Sports Betting Tips: How to Bet on Hockey for NHL Gamblers

Hockey Stadium Before NHL Game


The weather is cooling down nationwide, but the action on the ice is only heating up. We’re just over a month into the NHL season and already we’ve seen incredible wins, heartbreaking losses, dazzling goals, and memorable fights. With more than six months until a new champion hoists the Stanley Cup in the air, there’s no telling what else this season has in store. 

If you’ve enjoyed watching hockey so far this year, why not take it up a notch? Whether you’re a lifelong fan of one particular team, a newbie to the NHL, or you just enjoy watching the sport, placing wagers can enhance the experience for all. But do you know how to bet on hockey?

Puck line. Money line. Parlay. The Grand Salami. You may have heard of some of these hockey sports betting terms, but do you know what they mean? We’ll explain the basics of hockey betting, different types of wagers you can place, and, of course, the Grand Salami. Whether you want to know how to bet on hockey in Vegas or at a sportsbook in another city, we have you covered.


The Hockey Sports Betting Basics

Let’s start with the basics. For every game in the NHL this season, oddsmakers will determine which team is The Favorite – the team deemed more likely to win – and which team is The Underdog – the team deemed less likely to win. When looking at a matchup, the negative number next to a team name indicates the favorite, while the positive number indicates the underdog. Betting on the favorite to win will always pay out less than betting on the underdog to win.


Favorites Underdogs Hockey Sports Betting


In the above bet, you can see that Team 2 are the favorites (-275), while Team 1 are the underdogs (+225). Below, we’ll dig deeper into what those numbers mean.


Different Types of NHL Bets


Basic Bets

One way to bet on NHL games is to pick who you think will win the game. That’s where the numbers that indicate the favorite and the underdog come into play. In a Money Line bet, or a bet where you simply pick the winner, the number indicating the favorite also tells you how much you would have to wager to win $100. On the other hand, the number indicating the underdog tells you how much you would win if you wager $100.

So, using the above example, if you wanted to bet that Tampa Bay would win, you would have to bet $275 to win $100. If you wanted to bet that New York would win, though, you would win $225 if you wager $100.

Betting the money line is just one way to place an NHL bet. Many bettors wager on something called the Puck Line, or the spread. In this bet, you can wager on whether you think that the total number of goals scored by the favorite will be at least two more than the total of goals scored by the underdog. So if the final score is Tampa Bay 5 and New York 3, you would win by betting Tampa Bay -1.5 (5 – 1.5 > 3). But if Tampa Bay won 3 -2, you would lose (3 – 1.5 < 2). 

The number in parenthesis next to the -1.5 or +1.5 indicates your payout, using the same logic as a Money Line bet. Placing a (-110) bet means you would have to wager $110 to win $100.

You can also place a wager on the total number of goals scored in a game, regardless of who wins or loses. In an Over/Under bet, you simply pick whether you think the total number of goals is over or under the predetermined line. In the above example, that line is 6.5, meaning if the final score adds up to at least 7, you would win if you bet on the over. Over/under bets are fun ways to have a stake in a game’s outcome without having to worry about which team will win.


Advanced Bets

Sportsbooks usually offer many other bets that can make any game interesting. You can place Player Prop bets, where you bet on one specific player’s over/under for goals, assists, points, shots on goal, or a number of other stats.


Example of Hockey Player Prop Bets


Above you can see three prop bets for a player: Over/Under .5 goals scored, Over/Under .5 assists registered, and Over/Under .5 total points.

Game Prop bets, like which team will score first, which team will score more goals in the first period, or whether or not the game goes into overtime, are other wagers you can place for an even more exciting game-watching experience.


The Grand Salami

An institution in hockey gambling, the Grand Salami, is the ultimate way to bet on NHL games. It’s an over/under total goals bet for a day’s entire slate of games. Hockey fans love this bet because it gives them something to root for in every single game. Payouts typically range from (-120) to (+105) and will vary based on which teams are playing, which goalies are in the net that particular day, and a few other factors that keep the wagering competitive.


How to Bet on Hockey in Vegas

Now that you understand how to bet on hockey, it’s time to place your bets. Circa Sports is the ultimate sportsbook in Las Vegas for hockey sports betting. Stop by the D in Downtown Las Vegas to place your bets in person. At a Vegas Golden Knights game or can’t make it in to the sportsbook for some other reason? Download the Circa Sports app on iOS or Android to have your bookie right in your pocket and bet wherever you are in Vegas.

Whether in person or on the app, join Circa Sports for your premier place to bet on hockey in Vegas.