• By: Allen Brown

The Most Common Ice Hockey Bets Explained

Ice hockey is the most popular sport in Canada. While soccer rules on a global scale and basketball, baseball, and American football are huge in North America, ice hockey has millions of fans in Canada. Some will say it’s almost a religion in some parts of the country, and betting plays a big part in it.

Since it’s one of the favorite pastimes of Canadians, many love nothing more than to put money on their favorite teams over the weekend or even during the week. The NHL is the most popular league to bet on, of course, thanks to the presence and historical success of Canadian teams. Unlike in the past, online sports betting sites have pushed the envelope in terms of market types and odds. In this guide, we’ll talk more about the most common ice hockey bets and explain what each one brings.


The chief type of betting market for ice hockey and many other sports is the moneyline. It’s also the simplest market to bet on where you bet on who wins the match. There are three outcomes with a moneyline – home team wins, away team wins, or the match ends in a draw. Since there are no point spreads included in the prediction, no additional calculations are required.

Not surprisingly, the underdogs have much longer odds in moneylines compared to the favorites. These are represented with a + sign – for example +250, indicating you’ll win $250 on a $100 bet. On the contrary, favorites are represented by a – sign. If you bet on a favorite with a -100 tag, you’ll need to bet $100 to win $100.


A unique sports betting market for ice hockey, the puckline is a variant of spreads betting. This particular market is similar to handicaps in the fact that the bookie sets an imaginary point spread or handicaps both the favorite and underdog. For ice hockey, the puckline is usually set at 1.5. If the underdog has a +1.5 puckline, it must not lose with 2 or more goals for your bet to win.

A favorite with a -1.5 puckline means it must win the match with 2 or more goals for your bet to win. It’s a much more interesting market than the moneyline, and one that you can use to cash in more profit than the usual.


Also known as the over/under betting market, totals are among the most popular bets for ice hockey fans. With this type of bet, you’re putting your money on the goal line set by the sports betting site instead of the outcome of the game. To put it simply, this market doesn’t concern itself with the winner but rather the goal difference.

It’s easy to bet on – the bookie sets a line of expected goals in the match, and you bet over or under it. Let’s say the Ottawa Senators are facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in a regular season match with the line set at 4 goals. You can then bet over or under that number, and the total number of goals scored in the match should be over or under 4. That’s all that matters – it doesn’t matter which team scored the goals or how the game ended.

Period Bets

A hockey match consists of three equally divided periods. This provides bettors with a unique opportunity where they can treat each period like a separate game. In fact, this type of bet is similar to half-time betting in football or basketball, where the result of each period is most important.

You can place a totals bet or a moneyline on each of the three periods as separate bets. What happens in the other period doesn’t matter. You only bet on one of them, and the result in that particular period decides your bet.


Futures are a very common and popular ice hockey bet in Canada. As the name suggests, it’s betting on a future outcome. NHL outrights are a future bet, and so is predicting if Brady Tkachuk nabs the Hart Trophy award next season. Futures can be made any time of the year as soon as the bookies release the lines. But, you’ll get the best odds as early as possible, and sportsbooks will reveal futures before the season begins.


Accumulators are not a special ice hockey bet – you can use them on any sport. It’s tying up several bets into a big one which obviously offers amazing returns. The only problem is that you need to win all the legs. You lose your accumulator if even a single leg falters.

With so many NHL matches per round or a night, accumulators are always going to be a popular idea. Most bettors will stick to moneyline accumulators, but you can pick any other market as well. It’s very important to check predictions and read expert tips before placing an acca. Some betting sites will have insurance acca deals that allow you to cash out and get part of your money back. But, most bettors will try and win the full acca which can provide wins like no other bet type.

Grand Salami

Here’s another type of bet unique to ice hockey fans. It’s a totals type of bet where bettors put their money on the total number of goals scored in a single round or night of NHL matches. Bookies will need to create a line for all the matches, and then you simply bet over or under it. Due to the complexity, this fun type of bet is oriented toward seasoned bettors.

The bet will settle only when all the matches have ended. It requires a lot of research, so don’t put your money on it as a beginner.


Props are probably the most fun ice hockey bet type on this list. In proposition bets, the sportsbook proposes an event that may not be specifically tied to the outcome of the match. Popular props include first player to score a goal total number of shots taken, first team to score, or any additional player props.

These bets can deliver pretty solid returns and are a big hit with Canadian bettors.

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