Betting on Ice Hockey31st January 2017 |
Ice hockey holds a particularly high place in both Canada and northern Europe when it comes to watching and following the sport, as well as betting on it. The NHL (National Hockey League) is one of the most popular competitions to bet on, even though this only takes place in North America. But there are other options out there as well. This guide will cover all that you need to know about ice hockey betting online. We’ll cover the different markets, betting types and more, so that you can get the best possible returns when you place your ice hockey wagers.
How to bet on ice hockey
One of the first things to be aware of is that ice hockey is more niche than other sports and, as such, has less variety when it comes to betting markets. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of betting options! Before delving into them, it’s a good idea to get some understanding of the game. Played by two teams of six, the winning team must score the most goals by hitting the puck into the goal. The games are broken down into three 20-minute sections, each one starting with a face-off to get possession of that puck.
Due to the style of gameplay, ice hockey actually has a large number of betting options similar to those offered in football. You can place bets on the winner of each game, which player will score first and so on. To do so, you’ll need to find a sportsbook that offers ice hockey. Most bookies will and, once you’ve found a reputable trustworthy site to play at, all you need do is to sign up and make a first deposit to get playing. Make sure to compare odds between bookies though, you’ll want the most competitive ones if you plan on being successful.
Top ice hockey leagues
The most obvious league in ice hockey, as already mentioned, is the NHL. This operates in Northern America and is comprised of 30 teams from the United States and Canada. It’s also the biggest professional ice hockey league in the world and runs annually from October to April. Each year these 30 teams will play each other, gradually whittling down the number until the final game, and play off for the Stanley Cup, is reached. Offering fast-paced, high octane games, this is a truly great league to bet on. It also features top teams such as the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
For something a little closer to home, ice hockey is always included in the Winter Olympics, although you have to wait four years each time to get betting. Bear in mind too that most NHL players are also in the Olympics, playing for their countries. There are also the World Championships to think about. This is an annual event and is where the top 16 national teams in the world get to play. However, this is a men only competition (unlike the Olympics, which gives you the chance to place bets on women ice hockey players too). There are many other leagues too including:
- Champions Hockey League
- Kontinental Hockey League
- SEL (Swedish Elite League)
- SM-liigaa (Finland)
- NCAA Ice Hockey Championship
Popular ice hockey bets
There are several different ice hockey bets that can be placed. One of the more popular is the outright bet. This is where you simply predict which of the teams will win the game or competition. Depending on the league you are betting in, there will be a number of different outright bets to place. The NHL has numerous options from winning individual games, winning the division, to winning the Stanley Cup itself. Match result bets are the easiest, as they involve simply predicting which team will win. Sounds easy? Well, this has to be done within the 60 minutes allotted to a game, no overtime allowed!
Puck line handicap is a unique betting option for ice hockey, but is really a variant on spread betting. A point spread is laid for the favourite and the underdog, with the puck line usually set at 1.5. The underdog will be marked +1.5, the favourite at -1.5. If you bet on the underdogs, the team must not lose by two or more goals if you are to win. Over/under bets work in a similar way. The bookie sets a total score for both teams at the end of the game. You simply bet whether the final score will be greater or lower than this total.
Top five tips for betting on ice hockey
If you plan on getting ahead in ice hockey betting, then you need to be prepared. Having a strategy is the key to success, so here are some tips! Firstly, it’s a good idea to look at the home and away form of each team within a league. Some teams play better at home, others better away. This will help you to make more educated predictions about game outcomes. Secondly, you should also look for the hidden value in the odds. When a bookie places a team as favourite, they aren’t always correct. Generally, bookies will put the home team as favourite, but do your own research.
Thirdly, bookies will sometimes (usually in final games) increase betting limits, but this doesn’t mean you should. They’re only increasing the limits because they’re certain of the outcome. Fourthly, it’s a good idea to avoid betting clichés. For those that don’t know, defence tends to win championships, so betting Under the total is not a good idea in these situations. Finally, the last tip is to compare odds across bookies. Don’t just stick with one site because you’ve played there before. Find the most competitive odds that suit you or you will never get ahead in this game. So there you have it! Good luck!
- Check home and away form
- Look for hidden odds
- Don’t increase your bet size
- Don’t bet blindly – do your homework
- Compare odds between different bookies