Types of Ice Hockey/NHL bets

With the NHL regular season finally underway, ice hockey bettors can once again wager on the biggest league in the world.

For those learning how to bet on the NHL, check out our detailed ice hockey betting guide. But, before you look at in-depth betting strategy, let’s first see which types of bets are available when wagering on ice hockey and the NHL.

Money line

The basic bet type in ice hockey is the money line, which lets you wager on which team will win a match. There is usually a favourite to win, with shorter odds, and an underdog, where your winnings will be higher if your bet is successful. You can also bet on a tie for individual game wagering.

With match betting in the NHL, sportsbooks will additionally offer odds on series betting as well as individual match odds. Ice hockey teams will usually play each other in a best-of-seven series.


The Philadelphia Flyers are playing the Montreal Canadiens in game 5 of 7 and 888 Sport is offering odds of -125 that the Flyers win the match. The Canadiens are the underdogs with odds of +124.

With the Flyers already ahead in the series, they are even bigger favorites to win the series at -400, while the Canadiens are +305 for the series. If you bet $10 on the Flyers to win game 5, your payout would be $18 ($8 in winnings) if they won, while a successful $10 bet on them winning the series at -400 would earn you $12.50 ($2.50 in winnings).

The puck line

This bet type is similar to the run line in baseball betting. When you wager on the puck line, you are either betting that the favorite will beat the point spread of -1.5 or that the underdog will beat the point spread of +1.5.

So, if you bet on the favorite, they would have to win by a margin of 2 or more. If the underdog lost by 1, or ended up drawing or winning the game, an underdog puck line bet would be successful.

Point spread

Similar to American football and basketball betting, you can also bet on the point spread in ice hockey or the NHL. This gives you a wider range of spreads than the standard puck line of 1.5.

For example, depending on how confident you are a favorite will win the game, you can bet on them to beat a point spread of -2.5. This would give you much higher odds than the money line.

If you were betting on an underdog to beat a point spread, the odds would be shorter the bigger the spread. But each interval is still useful if the favorite is expected to win by a very heavy margin.

Regulation time betting

Another variation of puck lines and point spreads is regulation time betting. Here, you either bet on the favorite at -0.5 or the underdog at +0.5. Betting on the favourite here means you are essentially betting on that team to win in regulation time.

Any other outcome – underdog win in regular time, underdog win in overtime, tie or favorite win in overtime – would see the underdog cover the regulation time spread.


As with all other US sports, sportsbooks offer totals betting for ice hockey and the NHL. This is when you bet on whether the amount of goals scored will go over or under the line set by the sportsbook.

In ice hockey, lines are usually set between 5.0 and 6.0, with a high number of games set at 5.5. So if you think a game will be high scoring, with more than five goals, you would bet over. If you bet under, though, your bet would be successful if the match finished 2-1.


With the amount of games on the NHL schedule, ice hockey betting offers plenty of opportunities for parlay betting. A parlay is a group of selections making up one bet, rather than a single wager.

The odds for a two-team parlay would always be greater than the odds of the same two selections as singles. But with every added selection comes a greater chance of losing your bet.

For example, betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs to win on the money line would be a single. Betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs to win on the money line and the Boston Bruins to win on the money line in a different match would be a parlay. Parlays can involve anything from a two-team bet to even a 15-team wager.

First period betting

Some sportsbooks offer you odds on specific periods within matches as well as the whole ice hockey game itself. The most common is first period betting, which simply involves the opening 20 minutes of play.

These types of bets are usually available for the money line winner of the first period, or using a 0.5 point spread (which is like a reduced puck line). So if you aren’t sure a team is going to win the whole game, but they usually start very strong, you could instead wager on them to win the first period.

Prop betting

In ice hockey betting, there are a number of individual bet types that can either be more fun or more specifically focused on smaller areas of the game. One example is the Grand Salami, which is an entertaining bet type you can find in baseball, as well.

For this bet, the over/under totals from every game in a day’s action are combined, meaning you can wager on whether the overall goals in the day will be over or under a certain line. Other examples of a prop bet include: player to score a goal, first team to score or shots taken total.

Futures betting

When betting on ice hockey, you can also wager on long-term outcomes, rather than just one match or series. This can include the winner of the Stanley Cup, NHL Eastern Conference winner and NHL Western Conference winner.