Hockey Betting in the US

Hockey is one of the most popular sports in the US and forms part of the ‘big four’, which also makes it popular for bettors.

Everything you need to know about hockey betting, including the types of bets and how to read odds, can be found on this page. We also pick the best hockey betting apps and show sites with the most favorable betting bonuses.

Best Hockey Betting Sites

Top Results for Virginia, US
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# Sportsbook Bonus
1.
FanDuel Sportsbook

Up to $1,000 risk-free bet

Free bet

FanDuel Sportsbook
PayPal
VISA
Mastercard
PayNearMe
Discover
Use bonus code: No bonus code required; Register to claim
Qualifying bet: No minimum bet amount
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
2.
Caesars Sportsbook

Up to $1500 free bet

Cashback

Caesars Sportsbook
Mastercard
PayNearMe
PayPal
Play+
VISA
Discover
Use bonus code: CZR15
Qualifying bet: No minimum bet amount and no odds restrictions
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
3.
BetMGM

Up to 1000$ free bet

Free bet

BetMGM
PayNearMe
PayPal
Play+
Discover
Use bonus code: No bonus code required. Register to claim offer
Qualifying bet: No minimum bet amount and no odds restrictions
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
4.
BetRivers

100% up to $250

Match deposit bonus

BetRivers
VISA
Mastercard
VIP Preferred
PayPal
Play+
PayNearMe
Use bonus code: 250MATCH
Qualifying bet: No minimum bet amount and no odds restrictions
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
5.
PointsBet

2 risk free bets up to 2000$

Cashback

PointsBet
VISA
Mastercard
PayPal
Use bonus code: WELCOME
Qualifying bet: No minimum bet amount and no odds restrictions
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
6.
WynnBET

Bet $100 get $100 in free bets

Cashback

PayPal
Mastercard
Play+
VISA
VIP Preferred
Use bonus code: No bonus code required; Register to claim offer
Qualifying bet: Bet $100 or more at minimum odds of -120
Wagering requirement: 1x bonus
Restricted
It seems you are in Virginia, US, where US online sportsbooks are not legal. You can change your location or browse the recommended fantasy sports betting sites below.

Every betting site has been tried and tested by USBetting’s team of experts, who use strict criteria to judge each one and recommend only the best hockey sportsbooks.

Category Winners

There are so many legal US betting sites out there that it can be hard to find ones for your betting wants.

Going through each sportsbook that is available in your state to decide on the best one is time-consuming, so our team of betting experts have saved you the effort by doing all of that for you.

Best hockey sportsbooks by category
Best hockey odds

PointsBet

Best hockey live betting site

BetMGM

Best hockey markets

PointsBet

Best hockey futures

FanDuel Sportsbook

Best hockey bonus

PointsBet

Best hockey promotions

BetMGM

Hockey Betting Sites to Avoid

Because online sports betting was only legalized in 2018, this gave offshore sportsbooks the chance to take a firm grip of the US betting market.

These betting sites are not licensed to operate in the US but can accept US customers, making them enticing to those with few legal options in their state.

However, you should stay away from sites that are not licensed to operate in the US – primarily because there’s no recourse if something goes wrong.

There’s nothing that can be done if they withhold your deposit, for example, and they also charge extortionately high fees for withdrawals.

How to Place a Hockey Bet

Hockey betting is a little easier to understand than other sports because there are generally fewer markets available.

This is largely due to NHL not being as popular as the likes of NFL and NBA, and so betting sites do not provide as many options.

1
find legal us betting site
Find legal US betting site

Check out our list of recommended US sportsbooks and pick the one that appeals most to you.

2
Register for a betting account

Sign up to that sportsbook on their website, taking advantage of their welcome offer if you wish to.

3
Find the game you want to bet on

All betting sites will list hockey separately in their navigation bar but NHL may be shown at the top of it as a featured league.

4
analysis
Do an analysis of the game

At the very least, check stats for the two teams playing in the game.

5
find market
Find the market

Sportsbooks tend to offer limited lines on hockey games, at least compared to other major sports.

6
Compare odds

Have a look at other sportsbooks available in your state to make sure you’re getting the best odds.

7
place bet
Place your bet and wait for it to settle

Choose your wagering amount and then place the bet.

How We Rate Hockey Betting Sites

Every betting site we recommend has gone through a series of tests to determine how good it is.

These tests consist of strict factors that our team of expert bettors have determined, allowing us to give you the best suggestions possible.

  • Security

    It is important that a betting site cares about keeping your money safe and employs plenty of measures to do so.

  • Odds and markets

    You want a sportsbook that gives you the most choice of markets as variety ultimately makes betting more fun. As well, the best betting sites consistently provide very competitive odds on the main hockey markets – puck line, moneyline and totals – putting more power into your hands and allowing you to get the best value possible.

  • Promotions

    Hockey sits pretty low in most sportsbooks’ priority list so promotions for the sport are quite rare, which makes those that do have hockey promotions always worth considering.

  • Mobile betting

    Being able to place wagers on your phone or tablet is basically a prerequisite of a good sportsbook. Unfortunately, many mobile apps for both iOS and Android struggle with location services and crashes. Betting sites that have developed good apps tend to rated highly overall.

  • Customer support

    A good customer service is both quick to respond and able to answer whatever query you have in a timely manner. As well, the sportsbook should have multiple ways to contact them including live chat, phone call, email and on social media.

  • Payment methods

    There aren’t many bigger turn-offs than a betting site not accepting the method you want to use. The sportsbook with the biggest range of methods tend to get rated higher than those with only three or four.

Which States is Hockey Betting Legal in?

Hockey betting is legal in every state that licenses online sports wagering.

There are no restrictions on betting on NHL or any other professional hockey league around the world.

ColoradoOregonConnecticutPennsylvania
IllinoisRhode IslandIndianaTennessee
IowaVirginiaMichiganWashington
MontanaWashington DCNevadaWest Virginia
New HampshireWyomingNew Jersey

Top Hockey Betting Apps

Any sportsbook worth betting with will have an app for both iOS and Android, allowing you to place wagers on your mobile at home or on the go.

Provided you are within a legal state where the betting site operates, even if it is not the one you registered in or live in, then you can use the app to place bets on hockey and other sports.

Our team of experts has tested every mobile betting app available to US bettors, rating them on a range of criteria including ease of use and how simple it is to place a wager.

Hockey betting apps
Best hockey app overall

PointsBet

Most user-friendly

FanDuel Sportsbook

Best for bonuses

BetMGM

Best for mobile live streaming/betting

FanDuel Sportsbook

Best Android app

Caesars Sportsbook

Best iOS app

FanDuel Sportsbook

Hockey Live Betting

Live hockey betting lets you bet on games as they happen, adding a new dimension to sports betting that does not restrict you to only placing wagers pre-game.

Sharp minds can use in-play betting to find value in certain markets as you can utilize statistics from both pre-game and in-game to justify wagers.

This gives you as much information as possible at your disposal to place bets with.

Pros and Cons of In-play Hockey Betting

Obviously, in-play betting on hockey isn’t a guaranteed way to win bets and it carries just as much risk as every other type of sports betting.

You should always know the pros and cons of live sports betting before you consider placing wagers.

Pros
  • Hedge pre-game bets
  • Potential for value bets
  • Wager based on in-game stats
Cons
  • Can lose track of bets
  • Bet delay

The key thing to keep in mind for live betting is that it is very easy to get carried away because you may not realize quite how many wagers you’ve placed.

Keep track of your bets and you can definitely gain success from live betting.

Use Live Streaming to Your Advantage

Live streaming of major sports is yet to truly take hold in the US compared to the likes of the UK and Australia, with complex licensing issues at the forefront of that.

If and when live hockey streaming does come to US betting sites, it will be extremely useful for bettors as it allows you to watch and bet on a game without needing to look at multiple screens.

Hockey Betting Bonuses

US sportsbooks offer bonuses for specific sports and hockey is no exception, with many betting sites having promotions that give you free bets or odds boosts to utilize in your wagering.

You can also bet on hockey using the welcome bonuses from betting sites. These registration bonuses usually come in the form of free bets or bonus credits, and you should know that these stakes are not included in any returns from successful wagers.

As an example, a $25 bet on Washington Capitals to beat Carolina Hurricanes would normally return a total of $54.50. If that $25 risk is a bonus, then the total returns will only be $29.50 (ie the winnings).

Hockey Promotions for Registered Bettors

Being rewarded for betting via a promotion is something you should always be on the look out for.

Not every sportsbook will offer betting promotions and this is particularly true for hockey, so those that do give you things like free bets are always worth considering.

Top hockey betting promotions
Best hockey betting free bets

BetMGM

Best hockey cashback bonuses

Barstool Sportsbook

Best hockey boosted odds

PointsBet

How to Bet on Hockey

Betting on hockey in the US is not as complicated as other major sports simply because there are fewer markets available compared to the likes of NFL and NBA.

It is still important that you know what you’re betting on, what the puck line is, and how to read American odds.

How to Read Hockey Odds

American odds always start with a plus or a minus. If it is a plus, then the number shows the amount you would win from a theoretical $100 wager. You don’t have to bet exactly $100, it is just how the price is denoted.

If the number begins with a minus then that is how much you would have to wager to win $100. Again, that is just hypothetical and you can wager any amount within the sportsbook’s rules

Hockey odds explained
-110

Wager $110 to win $100 profit

-200

Wager $200 to win $100 profit

+100

Wager $100 to win $100 profit

+500

Wager $100 to win $500 profit

American Odds format does not lend itself to being particularly user-friendly for new bettors, with Decimal Odds (such as 2.50) and Fractional Odds (like 6/4) much easier to understand.

Bet Types

Hockey betting offers a few different options for wagers which are available at every US betting site.

Some sportsbooks may have a more varied range of markets and the concepts listed here can usually be applied to those.

Spread/Puck Line

The spread, which is also known as the Puck Line in hockey, is betting on a team to win by more than a specified number or for the other team to lose by less than that number.

This is also referred to as handicap betting and the easy way to work out whether your bet has won is to simply subtract the spread number from the pre-game favorite after the game has finished.

Because of the low-scoring nature of hockey, at least compared to NFL and NBA, the puck line is almost always set at -1.5.

Whichever team is the winner after that number has been subtracted is said to have covered the spread.

Example: Tampa Bay Lightning are -1.5 favorites against Philadelphia Flyers. Lightning have to win by two goals or more to cover the spread, whilst the Flyers either need to win the game or lose by exactly one goal to cover.

Totals (Over/Under)

This is betting on how many goals will be scored in a single game by both teams combined.

The line tends to be set somewhere between five and 6.5 goals and usually includes overtime, although you should check the rules of your preferred betting site for that.

You can place a bet on whether the actual number of goals scored will be over or under the line set by the sportsbook.

Example: The totals line for Tampa Bay Lightning vs Philadelphia Flyers is 5.5 goals. If six or more goals are scored then the over bets will win, whilst the under bets win if five or fewer are netted.

Moneyline

Moneyline is just another way of asking which team will win the game. No handicaps or other conditions are attached to this.

Example: Tampa Bay Lightning are -175 favorites against Philadelphia Flyers. A $25 wager on this will return a total of $39.28, including the initial stake.

Player Props

Player props are wagers on how well a specific player performs in a single game. Unfortunately for hockey bettors, this is usually very limited and tends to only include goals, assists, and points.

Example: Steven Stamkos is +145 to score over 0.5 goals against Philadelphia Flyers.

Parlays

Parlay bets consist of selections from multiple games, with all legs needing to be successful for the bet to win.

The chance of a parlay winning lessens with each selection you add, but the potential return amount increases and is higher than it would be if you placed the same wager on each market individually.

Example: Taking the moneyline on each of Tampa Bay Lightning (-175), Edmonton Oilers (-105), and Chicago Blackhawks (+195) pays out at +805. A $5 wager on this would return a total of $45.25 if all three teams win.

Period Betting

Period betting is almost identical to regular betting except it only applies to a specific period of the game. The bet is settled at the end of that period and anything else that happens in the game does not impact period wagers.

Example: Tampa Bay Lightning are +145 to win the first period against Philadelphia Flyers. The bet will land if Tampa lead after the first period and it does not matter if they then go on to lose the game.

Hockey Futures

Futures are bets that take the whole season into account, rather than just a single game, and so they are settled at the end of the year.

They are typically placed at the start of the season – although that is not a requirement – and generally on overall champion markets or player awards.

  • Champion – The team that wins the Stanley Cup in NHL. This is one futures market that is available all year round, usually going live as soon as the previous season’s Stanley Cup has finished.
  • Player awards – NHL hands out a range of individual player awards at the end of the season, including MVP, Best Defenseman, and Rookie of the Year. These awards are named after important hockey figures of the past and may be listed under their official title, such as Hart Memorial Trophy for MVP.
  • Points total O/U – Betting sites project an overall season points total for each NHL team and you can bet on whether their actual total at the end of the campaign will be higher or lower.
  • To make/miss playoffs – Only 16 of the 32 NHL teams qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs and each team has odds on whether they will be involved in the postseason.
  • To win division/conference – NHL is split into four divisions and two conferences, with betting sites offering odds for each team to win their respective division and conference.

Hockey Betting Tips and Advice

As well as knowing how to pick a betting site, place bets, and read odds, there’s still some other tips and tricks that are worth knowing.

Remember, this are only general advice to help you decide what wagers to place – it is not a foolproof way to win every bet.

  1. Research matchups – You should always check the stats of the teams playing in the game you want to bet on. This information is freely available online and at the very least, it is recommended that you measure up each team’s good aspects and their bad aspects.
  2. Injuries/rest/absences – Find out if a team is missing players, whether that is through injury or just resting ahead of a heavy schedule. If you can pick up this information before the sportsbooks, you may be able to get a favorable line.
  3. Current form/upcoming schedule – Some teams may choose to play their third or fourth lines for extended minutes if they have a tough schedule coming up. Also take travel times and long road trips into account as these can impact fatigue.
  4. Line shop – As with pretty much anything, you want to find the best price – whether that’s for a new gadget or, indeed, for betting. If you want to bet on Steven Stamkos to score and the first sportsbook you check has him at +145 but another one prices it at +150, it makes sense to take the odds with the best return.
  5. Manage bankroll – A key principle of betting is to keep track of how much you’re spending. It can be easy to deposit more money than you can afford to lose so it is important to stay disciplined.
  6. Look for value – Value is the idea of you believing that a particular selection has a greater chance of landing than the odds suggest. For instance, your research leads you to believe that the Tampa Bay Lightning have a 66% chance of winning and should be priced at -200. However, your sportsbook has them priced at -175 – which represents a theoretical 63% chance.

NHL

NHL is the world’s premier hockey league, with players from all over the globe suiting up every and increasing the worldwide appeal of the sport.

Games are played almost every night between October and June, with a host of outdoor games including the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series which also attract more casual viewers.

Each NHL team plays 82 games in the regular season for a total of 1312 fixtures, before the playoffs, which gives bettors plenty of opportunities to place wagers.

NHL is by far the most popular hockey league so check out our dedicated page about NHL betting. NHL betting sites

Biggest NHL Events

  • Stanley Cup

    The Stanley Cup is a best-of-seven series played between the winner of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

  • NHL All-Star Game

    The best players from the first half of the season play in the All-Star Game tournament. Unlike regular NHL games, the All-Star Game is a 3-on-3 format with each division being represented in a knockout tournament.

  • NHL Draft

    The top young hockey prospects around the world are drafted to join an NHL franchise. These players can come from US colleges or junior hockey leagues.

FAQs

You can bet on hockey in a variety of ways, with the most popular being spread, handicap and totals. Sign up for a legal US betting site, deposit using one of their accepted payment methods, and decide what you want to bet on as well as how much to risk.

Betting lines are set by sportsbooks in Las Vegas, with other betting sites then applying them to their markets. Moneyline betting is which team will win the game, puck line is which team will win the game after the specified handicap has been taken into account, and totals betting is how many goals will be scored.

Moneyline is betting on which team will win the game, including overtime and shootout if necessary. There are no other conditions attached to this like a handicap, which deducts goals from the pre-match favorite to balance the odds a little more.

The puck line is also called the spread in other sports. It is a negative handicap applied to the favored team and you can bet on whether they will win by more than the specified number. Betting on the team with a positive handicap is backing them to lose by less than that number, or to win the game.

Hockey betting is available at every legal US betting site with no restrictions imposed, so you should have no issues placing wagers on hockey. You can find a list of the best hockey betting sites available in your state by navigating to the dedicated state’s page at the top.

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