Hey guys, we all love betting on hockey but how many of us actually make money at it? That’s why we wrote this article: 10 NHL hockey betting tips for success.
Whether you bet hockey just for fun or you’re trying to make a profit, these NHL betting tips are critical reading. Determining your bankroll, understanding odds, remaining disciplined and getting the best NHL betting odds will all add up to more fun betting hockey and more money in your pocket!
If you closely follow each of these tips and are decent at NHL predictions, you can make money betting NHL hockey! We’re not saying it’s easy, but it is definitely possible.
We’ve summarized the 10 NHL hockey betting tips for success in this video.
Now, we’ll go into each of the 10 NHL hockey betting tips for success in more detail.
1. Determine a bankroll
Your bankroll is an amount of money that you are specifically setting aside for NHL betting. You have to remember that there is risk involved, so it should be an amount that you are comfortable losing, worst-case scenario.
Once you’ve done that, you need to treat that bankroll as an investment. Don’t dip into it to pay your bills. As your bankroll increases or decreases, you’ll need to increase or decrease your bet size in order to maximize your profits or minimize your chances of losing it all.
Speaking of bet size, you should risk no more than 5% of your bankroll on a single wager. We recommend 1-2% of your bankroll per bet so that you can survive the inevitable cold streaks and still have money in your bankroll for when the winners start coming again.
2. Use The Best Sportsbooks
When it comes to online sportsbooks, there are plenty to choose from. But it takes a lot of trust for you to send money to a sportsbook. It’s important to choose ones that have the best history of payouts and customer service.
We’ve identified a short list of the best NHL sportsbooks that we have used personally for years and have never had an issue with. These sportsbooks realize that stiffing people on payouts, not honouring bonuses or cancelling winning wagers is just bad business, and they’ve developed excellent reputations because of that.
The sportsbooks we recommend are:
- For Canadians, Pinnacle Sports, Bet365, Bodog, Sports Interaction and BetOnline
- For Americans, BetOnline and Bovada
- For the rest of the world, Bet365 and William Hill
3. Cash In On Bonuses
A big thing that separates online sportsbooks from Las Vegas sportsbooks and casinos is their ability to give bonuses. Online sportsbooks don’t have the same overhead costs as brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, so they use those savings to offer bonuses to attract new customers.
It’s important that you cash in on as many of these bonuses as possible in order to boost your starting bankroll. If you sign up and deposit money at Bet365, Sports Interaction, Bodog, William Hill and Bodog, you can earn more than $1,500 in signup bonuses!
Doubling your bankroll before you place your first bet will allow you to bet larger amounts and build your bankroll more quickly.
4. Be Realistic
When our friends or readers ask us about our winning percentage, they’re often surprised by how low it is. Being able to pick winners 55% of the time might not sound that impressive, but that’s actually a very good success rate that can make you a lot of money.
NHL hockey betting involves a lot of lower-scoring games and close games. Even if you’re picking -200 favourites all the time, it’s impossible to pick winning teams more than 70% of the time (we’re talking over a full season, not just a week or two) when so many games are decided in overtime, by a hot goalie or by a puck that went in off a skate.
By keeping realistic expectations, you won’t get too confident when you hit a few winners in a row, and you won’t panic or get frustrated when Lady Luck isn’t shining your way.
5. Understand Odds
The odds of something occurring suggests how probable it is to happen. How probable it is to happen is the break-even percentage on that bet (for example, if the odds are 50/50, you’d need to win that bet 50% of the time in order to break even.)
The way to calculate the break-even percentage on a bet depends on whether you’re using American odds, Decimal odds or Fraction odds:
– for favourites (-120, for example), use this formula: (-120) / (-120) +100 = 120/220 = 0.545
– for underdogs (+120, for example), use this formula: (100) / (120+100) = 100/220 = 0.454
– divide 1 by the decimal odds
– if the decimal odds are 1.65, the formula is 1/1.65 = 0.606
– if the decimal odds are 2.65, the formula is 1/2.65 – 0.377
– fraction odds show the return on your wager / risk on that wager
– to calculate probability, divide the denominator (risk) by the the denominator plus numerator (return)
– on a 5/2 bet, the formula would be 2 / (5+2) = 2/7 = 0.286
Calculating probability is a bit nerdy and complicated, and you don’t need to do this for every bet. But it’s good to compare the break-even percentage with the percentage of the time you expect to win this bet. If you expect to win the bet more often than the break-even percentage, it’s a good bet.
6. Get The Best Odds
We just covered how odds affect your break-even percentage. So it just makes sense that the better odds you get, the lower your break-even percentage is (and the higher your profits are).
It’s amazing how even a small difference in odds can add up. If you could save “5 cents” on every bet (for example, -105 instead of -110, or -120 instead of -125), that could improve your profits by 50%!
The way to get the best odds is by “line shopping”, when you compare the odds at different sportsbooks and then pick the best one for your bet. It’s no different than buying a car – it pays to shop around.
We have a Live Odds page that shows you realtime odds at 4 different sportsbooks. Make sure you have accounts and money at those sportsbooks so that you can cash in on the best NHL hockey betting odds tonight.
This video demonstrates the benefits of our Live Odds page and also explains how to use it:
7. Limit Your Parlays
Parlays are when you combine several picks onto one bet and need to get them all right to win (similar to provincial sports lotteries in Canada). They offer much larger payouts than single-game bets, but that’s because they’re so much harder to win!
Instead of shooting for the big score all the time, it’s far better to just bet 1 game at a time and try to grind out a profit. Remember, like we said before, you can make good money getting 55% of your picks right if you’re averaging -110 odds on your picks.
8. Follow Experts
We’ve heard Mark Cuban say a few times that his strategy has always been to surround himself with people smarter than him.
That’s a great strategy for NHL hockey betting as well. It’s difficult and time-consuming to handicap games successfully every game, so it never hurts to get some help from the experts.
There are tons of handicapping (tout) services out there to offer some help. Before you join one, however, do your homework to see if they are long-term winners. Also, keep in mind that spending a lot of money on a handicapping service will actually increase your break-even percentage making it harder to profit.
Our advice is to find some solid handicappers who offer NHL hockey betting tips for free or for little charge. And don’t forget, we offer free NHL tips daily on this site!
9. Don’t Bet Every Game
You’re obviously an NHL fan, and doing NHL hockey betting makes the games even more fun. But betting on every game is simply a recipe for disaster.
You should limit your bets to when you think you have an edge, not just because it’s on TV. There’s nothing wrong with betting on a game for fun, but if that’s your only reason for placing the bet, you should make that bet much smaller than your regular ones.
10. Don’t Chase
This is the last of our NHL hockey betting tips for success, but it might be the biggest one. Lots of people are good at picking winners, but they wipe out all their profits because of poor money management.
Chasing your losses is exactly what the sportsbooks want you to do. Losing streaks are inevitable in betting, and increasing your wagers to try to “make back what you lost” is a natural tendency. But the losing streak won’t last forever, and you should stick to one of the popular NHL betting systems in order to make sure you’ve still got a bankroll left to play with when you start picking winners again.
Chasing also applies to when the odds have drastically changed on a game. If you liked the Canucks at -120 but didn’t bet it right away and now the line is -150, you’re not getting the same value that you were.
It’s also easy to chase bets during Live Betting. Let’s say you’ve got the Bruins -130 and they give up the first 3 goals of the game. Now they’re down 3-0 and paying +400 on the live odds, which looks really tempting – but how often do teams overcome 3-0 losses in hockey? It’s best just to accept defeat and move on to the next one. You don’t usually win twice on your winning bets, so it doesn’t make sense to lose twice on your losing ones either.