The National Hockey League is one of North America’s most prominent sporting divisions. It is also a massive hit with gamblers worldwide, offering a veritable cornucopia of betting options from October to the following June. We will show you all there is to know about wagering on the NHL, including where to find the best online bookmakers for your region.
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Top online bookies for NHL odds
There are hundreds of online sports betting operators that take bets on the NHL. Not all are equal, however, and choosing the right bookie is the most important part of having a bet over the web.
Above are the best bookies for gamblers in your neck of the woods. All are licensed by recognised regulatory bodies and meet the highest industry standards for quality, security and customer service.
Best of all, these trusted operators offer numerous promotions and weekly specials. Hit the links in the table above to create a free account and claim your exclusive sign-up bonus.
How to bet on NHL games
Once you have signed up and deposited some funds at one of our recommended bookmakers, betting on NHL is as easy as navigating the sports menu, browsing the hockey markets and tapping on the odds displayed. Common match markets include:
- Moneyline odds
- Puckline handicaps
- Period betting
- Over/under totals
- Margin bets
- Player performance props
For more info on bet types, see our in-depth ice hockey betting page.
NHL trophies and futures markets
Betting on the NHL is a massive industry in its own right. Along with the broad range of match markets on offer from week to week, gamblers can indulge in several popular futures options.
Stanley Cup betting – The Stanley Cup is awarded every year to the winner of the NHL finals series. First contested in 1893, it is the oldest professional trophy in North American sport. The Montreal Canadiens lead the way with 24 titles, while the Detroit Red Wings (11) are the most successful of the US teams.
Conference champions – Most NHL bookies run markets on which two teams will win through the playoffs to contest the Stanley Cup. The Eastern Conference champion takes home the Prince of Wales Trophy, while the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl goes to the Western Conference winner.
Division winners – Each conference is split into two divisions. The Atlantic, Metropolitan and Pacific divisions each contain eight teams, while the Central group features seven. Leading online bookmakers run outright markets on all four divisions.
More NHL betting options
Team results make up only a fraction of the wagering options available to NHL followers. Hockey betting sites offer odds on several of the league’s most prestigious individual honours, including:
- Hart Memorial Trophy for league MVP
- Vezina Trophy for top goaltender
- Calder Memorial Trophy for top points scorer
- James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defenseman
- Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP
Tips for betting on NHL markets
Betting online is easy when you register with secure, licensed bookmakers. However, there are one or two things you can do to make life easier still.
Compare the markets – All recognised bookies strive to offer better odds than their competitors, which often leads to significant disparities from site to site. By opening accounts with several top-ranked sportsbooks, you can ensure you always get the best price on any market.
Do your research – What’s the head-to-head record like? When was the last time the away team won at this venue? Is either team missing any key players? Run the stats and crunch the numbers before you put your hard-earned money down.
Know your limits – Betting on sport is only fun when you have the capital required to enjoy it. It is important to set a bankroll and stick to it, no matter how soon the money might run out. Remember: if you cannot afford to lose it, you cannot afford to gamble at all.
About the National Hockey League
The NHL was founded in 1917 in Montreal, Quebec. It originally consisted of four teams, all based in Canada. A series of expansions, mergers and folds over the next few decades saw the establishment of the ‘Original Six’ for the 1942 campaign, with teams in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and New York.
Six more sides joined in 1967, leading to the creation of two divisions. The number of teams grew to 22 over the next quarter of a century in what has since been dubbed the ‘expansion era’.
The 1990s heralded the beginning of a fractious new period for the NHL. Labour action halted play on four occasions between ’92 and 2013, even resulting the cancellation of the entire 2004-05 campaign. Despite the uncertainty and frustration caused by those pay disputes, they have seen the NHL take strides in terms of overall professionalism.
Now there are 31 teams – seven from Canada, 24 from the USA – split into two conferences and four divisions:
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Dallas Stars
- Minnesota Wild
- Nashville Predators
- St Louis Blues
- Winnipeg Jets
- Anaheim Ducks
- Arizona Coyotes
- Calgary Flames
- Edmonton Oilers
- Los Angeles Kings
- San Jose Sharks
- Vancouver Canucks
- Vegas Golden Knights
NHL records and stats
Most Stanley Cup wins – Montreal Canadiens (24)
Most consecutive titles – Montreal Canadiens (five)
Most points in a season – Montreal Canadiens (132)
Longest Stanley Cup drought – New York Rangers (53 years)
Most appearances – Mark Messier (1,992)
Most playoff games – Chris Chelios (266)
Most consecutive games – Doug Jarvis (964)
Oldest player – Gordie Howe (52 years, 11 days)
Most goals – Wayne Gretzky (1,016)
Most assists – Wayne Gretzky (2,223)
Most points – Wayne Gretzky (3,239)
Most shots blocked – Zbynek Michalek (1,719)
Most shutouts – Martin Brodeur (149)