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2021 NHL Betting Guide: How To Bet On Hockey

2021 NHL Betting Guide

Hockey is one of the more popular sports in North America, with a large dedicated fanbase and a big betting community around it. With the Stanley Cup 2021 playoffs providing a great source of excitement, there has never been a better time to get into the action.

How To Bet on Hockey

Hockey betting is similar in many ways to how the wagers in other big North American sports work with a few crucial differences, which are well-worth familiarizing yourself with if you want to become a savvy and smart bettor.

The basics are simple, and they work the same way as they would with any other bets: find the best betting site for you, create an account, make a deposit, navigate to their NHL markets, make a prediction, then smash the “confirm” button (or their equivalent thereof) and enjoy the game!

Before you rush ahead to do just that, take a breather: here are the basics of NHL sports betting, which you need to know before making a bet:

NHL Moneyline Bets

Like other sports, moneyline bets are the simplest to grasp in hockey betting. They are all about the result, and your prediction of the winner will return a clear result the moment the final whistle is blown.

For instance, suppose the Islanders versus Bruns matchup is offered at +175 for the former and -178 for the latter. This means that betting $100 on the Islanders’ win would net you $175 in profits or $275 total and a bet on the Bruns would take a $178 stake to win $100, or $278 in total.

NHL Prop Bets

Proposition bets, or “prop” for short, are wagers revolving around specific occurrences in a game that are unrelated to the eventual outcome. These can range from benign as an over-under on the number of shots in the game or the number of goals scored by a specific player.

Many of the long-time winning bettors are taking a deep dive into the prop bet markets to find edges, which is made more accessible because this is also the most popular form of betting for the casual punters among the crowd. They are well-worth researching in advance before you decide on your hockey bets.

As an example, consider the following: how many goals will Cal Clutterbuck score in the match? The line would be set somewhere around four so you’d have separate odds for “over 4” and “under 4”. The amusingly named Grand Salami also qualifies here, with it being an over-under bet on the total goals scored on a given matchday.

Best NHL Betting Strategies

Betting on hockey is widely considered somewhat more manageable than the other big North American sports with softer markets to enjoy by those looking to profit from wagering in a serious manner. Keep in mind the following hockey betting tips, and you will see your success rate improve in no time.

Advanced stats are your friends

Hockey is a greatly quantifiable sport, and there are many useful metrics to study if you want to gain a deep understanding of how the games may shake out. Stats like Corsi, Fenwick, expected goals, and goaltending all help you in properly handicapping the upcoming series.

…and your gut instinct isn’t

Imagine how many people would be professional bettors if you could simply beat the bookies by listening to your gut. It turns out, their myriad analysts and math wizards tend to know a few things about how the NHL games work! The only way to beat them is to go above and beyond what they’ve analyzed, spot their blind spots and become even more familiar with the field than they are. Diving into the previously mentioned stats is a great way to do just that.

Past results only matter so much.

We’re all suckers for narratives, and it’s been written that no one ever decided because of a number since they need a story. Still, this should not deter you when trying to place a profitable bet: past encounters only tell you so much considering the turnover in players, staff, and even the shifts in individual form. Don’t put too much stock into the idea of rivalry teams or anything similar: there are more tangible metrics to consider when wagering seriously.

You can also find further NHL betting strategy suggestions in SafestBettingSites’ dedicated NHL betting guide.

How Does The NHL Playoff Bracket Work?

Which NHL teams are in the Stanley Cup Finals depends on the results of a grueling playoff bracket that owes its name to the eponymous trophy awarded to the winners, the oldest of such professional awards in the United States America.

Four teams from each division made it to the sixteen-team playoffs, and the first round winners from each division will meet in the following round. The next set of games determine the four division winners, who are then reseeded into the Stanley Cup semifinals based on their regular season performances.

Who Is Most Likely To Win The 2021 Stanley Cup?

It would be no fun to guess this easily, but the bookmakers seem to consider the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Boston Bruins to be a cut above the rest of the competition, with odds hovering around +400 and +450 on their respective title tilts.

Best NHL Betting Sites

When betting on hockey, you should look for the depth and breadth of hockey-related markets offered by the various betting sites alongside their deposit bonuses and anything else that may be of use to you. (To offer a straightforward example, you’ll have little use of a betting site that doesn’t have a license to serve you in your current location!) With that being said, there are still certain bookies who offer more than their competitors do, and they are well worth checking out if you’re looking for an NHL betting site:


The flexibility in deposit options and the straightforward signups of US-based bettors make BetNow the top choice for betting on NHL games online. The ability to deposit with credit cards and crypto alike makes the platform the premier choice for hockey betting.


MyBookie’s software is widely considered a step ahead of its rivals on the market, with a special emphasis on live betting. Couple this with a generous welcome bonus, and you can easily see why they’re well-worth considering as one of the best NHL betting sites around.


Sharp punters flock to Bovada because they’re considered a tad softer than their competition, which, coupled with their fast payouts and strong promotions, sets them apart from the field.


As a well-known international bookmaker, Betway should need little to no introduction. Their robust in-play betting options and a wide variety of sports-specific bonuses make them an excellent fit for those interested in betting on the Stanley Cup.

Final Thoughts

This should just about cover the basics of what you should know about the exciting world of NHL betting. Whether you’re placing a punt on your favorite team for that added bit of fun or making a deep dive into stats to turn a profit, getting involved with the betting side of things will no doubt make the 2021 Stanley Cup highlights all the more impressive to watch.

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