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For big-time NHL fans, when it comes to selecting your betting site, you want to make sure that the provider you choose takes its hockey coverage seriously.  You want competitive odds margins, lots of betting markets (ways to bet) and of course excellent in-play NHL betting.  We discuss these aspects of NHL betting below.  SNBET's top betting sites serve Canada from the so-called 'grey' market, but they will also serve Ontario's legal sportsbook market when the market opens on April 4, 2022.


Main NHL game betting markets, or ways to bet

Money Line: This is the betting market to play when you want to bet on the winner of a given NHL game.  This includes games won in regulation time, Overtime, or in the Shootout.

Puck Line: This is the main handicap market in NHL games.  It tends to revolve around a 'line' of -1.5 goals / + 1.5 goals.  If you bet on the team that is assigned the '-1.5', this means that to win your bet, your team needs to win by two goals.  If you bet on the team that has been assigned '+1.5', this means that to win your bet, your team must not lost by more than 2 goals. To win the bet, the +1.5 team can lose by one, or even win the game.

Total: This is the main Over/Under NHL market for the total number of goals that will be scored in the given game, usually within regulation and overtime.  Shootout goals do not count.  For this, you will tend to see a 'line' of 5.5 goals, 6.5 goals, 7.5 goals, or 8.5 goals.  You can then be on whether or not the 'total' number of goals in the game will be 'Over' or 'Under' this line.


What is a competitive NHL odds margin for these markets?

In general, a reasonably competitive odds margin for these main 2-way markets tends to be in the 4% to 6% to range.  You will be able to easily recognize competitive margins by looking to see the markets where the odds are closest if not identical on both potential outcomes.  If you see a 'Total' for example that has odds of -110/-110 or 1.91/1.91 as reflected by American or Decimal odds formats, these reflect a margin of just under 5%, which is fairly good value.

If you see that betting site or app you are scoping out is offering odds that look like -118/-118 or 1.85/1.85, this reflects a margin over 8%, which is not competitive at all and makes it far more difficult to stay on the positive side of things for your NHL bets. At first blush, you might not think this matters, after all its just a few percent more. No!  An online sportsbook that is charging an 8% margin is keeping 60% more than the sportsbook that is trying to be competitive with a margin of 5%.  So really, its a huge difference.  If you are betting on the NHL for fun, yes, but you also truly intend on staying positive, NHL odds margins or 'sportsbook hold' really does matter. 


NHL Futures betting markets: Stanley Cup Winner & more

NHL futures betting refers to the betting markets that revolve around events in the NHL season that will resolve further into the future than most matches.  These are also sometimes called 'long term' markets or 'outright winner' markets.  The most important NHL futures market is the Stanley Cup Outright Winner, where you place a bet on the team that you think will lift the Stanley Cup.

Other NHL futures markets can include accepting of a bet on the Eastern Conference Winner or the Western Conference Winner.  This tends to include the play-offs, meaning that you can bet on which team will represent the given conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. You can also find betting on the given division winners via the playoffs (Atlantic, Central, Metropolitan & Pacific).

You can also bet on the player that you think will finish the regular season with the most goals, also known as the Maurice Richard Trophy winner.  Or you can bet on the player that you think will finish with the most points, known as the Art Ross Trophy winner.  You can essentially bet on the player or coach that you think will win any of the NHL's major trophies: the Hart Trophy, the Vezina Trophy, Calder Memorial Trophy, Jack Adams Award etc.


Choosing the right betting site when betting on Canadian participants for NHL futures

If you want to bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, the Winnipeg Jets or the Ottawa Senators for any outright winner market, the odds that are available on the market can vary widely between providers, but which ones, and by how much?

Imagine you have a betting site that serves only Canada.  Then you have a betting site that serves the world, plus it also serves Canadian customers.  The Canada-only site is going to accept a disproportionate level of wagers on these popular Canadian teams.  A higher level of their customers are betting as fans on their favourite teams. 

Every time a new bet comes in, these Canada-only sportsbooks need to lower the odds on these Canadian teams because they need to balance their liabilities.  'International' betting sites accept NHL futures action from a wide array of bettors around the world, so the wagering action is more evenly distributed. Hence, the odds on popular Canadian teams can stay higher for these companies.

What does this mean in real terms? Brands like SIA, Bodog and Bet99 that only serve Canada will tend to have lower odds for example, on the Leafs to win the Stanley Cup.

At the time of writing on February 7, 2022.  Here are the odds on the Leafs to win the NHL Outright (Stanley Cup Winner) in American and Decimal formats:

Bet99: +845 or 9.45

SIA: +800 or 9.00

Bodog: +850 or 9.50

International brands that also serve Canada can have much better Stanley Cup winner odds on the Leafs at the same moment. Here are NHL Outright winner odds also on February 7, 2022 from two of our international brands that will be licensed in Ontario, and also serve the rest of Canada from their international sites:

Betsafe: +900 or 10.00

BetVictor: +900 or 10.00


Other NHL betting markets

When it comes to the NHL, top betting sites for Ontario and Canada tend to offer over 100 different betting markets, or ways to bet. Beyond those we have already discussed, you can find markets that include: 1st Period markets and 1st 10 minutes markets.  You can bet on the 60-minute result: Home, Draw, Away.  You will find 'correct score' markets and 'winning margin' markets. The top NHL betting sites also offer an immense array of player prop markets on every game.  This includes odds on a given player to 'score anytime', to 'score first', or to 'score last'. You can also find 'assist' markets, 'power play' markets and 'saves' markets.  All of SNBET's top NHL betting sites offer significant betting market coverage so that you can look to find value where ever you care to look.

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