t know, but it’s awesome. Having a little skin in the game puts you in the middle of every shot and every save. It’s one thing to bask in the glory of your team winning a big game, but it’s a whole different experience when you have a personal stake in the outcome.
Don’t have any bookmakers nearby? No problem – that’s where hockey betting sites enter the picture. As long as you have a computer and access to the internet (something tells me you do), you’ve got everything you need to place real money bets on the NHL, the Olympic Games and other leagues around the world.
Where to Bet on Hockey Online
Simply finding an online sportsbook that accepts hockey wagers will never be a problem. Hockey may not have even half the viewership numbers of football or baseball, but it’s still a mainstay sport in many parts of the world. It would be very surprising to find a betting site that doesn’t cover the sport.
However, we want to do more than just find a place to bet. We want to find the best place to bet. Some hockey betting websites seem to do the minimum just so they can claim they cover hockey. Others offer an extensive selection of wagers for a variety of national and international leagues. We want to find brands and operators that fit the second category.
Long story short, the above hockey betting sites are the ones that fit the bill. They are all safe, trustworthy places with the most complete lineup of betting options. It’s no accident that these are some of the biggest names in the online gambling industry. Successful sports gambling sites have the resources and manpower to support an extensive variety of wagers in all sports.
What do you mean by “coverage”?
When I say “coverage,” what I mean is the variety of wagers and the number of games for which bets are available. Most hockey betting sites are pretty good about covering all the NHL games. That alone is good for more than 1200 games. At the minimum, a site should offer pucklines and point totals for every game of the NHL season.
The best hockey sites take it further with wagers on Olympic matchups and leagues in other nations such as the Kontinental Hockey League and the Elite Ice Hockey League. These other leagues are pretty niche so I won’t hold it against a site if it doesn’t cover these other leagues all the time. It’s a nice bonus but not mandatory.
Is it safe to bet on hockey online?
Yes, but only if you do business with reputable betting sites. The internet requires trust in all matters of finance. It’s not like you walk in, look someone in the eye and shake his hand. Everything revolves around reputation. And even on the internet, you cannot fake a reputation. People talk and word gets out. Eventually, time sorts the good from the bad.
That’s another reason why I like to default to established brands. The longer a website has been around, the more information you can dig up. If you run a search on any of the hockey betting sites that I recommend, you’ll see that I’m not the only person with good things to say about these companies.
Is online hockey betting legal?
The answer to this question depends on where you live. My readers from the UK have a clear-cut answer: yes. Not only is it legal to bet online in the United Kingdom, but the government actually monitors the industry and issues licenses to gaming companies.
The answer is not as clear-cut for visitors from other countries, especially those located in the United States. Technically, there’s nothing in the law that says it is illegal for people like you and me to place bets over the internet. Several states have laws on the books that could be interpreted to apply to individual gamblers, but those laws aren’t enforced at all.
On the other hand, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) and the Wire Act do outlaw the business of online sports betting. Those who own and operate online sportsbooks do face serious legal risks. That’s why all the big sites are hosted overseas in gambling-friendly countries. As a rule, we only reccomend playing at licensed and regulated gambling sites. The good news for those readers in the US, is that daily fantasy sports websites provide a safe and legal sports option for hockey fans.
Looking for Something More Specific?
This page is intended as a guide to hockey betting sites in general. If you’re looking for a specific type of hockey, we have a couple other pages with information of a more specific nature.
Types of Hockey Bets and Wagers
Now it’s time to get to the fun stuff. A quick review of the different types of hockey bets will have you ready to place your wagers in no time. Hockey is a pretty straightforward sport for betting purposes. There are four main types of bets that you’re likely to encounter.
Hockey Moneyline Bets
The moneyline is a basic wager on who will win the game. Hockey sportsbook sites set the payout odds for wagers on each team and display them in the betting area in a format that looks something like this:
- Washington Capitals +165
- Chicago Blackhawks -200
In this matchup, the oddsmaker believes the Capitals are the underdogs and have given them payout odds of +165. This means that for every $1.00 you wager on the Capitals, you will profit $1.65 if they win the game.
The situation is reversed for the Blackhawks, who are believed to have the advantage going into this game. Hockey betting odds of -200 mean that you will need to risk $2.00 for every $1.00 in potential profits. If, for example, you wager $200 on the Blackhawks and they win, you’ll be paid a total of $300 for a net profit of $100.
Hockey Puck Line Betting
Once you understand how the moneyline works, you’ll have no problem with the puck line. The only difference between the two is that the puck line gives or takes a couple of goals from each team to help even out lopsided matches or give you the opportunity to approach a game from a different angle.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re confident in the Blackhawks but aren’t sold on backing them at -200. If your hockey site has a puck line on that game, you can get better odds in return for giving up a scoring advantage. Here’s an example of that same Capitals-Blackhawks game in the puck line format:
- Washington Capitals +1.5 -185
- Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 +160
You’ll recognize the moneyline hockey odds in this wager. Those are still in effect, although the payouts are different. The +1.5 and -1.5 shows the point spread. In this example, Blackhawks are giving the Capitals 1.5 goals. What this means is the Blackhawks must win by at least 2 goals to win the match for betting purposes.
Hockey Point Totals and Over/Under Betting
The point total gives you an opportunity to wager on how many total goals will be scored in the game. The oddsmaker sets a total (usually around 5 to 5.5) and you try to predict if the actual combined score of both teams ends up being greater than or less than the total.
Grand Salami Hockey Wagering
The Grand Salami is a variation of the point total except it covers all games played on a single day. In this wager, the hockey betting site sets a number (usually around 50-60 depending on how many games are scheduled) and you try to predict if the total number of goals scored that day is greater than or less than that number.
One Last Thing
I’ll be the first to admit that my hockey betting strategy is pretty haphazard. However, I do have one tip that will help you no matter how good or bad you are. Get an account at more than one sports betting site and shop the odds every time you find a bet you want to place.
If you’re thinking about backing the Capitals at +165, for example, check around and make sure someone else isn’t paying +170 or +180. This requires no special knowledge or even any real effort. You’ll be surprised at how often you find discrepancies between hockey betting sites. Take advantage of that and make sure you always get the most for your money.
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