7/27/20 Update: The NHL announced its “Return To Play Plan” back in May and has advanced towards its return to live action on Aug. 1. Two hub cities – Toronto and Edmonton – will host all action with 24 teams playing to the Stanley Cup. See details and updated odds below.
A fast-paced game with endless end-to-end action, hockey is always a fun watch. Getting a bet in on an NHL game only adds to the thrill. And New Jersey bettors now have plenty of options when it comes to betting on the National Hockey League.
If you’re more accustomed to betting on football or basketball, there are some slight differences in hockey betting you’ll want to take note of. But before the puck drops, getting a few bucks down on any NHL team is pretty simple — especially since you can grab your iPhone or laptop and bet with an NJ online sportsbook.
In New Jersey, you have several options when it comes to betting on hockey. Here are a few things to remember:
There are over a dozen online sportsbooks and betting apps to choose from in the Garden State. Many offer some excellent incentive bonuses and risk-free bets to new customers.
Claim your new account bonus and NHL promo here:
The NHL announced in March that it would pause the 2019-20 season amid the Coronavirus pandemic. On May 26, it announced its “Return to Play” plan to still award a 2020 Stanley Cup champion.The format is as follows:
From there things would play down similar to a normal season but with possible shortened series for first and second rounds. Current futures markets open for the NHL restart include:
Here’s how the odds for Stanley Cup champion look as of July 27, 2020 on DraftKings and FanDuel:
Note: Odds for individual games and each play-in series have also been posted. Always check your favorite sportsbook for the most current futures odds.
For the most part, betting on hockey is rather straightforward. Most of the standard bets are comparable to those in football, basketball, and other mainstream sports.
But there are some unique bets to hockey that add some intrigue. If you like watching the action unfold on the ice, adding a live, in-game bet can amp things up even more.
Obviously, there are several retail sportsbooks at casinos and racetracks in NJ where you can bet in-person. However, online and mobile sports betting offers a new level of convenience.
You can lay a puck line bet (or any wager) down on the NJ Devils (or any NHL team) 24/7 from anywhere within the state. Using an app, you can cash out and deposit with the tap of a button. Also, playing around with your betting slip, odds boosts or parlays to max out your payouts is super easy.
Our guide can get you started with NHL betting with a look at:
New Jersey hockey fans have a few local teams to watch. NJ boasts one NHL team — an iconic NHL franchise in its own right — but there are teams in neighboring states that draw lots of local fan support, too.
A clear home-state favorite, the New Jersey Devils, based in Newark, play their home games in the Prudential Center. The Devils were founded in 1974 as the Kansas City Scouts. The franchise then played as the Colorado Rockies from 1976-82. The team has been in New Jersey since 1982 and plays in the Eastern Conference.
Here are a few franchise highlights:
Here were a few of the early lines set at DraftKings on the Devils and some of their top players before the NHL season began:
To score most points over the regular season:
The New York Rangers are one of the NHL’s “Original Six” franchises that played for 25 years, from 1942-67, before the significant expansion of the NHL began. The team was founded in 1926. The Rangers play home games in Manhattan at the historic Madison Square Garden as a member of the Eastern Conference.
Numerous hall-of-famers have played, coached or managed for the franchise.
Some franchise highlights include:
The Philadelphia Flyers entered the league in 1967 and, with its Philly home, draws plenty of fans in southern NJ.
The team plays home games at the Wells Fargo Center as an Eastern Conference member. The Flyers aren’t short on franchise success, either.
Here are a few Flyers highlights:
Along with these classic NHL teams, there are also several NHL teams in neighboring states that make it worth checking the lines. These teams offer some solid betting possibilities if you’re an NJ bettor who follows the NHL regularly:
Unlike betting on NFL football or some other sports, betting on hockey usually involves using the moneyline.
For a typical moneyline wager, you only have to pick the winning team in a game. Payouts are adjusted depending on the odds of the matchup.
So, in hockey, you only pick the winning team no matter the margin of victory. In a moneyline bet, there will always be a favorite and an underdog. Payouts adjust on which team you select.
For example, in a matchup between the New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers, the book may list the following:
This minus sign means the Rangers are favored and you have to risk $110 to win $100. A plus sign indicates the underdog Devils require you to produce $140 for a $100 bet.
A wager on the underdog brings bettors more money than a bet on the favorite. Just head to your favorite sports betting app to make your pick.
The puck line wager offers you another attractive bet with the potential for some solid returns. The puck line (similar to the run line in baseball) is usually set at 1.5 and is a version of point spread betting applied to hockey.
In a typical hockey game, one or two goals usually determine a final score. When making a puck line bet, you are deciding whether a team can win by two goals or more. The typical 1.5 puck line can move as high as 2.5 depending on the teams playing. A weak team playing a high-octane offensive opponent might see the puck line move up.
As an example of a puck line bet, let’s consider a matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New Jersey Devils.
A $100 wager on the favored Flyers would earn you $200 if they win by two or more goals.
On the other hand, you will have to risk $220 on the Devils to return $100. If New Jersey wins or loses by only a single goal, you would cash a win.
Puck line wagers offer extra incentives for picking a winner, especially when selecting a favorite. Just cross your fingers for that two-goal win.
Totals bets are traditional NHL wagers based on the total number of goals scored between two teams. This is similar to totals wagers that are popular in other sports, e.g., football.
When placing this bet, you’re merely choosing whether the total goals will go over or under.
For example, a game between the Flyers and the Islanders might be set at a total of 5.5.
A 3-2 win by the Flyers would reward under bettors with a win because the total score in the game was only 5.
A 4-2 Islanders win would pay the over bettors instead because the total goals scored reached above the total for the game.
The over and under lines can move depending on the action on either side. Sportsbooks aim to even out the action on both teams, so they don’t have too much liability on one side.
The books make money by ideally taking a percentage of the total betting, known as the vig or “juice.”
Betting the over and under can be good wagers if you have some insight on a team’s offensive or defensive strengths. Being realistic about likely goal totals always helps. Offensive trends can help in this regard as well.
Like in other sports, parlays can offer a fun way to sweat multiple games. In a parlay, you select multiple “legs” on one wager.
To cash a winner, all those selections must win. If you lose on just one and the whole bet is lost.
However, hitting on a parlay can pay much higher odds than wagering on a single game or outcome. The odds paid out will depend on the number of legs selected.
For example, you might make a parlay wager on the Panthers, Devils and Sabres. If all those teams win, you could earn as high as 6-1 for that wager, depending on the odds in each matchup.
A $100 bet would get back $600, which is quite a score.
Parlays can be on two teams or up to 10-12. Along with simply selecting teams, you can also mix in totals. Some books allow mixing in other sports to make it more interesting.
The extra payout can be nice, but it can also be challenging. Variance and the difficulty in correctly picking so many games make it a challenging wager.
Reading the future for your favorite NHL team isn’t easy. But that’s what makes NHL futures so much fun. These bets offer hockey fans a good sweat throughout the whole season.
When making an NHL futures wager, you’re betting on an outcome to be determined later in the season. Since it’s the furthest away and hardest to pick, the most money in NHL futures betting goes toward who will win the Stanley Cup title.
Books will offer odds on all 31 teams to win the championship with varying odds based on each team’s talent as well as action placed on certain teams.
The Tampa Bay Lightning were the odds-on favorite to win the Cup before the 2018-19 season. The odds for the team to win the Cup were +750 or 7.5/1.
A $100 bet on the Lightning would have paid a bettor $750 if Tampa Bay finished as the NHL champion. A wager on the Winnipeg Jets at +2800 would have paid a bettor 28-1, a return of $2,800 on a $100 bet.
Despite going into the playoffs as a favorite, the Lightning was bounced in the first round, which left many bettors disappointed. But that’s the fun in futures wagering – some unexpected teams might surprise you and pay out in nice dividends.
The St. Louis Blues went on a scintillating run through the second half of the NHL season last year to go from last place in January to Stanley Cup champions.
One bettor took advantage last year when he put a $400 bet down in Vegas on the the Blues at +25000 or 250-1. When the Blues did the unexpected and won the Cup, he collected $100,400.
You will find many more NHL futures opportunities beyond the Stanley Cup. That includes odds on some of the following:
Players looking for even more action may want to check out live betting (also known as in-game wagering). Most NJ online sportsbooks offer this feature, which allows you to have more action on the line throughout a game.
Typical live betting options include:
Bettors often look to hedge their bets or double-down on pregame bets as the game plays out. Savvy players will alter their wagering patterns during live betting by paying attention to:
NHL bettors and fans can follow the action on television and online. National games of interest are regularly played on the NBC Sports Channel and the NHL Network.
Those looking to stream games online can head to NHL.com and purchase an NHL.tv plan to watch their favorite teams. Plans run $144.95 for the entire NHL season or $24.99 per month.
Some streaming services also carry regional sports channels showing NHL games. Some of those include Fubo TV, which carries the MSG Channel.
This channel airs games from the Rangers, Islanders, Devils, and Sabres. Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia is also available on Fubo for Flyers fans.
A puck line bet is usually set at 1.5. It is a version of point spread betting that is applied to hockey. You are deciding whether a favorite can win by two goals or more. They can also pick an underdog and whether it will lose by less than two.
Goalies are extremely important in hockey. They can get hot and lift a team to unexpected wins. Also, with totals usually set at between 5 and 6.5, a stellar goalie can often help under bettors.
When picking an NHL game, all games use the moneyline. Simply, you are picking one team to win. Payouts are adjusted based on whether the team is a favorite or an underdog.
Eight teams in each of the Western and Eastern conferences qualify for the playoffs; 16 in all. That includes the top three teams in each of the two divisions. Two wild-card teams in each conference also qualify.
The winners play in bracket-style competition with first-round matchups determined by finish in the standings. Teams play the other advancing teams in their conference bracket.
Each series in the NHL playoffs is a best-of-seven series. The two conference champions meet in the Stanley Cup final to determine the NHL champion.
The over/under works much the same way as a totals bet in other sports. A goal total might be set at 5.5. You are simply picking whether the total goals scored will go over or under that number.
Certainly, this isn’t an exact science, but factors such as offensive and defensive ability are the first things to consider. A particularly hot scorer against a weak defense is a good example.
Hot goaltenders should also be a consideration when wagering. A goalie playing well might keep the score low. Goalies struggling might trend in the opposite direction.
Specific teams also match up better with other teams because of the roster.
If a total was set at six and the game ends 4-2, that would be a “push.” In this instance, bettors receive their money back.
Overtime goals do count toward the score in the NHL. A shootout win adds a single goal to the score, and that is also counted.
Shootout wins add a single goal to the final score, which affects betting and totals wagers.
Yes, that can be accomplished via live, or in-game, wagering. This type of betting is available on most sports betting apps and online platforms.
The odds are set by bookmakers looking at matchups. Furthermore, their goal is to even out the action on both teams. The lines can shift depending on the money put on each team.
The puck line is usually set at 1.5 and may go higher if there is a particularly strong team against a weak team.
In the NHL draft, teams select players for the potential to be on their roster eventually. Most players are allocated to minor leagues for seasoning before working their way to the NHL.
A lottery determines the draft order. Each of the 15 teams that missed the Stanley Cup playoffs have a shot at the first draft pick.
Three drawings occur:
The teams left receive picks 4 through 15 based on inverse order of the standings. Any of the 15 teams can win the lottery, but no team can move back more than three spots.
The 2020 NHL draft is set for June 26-27 at the Bell Centre in Quebec.