How to Bet on NHL Hockey for the 2021-22 Season

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The puck drops on the 2021-22 NHL Regular Season this week and the popularity of Hockey has never been greater with Men’s and Women’s NCAA Division I underway, the NHL adding its 32nd franchise and the Winter Olympics on tap.

With the legalization of Sports Gambling and seeing it live in 28 states now in the US, betting on amateur and professional Hockey has increased with smartphones and other devices a big driver of this newfound puck popularity.

And according to the American Gaming Association, Sports Gambling is already legal but not live and operational just yet in four more states (Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Wisconsin).

Knowing all of this, let’s help you get ready for betting on Hockey and tell you how to bet at the top NHL online sportsbooks for the upcoming 2021-22 NHL season.

NHL Returns to Normal After Year Affected by Pandemic

After temporary realignment, last season the NHL returns to normal again this Regular Season with its normal Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, and Pacific divisions. In 2020-21, the NHL created the East, Central, North, and West.

The NHL was indefinitely suspended on March 12, 2020, due to the Pandemic, but resumed play on May 22 that season with the top 12 teams in each conference participating in a modified Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Because of border restrictions imposed by the Canadian government, all seven teams from Canada (Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Oilers, Jets, Flames, Canucks) played in the North Division in the 2020-21 season, won by the Leafs.

The NHL played an abbreviated 56-game schedule with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs starting on May 15 and wrapping up on July 7 as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Montréal Canadiens to win their second straight Stanley Cup.

This year, the league has returned to its normal alignment and welcomed a 32nd franchise, the expansion Seattle Kraken, who will play in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference and call Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle their home.

How to Legally Bet on NHL Hockey in 2021-22

It has been three years since the Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize betting on sports and as we see, over half of the states offer legal sports gambling meaning there are two ways people in those states can bet on Hockey:

  • Paying a visit to a brick-and-mortar, land-based Casino and its sportsbook and making a wager there. The sportsbooks are usually in Casinos, Horse Racing tracks, or as stand-alone entities and will accept your Hockey bets and pay you back when you win.
  • Signing up at an Online sports betting website. Most US sites are sanctioned by the state while overseas or offshore sportsbooks locations where sports gambling is legal also offer Hockey wagering.

Hockey borders on being a religion in Canada, and all Canadians can bet on sports legally. Before this year (2021), residents of legal age (18 or 19) in Canada could only make parlay wagers.

But the Parliament of Canada then voted to amend the criminal code in the North American nation in August of 2021 to also allow bets to be made on single games.

In the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec, the legal age to bet is 18 while in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Labrador, Manitoba, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia it’s 19,

Betting Online Offers Advantages to Hockey Gamblers

Making a bet at a physical or brick-and-mortar sportsbook can be problematic, with potential lines at the betting window slowing or maybe preventing bets from being placed, parking, navigating the casino and all of the noise and its patrons.

And if and when you win, you have to return to the physical sportsbook to collect your money which you were going to probably bet on sports again in the very same building. Wasting time and creating stress is counterproductive in The Digital Age.

Wagering Online and Having More Than One Account Has a Number of Simple Positives

With multiple accounts, bettors can shop for and bet the best available numbers and reading the odds on your smartphone is easier than in a sportsbook. With online sports wagering there is no waiting in line, no travel or parking involved, no people to deal with or time wasted. And for things like Live Wagering or hedging current bets, mobile and online wagering has changed the game.

How to Get Started at NHL Betting Websites

If you haven’t bet on NHL Hockey at online sports betting websites and feel intimidated, don’t be as if it is legal where you live and you have a minimal amount of money you would like to bet with, then you are basically the one that is in charge.

Let’s explain how simple it is to sign up and some other online betting basics. To start an online account, you can follow these five simple steps:

  1. Sign up for the website. For a site like BetOnline, you simply click on the button (link) that says “Sign Up” or “Join” and fill in all of the necessary information from the prompt. At that point, you will often have to verify that you are a real person then provide a User Name and Password for the account.
  2. Deposit funds into your account. Use your Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, or whatever method the site allows and decide how much you want to deposit. Many online sportsbooks have low deposit limits so check when signing up.
  3. Check for any signup Bonuses. Most online sportsbooks have signup bonuses so check the site, banner ads or the dashboard for any bonuses that can be activated or any necessary codes.
  4. Place your wagers. Betting is very simple and modern interfaces make the mobile wagering experience extremely user-friendly on smartphones, mobile devices, and PC’s. First, decide what type of wager and amount you want, then find the Side, Total or Prop, click on the little circle, and confirm.
  5. Collect your winnings: All you have to do is make a Withdrawal request in whatever method you have chosen and then wait for the site to respond and send out, transfer or wire your winnings to you.

Remember it’s important to choose a website your trust as you will be providing them with personal and financial information and depositing money with them. Look for websites with decent bonuses, fair odds, and a number of ways to bet.

Here are the sites that we recommend for your NHL Hockey betting in 2021-22:

Understanding the Moneyline in NHL and Hockey Bets

Before you begin betting on the NHL, NCAA, European hockey leagues, or the Winter Olympics, you first need to understand what the moneyline is and how it ranges and determines a game’s Favorite or Underdog.

The moneyline is all based around the foundational number of 100 (Even money) and all moneyline odds made are above 100, Here is how it works:

  • If the Moneyline number has a minus sign in front of it, that means that team is the Favorite and you would have to bet that specific (and moving number) to win $100.
  • If the Moneyline number has a plus sign in front of it, that means that team is the Underdog and means that you would have to bet $100 to win that number in return.

So if a minus sign is used (Favorite), your profit—if you win—will be less than your bet size while when a plus sign is there (Underdog) then the profit will end up being more than the size of your bet.

Remember when wagering that whenever you win, you will always get the amount that you wagered back along with your winnings. And if you tie (Push ) you will also get the amount of your bet returned back into your online sports betting account.

Here’s a generic example for a bet involving a Side (team) or a Total (Over/Under):

  • Team A: -165
  • Team B: +145
In This Example:

Team A is the Favorite. A bettor would have to bet $165 on Team A to win $100 of profit. And for Team B, a $100 bet would yield $145 of profit.

But the moneyline in Sports Betting is better off thought of as a ratio and all Moneylines can be broken down to a decimal equivalent.

Most sports gamblers associate the Moneyline with Win/Loss bets on games. But the Moneyline is involved in all bets you make on the NHL and Hockey at top sports gambling sites. This is why having an idea of what it is and what it translates to before you start betting your hard-earned money makes sense.

Types of Bets

Moneylines

With Moneyline bets, the oddsmakers at sports betting websites set specific moneyline odds on each team for an individual Hockey game. With moneyline wagers, you are simply picking who you think will win the game. An example:

  • Capitals -165
  • Flyers: +145

In this example, the Capitals are the game’s Favorite while the Flyers are the Underdog. The linemaker’s job is to set the betting line to try to get the same amount of wagers on both sides to limit exposure.

In this example, they believe that the favorite Capitals would receive bets to win if the line were Even, so they’ve made the number more enticing to make a wager on the underdog Flyers. Home teams are often a game’s favorites in the NHL.

Puck Lines

A Puck Line is a point (puck/goal) spread almost always lined as +/- 1½ goals with the -1½ being the favorite on the Puck Line and the underdogs at +1½. Some sportsbooks offer ways to also bet Puck Lines at -1, 2, -2½, -3½, and so on, with the different Moneyline odds attached to the specific Puck Lines.

If you take the Favorite and lay (-) 1½ goals, your team needs to win by 2 or more goals, and if you wager on the Underdog +1½, you can win if your team wins outright or loses by 1 goal, or obviously, if your team wins the game outright.

Puck Line markets often offer some very generous plusses for favorites laying 1½ goals but there are so many 1-goal games in the NHL and Hockey in general, taking the 1½ goals is quite often the more profitable route for Hockey bettors.

Totals (Over/Under)

The Total (Over/Under) is based on the combined number of goals both teams will score in Regulation—with 1 added in OT for the winners—and usually ranges from 5 to 6½ goals in the NHL although you will find a 4½ and a 7 on rare occasions.

In our Capitals-Flyers working example, the game’s Total was 5½ and with a 5-3 win by Washington, the Total went Over with 8 goals combined being scored. NHL Totals also have moneylines attached to them ranging usually from -105 to -145.

60 Minute Lines

When betting in the 60 Minute Line market, hockey gamblers can bet one of the two teams to win in the regulation 60 minutes of play (three 20-minute periods) or that the game is tied after that hour of Hockey, always a decent plus.

If a bettor took the Capitals in that 5-3 win, the odds on favorite Washington in the 60 Minute market, as well as the Flyers, are better as the possibility of that third result (Tie) after 60 minutes and both sides would lose with “Tie” bettors winning.

Period Betting

Online sportsbooks also break down individual NHL and Hockey games into three separate “Period” bets with different Moneyline and Totals in each with the 2nd and 3rd Period lines set live. The Over/Under in periods for many NHL games is 1½.

If you bet the Capitals in the 1st period as the favorite on the Moneyline and they were winning after those first 20 minutes, then you’d win your wager and if you bet the “Over” 1½ goals and Washington led 2-0, you’d win your Totals bet (2>1½).

Grand Salami

In Hockey betting in the NHL, the Grand Salami is an extremely entertaining way to have action on the Totals of all games played in a given gameday. The Salami is a number posted for the Totals of all games combined to bet on.

So, on a night where there are eight games and some high-scoring teams with Totals averaging 5½, a 43½ Over -115 Grand Salami line might be set. There’s always a winner and a loser in the Grand Salami market because of the ½ goal.

Parlays

Parlays are combinations of 2 or more selections in the Moneyline, Puck Line or Totals markets together with all elements having to not lose in order for the bettor to get paid back. Parlays with Pushes on them are reduced by the number of teams who may Push (tie) a particular Totals bet in the case of Hockey.

Combining teams or totals on Parlays is fun and can lead to the ability to hedge and guarantee a profit should the last element not start before the others who may have all ended as Wins (or Wins and Pushes).

This type of bet can employ a small wager amount ($5) and return a decent profit should 5, 6, 7, or all 8 elements in the Parlay are graded winners and are fun in a way as losing $5 for the ride often is as fun as winning the money when you do.

Futures Bets

Futures bets are wagers often made before a season starts on who will win a specific championship, conference, division, or award and there is usually just one winner in most Futures markets—the last team standing and the champions.

In the NHL:

One really nice thing about Futures bets is that you can track and root for your wager all season long or up until that point that your team or bet is eliminated. Also, Futures bets don’t run the sad risk of losing every night.

Prop Bets

Props or Proposition bets in the NHL and Hockey may involve many types of topics, from things like goals scored, assists, points, Hat Tricks, and some Futures markets are Props by natures like Exact Stanley Cup matchups and Regular Season Points.

Some other Props and Futures bets by nature in the NHL include individual Player (and Coaches) Award-winners like the:

Live and In-Game Wagering

Live or In-game Wagering in the NHL and all Hockey has really grown in popularity, almost in tandem with the advent of Mobile Gambling and the explosion of legalized sports gambling after the Supreme Court’s monumental decision in 2018.

There have never been more live betting opportunities or markets than now and oddsmakers are constantly changing odd in-game, as any gambler with an online account paying attention to the Live markets has witnessed.

Learning from what you’ve seen earlier in an NHL game and trying to apply it in the live betting market or perceiving value in In-game odds and betting and the ability to hedge other bets attached you may have to a game in progress is also nice.

The evolution of Live Wagering is really neat for Hockey also in that scoring is less frequent and opportunities to “jump in” arise more often with bettors having more time to think about In-Game wagers than in a faster-scoring sport like Basketball.

NHL Hockey 2021-22 Betting Tips

  • Remember who does good against who and bet the Even with the alignment back to normal, there will be good teams that play bad teams four times and go 4-0, so pay attention to those spots in the schedule where the overwhelming Trends apply.
  • The Home-ice advantage is huge. Most teams perform very well on Home ice and it seems that American teams have trouble winning in Canada and Canadian teams have trouble winning in America. If in doubt, bet the Home team is always good advice in the NHL.
  • Always pay attention to Injury news and who may be in line to get the Goaltending start. Unlike MLB and Pitchers, in the NHL starting Goaltenders are usually announced pretty late, so checking all sources or keeping track yourself may help figure out who may start.
  • Bet early if you like a bigger Favorite. The public usually backs the bigger favorites in the NHL and lines often jump 10 to 50 cents or more depending on the action, meaning betting a winning Favorite at -175 will ay the bettor more than the gamble who got it late at -215.

Conclusion

With the NHL starting, NCAA Division I College Hockey already underway and the Men’s and Beijing Winter Olympics both offering Ice Hockey in February of 2022, it has never been a better time to be a Hockey bettor.

Especially with the many huge changes including the legalization of sports gambling in so many US states, improved betting Hockey menus and Futures markets and the mobility and the ease of betting online.

We hope this article helped understand some things about betting on the NHL and Hockey in general and helps you to win some money betting on this fantastic sport and the NHL which will now have 32 teams all vying for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Kevin Stott

Kevin Stott is a sports writer who has covered the Sports Gambling industry for over 20 years, handicapping sporting events for SportsbookReview, Gaming Today and Bleacher/Report and was an award-winning writer for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s View Newspapers. Stott is an avid sports bettor and a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. ...

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