Ice hockey is a tremendous sport at all levels, combining the intricacy of handling a puck on the end of a stick with speed skating and immensely physical encounters.

But, it’s not just the big hits and fights which bring the excitement as ice hockey is a fast-paced, end-to-end sport which often produces a tremendous amount of goals.

With the sport rising in popularity all over the world, it comes as no surprise that the ice hockey betting markets have seen a lot more action in recent years.

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So, to help to make the most of your ice hockey knowledge and the many great ways to bet on ice hockey, we’ve crafted this guide.

What Ice Hockey Markets Can I Bet On?

When it comes to ice hockey betting, there are a lot of leagues and markets to bet on.

You can bet on outright winners of many leagues, such as the CHL, KHL, Extraliga, DEL, SHL, and more, as well as more intricate outright bets in the NHL, including winners of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.

This season, experts rule that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favourites to win the Stanley Cup, and sit as the joint-favourites in the betting at 9/1 alongside the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But, the ice hockey action doesn’t stop there, as there are hundreds of betting markets for each game in the biggest leagues, including the NHL, CHL, and KHL. The NHL match betting offers the most intricate markets to bet on, including player points and player shots.


When Is The Best Time To Bet On Ice Hockey?

You can place a bet on the outright markets during and before the season but you may want to back your hunch earlier on because, that way, you’ll get better odds if they suddenly string a bunch of wins together and become heavy favourites.

Due to leagues like the NHL featuring over 1200 games per season, they play multiple games each week. So, bookies put the match markets for these on the day of the game.

In the UK, while the occasional game will be played at around 18:00, most days will see the earliest puck drop take place at 00:00, or 23:00 when the clocks change in the USA.

So, the best time to bet on match markets is a bit later in the day when the oddsmakers have had the morning to upload the odds for all of the markets.

Most of the time, the odds for all of the NHL markets will be live in the early afternoon, which include player points, three areas of period betting, and player shots.

Other leagues that don’t play as often may have their complete offering available much further in advance.


What Outright Bets Can I Place On Ice Hockey?

You can bet on a huge range of the most popular ice hockey leagues in the world, with outright markets for the eventual champion available in each.

Right now, you can find odds for the winner of Europe’s most prestigious competition, the CHL, for which Djurgardens and Skelleftea are currently the favourites at 9/1 each.

Then there’s also the KHL, NHL, World Championship, Czech Extraliga, Finland’s Liiga, the DEL Bundesliga, Norway’s GET-ligaen, the SHL, and the NLA in Switzerland.

Both the NHL and KHL outright betting markets also offer odds on their respective Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions.

In the KHL, Avangard Omsk sit with odds of 43/20 to become the top team in the Eastern Conference this season.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic in the NHL, the revamped San Jose Sharks who now have the almighty Erik Karlsson in their defensive lines come in as the joint-second-favourites to claim the Western Conference at 5/1.


Ice Hockey Match Betting Markets

Ice hockey match betting offers a huge range of leagues to find matches in and then a plethora of markets to bet on in each game.

The match markets expand into many leagues beyond that of the outright betting, with the most popular leagues available daily.

In almost every match, you’ll find over 40 markets to bet on, which include match, period, and event betting. The more popular leagues will also include odds on goal scorers, player points, player shots, wincasts, scorecasts, and more match events.


How Do I Bet On The Winner Of An Ice Hockey Match?

One of the most popular forms of ice hockey betting is betting on the match. In ice hockey, games that finish regular time with the score even can go to overtime. So, there are in fact two lots of match markets.

When betting on the regular time markets, you are betting on the result of the game at the end of regular time, so you can back either team to win or the instance of a draw.

Or, if you think a team is going to win but want the safety net of your bet to include the potential of overtime, you can bet on either team to win in overtime and the potential penalty shootout.

You’ll get better odds by backing a result for regular time, but betting on a team to win including overtime and penalty shootout gives a nice safety net just in case the game goes beyond regulation, even though you’ll be taking shorter odds.


What Are The Best Match Markets To Bet On?

Like in many other team sports, you can find markets for draw no bet, total goals, handicaps, three-way handicaps, correct score, both teams to score, odd/even goal total, home goal total, and away goal total in ice hockey betting.

You can also back markets for the specific periods, including the winner of the period, the total goals, correct score, and if a goal is to be scored in the first ten minutes of the period.

When it comes to the best markets to bet on, handicap markets come in as very popular.

This is because, when a team is losing by one or two goals in the final minute of the game, they will pull their goaltender to get another skater on the ice in an attempt to score more goals.

While this strategy does sometimes find the team an equaliser, most of the time, it results in the leading team adding another goal to their tally thanks to the empty net. So, a -1 or even a -2 handicap has a nice chance of coming in with ice hockey betting.


Where Can I Bet On Goal Scorer And Point Scorer Markets?

In ice hockey betting, the goalscorer markets in many of the biggest leagues are very popular, but it’s the player points markets for the NHL betting which often dominates the betting slips.

In the 2016/17 NHL season, there was an average of 5.5 goals per game. Compare that to the 2.7 goals per game average in the Premier League last season, and you can see why people favour the ice hockey goalscorers markets.

On top of this, assists work differently in ice hockey, with the last two teammates to touch the puck before a goal being noted as providing an assist.

In ice hockey, the goal scorer and two assisting players all get a point when the puck hits the back of the net, meaning that players have a greater chance of scoring a point than footballers are a goal or an assist in their respective betting markets.

As ice hockey players are set up in lines of three forwards and two defensemen that rotate throughout the game, you can hone in on players on lines with many top players to find favourable odds in the goal scorer, player points, and player shots markets.

Also, the best offensive players will be utilised on the powerplay – which is the full-strength unit used when the opposition is down one or two skaters due to penalties – giving them even more chances to score points.

Using line-up tools like Left Wing Lock can help you to decipher which players you think have a greater chance of scoring a goal, point, or having plenty of shots.

Bettors who favour the point scorer markets often prefer to stack point scorers of one night into an accumulator to enhance their odds, as most of the most prolific scorers sit below evens in the odds.


Can I Bet On Live Ice Hockey Matches?

Due to the number of goals and the back-and-forth style of ice hockey, in-game live ice hockey betting has become very popular.

You’ll find many markets for almost every single live game in the ice hockey live betting section, including the match winner, total goals, events in the period, and handicaps.

If you’re watching the game and can see momentum switching to the team which is down by a goal or two, you can take advantage of the live odds to win the game, as they’ll most likely be at longer odds than when the game began.


Want To Learn More About How To Bet?

If you fancy engaging in some of the ice hockey betting detailed above but don’t quite know how to go about doing so, check out the useful, easy-going guides below:

How betting odds work
What’s a Canadian bet?
How do accumulators work?
The Ultimate Sport Betting Guide

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The 888sport blog, based at 888 Towers in the heart of London, employs an army of betting and tipping experts for your daily punting pleasure, as well as an irreverent, and occasionally opinionated, look at the absolute madness that is the world of sport.