The NHL is one of the more underrated major leagues out there. Spanning talent from all over North America, the hockey league brings the action for fans and bettors alike every season. While the NFL, NBA, and MLB are better known in sports betting circles, several things make NHL betting fun and rewarding.
Here we’ve outlined several of the reasons that every bettor should consider placing a bet on the NHL. You can learn more about betting on the NHL by looking at how their odds are presented and when the playing season starts.
1. It’s An Enduring Sport
Hockey is one of the oldest sports that has been played on all kinds of terrains throughout history. Ice hockey may be a recent take on the sport but it’s also one of the oldest of the modern league sports, being over a century old. While baseball has approximately 50 years over ice hockey, the NHL’s Stanley Cup is the oldest sports trophy that professional athletes have competed for in North America.
2. It’s Still Expanding
Along with being old, the NHL is still expanding its influence. The now-defunct Western Hockey League has left unclaimed territory that the NHL is growing into. In 2018, they secured an expansion franchise in the Seattle area, creating the Seattle Krakens in 2020 and preparing them for the 2021-2022 season. Having grown from 6 teams into 32, they’re likely to snap up future opportunities to grow the industry and the sports betting industry with it.
3. It’s Explosive
Explosive is a word often reserved for daring NFL or NBA plays, where players at the top of their game engage every muscle in their body to play with an unrivaled physicality. With that said, you won’t see those players throwing punches at each other, and if they did it would almost destroy their career.
Ice hockey is different. Fighting is outlined in the rules of NHL hockey under rule 46, which details penalties that may be applied to fighting players. Despite those penalties, fights are still tolerated by officials and even encouraged for entertainment purposes. This adds an extra layer of entertainment to following the sport.
4. The NHL Is Embracing Sports Betting
Historically, the major leagues have had a frosty relationship with sports betting and those who facilitate the practice. While it’s a free form of entertainment today, it was once driven underground by legislation, restrictions, and public scorn, much of it driven by leagues like the NFL. The NHL didn’t encourage sports betting for a long time.
There are still restrictions in place, mostly around insider betting, but the NHL followed the NBA’s suit by providing data to sports betting providers to create more accurate data and odds lines. Just this year, they’ve announced a renewed partnership with Betway as their official sports betting partner. When you gamble with the NHL, you’re in good company.
5. Different Ways To Bet
Like with many of your favorite sports, ice hockey can be bet on in multiple ways that appeal to different bettors. The main three are money line betting, over/under betting, and puck line betting.
Money line betting is where you bet on who wins the game while over/under betting has you estimate the number of goals scored during a game, no matter who wins that game. Puck line betting is where the favorite team is handicapped by 1.5 goals, which are added to the non-favorite team. You can win a small profit by betting on the winning favorite or a larger profit by betting on the winning non-favorite.
6. Don’t Have To Pick Teams
One of the benefits of those over/under bets covered above, you don’t need to pick a team to win. You don’t need to analyze teams and their players so much, only how many goals are typically scored when that team takes to the field. This means you can follow games without getting embroiled in fan rivalries, so you can enjoy the sport for what it is and avoid any of the potential negatives of the betting scene.
7. They Offer Live Betting
Many sportsbooks offer live betting on the NHL that enables you to place bets much closer to the game, sometimes even after it starts. This is great for hedging or making last-minute plays now that you’ve seen the temperament of the team. You don’t need to read tea leaves to figure out how a team will play when you’ve already seen their form.