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NHL Betting Odds

You can forgive an old Toronto Maple Leafs fan if they felt slightly bitter when the Vegas Golden Knights won their first Stanley Cup last year.

If you were alive the last time Toronto won a Stanley Cup (1967), you probably still use a landline to call your friends.

Vegas became the youngest franchise to win the Stanley Cup since the NHL experienced major expansion in 1967.

It was only VGK’s sixth year in the league.

Although Colorado and Carolina opened as the Stanley Cup betting favorites this season, the Leafs were also near the top of the odds board.

After winning their first playoff series in 19 years, the Maple Leafs and their fans have even bigger expectations for 2024.

But as Leaf’s fans know so well, big expectations don’t guarantee success.

2023-24 NHL Teams To Beat

Colorado Avalanche +750 To Win Stanley Cup

Only two years ago, Colorado was the team celebrating with Lord Stanley’s Mug all summer.

Last year, as the playoffs began, there was talk of the Avalanche making another long run and repeating as Cup champs.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell the Seattle Kraken that plan, and the upstart Kraken shocked the hockey world with a 7-game series win against the Avs.

However, any team with Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, Devon Toews and probably the deepest blue-line group in the NHL will be tough.

Nathan MacKinnon is being discussed as the league’s best player, and Cale Makar is being discussed as the league’s best defenseman.

Good things must be happening for Colorado when those two conversations are occurring.

However, the Avalanche have let in a lot more goals this year compared to years past. If they want to make a deep run, like the Stanley Cup run from two years ago, they will need more saves.

Carolina Hurricanes +1000 To Win Stanley Cup

The Carolina Hurricanes have won their division in each of the last three regular seasons and were considered an elite Eastern Conference team all three of those years.

It will be hard for Carolina to catch the Metropolitan leading NY Rangers this year, but maybe bettors are sleeping on how good the Hurricanes still are.

Last year, after the Hurricanes knocked off the Islanders and the New Jersey Devils in the first two rounds of the playoffs, many NHL experts made them the betting favorite to win it all.

Unfortunately, Carolina ran into a Florida Panthers team that had already knocked off Boston and Toronto and had no problems eliminating the Hurricanes as well.

This year, like years past, Carolina doesn’t have a lot of superstar talent. Instead, they will rely on speed, physicality, and structure.

Rod Brind’Amour originally made a name for himself as a hard-nosed, talented NHL player.

Brind’Amour might just be a better coach than he was a player, and he was really good on the ice.

Toronto Maple Leafs +1000 To Win Stanley Cup

In a league with only 32 teams, and where 50% of those teams make the playoffs each season, no franchise should ever go 19 years between playoff series wins.

Fortunately for Leafs fans, when Toronto knocked off Tampa Bay in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Maple Leafs ended a 19-year playoff winless drought.

Will their first-round success from last year help propel Toronto to reach their first Stanley Cup final since 1967?

History tells us no. That Leafs fans must continue to suffer.

However, don’t be fooled when Toronto makes a great regular season run and finishes near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Leafs fans know there is a big difference between success in the regular season and success in the playoffs.

Vegas Golden Knights +1300 To Win Stanley Cup

Last year’s regular season was full of perseverance for the Vegas Golden Knights.

VGK had four starting goalies play at least ten regular season games and used five different starting goalies during the regular season.

When the playoffs began, the Knights starting goalie was Laurent Brossoit.

When the last game was played and the Cup celebrations were underway, Aidan Hill was between the pipes for the Golden Knights.

This year, Vegas continues to show that its roster is constructed to achieve a lot of wins.

Their top four defenders, Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, Brayden McNabb, and Alec Martinez, are really, really good.

Mark Stone and Jack Eichel both have significant injury risks, but so far this year, both players are averaging over a point per game while playing a lot of games.

Vegas is going to win a lot of regular-season hockey games again this year. Many NHL fans and experts believe they are actually better constructed for playoff success.

NHL Betting Odds Explained

As sports betting continues to legalize and gain popularity across North America, placing your favorite NHL bets has never been more accessible.

Like all the major sports leagues, the NHL has many betting options for bettors to play.

Whether you are a traditionalist who enjoys betting moneylines and pucklines, or someone who dabbles in player props, all major online sportsbooks have your NHL betting needs covered.

Moneyline Betting

Betting on NHL moneylines has traditionally been the most popular way to place a hockey bet.

When talking about moneylines, we refer to odds that make one team a favorite and another an underdog.

Moneyline Betting Example

  • New York Rangers Odds: +115
  • Tampa Bay Lightning Odds: -125

In our example above, we can see that the visiting New York Rangers are a +115 underdog.

The plus (+) sign represents which team is the underdog.

Calculating plus(+) money odds is very easy.

The +115 tells us a $100 bettor would win $115 in profit if the Rangers upset Tampa Bay on the road.

The -125 odds for Tampa Bay tell us the Lightning are the betting favorite.

Calculating minus(-) sign odds is also very easy.

The -125 means that to win $100 in profit, a bettor would have to risk (wager) $125.

Puckline Betting

If you are a Major League Baseball bettor and play on the MLB runline, you will be very familiar with NHL Puckline betting.

Puckline betting is hockey’s version of a point spread. However, the spread is almost always fixed at plus or minus 1.5 goals.

Let’s give an example.

NHL Puckline Betting Example

  • New York Rangers +1.5 Odds: -130
  • Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 Odds: +120

Above, we can see that the visiting Rangers are receiving +1.5 goals on the puckline. This means New York can lose the game by one goal and still win the bet.

It is crucial to notice that on the puckline, the Rangers are now the betting favorite because the added +1.5 goals give them a significant advantage.

To win $100 by betting on New York, a bettor would have to risk $130.

Meanwhile, the Lightning are now -1.5 goals on the puckline and must win the game by two goals or more to cash the bet.

The odds have shifted significantly for Tampa Bay as well.

Because they have been handicapped with a -1.5 goal spread, they are now the betting underdog.

A $100 bettor on Tampa Bay would win $120 in profit.

NHL Totals Betting (Over/Under Betting)

Betting NHL totals, also commonly known as over/under betting, involves betting on the total number of goals scored in a game.

You can also make NHL O/U bets for individual periods.

There is no concern about which team will win or lose the game. Our only concern is how many goals both teams will combine to score.

NHL Totals Bet Example

New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Over 6.5 | -105
  • Under 6.5 | -115

In our over/under example above, a bettor can see the total for our game is set at 6.5.

If you want to play the over, the teams must combine to score seven or more goals.

Betting on the under simply means that the combined score of this game can be no more than six goals.

It is crucial bettors look at the moneyline attached to both sides. In our example above, we see more juice on the under (-115) than the over. (-105)

This tells us that under 6.5 goals is the slight betting favorite.

NHL Player Prop Betting

With the legalization of sports betting spreading across Canada and the United States, the competition amongst legal online sportsbooks to earn our business has never been greater.

Sportsbooks are constantly adding to the number of NHL bet options they offer to separate themselves from their competitors.

No market has been impacted as extensively as the player prop betting market.

When making an NHL player prop bet, a bettor is no longer concerned with the game’s outcome but instead focuses on one specific player.

Sportsbooks will allow numerous different player stats to be included in player prop bets.

NHL Player Prop Examples:

  • Mitch Marner to record an assist | -130
  • Alex Ovechkin to score a goal | +105
  • Connor McDavid to O/U 1.5 points | +100
  • Nathan MacKinnon O/U 3.5l shots on goal | -120
  • Igor Shesterkin O/U 27.5 saves | -115

Our above list includes some of the NHL player prop bets available at all licensed operators. As technology advances, many more prop betting products will soon be available.

It won’t be long before we can bet how much distance Conor McDavid travels during an NHL hockey game.

I will set the first O/U for that bet at 6.2 miles. For our Canadian friends, that is exactly 10km.

NHL Game / Team Prop Betting

NHL Game prop betting, also referred to as NHL Team prop betting, is similar to player props because, once again, the winning or losing team is not of interest to us.

NHL Game / Team Prop Examples

  • G.I.F.T. (Will there be a Goal In First Ten minutes) Yes -110 | No -115
  • Pittsburgh Penguins total shots on goal O/U 29.5 | -110
  • Which team will have the most penalty minutes – Home -115 | Visitor -105
  • Which team will score the first goal – Home -120 | Visitor +100

There are many different reasons why prop betting is becoming so popular with NHL bettors.

With 32 teams across the league, following each team in great detail can be difficult.

  • Recent success
  • Power Play Success
  • Current injury status
  • Travel schedule
  • Goaltending tendencies

Above is a list of some potential factors a bettor might want to consider before placing an NHL moneyline wager.

Some bettors prefer to rely on their knowledge of individual players instead of the research required to handicap specific games.

A Los Angeles Kings fan may want to place a bet on a Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens game.

That Kings fan may know more about Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, or some other superstars than they do about either team.

Auston Matthews to score a goal might be more fun than betting the Leafs -120 as a road underdog.

NHL Futures Betting

Futures betting on NHL hockey comes in many different forms. NHL futures bet is one where the result is determined later in the year.

The most popular NHL futures bet is betting on a team to win the Stanley Cup.

Odds for teams to win the Stanley Cup are released in the preseason, and as the year plays out, the odds for each team will shift based on their performance.

Many bettors like to scan the odds early in the year and pick out a team or two that they believe is undervalued.

As the season progresses and teams secure playoff spots, odds will shift and drop drastically.

Another popular NHL futures bet is betting on NHL Award winners.

2024 Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) Award

Nathan MacKinnonAvalanche+115
Connor McDavidOilers+250
Nikita KucherovLightning+350
Auston MatthewsMaple Leafs+1000
Artemi PanarinRangers+1200

Our table above is updated for the 2023-24 NHL Hart Trophy odds.

After winning the scoring title by 25 points last year, Connor McDavid was the preseason betting favorite this year.

However, MacKinnon and Kucherov have both put up a lot of points almost 50 games into the season.

Auston Matthews is flirting with a rare number, which is a 70-goal pace. If Matthews gets to 70, or close to it, he will get a lot of Hart Trophy consideration.

Betting The NHL Playoffs And The Stanley Cup

Individual Game Betting

An NHL bettor can bet on all the NHL playoff and Stanley Cup games the same way they would in the regular season.

Goal scoring becomes more difficult come playoff time, and you can see odds adjusted to factor in another level of intensity by the players.

However, all your favorite regular-season game bets apply come playoff time.

Series Bets

Each of the four NHL playoff rounds is a best-of-series, with the winning team needing to win four games before advancing.

Betting which team will win the series is very popular during the NHL playoffs.

If you like a team and expect them to advance, you can bet them to win the series instead of betting them to win every game.

For those who have a really good feeling about how the series will play out, you can increase your odds by betting on how many games the series will last.

Conn Smythe Trophy Winner

Each year, the NHL awards the Conn Smythe Trophy to the player who has performed the best during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The winner is almost always a player from the Stanley Cup-winning team. However, that is not always the case.

Five times, the Conn Smythe Award was given to a player whose team lost the Stanley Cup finals.

For teams to win a Stanley Cup, they need their best players to play at or above expectations.

Betting on the Conn Smythe Award winner is more about picking which teams will be playing at the end.

Once you have determined which teams you like, your best strategy is to focus on their star players.

Last Five Years – Conn Smythe Trophy Winners

2023Jonathan MarchessaultGolden Knights
2022Cale MakarAvalanche
2021Andrei VasilevskiyLightning
2020Victor HedmanLightning
2019Ryan O’ReillyBlues

NHL Betting Strategies

One of the most effective ways to become a better bettor is to document your history and learn from your past successes and mistakes.

When tracking your results, you are compiling essential data about your bets and profit.

Over time, we can use this data to educate ourselves about what type of bettor we are and our strengths and weaknesses.

The NHL regular season lasts almost seven months. During that stretch, a bettor might place upwards of 100 bets or more.

If you track all those wagers, you can sort through them and gain valuable information.

  • What is your breakdown of Favorites vs. Underdogs? Do you have a mix of both, or do you lean only towards one side?
  • What is your success rate with different types of bets? Was your winning percentage higher with totals than it was with moneyline betting?
  • What was your prop betting win percentage? Were you profitable with your prop bets? Which props did you have success with?

When tracking our betting history, we aren’t just looking to see our total profit won and lost.

The information from documenting your betting strategy and results becomes valuable because it allows us to analyze who we are as a bettor and learn from our past successes and mistakes.

Always Shop Around

The single most significant advantage an NHL bettor has against the sportsbooks is their ability to shop around for the Best Odds.

Each team plays 82 regular season games in the NHL and travels a great distance during the seven-month season.

With over 1,300 games league-wide, there are always odds discrepancies between operators.

A savvy bettor who can shop at multiple sportsbooks can earn an additional 25% ROI just by shopping for the Best Odds available for the bet they want to make.

The additional ROI of shopping around for our Best Odds can be the difference between being profitable or not.