A Look at the NHL Betting Menu

What do you know about your sportsbook’s NHL betting menu? While betting on the NBA tends to trump the NHL this time of year, there are a variety of opportunities for bettors to cash in on betting hockey. 

Because of the rise of technology, hockey bettors now have a multitude of bets available to them. NHL bettors now have the flexibility to leverage their hockey knowledge and make money betting in a variety of markets.

Here’s a look at the NHL betting menu.


Most Popular NHL Betting Menu – Moneyline Bets

Hockey is like baseball in that it is primarily a moneyline sport. Because of the low-scoring games, bettors often wager on winners instead of wagering on a point spread. 

Moneyline bets are simply a bet on which team will win. Odds on a game between Florida and Nashville might look like this:

Florida -120

Nashville +100

The Panthers are the favorite and a $120 bet on them would win $100. Nashville is the underdog and a $100 bet wins $100.

Totals Bets

Bettors can wager on the total number of goals in a game by betting the Total, or Over/Under. These are also very popular wagers for those that like NHL betting. Typically, NHL games set the total at 5.5 making a “push” less likely. There are games with totals of 5 or 6 and even some at 6.5 though the most common total is 5.5.

Using the same Florida-Nashville game, we see the following in regards to the Total.

Over 5.5 (-108)

Under 5.5 (+100)

The Over is the favorite in this case and bettors would win $100 on a $108 bet if the total number of goals in the game was six or more.

Puck Line Bets – NHL Betting Menu

The puck line is hockey’s version of the point spread. Because of the lack of scoring in hockey, the puck line is always set at 1.5.

What this means is that a favorite must win by two or more goals to cover. If the underdog loses by a goal or wins outright, the underdog covers.

Oftentimes, you will see the favorite pay out better than even money on the puck line. Using the Florida-Nashville game again, we see the following.

Florida -1.5 (+200)

Nashville +1.5 (-230)

A $100 bet on the Panthers to cover would pay out $200. That payout is more than simply betting on Florida to win, but the Panthers do have to win by at least two goals.

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Prop Bets

NHL proposition bets make games much more exciting. These bets are not directly related to the outcome of a game, but they can serve as a good source of profits. 

Some of the more popular prop bets include Team To Score First, Team To Score Last, Race to 2 Goals, and Highest Scoring Period. 

Bettors can wager on Florida to be the first team to score two goals in their game against Nashville. If the Panthers do score two goals first, the bettor wins regardless of the outcome of the game.

Period Bets

Hockey games are, of course, divided into three periods. Traditional bets are placed on the entire game or all three periods. 

Bettors can also bet on the individual periods as if they were their own little mini-game. Using the same Florida-Nashville example, bettors could wager on just the first period.

Florida -½ (+180) O 1.5 (-132) -120

Nashville +½ (-210) U 1.5 (+112) Even

A bettor could bet on the puck line that Florida would cover half a goal at +180 odds in just the first period. They could also wager on the Over or Under for the period and/or bet on which team will win the period on the moneyline.

Futures Bets – NHL Betting Menu

One of the more popular NHL betting markets is the futures market. Bettors can wager on division winners, conference champs, and the Stanley Cup champion. These bets are usually available prior to the beginning of the season and continue to run through the season.

Typically, odds for the Stanley Cup champion favorite will open around +600 to +800. As the season progresses, the favorites’ odds will shorten. The 2021 season opened with reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay as the favorite to repeat. 

As the 2021 regular season nears its end, Colorado has taken over the favorite spot at +400. Vegas is next at +625 and the Lightning are holding steady at +700.

Grand Salami

One of the more interesting and fun bets is the NHL Grand Salami. It gives bettors an opportunity to essentially bet on all the games in a given day. 

The Grand Salami is a totals bet on all the goals scored by all teams on a given day on the schedule. Here is an example from April 27, 2021, when there were eight games on the schedule.

Over 46.5 (-110)

Under 46.5 (-110)

There is some strategy involved in picking the Over or Under. Who plays in goal for each team is one factor, but a bettor placing a wager on the over wins if all 16 teams score a total of 47 goals or more.