Ice Hockey Betting Guide | How To Bet On NHL In 2023

Ice Hockey Betting Guide | How To Bet On NHL

This ice hockey betting guide aims to provide you with insights into the sport, unveiling the crucial factors that influence game outcomes. Furthermore, it presents a curated selection of top ice hockey websites for accessing comprehensive statistics. By leveraging this wealth of knowledge, you’ll gain the confidence to make well-informed decisions when placing your ice hockey bets.

About Ice Hockey Betting

Ice hockey betting involves wagering money on the outcome of ice hockey games or specific events within the game, such as the score, the number of goals, or the winner of the game. There are many types of ice hockey bets available, including money line bets, puck line bets, over/under bets, and futures bets.

Ice hockey is a popular sport in several countries, particularly in North America, Europe, and Russia. It is considered one of the major professional sports in Canada and the United States, where the National Hockey League (NHL) is the highest level of professional ice hockey. The sport also has a strong following in countries such as Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the Czech Republic, where it is also played at a high level.

Why Bet On Ice Hockey?

  • Fast-paced & Exciting

    Ice hockey is a fast-paced and physical sport, with quick changes in momentum and frequent scoring opportunities. This makes it an exciting sport to bet on, as the outcome can change quickly and unexpectedly.

  • Long Seasons

    The NHL season lasts from October to June, providing a long betting season for those who enjoy following the sport and placing wagers. There are also other ice hockey leagues and tournaments with games throughout the year.

  • International Competitons

    Ice hockey encompasses not only professional leagues like the NHL but also international tournaments such as the Winter Olympics and the IIHF World Championships.

Popular Ice Hockey Competitions

The most popular ice hockey competitions include:

  • National Hockey League (NHL): The NHL is the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, with 31 teams from Canada and the United States. It is known for its high level of play, physicality, and intense playoff competition.
  • Winter Olympics: The Winter Olympics is an international multi-sport event held every four years, featuring ice hockey competitions for both men and women. The Olympic ice hockey tournaments are known for their intense competition and national pride.
  • International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships: The IIHF World Championships are held annually and feature national teams from around the world. The tournament is known for its passionate fan base and intense competition.
  • Kontinental Hockey League (KHL): The KHL is a professional ice hockey league based in Eurasia, featuring teams from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Finland, Latvia, and China. It is considered the second-best ice hockey league in the world after the NHL.
  • NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship: The NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship is a college ice hockey tournament featuring the top teams from the United States. The tournament is known for its passionate fan base and intense competition.

Considerations For Ice Hockey Betting

Ice hockey is considered a complex sport due to its various rules, strategies, and physical demands. Ice hockey involves skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and body checking, all while players move at high speeds on a sheet of ice. The sport also has a variety of rules regarding player positioning, offsides, icing, and penalties, which can be difficult to understand for those new to the sport.

In addition, ice hockey is a highly strategic sport that requires players to make split-second decisions and adjust their game plan based on the situation on the ice.

Physical Conditioning

Ice hockey is physically demanding and requires players to be in top physical condition to compete at a high level. Here are a few ways that physical conditioning can impact ice hockey:

  • Endurance and Stamina: Ice hockey is a fast-paced game that requires players to skate hard for short periods, followed by brief periods of rest on the bench. Good physical conditioning can help players maintain a high level of endurance and stamina throughout the game, allowing them to perform at their best even in the later stages of the game.
  • Speed and Agility: Speed and agility are crucial skills in ice hockey, and physical conditioning can help players improve in these areas. Strong leg muscles and cardiovascular endurance can improve a player’s skating speed, while core strength and flexibility can improve agility and the ability to change directions quickly.
  • Strength and Power: Ice hockey is a physical sport that involves body checking and battling for the puck. Good physical conditioning can help players build strength and power in their legs, arms, and core, allowing them to be more effective in these physical battles.
  • Injury Prevention: Ice hockey is a high-impact sport, and physical conditioning can help players prevent injuries by improving their body’s ability to withstand the physical demands of the game. A strong body can also help players recover more quickly from injuries and return to the ice more quickly.


Hockey is a complex sport that requires a combination of physical skill, teamwork, and strategic thinking to win. Here are a few ways in which strategy can affect ice hockey:

  • Offensive strategy: A team’s offensive strategy involves tactics to score goals, such as using a forecheck or an offensive zone trap. Coaches may also employ specific lines of players to execute specific offensive plays or strategies.
  • Defensive strategy: A team’s defensive strategy involves tactics to prevent the opposing team from scoring, such as using a neutral zone trap or a penalty kill. Coaches may also employ specific lines of players to execute specific defensive plays or strategies.
  • Special teams strategy: Special teams refer to situations where one team has an advantage due to a penalty, such as a power play or penalty kill. A team’s special teams strategy involves tactics to capitalize on these opportunities or minimize damage, respectively.
  • Line matching strategy: Coaches may choose to match specific lines of players against each other based on their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a coach may match their best defensive line against the opposing team’s top offensive line to limit their scoring chances.
  • Transition strategy: A team’s transition strategy involves tactics to quickly move the puck from defense to offense or vice versa. This can involve quick breakouts, regroups, or stretch passes.
  • Game management strategy: A team’s game management strategy involves tactics to control the pace of the game, manage the clock, and protect a lead. This may involve playing a more defensive style or using a more aggressive forecheck to maintain control of the puck.

Talent & Skill

Here are some specific ways that talent & skill can impact the outcomes of ice hockey games:

  • Scoring: Skilled players are more likely to be able to create scoring opportunities, take advantage of them, and score goals. This can be a significant advantage for a team.
  • Skating and Puck Handling: Skating and puck handling are key skills in ice hockey, as they allow players to move quickly and effectively around the ice and maintain control of the puck. Players with advanced skating and puck handling skills are more likely to be able to create scoring opportunities, make effective passes, and control the flow of the game.
  • Defence: Defence is also a crucial aspect of ice hockey. Good defensive players have strong skating and positioning skills, and they can effectively disrupt the opposing team’s offensive plays and prevent them from scoring.
  • Goaltending: Goaltending is a unique and crucial aspect of ice hockey. A skilled and talented goaltender can greatly impact a team’s success by making crucial saves and keeping the opposing team from scoring.
  • Special Teams: Special teams, such as power plays and penalty kills, are important aspects of ice hockey. Talented players can be particularly effective on special teams, creating scoring opportunities or shutting down the opposing team’s power play.

Team Chemistry

Team chemistry can have a significant impact on the performance of an ice hockey team:

  • Line Combinations: In ice hockey, players are often organised into lines, or groups of forwards and defensemen who play together during a game. When players have good chemistry, coaches can create effective line combinations that maximize the strengths of each player. This can lead to more scoring opportunities, better defensive play, and ultimately, more wins.
  • Role Acceptance: In pro hockey, players have specific roles and responsibilities on the ice. When players have good chemistry, they are more likely to accept and embrace their roles, whether it’s as a scorer, a defensive specialist, or a physical enforcer. This can lead to a more balanced and effective team.
  • Resilience and Mental Toughness: In pro hockey, players face long and grueling seasons, with frequent travel and physical demands. Good chemistry can provide support and motivation for which can help teams to stay mentally tough. This can be especially important during playoff runs, where the pressure is at its highest.

Rules & Officiating

Rules and officiating play an important role in ice hockey:

  • Player Safety: Rules help to ensure player safety by penalising actions that are dangerous or likely to cause injury, such as checking from behind, tripping, or slashing. Referees can also call penalties for actions such as fighting or instigating, which can lead to injuries.
  • Fair Play: Referees enforce the rules of the game, and penalties are assessed for actions such as interference, hooking, or holding. This helps to ensure that all players have an equal opportunity to play and succeed.
  • Game Flow: Rules and officiating can impact the flow of the game. For example, referees can call icing, which stops play and results in a faceoff in the offending team’s zone. This can slow down the game and affect momentum.
  • Strategy: Rules can also impact the strategies used by coaches and players. For example, a coach may choose to pull their goaltender for an extra attacker if their team is losing late in the game, but this decision may be influenced by the possibility of an empty-net goal if the opposing team gains possession of the puck.

Ice Hockey Betting Markets

Here are some of the most popular ice hockey betting markets:

  • Match Winner (Moneyline): The moneyline is a simple and popular betting market in which you simply bet on which team will win the game. The odds will vary depending on the strength of each team.
  • Puck Line: The puck line is a form of spread betting that adds a handicap to the team that is favored to win. For example, if the favored team is -1.5 on the puck line, they must win by two or more goals for the bet to pay out.
  • Total Goals: In this betting market, you bet on whether the total number of goals scored in the game will be over or under a certain number set by the sportsbook.
  • Period Betting: Period betting allows you to bet on the outcome of individual periods within the game. You can bet on the winner of a particular period, the total number of goals scored in a period, or other outcomes.
  • Specials (Props): Prop bets are proposition bets that allow you to bet on a specific outcome within the game that doesn’t necessarily relate to the final score. For example, you may be able to bet on which player will score the first goal or whether a certain player will score a hat trick.
  • Outright (Futures): Futures bets allow you to bet on outcomes that will occur in the future, such as which team will win the Stanley Cup or which player will win the scoring title.

Best Sites For Ice Hockey Stats

The following websites provide free, detailed ice hockey statistics:

  1. Hockey Reference
  2. HockeyDB
  4. Elite Prospects
  5. TSN

You can learn more about these sites here: Best Sites For Ice Hockey Statistics

Ice Hockey FAQ

What is ice hockey?

Ice hockey is a team sport played on an ice rink, in which two teams of six skaters each (five players and one goaltender) compete to score goals by shooting a hard rubber puck into the opposing team’s net.

What equipment do ice hockey players wear?

Ice hockey players wear a variety of protective equipment, including a helmet with a face mask, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, shin guards, skates, and a protective cup. Goaltenders wear additional equipment, such as a chest protector, blocker, and leg pads.

What is a power play in ice hockey?

In ice hockey, a power play occurs when one team has a player in the penalty box, giving the opposing team an advantage with an extra player on the ice. The team with the extra player is said to be on the power play, while the team with the penalised player is said to be shorthanded.

What is a penalty kill?

A penalty kill is a situation in which one team has a player in the penalty box, and the other team is trying to prevent them from scoring while they have the advantage. The team with the player in the penalty box is said to be shorthanded, while the other team is said to be on the power play.

What is a special team in ice hockey?

In ice hockey, a special team refers to a team that is playing with an advantage or disadvantage due to a penalty being called on one or both teams.

There are two types of special teams in ice hockey: the power play and the penalty kill.

  • Power Play: When one team is assessed a penalty, the other team is said to be on a power play. This means that the team with the advantage has an extra player on the ice, as the penalised player is sent to the penalty box. This can create a significant advantage for the team on the power play, as they have more players on the ice and more room to move the puck.
  • Penalty Kill: When a team is assessed a penalty, the penalised team is said to be on the penalty kill. This means that they have one less player on the ice, as the penalised player is sent to the penalty box. The team on the penalty kill must work to prevent the other team from scoring, and they must clear the puck out of their own zone.

What is the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded to the team that wins the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs at the end of each season. The Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America.

Toby @ Punter2Pro
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments