IT has never been more common to bet on ice hockey than it is in 2019, with punters all over the world betting on competitions like the NHL. Having said this ice hockey betting has huge popularity in places like Russia, Sweden and Switzerland — basically anywhere where there is ice on the ponds. The best betting sites for ice hockey will depend on what laws you are faced with in your country. The following table displays all of the best online sportsbooks with hockey markets available to punters in your region.
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Ice hockey betting – An overview
Ice hockey, the sport we know it as today, has been around in North American since the mid 19th century. It is one of the most popular sports in the world and offers a lot of hockey betting options. The sport is the most popular in Canada, USA, Russia, Scandinavia and northern Europe and most online betting sites offer many hockey betting lines for games from the leagues in those countries.
With matches all around the world televised into many countries where ice hockey is traditionally not followed, the sport and in-turn the betting surrounding it have grown significantly. Hockey currently has a cult following in countries like Australia and New Zealand and there is no lack of hockey betting options for Aussies at legitimate online bookmakers. Other countries where hockey and hockey betting is becoming more popular are New Zealand, South Africa, East Asia and parts of South America. Not only is hockey in the bigger leagues such as the NHL and KHL becoming more popular in those areas, but there are domestic and regional leagues in those countries with some bookmakers offering hockey betting lines for those games.
Like all of the major sports ice hockey draws big money from punters around the world. Leading online bookmakers have a very big selection of hockey betting markets and while there are more hockey betting lines from the bigger leagues, such the NHL and KHL, there are hockey betting options for other less popular leagues as well as for international tournaments and competitions.
When you bet on ice hockey it is important that you make wagers at a legitimate online betting site that offers hockey betting lines. There are many solid and reputable hockey betting sites that have solid player security, good customer service, trusted payment options, and offer great bonuses and promotions. All of the online bookies above, which all offer hockey betting picks, offer Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protection, which means players at the site can be sure their financial and personal information is 100% safe and secure.
Hockey bet types
Betting sites that offer hockey betting picks for the top leagues in the world and international tournaments offer many hockey betting options in terms of bets. There are many types of hockey bets to make, but here are the most popular ones. (For the examples of the bets NHL betting lines are the ones being used since NHL betting is the most popular hockey betting option.)
Unlike basketball and football there is no spread in hockey betting picks. Because of that hockey betting sites use the moneyline to show the favorite as the underdog. In the moneyline you are simply picking a team to win, but there are inflated odds for each team showing the favorite and underdog. Here is an example of a moneyline bet:
New York Rangers +130 Detroit Red Wings -150 Draw +300
In this example, the Rangers are the underdog denoted by the + in front of the number and the Red Wings are the favorite denoted by the -. In using $100, which is the easiest way to show the payouts yet you can wager any amount, you will have to bet $100 to win $130 on the Rangers and bet $150 to win $100 on the Red Wings. As you can see the payout for the Red Wings is not as good, but they are the favorite in this game. Games often end in draws as well, but not as often as an overall winner, which is why the payout ($100 to win $300) is much better for a draw.
The totals bet is one that is easy to understand. The NHL betting sites will come up with a total for the game in how many total goals will be scored in the game. So, if an online betting site sets the total at 5 goals for the L.A. Kings vs. San Jose Sharks game you are simply betting if you think the total number of goals scored will be Over or Under five goals.
If the Kings win 4-2 there were 6 goals scored in the game and therefore the Over bet would be the winning one and the Under bet would be the losing one. If the score was Kings 3 Sharks 2 the total is 5 goals, which is the exact number of the posted total and if that is the case the bet is a push and you will get your original wager back. This is why, often times, NHL betting sites will put a .5 after the total and since a half a goal cannot be scored there is no way the bet can be a push.
In a futures bet you are betting on the future outcome of something. A few examples of hockey futures bets are which team will win the Stanley Cup, which team will win the Eastern Conference, which player will win the Hart Memorial Trophy (league MVP). You can make futures NHL betting lines before the season and during it is well, but during the season the odds will change depending on how the team or player is doing. For example, if before the season the St. Louis Blues have solid odds at +500 to win the Stanley Cup, but they get off to a horrible start to the season their odds will drop. The odds you get at the time of making a futures bet are the ones you are locked in on no matter how much they change in the season.
A parlay hockey bet is multiple bets in one bet slip for a better payout. For example, if you want to make a 3-team NHL betting line you pick three teams to win and all three have to win in order for you to win your bet. The more games you have in a parlay bet the higher the payout will be, but the harder the bet will be to win considering you have to make the right pick for every game. You can do parlay hockey bets for both straight moneyline bets and totals bets. So, for example, in a 3-game parlay you could pick the winner of two games and then one game picking a total.
A proposition bet, simply referred to as a prop bet, is one that has nothing to do with the outcome of the game. There can be player prop bets and team prop bets and there are many of them. There are more prop bets available for the bigger leagues, especially for NHL betting lines and you will find the most prop bets at NHL betting sites. A few examples of a prop bet would be, which team will score first, which will be the highest scoring period, which goalie in the game will make the most saves, and will player A score. Many prop bets, such as player vs. player, will have a 1:1 payout while others, such as highest scoring period will have inflated odds.
Top Hockey Leagues in America and Europe
The best online sports bookies that have hockey betting lines will have more of them available for the top leagues in the world. Here are the top leagues in the world, in order, that have the most hockey betting action available.
National Hockey League (NHL)
The NHL was founded in 1917 and started out with only four teams in Canada. Now the league has 31 teams with 24 of them in the United States. The NHL is seen as the best league in the world and that is why on NHL betting sites you will see many NHL betting picks. All of the teams in the league are vying for the Stanley Cup, which is given to the champion of the season and the team that wins the playoffs. Other smaller leagues in America like the American Hockey League, the junior Western Hockey League and the collegiate NCAA Hockey Championship do have betting action for punters, but not nearly as much as NHL betting picks.
Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)
The KHL is the 2nd most popular hockey league in the world and has many hockey betting options. The league is what used to be the League (1946-1992) and the Russian Superleague (1999-2008). There are 21 teams in the league with 16 teams in Russia as well as one each from China, Finland, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Belarus and Latvia. They are all vying for the league title where the winner gets the Gagarin Cup and the top team from Russia wins the Cup of Russia. Most online bookies that take hockey bets will offer a variety of KHL hockey betting options and more of them will be available from European, especially Russian, online sportsbooks.
Swedish Hockey League
The Swedish Hockey League is one of the top-flight leagues in the world and there are hockey betting options for the league at many online bookies. The crowds are big for the games with averages of just over 6,000 fans per game. There are 14 teams in the league and, like other leagues in Europe, have a system of relegation and promotion. Eight teams make the playoffs all vying for the Le Mat Trophy. There are quite a few online bookies that cater to the Swedish and Scandinavian markets and there you will find more hockey betting option for the league.
Hockey is huge in the Czech Republic and they are one of the “Big Six” nations in the sport. The Czech Extraliga is the premier division in the sport and has 14 teams and was founded in 1993. The top six teams at the end of the season automatically make the playoffs while the 7th-10th ranked teams vie for the other two playoff spots. The teams finishing in the bottom four face the top two teams from the 2nd tier division in the Czech First League in a relegation and promotion competition. It is not hard to find hockey beating spreads for the Czech Extraliga, especially from online bookies catering to the European market.
Finland is mad about hockey and have a higher per-capita participation rate for ice hockey than any other nation in Europe. The Finnish Liiga is also very popular with hockey betting spreads for games at most online bookies. The league is also referred to as the Finnish Elite League and was established in 1975. Finland was also a founding member of the Champions Hockey League. While there is hockey betting action for the top-tier league Liiga there is more available at online bookies that cater to Finland players and those from Scandinavian.
Swiss National League A
Switzerland is not a member of the “Big Six” nations, but their League A is solid and this is also the case when it comes to hockey betting lines. SC Bern is the most popular team in the league and their average attendance is the highest in Europe. The National League A also competes in the Champions Hockey League, which is a competition that does not lack in hockey betting options.
Champions Hockey League
The Champions League in hockey is just like the Champions League in soccer and there is a lot of betting action for both. This is a kind of continental cup competition that was established in 2014-2015 season after the Nordic Cup preseason tournament folded after seven years. There are many big hockey games in the Champions Hockey League and with that being the case there are no lack of hockey betting spreads for all of the matchups. The teams that take part in the CHL are Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Belarus, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Norway, Poland and Slovakia.
Other hockey leagues
- Asia League
- Australian Ice Hockey League
- Austrian Hockey League
- Danish Metal Ligaen
- French Ligue Magnus
- German Eishockey Liga
- New Zealand Ice Hockey League
- Norwegian GET-ligaen
- Polska Hokej Liga
- Slovak Extraliga
- UK Elite Ice Hockey League
International Ice Hockey Tournaments
While ice hockey is not as big as other sports when it comes to international competitions there are some big ones that give punters hockey betting options. Also, in those competitions are some fierce rivalries, especially from the Big Six nations of Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.
IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships
The Ice Hockey World Championships was established in 1930 and it is the biggest and most prestigious international hockey tournament. When it rolls around you can be sure to find many hockey betting lines on the many games in the heated competition. 48 teams take part in the tournament and since 1990 Canada, Czech Republic, and Russia have dominated the competition. No matter when online bookie you check out when the IIHF rolls around there is no lack of hockey betting action to be had in many markets.
Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics
The Olympics ice hockey is right up there in terms of prestige for international ice hockey tournaments, but it is held only once every four years. Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland have won the gold in the tournament and those three wins are the only ones where one of the countries from the Big Six did not take home the gold medal.
One of the most memorable moments in the history of hockey came at the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The U.S.A. team was made up of amateurs while facing the heavily favored U.S.S.R., which had won five of previous six gold medals and was made up of professional players, in the semifinals. The Americans pulled off the huge upset winning 4-3 in what is known as the “Miracle on Ice” and then went on to beat Finald for the gold medal. Like other big sporting events the Olympic ice hockey tournament has many hockey betting options at many of the online bookies that have hockey betting lines.