Given that the Supreme Court of the United States officially ruled to make virtually all sports betting legal last year, it’s definitely time to start studying up. The betting industry is worth billions of dollars, with millions being won by punters every single day.

There are many ways to get started in sports betting, but one way that stands out from the crowd is betting on the NHL. Unlike betting on football or basketball, hockey betting comes with its own unique set of rules and opportunities to win.

There’s also a whole new lingo that beginners will have to wrap their heads around if they want to become a true pro. While not the most popular form of sports betting in America, it’s certainly one of the most exciting. Here’s your complete beginner’s guide to NHL betting. 

Learn Your Lines 

First and foremost, you need to get your head around what is called the “betting lines” or money lines. This is what makes NHL betting unique, although it is slightly similar to the rules on baseball betting. Simply put, money lines are used in typically low-scoring games to tell you how much you’d have to bet in order to make a $100 profit. This then tells you which team is the underdog and which is the favorite. 

In hockey, the most important line is the puck line, where you bet on goals rather than straight-up odds. For example, a Detroit vs Vancouver game might have respective puck line odds of +1.5 vs -1.5.

This means people betting on Detroit will win their full wager if Detroit wins the game or loses by just one goal. Meanwhile, Vancouver fans can only win their wager if their team wins by at least two goals. This is the most common form of NHL betting and one you’ll need to wrap your head around to make it. 

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Use the Right Platforms 

Secondly, beginner wagerers should always consider the platform they are using. If you’re new to NHL betting, the platform you choose to bet with could have a major impact on how much you spend and how much you win. 

If you’re in the need of tips on what to look for when choosing a sportsbook, then remember that you can play for free with certain sites if you’re a first-timer. Lots of platforms offer bonuses and free bets in exchange for you creating an account, which means you can get started with NHL betting without having to invest a single penny of your own cash.

Have a Real Strategy 

Finally, it’s important to have a concrete strategy when betting, particularly when it comes to hockey. Remember that the underdog odds might seem appealing, but the majority of underdog teams are usually out of the tournament within the first few rounds.

A better long-term investment is to stick with teams you know have a decent shot of winning and bet wisely. It’s also key to have an “exit strategy”, which is when you set yourself limits and know when to stop playing. It’s better to recoup your losses and live to play another day than to put all your eggs in one basket. 

NHL betting might seem more challenging than other forms of sports betting, but it’s also more rewarding. Follow these tips to ensure you get off to the best possible start.


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