Hockey is an exciting and fast-paced game. One of the most popular sports in Canada, hockey brings Canadians together. Fans are passionate and loyal and create an inviting and widespread community all across Canada.
Whether you play, watch, bet on hockey games, or all of the above, we’ve created a complete guide to hockey and betting on the NHL from Canada. Use our guide to learn more about the game and to discover the best NHL betting sites for Canadians.
When looking for an NHL betting website be vigilant about which sites you choose. Make sure the sites you bet on cater to your needs as well as the needs of Canadians in general.
Ensuring a safe and legitimate site is important and will prevent you from getting caught in the middle of fraudulent or illegal activity.
Below we’ve outlined some of the major traits to look for in an online NHL hockey betting site.
The higher the odds, the bigger the payout. This is why considering which sites have the best odds will help you with your sports betting NHL success.
Keep in mind that there are several ways that betting odds can be displayed.
For example, if you want to place a wager on your favourite NHL team to win and you see one site has your team with odds of 1.6 and another site with odds of 2.0 - which should you choose?
The one with better odds!
Why? Here’s the outcome of each:
NHL betting site #1 - if you wager $200 and your team wins
Odds = 1.6
Your payout will be - $200 x 1.6 = $320
You will receive your $200 wager back plus $120 in winnings
NHL betting site #2 - if you wager $200 and your team wins
Odds = 2.0
Your payout will be - $200 x 2.0 = $400
You will receive your $200 wager back plus $200 in winnings
Note: In Canada, the decimal betting odds format is most common. If you are comparing two websites that use different odds formats, consider using an odds format calculator to more easily compare them.
Another consideration when choosing an NHL hockey betting site is to determine which markets and types of bets each site offers.
A site with a diverse platform and many options is ideal. At the very least, look for some of the most common betting lines including:
Before you sign up, it’s always worth taking the time to ensure the online sports betting site is safe and regulated. This way you won’t have to worry about your personal or financial information being breached. In addition, you can guarantee that you’re engaging in legal and secure gambling.
All of the online betting sites that we recommend are safe, secure and licensed. For more information, check out our online gambling laws guide as we break down the laws for each region.
When verifying an NHL betting site, look for clear markers of a safe and responsible website. This should include:
The sites you sign up for should also be licensed by a reputable gaming authority or commission. Some of the most common include:
There are many different NHL betting markets available. The most common NHL markets include:
Within each betting market, there are several different betting types, or lines, that you can choose to wager on. These include:
Most commonly, you will see -1.5 goals for the favourite and +1.5 for the underdog. If you bet on the favourite team, they will have to win by two goals for you to be successful. If you wager on the underdog, they can win or lose but only by a single goal.
If you’re looking for a strategy to base your NHL wagers on, here are some tips to keep in mind:
There are 31 NHL hockey teams, including 7 Canadian and 24 American teams.
The NHL is divided into two conferences, each of which is further divided into two divisions.
Hockey may seem complicated and hard to comprehend, but we’ve made it simple.
During regulation time there are a total of 6 players on the ice from each team. This includes:
Many penalties and other calls can be made by referees during a hockey game. Some of the most common calls include:
Generally, the NHL preseason consists of around seven exhibition games.
Pre-season games take place at the end of September. These games allow new players to try out for a team, coaches to evaluate established players, and players to practice before regular-season games.
This is also a good time for fans and those who plan to bet on the NHL to gain insight into player and team rankings.
Here’s what the NHL regular season looks like:
The NHL playoffs are held between May and June. The playoffs determine which team will be the Stanley Cup Champions.
16 teams qualify for and compete in the playoffs. This includes the top three teams from each division and two wildcard teams from each conference.
A team’s standing is based on performance during the regular season. To determine the standings, teams are seeded. In other words, they are ranked. The first-place team receives the first seed, the second-best team the second seed, and so on.
When it comes to the seeding, teams can often tie in the standings. When this happens, the result is a tiebreaker. In this case, the following are reviewed to determine which team will receive the higher seeding.
The NHL playoffs consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series. A best-of-seven series means the first team to win four games wins the series. Each series is played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format. This means the team with home-ice advantage hosts games one, two, five, and seven. The other team hosts games three, four, and six.
The four playoff rounds work as follows:
First Round - Divisional
Third Round - Conference Final
Fourth Round - Stanley Cup Final
If you enjoy betting on NHL games but want to try something a little closer to home, consider betting on the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). With the CHL, you’re more likely to find a team in your hometown, or a nearby city, bringing you closer to the action.
In addition, many players from the CHL end up in the NHL. Therefore, participating in CHL betting can give you insight into NHL teams and players down the road.
The CHL is a junior hockey league. It is made up of 3 leagues and includes 60 teams from across Canada and the United States.
Eastern Conference (12 teams)
Western Conference (10 teams)
Once each league’s champion is determined, the CHL hosts The Memorial Cup. This is a National Championship tournament involving the top team from each league, as well as the tournament host.
If you’re a fan of the CHL, or just want a betting experience that feels closer to home, consider looking for sites that allow you to wager on your local junior hockey team.
Keep in mind that not every site will offer CHL wagers. It is more common to find sites that have options for OHL and WHL betting and less common to find opportunities to bet on the QMJHL. However, sites that offer all of these options do exist!
Some sites that offer CHL betting include: