Understanding NHL Odds: A Comprehensive Guide

The National Hockey League (NHL) is one of the most popular professional ice hockey leagues in the world. With its fast-paced action, skilled athletes, and passionate fan base, it’s no wonder that NHL betting has also gained significant popularity over the years. To make informed bets and potentially win big, it’s essential to understand NHL odds. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the basics of NHL odds, explain different types of bets, and provide some tips for successful NHL betting.

Understanding NHL Odds

NHL odds are numerical representations of the probability of an event occurring in a game, such as the outcome of the game, the total number of goals scored, or individual player performances. Odds are presented in various formats, including American odds (moneyline), decimal odds, and fractional odds. Let’s explore each of these formats:

  • American Odds (Moneyline):
    • American odds are the most common format used in North American sports betting, including the NHL.
    • Positive (+) odds indicate the potential profit from a $100 wager, while negative (-) odds show the amount needed to bet to win $100.
    • For example, if you see odds of +150 on a team, a $100 bet would yield a profit of $150 if that team wins. Conversely, if you see odds of -120, you need to bet $120 to win $100.
  • Decimal Odds:
    • Decimal odds represent the total amount you’ll receive, including your stake, for a winning bet.
    • To calculate your potential winnings, multiply your wager by the decimal odds.
    • For example, if the odds are 2.50 and you bet $50, your potential profit would be $50 x 2.50 = $125.
  • Fractional Odds:
    • Fractional odds express the profit relative to your stake.
    • For example, odds of 5/2 mean you’ll win $5 for every $2 wagered. Your total return would be $7 ($5 profit + $2 stake).

Types of NHL Bets

  • Moneyline Bets:
    • The most straightforward bet where you pick the team you think will win.
    • Positive odds indicate an underdog, while negative odds represent the favorite.
  • Puck Line Bets:
    • Similar to the point spread in other sports, puck line bets involve a handicap (-1.5 goals for the favorite, +1.5 goals for the underdog).
    • These bets can offer more balanced odds for games with a clear favorite.
  • Over/Under (Total) Bets:
    • This bet involves predicting whether the total number of goals scored in a game will be over or under a specified number set by oddsmakers.
  • Prop Bets:
    • Proposition bets allow you to wager on specific in-game events, such as the first goal scorer, total saves by a goalie, or player assists.

Tips for Successful NHL Betting

  • Research Teams and Players:
    • Stay informed about team performance, player injuries, and historical statistics to make informed bets.
  • Bankroll Management:
    • Set a budget for your NHL betting activities and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses.
  • Shop for the Best Odds:
    • Different sportsbooks may offer slightly different odds. Always compare odds to get the best value for your bets.
  • Understand Variance:
    • Even the best bettors can experience losing streaks. It’s important to understand that variance is a natural part of sports betting.
  • Stay Informed:
    • Keep up with NHL news and trends. Injuries, lineup changes, and team dynamics can greatly impact the outcome of a game.


NHL odds are the cornerstone of sports betting on ice hockey, offering a multitude of ways to wager on the game. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just getting started, understanding these odds and the various types of bets available is crucial for making informed decisions. Remember to bet responsibly, manage your bankroll, and enjoy the excitement of NHL betting while staying informed about the league’s developments.