The 2021-2022 NHL season is in full swing, and there are a number of intriguing storylines worth following. The increased popularity of sports betting has even more eyes on the NHL this season. With 1,271 regular season games to bet on, the NHL gives bettors a ton of options and ways to win. When betting on the NHL, it is important to stay updated on recent trends, injuries, lineup changes, and odds.
The Colorado Avalanche are the current favorites to win the Stanley Cup (+550 on DraftKings), while Vegas Golden Knights (+700) and Tampa Bay Lightning (+800) are not far behind.
Let’s take a closer look at some NHL betting odds and the broader betting situation when it comes to hockey.
Current NHL Stanley Cup Odds
Stanley Cup odds are often reflective of how the previous season played out. But they also take into consideration the expectations for specific teams. That is why the 2020 Stanley Cup winner, the Tampa Bay Lightning, opened as the favorite at many books.
The Colorado Avalanche currently have the best odds at winning the Stanley Cup (+550). Colorado has been able to find a groove despite missing a number of key contributors. They got a big boost when star forward Nathan MacKinnon returned to the lineup in early December, and the offense has been on fire ever since. The Avalanche lead the NHL in goals per game with 4.29, and that average increases to 4.67 when they play at home.
The Vegas Golden Knights own the second-best odds at +700, while the Tampa Bay Lightning follow at +800.
Time will tell whether the current favorite teams retain their lead or if things change up significantly over the course of the regular season.
Which States Offer NHL Betting Odds
The majority of big legal sportsbooks in the US allow NHL betting. This lets hockey fans to place wagers on NHL lines provided that their state has legalized online or retail sportsbooks.
Currently, almost two dozen states have some form of legal sports betting, either at retail sportsbooks or online sports betting sites. Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania were some of the earliest states. More recently, Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois launched online betting, whereas states like New York have retail sportsbooks but no online betting. Other states, such as Virginia and Louisiana look like they could launch sports betting in 2021.
There’s hope yet for a few states on the cuff, though this season will likely end before bettors in those markets can wager on the NHL. New York is on the cusp of mobile sports betting. Governor Cuomo signed the mobile betting bill into law, and now it’s just a waiting game for the regulations and licenses to come through. Arizona and Texas, both longtime gambling holdouts, are showing early signs of legislation.
For an overview of where you can bet in the US, check out our guide on US Sports Betting Apps.
Sportsbooks With The Best Hockey Odds
Fortunately, the differences between the odds provided by most major sportsbooks aren’t that severe. Major sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel provide odds using legitimate linemakers or oddsmakers: statistical professionals who work hard to provide fair sports betting wagers for both sides in a given match.
DraftKings is well known for sports betting in general but it’s a particularly good choice for NHL sports betting. As one of the largest sportsbooks in the industry, you’ll find deep betting markets both before and throughout the hockey season (plus a wide array of futures bets for who will win the Stanley Cup).
Beyond that, the DraftKings mobile app is user-friendly and intuitive. It offers easy betting throughout the season and even during live gaming events. Players should take advantage of the mobile-only NHL betting pools. When it comes to betting variety, there’s no one better – DraftKings already has futures bets for both players and teams available and waiting!
BetMGM is a relatively recent sportsbook but it’s a great choice for hockey wagering. It offers an extensive array of game lines and bets, plus makes creating your own parlay bet quick and easy through the betting slip you can access on the side of the screen.
The app and desktop sites are both player-friendly since you can easily access favored or “featured” bets right on the home page. Jumping into the action is quite easy with this sportsbook.
Caesars Sportsbook is another well-known and robust sportsbook that offers an intuitive mobile app with easy navigation and betting slip access. Furthermore, it offers excellent live betting where you can place wagers right in the heart of the action.
It provides a good spread of NHL game lines and odds are usually competitive. Regular promotions are offered to spice up the action.
NHL Playoffs Betting Odds
Since the playoffs and finals games are some ways away, the odds for the NHL playoffs will be adjusted throughout the year. Because of this, when diving into the Stanley Cup futures market, it is important to stay up to date with current trends for each team. The Stanley Cup odds are constantly updated as teams go through winning streaks or losing streaks and as different players are traded, become injured, or are otherwise affected during the season.
The Colorado Avalanche are currently predicted to win the Stanley Cup with +600 odds. If you place a $10 wager on them now, your bet would win $60 if they in fact go on to win the Stanley Cup.
NHL Playoff Series Odds
NHL playoff series odds are separated into two major types: odds about which teams will make it into the playoffs and which teams will win the playoffs.
Obviously, the first set of wagers will be released early in the NHL season. This allows bettors to make predictions about which teams will make it to the playoff games.
The second set of wagers will be released immediately before and during the playoffs. NHL series odds will be constantly adjusted as different teams either progress through the brackets or are eliminated.
There will also be prop bets around playoff series, such has how many games the Avalanche might win in a certain round of the playoffs or how many goals are scored during a series.
NHL Game Odds
Players will find a variety of different NHL game lines on which to place wagers throughout the season. Here are a few examples:
- NHL Moneylines – Moneyline bets are popular across most professional sports leagues. Players can simply focus on picking the winner. Payouts are adjusted to account for team inequity (i.e. you’ll make more money betting on the underdog than the reverse)
- NHL Futures – Players can place NHL futures bets based on future events. These are usually wagers surrounding the Stanley Cup winner or those who make the playoffs. You’ll get more money by betting earlier in the season than later since the NHL futures odds become less risky as time goes on
- NHL Spreads – Also called NHL puck line bets, these allow players to “bet the spread”. Basically, players wager on which team will win a game based on the spread of points necessary for a payout. This allows players to enjoy wagering action even when betting on the underdog team since it’s harder to win money by placing bets on the favorite
All odds are posted with negative values representing the odds or spread for the favorite team while positive values represent the spread for the underdog team.
For a basic moneyline bet, a team with a -130 score means you’ll need to bet $130 in order to win $100. A team with a +130 score means you’ll only need to bet $100 to win $130.
During an NHL game, certain events can affect game odds both during the match itself and the odds leading up to game day. These include:
- If a player is injured
- Both teams’ prior victory and loss records
- Coach changes
- Player trading
- Whether a team is playing at their home stadium
NHL Live Odds
Some of the best sportsbooks will offer in-play or live betting, though not all of them do this for the NHL. In-play betting allows you to place wagers on events that are occurring or are likely to occur during a live game. Many top-tier sportsbooks will even let you live stream game footage as you place your wagers.
For NHL in-play bets, all the live betting odds are calculated from the pre-match odds that are then considered with the current score, plus additional factors such as injured players, the time remaining, and so on. Thus, in-play bets are still heavily connected to pre-match odds.
Placing an in-game bet is quick and easy with most sportsbooks that provide this feature:
- Find the game you are watching, either on a TV or through your mobile app if it provides a live streaming service
- Pull up your betting slip and select the tab or section that says “live betting”
- You’ll find a selection of NHL wagers to place regarding the current game. Odds should update automatically and consistently
- Place your wager using your normal betting slip and see how things turn out
Placing NHL Prop Bets
NHL prop bets are usually released by major sportsbooks close to the postseason marker. For this season, that might be around May, as the playoffs are expected to begin around this time, with the finals games occurring sometime in July.
NHL player props typically focus on the contenders to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which marks a player as the NHL MVP for the playoff tournament. Odds will typically range between +100 to +1000 and reflect oddsmakers’ estimates of players’ abilities and their raw point production. Odds also take the chances of a player’s team winning the Stanley Cup into account.
What To Look For On An NHL Betting Site
Any great sports betting site with NHL wagers should have excellent odds and available game lines, first and foremost. Hockey may not be as popular in America as it is in Canada, but that’s no reason you should settle for shallow betting markets when there are plenty of betting sites with more varied NHL game picks.
You’ll also want to look for betting sites that offer great promotions, plus offers specific to NHL lines. For instance, some sportsbooks like DraftKings provide mobile-only NHL wagers. Others might offer bets for which player will be voted the MVP during the playoffs.
If your NHL betting strategies have a focus on long-term action, be sure to find a sportsbook or betting site that allows you to place a future bet on who will win the Stanley Cup this season.
How To Sign Up For An NHL Betting App
Signing up for an NHL betting app is quick and easy. Use our site or others to determine which sportsbook will be a good pick for your bets this season.
If you’re on an iPhone device:
- Type the name of the betting app you want into the App Store search bar
- Download the app once you find it
If you’re on an Android device:
- Type the name of the betting app you want into the Google search bar. The Play Store does not allow gambling apps at all
- Find the “download” section of the sportsbook’s size
- Download the mobile app and install it on your Android device
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can complete the registration process by providing a few pieces of personal information like your Social Security number, your address, and your date of birth. Depending on the state you live in, you may need to visit a retail casino to complete the registration process (Illinois, for example, requires this, though most states do not).
After registration is complete, you can then make an initial deposit and claim any opening bonus if applicable. Bank transfers or credit or debit card deposits are usually the fastest means of funding your account.
Once your account is funded, you can start placing NHL bets right away. Some sportsbooks might provide you with NHL betting tips depending on the one you pick, so choose wisely.
FAQs – NHL Odds And Picks
Yes, in certain states. Note the list of states with legalized sports betting above to determine if you can partake in sports wagers for the NHL season.
All major sportsbooks have their own oddsmakers that set odds to win the NHL championship and Stanley Cup. However, sportsbooks will also sometimes take other books’ odds into account, so most books end up with pretty similar odds for major events like the championship.
You can place NHL future bets for the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs and final match up a few weeks prior to the beginning of the season.
Check your favorite sportsbook websites for updated odds on the 2021 NHL season this year. You can also check sports betting resources like Gaming Today.
Some of them do. DraftKings and FanDuel often have draft pick odds prior to a season’s start.
Yes. DraftKings offers play-friendly NHL odds before and throughout the season.
Yes. FanDuel offers live sports betting for both the NHL and other professional sports leagues like football, basketball, and more.