Online NHL betting has exploded in popularity among Canadian bettors in recent years. While hockey doesn’t come with the same high-scoring action as the NBA or NFL, it is just exciting to bet on, with a number of top class Canadian NHL teams to back.
With this in mind, we’ve put together the complete NHL betting guide for Canadian bettors. We’ve ranked and reviewed the best Canadian betting sites based on bonuses, payment methods, apps, betting lines, security and more.
50% Match Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000 (100% Using Crypto)
50% Match Deposit Bonus Up To $1,000 (100% Using Crypto)
The minimum deposit eligible for participating in this promotion is C$ 15. The maximum bonus amount for this promotion is C$ 150. The maximum bonus conversion is 5 x the awarded bonus. General 1Bet Terms and Conditions apply unless otherwise stated.
Heelsumstraat 51, E-commerce park, Curacao
350% Sports Welcome Package - First Deposit: 125% up to 1250€
350% Sports Welcome Package - First Deposit: 125% up to 1250€
Minimum deposit of $20 USD applies. General terms and conditions apply.
Malta Gaming Authority
Minimum deposit of €20 to partake in the welcome offer. Wagering requirement of 10x both the Deposit and the Bonus amount on minimum 2 events each with at least 1.4 odds before withdrawal is possible. Expires within 30 days. Bets on Baseball, Tennis, Handicap or Draw no Bet will not be counted towards wagering requirements.
ONYXION MALTA LIMITED
206 Wisely House, Old Bakery Street, Valletta VLT 1451, Malta
The bonus expires 30 days after it is claimed. The bonus sum is provided in installments. Settled bets with coefficients of 1.3 and higher, regardless if they win or lose, contribute to the sum of the next installment. Free bets expire in five days after they are claimed. Freebets are claimed through the Promotion or Home page.
Many fine online sportsbooks are available to Canadians, but which betting sites are the best for NHL wagering? We took a deep dive into the best hockey sportsbooks.
Lucky Block – The best all-around Canadian NHL sportsbook.
Powbet– Best Canadian sportsbook for promotions for hockey bettors.
1Bet– Best Canadian sportsbook for international leagues.
WeltBet – Best Canadian NHL sportsbook for deposit options, bonuses, an market variation.
Club Riches – Best Canadian sportsbook for NHL betting futures throughout the season.
31Bet – Best Canadian sportsbook for competitive hockey betting lines.
1Good.Bet – Excellent Canadian sportsbook for low-stakes hockey bettors.
Rabona – Best easy-to-use Canadian sportsbook for varying bet types.
Cobrabet – Best Canadian sportsbook for NHL betting bonuses.
BetiBet – Best sportsbooks for crypto deposits in Canada.
Reviews of the Best NHL Sportsbooks
We fully recommend any of the 10 top-ranked hockey betting sites above. Of course, you’re probably wondering why each of these sites are so great. The following reviews discuss the highs and lows of betting at our favourite NHL online sportsbooks.
1. Bodog – The best all-around Canadian NHL sportsbook
Bodog needs little introduction to online bettors because it has been in operation since 1994. This brand is now trusted around the world thanks to solid customer support and reliable payments. As for hockey, Bodog’s live betting section is immense, providing live wagers on the NHL and several other leagues. With so many offerings, though, the NHL live betting area feels cluttered.
You can place several other types of hockey bets too, ranging from moneylines to prop bets. Much like live wagering, the props section features a significant amount of opportunities too. Bodog also has a popular online casino and poker room—each with separate bonuses.
The Bodog sports bonus matches your first deposit by 100% up to $400 and provides 50 free spins. This is one of the smaller welcome bonuses on this list, but plenty of other promotions are available. From an overall perspective, Bodog has all of the components to be a great NHL betting site.
2. Stake.com – Best Canadian sportsbook for international leagues
Stake.com provides more markets than any other Canadian online sportsbook. It covers 40 sports, which is far more than the 18-20 sports at most betting sites. Not surprisingly, Stake.com has excellent hockey coverage, with numerous NHL markets and 15 international leagues available. Some of the other leagues include the EHL (Austria), Liiga (Finland), and SHL (Sweden).
The Stake.com welcome bonus provides a 200% match up to $1,000. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deposit $100 or more and meet 40x wagering requirements (bonus + deposit). Outside of the bonus hiccups, Stake has everything you need for an excellent NHL betting experience.
3. BetOnline – Best Canadian NHL sportsbook for deposit options, bonuses, an market variation
BetOnline stands out thanks to its multitude of NHL bets. Of course, you can place common hockey wagers like moneylines, puck lines, live bets, and totals. But you’ll also enjoy the more-exotic 3-ways, props, and Grand Salamis. If you enjoy a variety of NHL bets, then BetOnline is definitely for you.
This bookmaker gains bonus points for covering 10 hockey leagues and offering many banking options. You can pick from a wide variety of standard deposit methods and cryptocurrencies. Do note, though, that credit card deposits come with significant 7.5% fees.
The regular BetOnline sports bonus offers a 50% match on your first deposit up to $1,000. An alternative crypto welcome bonus matches your initial deposit by 100% up to $1,000. But both deals carry high rollover at 10x and 14x, respectively. The hefty bonus rollover still isn’t enough to keep us from enjoying BetOnline’s great overall hockey betting experience.
4. Xbet – Best Canadian sportsbook for NHL betting futures throughout the season
This online sportsbook has few equals in terms of NHL futures. Xbet continually provides futures throughout the season on division winners, conference winners, and the Stanley Cup. It prominently displays these wagers on the main hockey betting section. You’ll find many prop bets under the “Props” designation beneath a given NHL game too.
The Xbet welcome bonus provides a 100% match on your first deposit up to $500. It also offers a reload bonus on every subsequent deposit up to $250. Keep in mind, though, that the reload bonus only matches deposit bonuses by 25%. Nevertheless, we’re not complaining about lifelong reload deals or the overall hockey offerings at Xbet.
5. MyBookie – Best Canadian sportsbook for competitive hockey betting lines
Most hockey betting sites are fairly similar in terms of odds. MyBookie, on the other hand, is a cut above the rest and routinely offers favourable NHL odds. If you like comparing prices, then MyBookie’s NHL betting section is a great place to start.
You’ll get a 100% match on your first deposit up to $1,000 with the MyBookie bonus. You can also look forward to VIP rewards and frequent betting contests.
Downsides to MyBookie include a boring-looking website that could improve on usability. You may not mind the website, though, when considering the good prices, loyalty rewards, and large bonus here.
6. Everygame – Excellent Canadian sportsbook for low-stakes hockey bettors
Everygame offers an ideal NHL betting spot for lower rollers. First off, the Everygame sports bonus breaks down into three deposit bonuses worth a 100% match up to $250. This deal lets you split the welcome bonus into three parts, rather than having to make a big single deposit. You can also place bets as low as $1 if you’re dealing with a smaller bankroll.
This betting site could go further with its coverage of NHL markets. We’d also like to see more futures opportunities available. But overall, Everygame is a worthwhile online sportsbook—especially for low-stakes bettors.
Bonus splits into three deposits (up to $250 each)
Reasonable bonus rollover (4x bonus + deposit)
Nice selection of non-sporting events (e.g., politics)
7. BetNow – Best easy-to-use Canadian sportsbook for varying bet types
NHL prop bets are always a fun way to spice up the action. That said, BetNow provides an entertaining experience thanks to its many prop wagers. It offers a large selection of props every night during the NHL season. This betting site also provides a nice selection of futures and period bets.
Moving to the welcome bonus, you can select from three different options:
100% match up to $300 (15x rollover)
50% match up to $500 (8x rollover)
25% match up to $500 (5x rollover)
It’s nice that Everygame offers three options, but none of the choices are thrilling. You must sacrifice lower rollover for a higher match percentage, and vise versa. After getting past the BetNow welcome bonuses, though, you’ll find some better promotions.
8. BUSR – Best Canadian sportsbook for NHL betting bonuses
BUSR is the spot for anybody seeking a huge hockey betting welcome bonus. It matches your deposit by 150% up to a whopping $2,500. You will have to deposit $100 or more to qualify, which may be too much for some. Also note that not many promotions are available after the welcome deal.
Getting back to the positives, BSUR offers many hockey futures, prop bets, and live wagers. It also features plenty of political and entertainment markets. You can quickly find these various bet types and markets thanks to BSUR’s user-friendly website.
9. SportsBetting.ag – Best sportsbooks for crypto deposits in Canada
Cryptocurrencies are popular sportsbook deposit methods due to their low fees and 100% success rate. If you like the advantages of crypto betting, then you’ll be right at home with SportsBetting.ag. This betting site accepts 18 cryptocurrencies, such as Avalanche, Binance Coin, Ethereum, Polygon, Shiba Inu, Solana, and more.
You can get a 50% match bonus up to $1,000 on your first deposit. You’ll also qualify for a 25% reload bonus “for life” on all reload deposits.
On the downside, SportsBetting.ag does require 10x rollover on the welcome bonus. It also has poor market coverage and offers less than 10 sports. If you’re primarily into NHL betting, though, then you’ll find everything you need here.
Accepts 18 cryptocurrencies & standard deposit methods
10. Powbet – Best for Hockey Betting Promotions and Bonuses
Powbet does the best job on this list at offering regular sports betting promotions. It currently features over a dozen promos, such as cashback, free bets, free live bets, and more. Unfortunately, the welcome bonus is rather small at a 100% match up to $150. But we can overlook the smaller bonus when considering many promos.
As for hockey offerings, you can expect hundreds of betting opportunities every day. You must click a down-arrow next to any game to expand the wagering options. This isn’t the most-efficient solution, but it’s a necessary evil to uncover the many hockey bets here.
You can legally make an NHL bet in any Canadian province. Canada doesn’t have anti-online sports betting laws, thus giving you the green light to place wagers anywhere. Do note, though, that Ontario features a regulated betting market with licensed sportsbooks.
What does +1.5 mean in NHL betting?
Used in a puck line, +1.5 is a goal spread that’s attached to the underdog. It means that the underdog must lose by one goal, or win, for a successful bet. Conversely, -1.5 means that the favourite has to win by two goals or more.
Does overtime count in NHL betting?
Yes, overtime and penalty shootouts count in most NHL bets. The only wagers that don’t include overtime are 3-way, double chance, and certain prop bets.
How do NHL bets work?
NHL bets feature different teams, with each team having unique odds. You select which team (or outcome) you think has the best chance of winning. If successful, you’ll receive a payout based on the odds (e.g., 1.50 pays $150 [$50 profit] for every $100 wagered).
Is the NHL easy to bet on?
Yes, you can easily get started with NHL betting in Canada by visiting an online sportsbook. Once there, you need to complete a quick registration process and deposit. You’ll be able to start placing NHL bets after finishing the deposit process.
What is the puck line in NHL betting?
The puck line is the NHL version of a point spread. It handicaps the favourite and underdog with -1.5 and +1.5 spreads, respectively. The favourite must win by 2+ goals to cover its spread, while the underdog must lose by one goal (or win).
How do I bet on NHL games?
You can wager on NHL games by visiting an online sportsbook. From here, you just have to register and deposit to start placing online NHL bets. Some provinces also feature retail sportsbooks, which allow you to place in-person wagers.
Comparing the Best NHL Betting Sites
The top NHL online sportsbooks are similar in key areas yet different in others. You can see how these betting sites vary in terms of bonuses, live betting, live streaming, and parlays below.
100% match up to $400 + 50 free spins
200% match up to $1,000
50% match up to $1,000
100% match up to $500
100% match up to $1,000
100% match up to $250
100% match up to $300
150% match up to $2,500
50% match up to $1,000
100% match up to $150
Is NHL Betting Legal in Canada?
Canada doesn’t have laws against sports betting, thus allowing you to place NHL bets in any province. It also doesn’t take a stance against offshore sportsbooks, which serve Canadians from outside of the country without licensing.
Via Bill C-218 (covered later), provinces can regulate single-game betting (rather than just parlays). Ontario has taken advantage of this opportunity, creating a regulated NHL betting market. It requires all bookmakers to hold licensing before operating in the Heartland Province.
Other provinces either have lottery corporations run their NHL sports betting or don’t have any regulations in place. In either situation, offshore sportsbooks serve these provinces without needing to acquire licensing. Long story short, Canada NHL betting is wide open and available to everybody in some form or another.
Advantages of Offshore NHL Betting Sites
Offshore online sportsbooks may not hold licensing in Ontario or elsewhere in Canada. But these betting sites are still worthwhile options for Canadians due to the following benefits.
Bigger NHL betting bonuses – The average offshore betting site features larger bonuses than their regulated counterparts. They also typically offer more ongoing promotions.
Larger number of markets – Offshore operators not only serve Canada but also other countries. Therefore, they provide more sports and leagues (including international hockey) to satisfy this broader audience.
Better NHL odds – Unregulated betting sites provide more-favourable odds in many cases because they don’t have to pay licensing fees everywhere they operate.
Crypto banking – If you enjoy using cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to bet at offshore online sportsbooks to use them. Regulated betting sites don’t accept crypto and instead only take standard banking options (e.g., Visa, Neteller).
Wider availability – Offshore hockey betting sites don’t have to operate within the confines of a specific province or country. They serve nine out of the 10 provinces, with the exception of Ontario.
It’s worth adding that offshore operators aren’t necessarily unregulated. Most operate under licensing in another country or territory, such as Antigua, Costa Rica, or Curacao. They have certain standards to uphold as part of their licensing agreements. These bookmakers also must maintain a solid reputation if they’re to stay in business and keep attracting bettors.
Our Criteria for Choosing a Top NHL Betting Site
Our staff takes several important pieces of criteria into account before recommending an NHL betting site. You can see our main focuses below, including betting variety, events, bonuses, safety, payment methods, and support.
Range of NHL Bets
Moneylines, puck lines, and totals bets are no doubt popular in NHL betting. We want to see more regarding variety, though, including ample parlays, futures, live bets, 3-way wagers, and double-chance bets. A bookmaker doesn’t necessarily need to have all of these bet types, but they should offer most of them.
Choice of NHL Events
NHL Playoffs betting is exciting, especially when it comes down to the Stanley Cup Finals. Of course, any betting site can toss out a bunch of lines during the playoffs. We like operators that cover other notable events too, such as the All-Star Game and Winter Classic.
Safety & Security
BestSportsBettingCanada only recommends hockey betting sites that are safe and secure. We ensure that a sportsbook has licensing, a solid history, and makes timely payments. Our staff also checks that a betting site encrypts its app and website.
Bonus & Promotions
Any worthwhile NHL betting site will provide a welcome bonus for new depositors. But what do they offer after the fact in terms of ongoing promotions? Moreover, how easy or difficult are the terms and conditions behind bonuses and promotions?
More deposit and withdrawal options are ideal when banking at an online sportsbook. This way, you can easily find a usable method for making deposits and cashouts. Low fees and quick withdrawals times are also important in this department.
We always contact customer service to ensure that reps are knowledgeable and friendly. NHL betting sites gain bonus points in this area by providing multiple support contact methods. Live chat is the most important because it’s the fastest method, while email and phone are welcome too.
How to Sign Up and Bet on the NHL
You don’t need to spend long signing up at an NHL online sportsbook. The following steps lay out this easy process from beginning to end so that you can quickly start betting.
Step 1: Visit your desired NHL betting site
You can get started by visiting your preferred hockey sportsbook (Bodog in this case) through our links. Check out our reviews on top Canada NHL betting sites for help in this matter.
Step 2: Select the register (join) option
You’ll need to choose the register option to sign up for an account. This action will launch a signup form with a number of blank fields.
Step 3: Complete the registration form
Signup sheets can differ from sportsbook to sportsbook. But generally, they require you to enter an email, password, name, birth date, address, and country.
Step 4: Visit the banking section and deposit
Once a member, you can visit the cashier and select a deposit method. The next step is to enter how much you’d like to deposit and confirm the amount.
Step 5: Go to the sportsbook and place NHL bets
You’re eligible to start betting on hockey games once you have funds. Most betting sites feature several NHL bet types and a wealth of wagering opportunities.
How NHL Betting Works
NHL betting seems confusing at first glance, but it’s actually pretty simple. Bookmakers offer different types of bets with odds attached, and your goal is to wager on the winning team. You’ll receive a payout based on the given odds when placing a successful bet.
Most Canada-facing online sportsbooks use decimal NHL betting odds. With decimal odds, you multiply your stake by the odds to determine potential winnings—including the stake and profits. Here’s an example on how NHL betting odds work:
You wager $100 on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 1.70 odds.
100 x 1.7 = $170.
$70 of this amount is profit, while the remaining $100 is your original stake.
You might also come across American odds at Canadian betting sites as well. American NHL betting odds use plus and minus signs to indicate the favourite and underdog.
New York Islanders +140 – Betting $100 on the underdog to win $140.
Carolina Hurricanes -175 – Wagering $175 on the favourite to win $100.
Single-Game NHL Betting Explained
Passed in June 2021, Bill C-218 gives provinces the ability to regulate single-game betting. As the name implies, single-game wagers only involve one contest. If you pick the Florida Panthers to win, then you’re making a single-game bet.
Previously, provinces only had the authority to regulate parlays, which involves putting multiple teams on the same ticket. Provinces can still legalize parlay betting, but they’re now able to add the more-lucrative single-game wagers too.
Ontario legalized single-game betting in 2021 and officially launched their regulated market on April 4, 2022. Offshore betting sites (including our partners) still legally serve the other nine Canadian provinces.
Popular Types of NHL Betting Markets
NHL betting in Canada offers plenty of exciting wagers. Below, you can read more about each bet type in the Canadian market.
Want to wager on the NHL in the easiest fashion? A moneyline is the simplest option because it merely calls on you to choose the winner. Of course, each team has different odds to ensure betting action on the favourite and underdog. You can see how this works below:
St. Louis Blues 2.40 – Betting $10 to win $24 ($14 profit + $10 stake).
The NHL features a unique type of spread betting called the puck line. The latter handicaps the favourite with -1.5 goals and the underdog with +1.5. Meanwhile, each team has different odds to indicate their chances of covering the goal spread. Here’s a puck line example:
San Jose Sharks +1.5 (1.80)
Las Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (2.10)
The Sharks are the underdog in this matchup, but they have stronger odds due to the +1.5 spread. They can lose by one goal and still provide a successful bet. The favoured Golden Knights have underdog-type odds because they must win by 2+ goals.
A totals bet (a.k.a. over/under) offers a goal line based on the combined score of two opponents. You wager on whether the teams will go over or under the line. Here’s a sample totals bet:
Columbus Blue Jackpots – Over 6.5 (2.05)
Washington Capitals – Under 6.5 (1.80)
Many hockey bets revolve around choosing a winning team. NHL prop bets differ, though, by featuring unique propositions that don’t hinge on the winning side. These wagers can include anything from shots on goal to if a certain player will find the net. Here’s an example of a prop bet:
Will Connor McDavid (Edmonton) score a goal tonight?
NHL futures deal with outcomes that could take weeks or months to decide. For example, an online sportsbook might pose a preseason futures bet asking which team will win the Stanley Cup Finals. Here’s an example of what the odds would look like:
Colorado Avalanche 3.50
Florida Panthers 4.00
Carolina Hurricanes 5.15
Toronto Maple Leafs 5.90
Minnesota Wild 6.80
Calgary Flames 7.35
As discussed earlier, a parlay requires you to put two or more teams/outcomes on one ticket. Every selection must be right in order for you to win. The benefit to this risky wager is that you could win more money than a standard single-game bet. You can see a sample NHL parlay below:
Dallas Stars -1.5 puck line (2.32)
LA Kings 1.85
Johnny Gaudreau to score a goal 2.65
Live NHL Betting
Live wagering presents new bets in the middle of games. It gives you an opportunity to keep enjoying NHL sports betting long after a match has started. You can see an NHL live betting scenario below:
The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild are playing.
Minnesota is winning 2-1 going into the third period.
A sportsbook offers the following updated moneyline:
Chicago Blackhawks 4.0
Common in hockey and soccer, a 3-way bet presents three outcomes. You can either wager on one of the two teams winning or a draw. Considering that NHL games can’t end in ties, the draw option only deals with the three regulation periods. Here’s an example:
Ottawa Senators 1.50
Detroit Red Wings 2.60
A double chance bet is similar to 3 way, except that it sees you pick two out of three outcomes. Also called 1X2, this wager pays so long as one of your two chosen outcomes wins. The following double chance example uses the picks from the above section:
Ottawa Senators and draw 1.28
Detroit Red Wings and draw 2.25
Ottawa Senators or Detroit Red Wings 1.36
NHL Betting Strategies & Systems
Consistently making winning NHL betting picks isn’t as easy as using any common system. But you can at least form the groundwork for success by learning basic strategies. The following NHL betting strategies make good foundations when you’re learning the ropes.
Only Bet 1-5% of Your Bankroll Per Game
The NHL season features 1,312 games, including 82 for each team. Therefore, you have many, many opportunities to wager on pro hockey throughout the season. But while the variety is exciting, you risk overextending yourself by betting on too many games.
A good way to approach hockey betting involves only risking 1-5% of your bankroll per wager. The idea here is to minimize risk and preserve your bankroll longer. By combining proper NHL betting tips with smart bankroll management, you may eventually become a successful long-term bettor.
Focus on Closing Lines Correctly
Online sportsbooks generally move their hockey lines in near unison. If they see NHL betting trends moving one way, they may shift odds to encourage more action on the other side. You can gain value and win more money by consistently picking the correct side of these shifts. Here’s an example:
You bet the Boston Bruins at 1.65 against the Montreal Canadiens 2.30.
Most online bookmakers shift to 1.60 on Boston.
You’re getting more value (betting $100 to win $165, versus $160) compared to the current line.
If betting sites had shifted to 1.70, you’d be doing worse than the new line. That said, the goal is to stay ahead of the bookies and guess right more times than not. You might consider keeping a journal on your bets and odds shifts to measure your success rate.
Follow ATS Records
In hockey, against the spread (ATS) records measure how teams fare against the puck line. When a team often beats their -1.5 or +1.5 puck line, they’ll have a strong ATS record.
You can find information on how each team fares against the spread at multiple websites. Winning ATS records indicate when a team excels in puck line bets. You might also follow NHL betting trends to see if a particular team is hot ATS.
Our Top 5 NHL Betting Tips
Again, the above strategies are great for when you’re building a successful betting foundation. Of course, you may want some more in-depth advice that can help you win. The following NHL betting tips go into specific topics, including improving your skills, NHL betting picks, bonuses, and more.
1. Focus on Your Favourite Division
The National Hockey League features four divisions with eight teams in each division. If you’re an avid fan, you might feel tempted to wager on any team when the mood strikes. The problem with this approach, though, is that it doesn’t give you a chance to develop expertise.
You’re better off focusing on a division and its teams that you already know. If you’re an Atlantic Division fan, you’ve already got a start towards thoroughly knowing certain teams and players. By betting on the Atlantic teams year in and out, you’ll eventually become an expert on this division.
2. Don’t Blindly Fade the Public
NHL public betting is at the root of many hockey gambling strategies. This system involves researching where the public is betting, then wagering on the opposite side. But you don’t want to blindly follow public NHL betting trends and expect success.
The NHL betting public has become more skilled over the years thanks to a wealth of information. Therefore, you can’t just look at where amateurs put their money, bet the opposite, and expect big profits.
3. Seek Out NHL Betting Bonuses
The majority of NHL betting sites offer bonuses to new and existing customers. You can use these promotions to build your bankroll or, at the very least, recoup losses.
The welcome bonus is the first deal available to you, and it usually represents a bookmaker’s best offer. For example, you might qualify for a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000 as a new customer. Additional promotions provide more chances to cash in on hockey betting.
4. Look to the Top Experts for NHL Betting Picks
You don’t have to do everything on your own because many experts offer valuable NHL betting picks every day. This advice can supplement your own research and provide additional insight.
Of course, the big issue is finding out which “experts” actually know what they’re talking about. After all, anybody can offer NHL betting picks and act like they’re knowledgeable. Some of our favourites include @RobPizzola (pro hockey gambler), @DomLuszczyszyn (The Athletic), and @ChartingHockey (Data Viz).
5. Keep Improving Your Skills
This tip sounds contradictory to following experts, but it’s something that’s important for prolonged NHL betting success. If winning rather than just entertainment is the goal, you should explore all avenues to improve as a bettor. Everything from software to NHL betting forums can boost your skills. NHL wagering is like anything else: you get out of it what you put into it.
Biggest NHL Sports Betting Events
As covered before, the NHL regular season is a long affair that lasts 1,312 games. The league uses some fun events to break up the lengthy season, including the Winter Classic and All-Star game. It also features NHL Playoffs betting at the end, including the Stanley Cup Finals.
NHL Winter Classic
Hockey got its start as an outdoor sport on icy ponds, lakes, and rivers. The NHL honors this tradition with the “Winter Classic,” which takes place outside in a baseball or football stadium. The NHL Winter Classic happens on or around New Year’s Day. Aside from the Winter Classic, the NHL also holds the Heritage Classic and Stadium Series outdoors. The latter features multiple outdoor games in January or February.
The NHL All-Star game showcases the league’s biggest stars competing against each other. It’s unique because it features four teams—one from each division—playing in a single-elimination tournament. That said, it’s more like an All-Star tournament rather than a game. The extra contests give you more chances to wager on the action.
NHL Playoffs Betting
The Stanley Cup Playoffs (a.k.a. NHL Playoffs) take place at the conclusion of the regular season. The top three teams from each division (12 total) automatically make the postseason. The remaining four teams consist of the next-highest-finishers from the Eastern and Western Conferences (two teams per conference). Qualifying teams face off in best-of-seven series until only two squads remain in the finals.
Stanley Cup Finals Betting
The Stanley Cup Finals caps off NHL Playoffs betting, pitting the Eastern and Western Conference champions against each other. This best-of-seven series decides who ultimately holds the Stanley Cup and becomes the NHL champion. Not surprisingly, the cup finals draws lots of betting action and features many prop bets.
Canadian NHL Teams to Bet On
Canada may not have the world’s largest population (38 million), but it can still support seven NHL franchises. If you’re primarily interested in wagering on Canadian teams, then you’ll be interested in the following squads.
Calgary Flames (Pacific Division)
Launched in 1972, the Calgary Flames were initially the Atlanta Flames. The team changed cities in 1980 and has enjoyed its run in Calgary ever since. It won the Stanley Cup in 1989 and has made the playoffs 29 times.
Edmonton Oilers (Pacific Division)
The Oilers started out in the World Hockey Association in 1972. Edmonton jumped this sinking ship in 1979 and joined the NHL. It had fast success, earning five Stanley Cups from 1984 to 1990. Not coincidentally, four out of these five cups came with Wayne Gretzky leading the team.
Montreal Canadiens (Atlantic Division)
Forming in 1909, the Montreal Canadiens became one of the four founding NHL franchises in 1917. They have taken advantage of their 100+ years in the league, winning 23 Stanley Cups and making 83 playoff appearances.
Ottawa Senators (Atlantic Division)
The Ottawa Senators became an NHL expansion franchise in 1992. Since then, the team has made the postseason 16 times but has yet to bring home the cup. It came close after making the 2007 finals, only to wind up empty-handed against the Anaheim Ducks.
Toronto Maple Leafs (Atlantic Division)
Another NHL founding member (1917), the Toronto Maple Leafs are a storied franchise. They’ve won 13 Stanley Cups, have made 68 playoff appearances, and boast 61 Hall of Famers.
Vancouver Canucks (Pacific Division)
Founded in 1970, the Vancouver Canucks are perhaps the league’s unluckiest team. They’ve made the postseason 27 times and the Stanley Cup Finals on three occasions. Despite this solid success rate, Vancouver is still searching for their first cup.
Winnipeg Jets (Central Division)
The Winnipeg Jets started as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999, then moved to Winnipeg and changed their name in 2011. Despite the move, Winnipeg hasn’t been very successful with only four playoff appearances.
Bonuses for NHL Betting Online
You needn’t look far for NHL betting bonuses because many hockey betting sites offer bonuses and promotions. You can look forward to the following types of deals across the industry.
Match Deposit Sign Up Bonuses
A match deposit bonus is one of the most-common hockey betting signup bonuses. It matches your deposit by a certain percentage (normally 100%) up to a maximum amount. Here’s an example:
An online sportsbook offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $250.
You deposit $100.
You receive a matching $100 bonus (100 x 1.0).
No Deposit Bonus
You merely need to sign up for an account to receive an NHL no deposit bonus. After completing registration, you might get cash (e.g., $20), a free bet, or a risk-free bet.
This bonus provides a free shot at winning a sports wager. If you win a free bet, you’ll receive the winnings minus your stake. Here’s an example:
You receive a $20 free bet.
You wager on Edmonton at 1.91 odds.
The potential payout is $18.20 ($38.20 overall).
You win the bet and collect $18.20.
The remaining $20 stake goes back to the sportsbook.
A risk-free bet pays back losses on an unsuccessful first wager. It differs from a free bet because it doesn’t kick in unless you lose. Here’s how a risk-free wager works:
You receive a risk-free bet worth up to $500.
You bet $500 and lose.
You’ll recover the $500 after meeting terms and conditions (e.g., rollover).
Reload or Top-Up Bonuses
Almost every NHL betting site offers a welcome bonus, but what’s left after the fact? Reload bonuses (a.k.a. top-up bonuses) are available to existing customers in the promotions section. They normally refer to deposit bonuses, but they can include free and risk-free bets too.
Bitcoin & Crypto Bonuses
A crypto bonus is any NHL sports betting offer that requires a cryptocurrency deposit. Bitcoin bonuses are the most common, but Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, and other cryptocurrencies may qualify as well.
The Best Payment Methods for NHL Betting
Most NHL betting sites offer plenty of ways to deposit. The following options are the most-convenient and widely available deposit methods in hockey betting.
Crypto Betting Options
Cryptocurrencies are popular in online sports betting because they don’t involve a middleman. Therefore, your payment always goes through since no bank or payment processor will reject it. Popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, and Tether. All of our partners covered on this page allow crypto deposits and withdrawals.
eWallet Betting Options
E-wallets provide a link between NHL betting sites and your bank account. You fund an e-wallet through your bank account, then make deposits at online sportsbooks. Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal are the most-popular e-wallets in the hockey betting industry.
Traditional Payment Methods
Traditional banking methods include credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers. Visa and Mastercard are the two most-popular credit/debit card brands and allow you to instantly fund a sportsbook account. American Express and Discover are also available at many NHL online sportsbooks.
NHL Apps & Mobile Betting
Each of our 10 partner NHL online sportsbooks offer browser-based mobile NHL betting versus an app. With browser-based wagering, you visit a betting site directly through your phone or tablet. You’ll then sign up, deposit, and bet through your internet browser. You may find this preferable compared to downloading an NHL betting app for iOS or Android devices.
2022-2023 NHL Schedule
The NHL schedule is a lengthy affair that stretches from September to late June. You can see the highlights of this year’s schedule below.
September 24, 2022
Start of NHL preseason
October 7, 2022
Beginning of NHL regular season
January 2, 2022
February 4, 2022
NHL All-Star Game
May 2, 2022
Beginning of Stanley Cup Playoffs
June 15, 2022
Stanley Cup Finals start
NHL Betting Terms
3 way – A bet that lets you pick between three options: Team A wins, Team B wins, or a draw.
Against the spread (ATS) – A team’s record against the spread (see puck line).
Betting system – Systematic betting method, versus making wagers on a game-by-game basis.
Bookmaker – Another name for a land-based or online sportsbook.
Double chance – A wager that lets you pick two out of three options: Team A wins, Team B wins, or a draw.
Favourite – The higher-ranked team (better record) heading into a game.
Futures – Bets that don’t conclude until weeks or months into the future (e.g., predicting the Stanley Cup winner).
Handicapping – Research that helps determine a team’s odds of winning.
In-play betting – See live betting.
Juice – The commission that goes to sportsbooks (typically 5-10%) for offering bets.
Live betting – Live bets become available after games have started (opposite of pre-match wagering).
Moneyline – A wager on which team will win a game.
Odds – Determine how much money you’ll receive for a winning bet (e.g., 1.91 odds pay $100 profit for every $110 wagered).
Over/under – See totals bet.
Parlay – A wager that includes two or more teams (outcomes) on the same ticket.
Proposition bet – Typically called a prop bet, these wagers involve side outcomes (e.g., goal scorers) rather than the game winner.
Puck line – An NHL point spread bet that handicaps the favourite at -1.5 goals and the underdog at +1.5.
Public – The large majority of bettors who typically lose money over time.
Push – A bet that ends in a tie and returns the original stake.
Sharp – Highly skilled pro bettor that consistently wins profits over time.
Square – Opposite sharps, squares are amateur gamblers who lose money over time (see public).
Totals bet – A bet on whether two NHL teams will go over or under a given goal total (e.g., over/under 6.5 goals).
Underdog – The lower-ranked team (worse record) going into a game.
Vigorish (a.k.a. “vig”) – See juice.
Betting on the NHL Near Me
Canada doesn’t have any laws against retail betting, meaning you could conceivably place in-person wagers anywhere. It doesn’t feature traditional land-based sportsbooks, though, such as those in Vegas or other parts of the US.
Instead, certain provinces offer lottery-style betting retail locations in convenience stores. These spots still provide a chance to make in-person wagers, but they don’t offer the same experience as dedicated sportsbooks. For this reason, online wagering is the dominant way to enjoy NHL betting in Canada.
The Best NHL Betting Site in Canada
You can refer to this page’s mini reviews anytime for analysis on Canada’s 10 top NHL betting site. If you want the best of the best, though, we suggest skipping right to Bodog.
One of the most-prestigious brands in sports wagering, Bodog has an excellent reputation and good customer support. It also excels regarding live betting and in-depth coverage of NHL markets. The live betting section could be cleaned up, but this is a small downside in what’s otherwise a great pick. In summary, BestSportsBettingCanada chooses Bodog as the premiere place for NHL online betting.
Jeremy Olson is a gambling writer who primarily covers sports betting and casino games. He started gambling through online poker in 2005, but quickly realized that he was in over his head. Jeremy re-calibrated and began learning strategy for poker, as well as casino games and sports betting. His pursuit of gambling strategy led him to begin writing about blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, sports wagering, and more.