Betting On Hockey In 2024

Updated: January 2, 2024 by Bill Burniece

These days, with the explosion of phone apps, online betting is more popular than ever before.

It’s almost impossible to get away from the wave of advertisements at times, whether you’re watching a sports game on TV or simply driving around town and noticing the gambling billboards.

With that wave of advertisements comes the temptation to dip one’s toes into the world of online gambling. But that can be an intimidating pastime to get started on because of the pressure involved with risking losing any sum of money.

While there’s no cure-all formula to ensure gambling success (we’d all be billionaires if that were the case) I’ll share some strategies that you can use to improve your chances of winning.

Below is a beginner’s guide to sports betting, with an emphasis on hockey.

Strategies For Betting On Hockey

To have the bet chances to win money betting on hockey, it’s smart to understand the basics and have some simple strategies in place to follow.

Understanding The Lines 

Let’s start with a quick run through of some simple gambling terms.

Here in North America, betting odds are typically listed with either a plus (+) or minus (-) in front of them, which indicates the likelihood that something will happen.

If they’re listed with a plus, that means that there’s a worse than 50 percent chance of a given outcome occurring, so you’re in line to win a larger sum of money if it does occur, given the greater risk you’re undertaking.

If the odds are preceded by a minus, that means the opposite, that there’s a better than 50 percent chance of that outcome happening… but because it’s a safer bet, you won’t win as much.

For minus odds, the value indicates how much you’d have to risk in order to win 100 dollars: so -115 odds mean that if you bet $115, you’ll bring home $215 if the bet succeeds… the $115 you initially wagered and $100 in winnings.

Plus odds are the opposite, where the value indicates how much you’d take home if you placed a $100 bet and won. Therefore, +500 odds mean you’d take home $600, 500 for the winning bet along with your initial stake.

Other common terms include the point spread, which indicates how many goals a team will win by.

These are typically listed in half-integer increments in order to ensure a winning or losing outcome, rather than a push (in which nothing happens, so your money is returned).

For example, if the New Jersey Devils are 1.5 goal favorites against the Los Angeles Kings, they’d have to win by two goals in order to cover the spread.

If they lose, or the Kings keep the final score within one goal, it’s the Kings who cover the spread.

Hedge Your Bets

Even if you know absolutely nothing about betting, you’re almost certain to have heard the expression “hedging your bets” at one time or another.

It’s one of the tried-and-true methods of gambling success.

Ahead of the upcoming NHL season, which begins on Tuesday, October 10, the Toronto Maple Leafs have some of the best odds of winning their first Stanley Cup since 1967, listed at or around +1000.

Let’s say you were to place $100 on the Leafs to win it all using one of the best betting promos, and then they went on to make the Stanley Cup Finals in June.

Rather than letting that initial bet ride in the hopes of taking home $1,100, it’s best to place a contradictory wager on the team they face: let’s say it’s the Vegas Golden Knights, who are the favorites to win the matchup at -150.

In order to hedge your bet successfully, you’d wager on the Golden Knights to win, placing $300 on that outcome, for instance.

If Toronto wins, you’ll take home $800, your $1,100 in winnings minus the $300 counter bet.

If Vegas wins, you’ll take home $400, the $500 you won minus that initial $100 placed on Toronto.

It takes time to watch the situation develop and see if you’ll be able to hedge a bet (as it requires some degree of success to begin with), but it’s a surefire method to come out ahead when executed correctly.

Research Research Research

Doing your due diligence ahead of time is the number one key to making money betting on hockey games.

You don’t even need to be a hockey savant or spend every waking hour watching film or poring over injury reports in order to research adequately.

Odds can vary dramatically between sportsbooks, so you’ll have a better chance at winning big if you simply shop around first.

If BetMGM gives the Pittsburgh Penguins -110 odds of winning their next game, while Caesars Palace lists them as a +110 underdog, you’re better off betting with Caesars, because you’ll make more money off the same amount you bet.

In a buyer’s market, keep your eyes peeled for the best available odds, and you’ll find yourself head and shoulders above other bettors with just a minimal level of effort in return.

Betting On Hockey – Conclusion

Betting on ice hockey is fun. It’s much more fun if you actually win some money.

But using a few simple strategies you can increase your odds of winning your hockey bets.

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