Best Canadian NHL Betting Sites

PowerPlay

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  • New Betting Site (2018)
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8

/ 10

bet365

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  • World's Biggest Bookmaker
  • The Best Betting App
  • Free Live Streaming

9

/ 10

Funbet

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  • High Odds
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8

/ 10

Betzest

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  • New Sports Betting Site (2018)
  • Exclusive No Deposit Bonus
  • High Betting Odds

8

/ 10

Sports Interaction

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  • 1000's of Betting Options
  • Canadian Gambling Site
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9

/ 10

Betway

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  • Trusted Bookmaker
  • High odds
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8

/ 10

BetVictor

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  • 30+ Sports
  • Highest Betting Odds in our Tests
  • Live Streaming

9

/ 10

Unibet

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  • 35+ Sports & High Odds
  • Free Live Streaming
  • Mobile Friendly

9

/ 10

MansionBet

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  • Great Sign Up Bonus
  • Trusted Brand
  • High Odds

8

/ 10

888Sport

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  • High Betting Odds
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  • 30+ Sports

9

/ 10

Bodog

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  • Trusted Brand Since 1994!
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • High Odds

8

/ 10

Spin Sports

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  • Large Canadian Sign Up Bonus
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9

/ 10

Betiton

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  • Brand New Betting Site (2020)
  • Low Betting Margins
  • 100's of Betting Markets

8

/ 10

MrPlay

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  • New Legal Gambling Site (2019)
  • High Betting Odds
  • Large Sign Up Bonus

8

/ 10

Fansbet

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  • Fantasic Sports Welcome Bonus
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9

/ 10

William Hill

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  • High Betting Odds
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9

/ 10

22Bet

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8

/ 10

How We Choose the Best NHL Hockey Betting Sites

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. 

NHL Odds 

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.  

  1. Decimal (e.g. 2.0)
  2. American (e.g. +145)
  3. Fractional/UK (e.g. ¼)

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.

Markets & Types 

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: 

  • Moneyline 
  • Point spreads 
  • Game totals  

Online Safety & Licensing 

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:

  • Secure online payment methods 
  • Licensed or regulated by a third party 
  • Efforts made to protect personal information 

The sites you sign up for should also be licensed by a reputable gaming authority or commission. Some of the most common include:

  • United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) 
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) 
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission 
  • Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)

NHL Betting Markets 

There are many different NHL betting markets available. The most common NHL markets include:

  • Live betting - Live betting starts after a game begins. It offers an exciting option, as odds and lines change throughout the game. As these factors change, bettors can adjust their wagers. Examples of live betting options include:
  • Totals bets
  • Puck line wagers
  • Futures - these are bets that are placed on future events. For example, a futures bet could be predicting who will win the Stanley Cup Final or even who the final two teams will be.
  • Prop betting - also known as propositional betting, this type of betting includes an array of different bets ranging from which players will score, how many goals a team will score, which player will score the most goals, etc. 

NHL Betting Lines Explained

Within each betting market, there are several different betting types, or lines, that you can choose to wager on. These include:

  • Moneyline - this is the most common wager when betting on NHL games. Bettors simply predict who they think will win the game. Keep in mind, betting on the underdog may result in a higher payout.
  • Point spreads - this is known as the puck line in hockey betting. With a puck line bet, a wager is placed on either the favourite or the underdog to win or lose by a certain point spread.

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.

  • Game totals - also known as an over/under bet, this type of bet involves wagering on the total score of the game. Bettors must predict whether the total score of the game will be over or under a number that has been set by the sportsbook.

Tips and Strategy for Betting on the NHL 

If you’re looking for a strategy to base your NHL wagers on, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Goaltender stats - know which goaltenders are highest ranked, as a goaltender can play a crucial role in the outcome of a game. Be sure to factor a goalie’s recent performance into your betting strategy as well.
  • Team schedules - becoming familiar with a team’s schedule can be very beneficial. For example, knowing when a team is on a long road trip, and therefore tired or overworked, can help you make more grounded decisions when placing wagers.
  • Betting on the underdog - unlike other major sports in North America, the best and worst NHL teams generally have a very small difference in success rates. In fact, even the worst NHL teams still win approximately 35% of their games. For bettors, this means that there is a lot of value in betting on the underdog.

NHL Format Explained

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.

Eastern Conference

  • Atlantic Division - 8 teams 
  • Metropolitan Division - 8 teams

Western Conference

  • Central Division - 7 teams 
  • Pacific Division - 7 teams

NHL Games

Hockey may seem complicated and hard to comprehend, but we’ve made it simple.

  • An NHL game consists of 3 periods. Each period is 20 minutes in length

During regulation time there are a total of 6 players on the ice from each team. This includes:

  • 3 forwards 
  • 2 defensemen  
  • 1 goaltender 
     
  • A goal is scored when the puck makes it past the opponent’s goaltender and into the net. The team with the most goals scored at the end of the game is the winner.
  • If the game is tied after the 60 minutes of regular play, a five-minute sudden-death overtime occurs. Sudden death means that the first team to score automatically wins the game, regardless of how much time is still on the clock.

Many penalties and other calls can be made by referees during a hockey game. Some of the most common calls include:

  • Icing - when a player hits the puck and it passes over the centerline and then over the opposing team's goal line without being touched by another player or a goal being scored. 
  • Slashing - When a player swings their stick at an opponent or breaks their opponent's stick by hitting it with their own stick. This is considered a penalty.
  • Charging - when a player or goaltender violently checks an opponent. This is considered a penalty.
  • Holding - when a player wraps their arms around an opponent or grabs their stick, jersey or body in an attempt to hold them back. This is considered a minor penalty.

NHL Pre-Season

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.

NHL Regular Season

Here’s what the NHL regular season looks like:

  • The regular season usually runs from October through April.
  • Each team plays 82 regular-season games. This includes 41 home games and 41 away games. 
  • Regular season games determine a team’s standings. The top three teams from each division, along with two wildcard teams from each conference, determine the 16 teams that will enter the playoffs.

NHL Playoffs

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.

  • Which team has a higher points percentage (a ratio of games played vs points scored)?
  • Which team has a greater number of wins in regulation games (not including overtime or shootouts)?
  • Which team has a greater number of wins in regulation and overtime play (not including shootouts)?
  • Which team has a greater number of games won (including overtime and shootout)?
  • Which team has a greater number of points earned in games between the team they are tied with? 
  • Which team has a greater differential between goals for and goals against during the regular season? 
  • Which team has scored more goals overall during the regular season?

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

  • Lower seeded wildcards play against the divisional winners. 
  • Second and third seeds from each division play against each other. 
  • Winners from each matchup advance to the Second Round.

Second Round

  • First Round winners play one another to determine the four teams that will play in the Conference Finals.

Third Round - Conference Final

  • The top two teams from each conference play a best-of-seven series. This determines the Eastern Conference Champion and the Western Conference Champion. 
  • The Eastern Conference Champion wins the Prince of Wales Trophy. 
  • The Western Conference Champion wins the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl.  

Fourth Round - Stanley Cup Final

  • The Eastern Conference Champion and the Western Conference Champion play a best-of-seven series. This determines the winner of the Stanley Cup - the highest award in the NHL.

FAQs

How do you bet on NHL hockey? 

Betting on the NHL is simple. First, choose the best NHL betting site that also serves Canadian sports bettors and open an account. Then decide which type of bet you would like to place, and which team you want to wager on. Place your bet. Wait for the outcome and hope your prediction was correct.

How do NHL spreads work? 

NHL spreads, also called the NHL puck line, is a bet placed on the favourite or the underdog. This type of bet predicts who will win the game by a certain point spread. Most commonly, if you bet on the favourite, they will have to win by two points for you to win your bet. On the other hand, if you bet on the underdog, they can win or lose by one point and you will win. 

Where can I bet on NHL games?

There are many Canadian NHL betting websites available online. The top sites are listed above. Research the best sites, determine which suits your needs and start placing your wagers. 

Betting on the Canadian Hockey League

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.  

  1. Western Hockey League (WHL)
  • There are 22 teams - 17 Canadian, 5 American
  • The teams are divided into two conferences and four divisions

Eastern Conference (12 teams)

  • Central Division 
  • East Division 

Western Conference (10 teams)

  • US Division
  • BC Division
  • Teams play around 72 regular-season games
  • Teams play for the President’s Cup and to become Western Hockey League Champions
  1. Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
  • There are 20 teams - 17 Canadian, 3 American 
  • Teams are divided into two conferences and four divisions

Eastern Conference

  • East Division 
  • Central Division

Western Conference

  • West Division 
  • Midwest West Division
  • There are 64 regular-season games
  • Teams play for the J. Ross Robertson Cup to become Ontario Hockey League Champions
  1. Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) 
  • There are 18 teams - all Canadian teams
  • Teams are divided into two conferences and four divisions

Eastern Conference

  • Maritimes Division 
  • East Division 

Western Conference

  • Central Division 
  • West Division 
  • There are around 60 regular-season games
  • Teams compete to win the QMJHL Championship and are awarded the President's Cup 

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.

Betting on the CHL

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:

  • bet365 - provides betting on all three CHL leagues (WHL, OHL & QMJHL)
  • BetWay - offers only OHL and WHL betting
  • William Hill - covers all three CHL leagues (WHL, OHL & QMJHL)
Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown

Thomas is responsible for all content on BettingGuide Canada. With his extensive knowledge of the gambling industry and college degree in law, he knows what you should look out for when choosing the best casino or sportsbook.

Last updated: 6/11/2021