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When it comes to sports leagues in the US, the NHL is considered one of the big four, alongside the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Hockey is one of the most watched sports in the US – in 2023, 2.72 million Americans tuned into the Stanley Cup to watch the Vegas Golden Knights defeat the Florida Panthers. As the NHL features teams across the country and has millions of diehard fans, it is not surprising that betting markets light up on game day!
If you are looking for the best NHL betting sites, you are in the right place. We have tested all licensed NHL sportsbooks and narrowed down the list to an elite 5 sites, which you can see below. Also, don’t forget to check out our insider NHL betting strategies that you can try out on any of our recommended sportsbooks!
What Is the NHL?
The National Hockey League is the top tier of professional ice hockey in the US and Canada and features the best players from around the world. The NHL was established in 1917 in Montreal, Canada, and now features 32 teams, 7 Canadian franchises, and 25 American franchises.
Best NHL Teams
Back in 1917, the NHL had just four teams: the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Hockey Club, the Ottawa Senators, and the Montreal Wanderers. Incredibly, the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators still play in the NHL.
The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful NHL team of all time, winning a record 24 Stanley Cups. Unfortunately, the Canadiens haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993, but they came oh-so-close in 2021, ultimately losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Detroit Red Wings are in second place with 11 Stanley Cups.
Other legendary NHL teams that consistently produce strong squads are the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins. Most of the top teams are concentrated in Canada and the east coast of the US.
A number of recent expansion NHL teams have also had success in the league. The Vegas Golden Knights, who entered the league in 2017, won the Stanley Cup in 2023. Also, the Florida Panthers, who first played in the NHL in 1993, made it to the Stanley Cup finals in 1996 and 2003.
Who Are the Best NHL Players?
While the NBA has Michael Jordan, the NHL has Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky is the undisputed hockey GOAT and is even dubbed the “The Great One.” The Canadian played 20 seasons in the NHL and won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers. Gretzky has the record for the most number of NHL goals and single-season goals, assists, and total of points. Gretzky retired back in 1999, and now there is a new generation of stars, including:
- Connor McDavid
- Cale Makar
- Auston Matthews
- Nathan MacKinnon
- Leon Draisaitl
- Andrei Vasilevskiy
- Sidney Crosby
- Victor Hedman
- Aleksander Barkov
- Alex Ovechkin
How Much Do NHL Players Get Paid?
The average NHL salary is a very respectable $3.5 million per year. The minimum salary is a hefty $750,000, and the highest-paid player is Auston Matthews, who is raking in a mouth-watering $13.5 million per year, more than $1 million per month!
Despite NHL players earning the big bucks, it pales in comparison to the NBA, where the average salary is $8.5 million and the highest player in the league, Steph Curry, pulls in $51.9 million. But don’t feel too bad for NHL players, as the average player still earns 58 times more than the average American!
What Is the Stanley Cup?
The Stanley Cup is the Super Bowl of the NHL. Every year, the 16 best NHL teams progress to the playoffs, where they battle to make it to the Stanley Cup. Then, the two best teams compete in a best of 7 series to decide who is the NHL champion.
The Stanley Cup actually predates the NHL and was created back in 1892, and is named after former Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston. Prior to the NHL being formed in 1917, the Stanley Cup was handed to Canada’s top-ranking amateur hockey club.
Best NHL Betting Sites 2023
After putting every licensed NHL betting website through our exhaustive testing process, we have finally settled on 5 incredible NHL sportsbooks. All of these betting sites excel when it comes to odds, bonuses, ease of use, and overall NHL betting experience, check them out below!
🥇1. BetMGM – Best Overall NHL Betting Site
BetMGM is live in 20 US states and has live betting markets for every single NHL game. They have 10 + bet types, including the best odds for puck line and futures markets. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for classic NHL moneyline bets or exciting props, BetMGM has it all!
BetMGM regularly offers odds and parlay boosts for NHL games, and if you are a mobile bettor, they have an exceptional app that you can pick up from the App Store or Google Play. Sign up now and use our promo code: GAMBLEUSA to get $1,000 worth of bonus bets for all NHL games!
🥈2. DraftKings – Most Extensive NHL Betting Markets
DraftKings is available in 21 US states and has the most NHL bet types we have come across. For every NHL game, including pre-season matchups, you can make moneyline, puck line, totals bets, as well as tons of player props like season total goals and goalie wins.
DraftKings is truly in a league of its own when it comes to live streaming and betting, you won’t find better dynamic odds anywhere! DraftKings also offers instant free deposits, and your winnings will hit your account in 48 hours. Register via the offer below and get a 20% first deposit match bonus up to $1,000! You can use the bonus money to bet on all NHL games!
🥉3. Caesars – Best NHL Betting Loyalty Program
Caesars Sportsbook is open in 26 US states and always has fantastic odds for NHL games, particularly for moneyline bets. The first thing you will notice about Caesars Sportsbook is just how well-designed their website is. Navigating their NHL markets is super fast, making Caesars ideal for live betting.
Caesars Sportsbooks also has an excellent range of bet types, including all of your classics like puck line and totals, as well as fun over/under bets on penalties, shots, and assists. Sign up and use the promo code: GUSAFULL and get 100% insurance on your first NHL bet up to $1,250!
🎖️4. FanDuel – Best Mobile NHL Betting Site
FanDuel is live in 19 US states and is one of the top NHL sportsbooks for a reason! FanDuel offers live betting and same-game parlays on all NHL games throughout the season. Their choice of game bet types is unmatched, ranging from puck line to correct score to will there be a draw.
FanDuel has a sleek mobile-optimized site with a lovely blue and white theme. They also have one of the best mobile apps out there that allows you to bet live on NHL games at the click of a button. Join FanDuel to get a $1,000 no-sweat bet on any NHL game!
🏅5. PointsBet – Best NHL Betting Odds
PointsBet has only recently burst onto the US scene, but they are already operating in 14 US states. Where PointsBet really shines is its super low juice, which makes it much easier to become a long-term winner. PointsBet routinely has better NHL odds than top sportsbooks and really takes a player-centric approach.
PointsBet has a solid range of NHL bet types and live markets for all regular season and playoff games. They also have an innovative bet type where your winnings or losses are determined by your puck line prediction. Register at PointsBet below and get 5X$100 bonus bets, which are valid for all NHL games!
Key Aspects of an NHL Betting Site
While there are now lots of NHL betting sites out there, these sportsbooks vary significantly based on their odds, mobile play, bonuses, customer support, and betting markets. When on the hunt for top NHL betting sites, make sure they are killing it based on these factors:
- NHL Betting Markets – The best NHL betting sites give you the freedom to bet on all aspects of an NHL game. You can make moneyline, spread, totals, props, and over/under bets. They consistently have incredible odds and offer pre-match and live betting.
- Ease of Use – You shouldn’t need a PhD to place an NHL bet. The best NHL betting sites have a simple two-step sign-up process and a clean interface, and betting is as simple as clicking a few buttons and typing in your stake.
- Generous Bonuses – By betting with an NHL sportsbook with subpar bonuses, you are literally leaving thousands of dollars of potential profit on the table. We only bet with NHL sportsbooks that offer fantastic welcome bonuses, regular bonus bets + profit boosts for existing players. You also need to double-check the promos’ terms and conditions. Avoid the sites that offer NHL betting bonuses with high wagering requirements and low max win caps.
- Mobile Betting – Leading NHL sportsbooks have free mobile apps for iOS and Android and mobile-optimized sites that work smoothly on all devices. From your phone, you can access all NHL markets, claim exclusive bonuses, and even tune into live streams.
- Customer Support – We strongly recommend sticking to NHL betting sites that have a live chat. Trying to solve problems via email is just way too slow. Thanks to live chat, you can instantly connect with a support agent and get your withdrawal processed, bonus credited, stake refunded, or fix whatever issue you are dealing with right away.
- Secure Payment Methods – If an NHL online sportsbook charges for deposits and withdrawals and takes forever to send your winnings, run! Top sportsbooks allow you to deposit and withdraw virtually instantly via Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and bank transfer and never charge fees.
- Additional Features – The best NHL betting sites separate themselves from the pack by offering exclusive additional features like live betting for all NHL games, early cashout, profits boots, live streams, and betting guides to help you pick winners!
How To Get Started on an NHL Betting Site
Betting on NHL games online is actually way easier than you might think. Betting sites have simplified the signup process and designed user-friendly platforms. To get started, simply:
- Pick any of our recommended NHL sports betting sites
- Tap the Sign Up button and fill out your information, including name, email, date of birth, mobile number, address, and last four digits of your Social Security Number
- To claim your bonus, type in our exclusive promo code when prompted
- Verify your account by uploading your ID and proof of address
- Hit the Deposit button, select your payment method, type in the amount you wish to deposit, and enter your payment details
- Now go to the betting site’s lobby and type NHL or scroll until you find hockey and NHL and click on it
- Tap on a particular bet type and place your prediction, for example, Boston Bruins to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins
- Type in the amount you wish to bet and hit the place bet button
Now, just tune into the game and cross your fingers that your team wins! If you pick a winner, your bet will automatically pay out, and the cash will be credited to your account. To withdraw your winnings, go to the cashier, tap on withdraw, and follow the same steps that you used to deposit.
How NHL Betting Odds Work
When you go to an NHL betting site, you will see a +/- number next to each NHL bet. These are known as American odds, but they can also be displayed in decimal or fractional form. NHL betting odds reveal your potential winnings and your implied probability, which is a fancy way of saying your likelihood of winning. Teams with + odds are considered the favorite, while teams with – odds are the underdog.
Now to calculate how much you are going to win depends on whether the odds are +/-. With + odds, the number reveals your profit when you wager $100. For example, if you bet $100 on the Seattle Kraken to beat the Vegas Golden Knights at +142, you will win $142 profit. With – odds, the number shows you the figure you need to risk to earn $100. For example, if you bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs at -310 to beat the Montreal Canadiens, you need to bet $310 to win $100.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about the above math because when you select your bet and enter your stake, the bet slip will automatically display your payout. However, the bet slip won’t show you your implied probability.
To calculate this, you first convert the American odds to decimal odds and then divide 1 by the decimal odds. For example, if you bet on the Chicago Blackhawks at +250 to beat the Boston Bruins, you use this formula: 1 +(American odds/100), which gives you 3.5 (1 + (250/100)). If the American odds are negative, you convert to decimal odds via this formula: 1 – (100 / American odds). Back to our Blackhawks example, the implied probability would be 28.5% (1 /3.5 x 100).
The implied probability reveals your odds of picking a winner based on the sportsbook’s calculations. Your goal is to find NHL bets which have a significantly lower implied probability than the sportsbook predicts. For example, if you think the Blackhawks actually have a 38% chance of winning, then you take +250 odds all day.
NHL Betting Strategies & Trends
NHL betting doesn’t have to be complicated, but to generate a profit, you do need a well-thought-out system. Here are some different NHL betting strategies you can try out right now:
- Look for arbitrage opportunities – Arbitrage is where you take advantage of different odds on two sportsbooks for the same NHL market and guarantee yourself a profit. NHL arbitrage spots don’t happen all the time, but there are enough opportunities throughout the season to make it a profitable strategy. You can use specialized software that will instantly alert you to arbitrage spots and tell you how much to bet.
- Follow pro-NHL tipsters – Professional NHL bettors often reveal their picks on their blogs or via X, Instagram, and Facebook. Before you blindly follow a tipster, research their last 10 or so picks and see how they performed because there are a lot of fakes out there!
- Bet on teams from an Original Six city (Boston, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, and Montreal) when they have a home-ice advantage during the playoffs – Home-ice advantage allows coaches to make the last change, meaning they can watch the opposing team alter their squad and then make the necessary change. Also, away teams are not prepared for the crazy atmosphere in places like Chicago, Toronto, and Boston.
- Bet on home teams when they have had two days rest – Hockey is an incredibly grueling game, so when you have a well-rested team that is also playing at home, they have a big advantage. In fact, home teams who have had two days of rest win 58.7% of the time.
- Bet against away teams who have had to travel cross country – Hockey players absolutely get negatively affected by travel, and the effects are compounded when they are playing away. For example, look for situations where a team like the Vegas Golden Knights or LA Kings are playing against the New York Rangers or Chicago Blackhawks.
Types of NHL Bets on Sportsbooks
Gone are the days when you could only make moneyline and spread NHL bets. Now, sportsbooks have extensive betting markets featuring 20 + bet types, including:
- Moneyline – With this bet, your task is to guess which NHL team will win. For example, you could bet on the Boston Bruins to beat the Chicago Blackhawks.
- Puck line – This is the term for spread betting in the NHL. How it works is the sportsbook places a +/- goal handicap on the NHL teams. You then need to guess which team will emerge victorious based on the handicap. For example, if you bet on the Vegas Golden Knights to beat the Seattle Kraken at -1.5, for your bet to pay out, they must win by 2 goals or more.
- Totals – Totals are all about predicting the number of goals that will be scored in an NHL game. To make it easier, the sportsbooks present it as an over/under, and the odds are usually 50/50. For example, when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Pittsburgh Penguins, the line is set at 6.5 goals, the over is paying -115, and the under is paying -105. If you take the over, you win if 7 or more goals are scored in the match.
- Parlay – A parlay wager is when you combine multiple NHL bets into one betting slip. For example, you might bet on the Montreal Canadiens to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers to beat the New York Islanders, and Alex Ovechkin to score the first goal when the Washington Capitals play the Detroit Red Wings. The important thing to remember is your parlay only wins if all of your individual legs are correct.
- Futures – With NHL futures, instead of betting on individual NHL games, you bet on season-long events, for example, the Stanley Cup winner, division winner, team to make the playoffs, or individual player awards like the Hart Memorial Trophy winner. For example, you could bet on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup, or Matthew Tkachuk to win the league MVP.
Betting Mistakes to Avoid
Developing a winning NHL betting strategy is only half of the battle. You also need to be a disciplined bettor. Avoid these common mistakes if you want to become a long-term winner:
- Betting too big – It is common for sports bettors to quickly become overconfident after a few wins and suddenly ramp up their stake size. This is a fast way to blow through your bankroll. The pros risk between 1% and 2% of their bankroll on a single NHL wager.
- Not using statistics – Betting on the favorite to win every game is a losing strategy. You need to study hockey stats like head-to-head record, win/loss over the last 5 games, and average goals scored/conceded per match. These stats will help you more accurately predict the outcome of NHL games.
- Not taking advantage of promotions – NHL betting sites are constantly giving away bonus bets and cash, which you can use to bet on NHL games and win real money without risking your own funds. You can also get profit boosts on selected NHL games. To claim these bonuses, simply head to the site’s promotions page and follow the instructions.
- Trying to bet your way out of a losing streak – Even experienced hockey bettors have torched their bankrolls by losing their cool and chasing losses. You should only bet when you find real value. By forcing wagers, you are only going to compound your losses. If there are no NHL games worth betting on, have a day off and try your luck another time.
Legal and Regulatory Considerations
Online NHL betting is legal in 28 US states, and this number is growing every single year. The US is now the biggest regulated online sports betting market in the world since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. To legally offer NHL betting, sportsbooks must apply for a betting license from each state authority. The market is tightly regulated, and state gaming authorities only provide licenses to upstanding operators who can demonstrate the ability to offer fair and safe sports betting.
Despite NHL betting sites being legal in many states, there are still lots of shady offshore illegal sportsbooks operating. We strongly recommend against signing up to these NHL sportsbooks because there is usually a very good reason why they can’t get a US sports betting license. Also, if something goes wrong, there is no state gaming authority to help you get your money back.
To wager on NHL games, you must be 21 years or older and be physically located in a state that has legalized online sports betting. NHL betting sites are legally obligated to confirm your identity and address, so don’t think you can outsmart them.
Also, to create a safe sports betting environment, sportsbooks are legally mandated to create a safe betting environment, which includes allowing you to ban yourself, set loss and deposit limits, and they will also conduct player welfare checks if they notice signs of problem gambling.
Where to bet on NHL games?
The best sites to bet on NHL games are FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, PointsBet, and BetMGM. All of these platforms are licensed and offer NHL live betting, competitive odds, and some fantastic sign-up bonuses.
Are NHL betting sites legal and regulated?
NHL betting sites are legal and regulated in 28 US states. NHL betting sites have to apply for a sports betting license from each state authority and follow strict regulations relating to protecting players’ funds and data and offering fair and accurate odds/bonuses.
Can you bet on NHL preseason?
You can bet on all NHL preseason games at online betting sites like FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook. These licensed sportsbooks offer 20 + NHL wager types for preseason games, including spread, same-game parlays, props, and moneyline betting.
Can I bet on live NHL games?
You can bet live on all regular season and playoff NHL games, including the Stanley Cup. Live NHL markets are now standard at all top-rated sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel. You can make moneyline, totals, spread, and all kinds of prop bets live!
Are there any mobile apps for NHL betting online?
All of the biggest licensed sportsbooks in the US have free mobile apps for NHL betting. DraftKings and BetMGM have particularly well-designed apps with awesome features like early cash-out, live streams, same-game parlays, statistics, and NHL news. You can download these apps from Google Play or the App Store.