The long wait is finally over. Today is the first day of the 2017-18 NHL regular season, and it’s shaping up to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory. Will the Pittsburgh Penguins win their third Stanley Cup in a row? Will the expansion Vegas Golden Knights be competitive right out of the gate? We’ll see these storylines and more play out over the next eight months – and of course, you can bet on all the action right here at Bovada. Here’s how to bet on this incredibly exciting sport.

Cold Hard Cash

Just like Major League Baseball, NHL betting is centered around the three common single bets: the moneyline, the puck line, and the total. The moneyline is the most widely used of the three where you’re betting on the outright winner of a game. Let’s take a look at Game 1 of last year’s Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and the Nashville Predators:

Nashville   +140
Pittsburgh   -160

As the home team, the Penguins were listed at the bottom, and they were –160 favorites; to win $100 on the Pens, you had to bet $160. You could also have bet $16 to win $10, or any multiple thereof. The Predators were +140 road dogs, meaning a $100 bet on Nashville would have paid out $140 had they won – which they didn’t.

Puck Luck

The puck line in NHL hockey betting is virtually identical to the run line in baseball. The favorites are typically given a spread of 1.5 goals, although that may shrink to 0.5 goals in the playoffs. Here’s how the puck line looked for Game 1 of the Final:

Nashville   +1.5, –225
Pittsburgh   –1.5, +185

For the Penguins to pay out in this case, they had to win by at least two goals – which they did, 5-3.
For the Predators to pay out in this case, they had to lose by only one goal or win the game.

Lastly, there’s the total (combined goals scored by both teams in a game), which is usually set at 5.5 goals or thereabouts. You can bet the Over or the Under, just like any other sport. Totals are very popular in hockey betting, and if you focus on the goalies for both teams, you can get an edge on the competition.

In addition to these single bets, you can go to the NHL futures market and bet on who will win the Stanley Cup (the Penguins are +800 co-favorites with the Edmonton Oilers), as well as the division and conference titles. The NHL props market is also open for business; Edmonton’s Connor McDavid is a +140 favorite to repeat as the Hart Trophy winner. And as always, live betting on the NHL will be available all season long at Bovada. Just remember to keep your head up and your stick on the ice.


*Odds as of October 4, 2017