NHL bet Types

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here, and what better time to explain the different NHL bet types. While not as popular as MLB or NFL betting, NHL betting provides a different type of wagering perspective given the flow of the game and the standard frequency of scoring output. There are a wide variety of NHL bet types and playoff hockey is a great time to explain the ins and outs of betting on hockey.

Longtime broadcaster and gambling expert David Tuchman is here to explain the different NHL bet types ahead of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

Betting on hockey is unique because of the sheer amount of betting options, but pre-game, live-betting, and futures.  At this point, I can bet on who’s going to win the Cup, how many shots Connor McDavid will get tonight, and what the correct score will be in the Ottawa Senators game. If there’s something you want to bet on, it’s likely offered over at BetRivers.com

NHL betting has exploded worldwide and as a result, there are many other ways to wager on a game that are really fun. Here are a few quick explanations on NHL bet types: The most common hockey bets are the moneyline, puck line, and Over/Under goal total. Those three bets are also typically the easiest to understand and the most popular to wager on.

Click here for a full list of NHL game bets and futures



Betting the Moneyline is easy – Just pick the team that you think will win. There are no ties in the NHL because of OT/Shootouts so every game has a winner.

Each team is given a line based on how likely the team is to win. The Moneyline number is displayed as it relates to $100. If the favorite is -275, you would need to bet $275 to win $100, and if the underdog is +210, you would win $210 for every $100 you place. For smaller wagers, think about it like this: If betting on a -275 ML favorite, you would make $1 for every $2.75 you wager, and if you are betting on a +210 ML underdog, you would make $2.10 for every $1 you wager. In sports with low scoring frequency, like hockey, Moneyline etting is typically the most popular wager of the game. 

You can also bet on the game’s “regular time” outcome – meaning without Overtime. This gives us an added outcome because ties are possible. As a result, you’ll get better odds on the team you want to wager on. For example, the Washington Capitals are -141 on the Moneyline meaning they can win the game in regular time OR Overtime/Shootout. But Washington is +115 to win in regular time meaning they must win in the first 60 minutes of play for you to win your bet. If the game goes to OT and the Caps win there, you still lose. 


OVER/UNDER goal totals are also quite simple. Add up the number of goals in the game. Once a game goes to OT, only one more goal will count toward the total regardless of how many shootout goals are scored.

For example, if you bet OVER 6.5 in the Penguins vs. Islanders game, and they are tied 3-3 in the 3rd period – Good news! You’re going to win! If the OVER/UNDER is 6 goals, and the final score is 4-2, the bet is a push. 


The puck line is the hockey equivalent to the spread. If a team is a -1 Puck Line Favorite, that team would need to win by one or more goals for your bet to win.  Because most hockey games are pretty low scoring, you usually see one team -1.5 goals/+1.5 goals. In some more lop-sided affairs, you might see a team at +2 or -2.

Very simply, if you’re betting the puck line, you just add (or subtract) the line from your team’s total to see if you’ve won. It’s a way to get odds when you’re really confident. 


You can bet on anything from who will win the Vezina Trophy to who will hoist the Stanley Cup. Depending on who you bet on, these can be quite lucrative. Futures odds typically change as the season progresses, and given how many ebbs and flows there are over the course of an 82-game season, futures betting can be very lucrative. Take for example the Florida Panthers, currently +1400 to win the Stanley Cup. At the beginning of the season, the Panthers were +4500 to win the Stanley Cup. If you placed a $10 wager before the season on Florida +4500 and the Panthers go on to win the Stanley Cup, you will win $450 compared to the $140 you would win if you placed the wager right now.


Prop bets are incredibly popular are always fun. Who will score the first goal? Will there be a fight in the game? How many first-period goals will be scored? 

We all know there are three periods in a hockey game. But did you know that you can bet on each period? There are teams that come out of the gate screaming – why not capitalize on that and bet on them to win the first period? The low-scoring frequency of hockey, coupled with an 82-game season makes finding 20-minute trends a bit easier. If you can identify which teams are slow starters, or which teams always score in the third period, you can win big.


You can also bet on what the correct final score will be. This is an ambitious play and something you’ll get paid for handsomely if you can get it right. It’s hard, but certainly not as hard as you might think since there aren’t that many goals scored. BetRivers.com doesn’t just give you one or two options, though. You can pick any score outcome, and the odds are almost always long, meaning bigger payouts if you win. The shortest odds on an exact score bet is typically around +1000, meaning if you wager $1 you will win $10, a $10 wager will win $100 and a $100 wager will win $1,000.


This is a wager you probably never heard of but is becoming a popular bet type because of the three-bet options, you get two chances to win. Simply put, a double-chance wager is a two-for-one bet on the regulation outcome. There are three possible outcomes at the end of regulation, and each bet option gives you two chances.

The three options are: 1) Home team wins or a tie, 2) Away team wins or a tie, or 3) Home team wins or Away team wins.

But because the odds are very much in your favor, you will typically have to bet more money to make more money. Games involving teams with a low number of overtime appearances are typically the best games to place a double-chance bet on.