If you’re planning to place a wager on any NHL betting odds, you will need to first understand how they work, and you can do a few quick calculations before placing any bet to determine your probability of winning and your estimated winnings. Many beginners don’t do this, and it can prove to be helpful in the long run.
The odds to win the Stanley Cup are now available. The odds are subject to change, so keep checking back with this page for the latest. The odds were last updated on September 28, 2020:
2020 Stanley Cup Winners Odds
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-556||-555||-556|
The 2020-2021 season is about to resume after a few months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all eyes are on the NHL odds board. NHL odds are typically presented in the American odds format in the United States, which is different from the decimal or fractional odds you may see on some European sportsbooks.
The American odds are usually presented in a positive or negative three to four (sometimes more) digit number like -175 or +4000, with the negative meaning that the team is highly likely to win, and the positive meaning that the team is more unlikely to win. The higher the number on each side the more or less likely the team is to win.
During the regular season, you can find plenty of NHL odds on any given game, then you can find a few more options during the playoffs and conference finals - and plenty of big betting options on the Stanley Cup Finals.
How to Read NHL Odds
As we mentioned above, American odds are the format of choice in the United States, so we will focus on that format for the time being. When looking at the positive number, it represents how much you would win on a $100 wager. The negative number is how much you would need to wager to win $100. This is just an easy way to look at American NHL odds and quickly calculate your winnings. You can bet any denomination.
If you have the Pittsburgh Penguins at +300 and the Washington Capitals at -120, that means the Capitals are favored to win that game, and the Penguins are the underdog. A bet on the Capitals wouldn’t pay out quite as much as the Penguins because the sportsbook oddsmakers are already predicting that they will likely win the game, but a bet on the Penguins would provide much more value if they did pull off an upset and beat the Capitals.
In this case, a $100 bet on the Penguins would pay out $300, and a $120 bet on the Capitals would pay out $100. You of course get your initial stake back as well, so you’d come out with $400 and $220 respectively.
NHL Betting Odds: Calculating the Probability of Winning
When it comes to calculating the probability of a team winning a game - there isn’t a rule yet for American odds because it is one of the newer odds formats, so to calculate your probability of winning your NHL bet, you will need to convert your odds to decimal.
- For positive odds (underdog NHL odds) let’s say +300: 1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(300/100) = 4.0
- For negative odds (favored NHL team’s odds) -300: 1 - (100 / 300) = 0.6
Once you figure out your decimal odds, we will go through and calculate the implied probability of that bet being a winner.
Decimal NHL Betting Odds
Decimal NHL odds have always been huge in Europe, and really - everywhere until American odds stepped on the scene. It’s easier to calculate American odds by converting them to decimal, especially for the probability of winning calculation.
To calculate potential winnings when using decimal odds, you take your decimal NHL odds, multiply them by your stake, and then subtract the stake.
- 4.0 odds would be calculated as (4.0 * $10) - $10 = $30 in winnings
- 0.6 would be (0.6 * $10) - $10 = $-3.33 (this means you will need to bet more to win anything of any value)
To calculate your implied probability of winning, you will need to divide 1/decimal odds which is 1/ 4.0. This gives an implied probability of 25%. Implied probability is an important part of your NHL betting strategy and can help you determine whether your bets are worthwhile in the long run.
Fractional NHL Betting Odds
How did you do in grade school math? Remember fractions? Well, they come in handy when betting on fractional NHL odds!
When looking at fractional NHL betting odds, if you’re looking at a fractionated number, like 10/1 on the NHL odds board, this means the team has a ten to one chance of winning the game. This way, you can also calculate their probability of winning - from the fractional NHL odds.
The formula looks like this: B/(A+B) = %
For example, if the NHL betting odds are set for a game and the team has 8/1 odds to win, there is a 11% chance they will win the game. 1/(8+1) = .11 (11%)
Or, if a team has 1/4 odds to win the match, that can be calculated like so - 4/(4+1) = 0.80 (80%) This team is favored and will very likely win the game.
So, how much will you win on fractional NHL odds? All you need to do is look at the fraction: for every value on the right side of the fraction you wager, you will win the left.
- So 9/1 odds - for each $1 wagered, you will win $9.
- 1/4 odds - for each $4 wagered you win $1.
Top NHL Betting Options
Finally, we can get into the good stuff - all of the top NHL betting options that are available on your sportsbook. These are the most popular betting options, and by far, not the only ones available.
NHL Moneyline Odds
The NHL moneyline is the easiest betting type to understand, and many beginners rely on this type when starting out. All you have to do is pick which team will win the game. That’s it.
If the Bruins and Canadiens are playing and their odds look like this:
Boston Bruins -200
Montreal Canadiens +175
If you plan to bet on the Canadiens, you can calculate their probability like so:
1 + (odds / 100) = 1+(175/100) = 2.75
Now that you have your decimal odds, you will calculate your implied probability by dividing 1 /2.75 = 0.36 (3.6%)
That’s a pretty low chance of winning, but let’s calculate the winnings on a $50 wager. (2.75* $50) - $10 = $87.50 in winnings
NHL Point Spread Odds
While called point spreads in almost every other sport, the point spread in hockey is actually called a puck line wager. There is no difference, it’s just that the NHL has goals versus points on the scoreboard so they took the opportunity to make it their own. The MLB has a similar issue - theirs is called a runline.
The intention of the NHL puck line is to give the underdog an imaginary head start before the game even starts. This will level the playing field and give the underdog an opportunity to cover the spread.
Point spreads are extremely popular in the NHL, and almost any of the main professional sports. Point spreads are intended to give the underdog an imaginary advantage or level the playing field in games that are one-sided. Your oddsmaker or sportsbook will decide who the favored team is, and determine the spread based on how those two teams match up.
The puck line is essentially how many goals a team must win or lose by, depending on which side you’re betting on. If you choose the favorite, their spread will be a negative number, and they must win the game by that amount. If you chose the underdog, they must lose by less than that number or win the game.
The NHL puck line odds can be calculated like any other wager, most times the odds will be relatively low, as you took some of the risks out by choosing the point spread.
NHL Totals Odds
If the game is approaching and you don’t really see yourself leaning toward either team, you can always go for the totals. Betting the over/under on an NHL game is easy, and another very popular option because of the lower scoring nature of the NHL. You never want to bet on a team for the sake of betting, you can always bet on the totals when you aren’t sure which team to pick.
When betting on NHL totals, the oddsmaker will set a line, and try to predict the total number of goals scored collectively by both teams. The lines can be set anywhere from 4 to 10 or however many goals the oddsmakers believe will be scored in the game.
Top Online Sportsbooks for NHL Betting Odds
If you’re looking for the best NHL betting odds, we can definitely help with that. We offer a great selection of thoroughly vetted, top of the line online sportsbook reviews so you can do your research before signing up. It’s important to do research before signing up at an online sportsbook as they are all very different and some offer better NHL betting odds than others.
Offshore sportsbooks shouldn’t be scary, there are many with superior products compared to local retail sportsbooks in your state (if sports betting has even been legalized yet) and the convenience of betting from your phone can be a huge plus.
To ensure you get the most out of your NHL betting experience, be sure to read plenty of sportsbook reviews, and only sign up at trusted sportsbook sites recommended by our experts at OnlineSportsBetting.