Ice Hockey Betting – Legal Ice Hockey Sports Books and Websites
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Ice Hockey is a full contact team sport that is played on ice, normally in a rink, featuring two teams of ice skaters using their sticks to shoot a rubber puck into the opposing team’s net to score points. Ice Hockey is renowned as being a physical and fast-paced sport, with teams consisting of six players on either side, including one goaltender, and five players skating up and down to try and take the rubber puck and score a goal against their opponents.
Ice Hockey is immensely popular in Canada, eastern and central Europe, the United States, and Scandinavia. Ice Hockey is the official winter sport in Canada, and the most popular winter sport in Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia, Russia, Latvia, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Belarus.
The highest level of ice hockey in North America is the National Hockey League (NHL), and it’s also considered the most popular. The highest ice hockey league in Russia, as well as most of Eastern Europe, is the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The International Ice Hockey Federation is the governing body for all international ice hockey and manages international tournaments, as well as maintains the World Ranking. There are currently ice hockey federations in more than 70 different countries.
In my ice hockey article, I will provide the most popular ice hockey tournaments and events from around the world, offer all betting types you can expect to find at legal sportsbooks when placing a bet on ice hockey, and include useful ice hockey tips and strategies to increase your chances of making a winning bet. Furthermore, I look at the legality of ice hockey betting, address some frequently asked questions about ice hockey, and explain why I recommend betting on ice hockey.
If you already accustomed to ice hockey, and consider yourself to be a self-proclaimed ice hockey betting expert, you can skip my review on ice hockey and select any of my recommended legal sports betting sites below and get straight into the ice hockey betting action. However, if you would like to learn more about ice hockey betting, there is a some valuable information further down in my review.
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Popular Ice Hockey Events
Ice Hockey is a major professional sport in several countries, enjoying a large audience every year. Bettors are given many betting opportunities with several ice hockey tournaments and events throughout the world. I included the most popular ice hockey events that you can find at legal sports betting sites, and explained what each consists of and when they take place every year.
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional North American ice hockey league that features a total of thirty-one teams. Seven teams from Canada and twenty-four teams from the United States. The NHL is headquartered in New York, and is considered the best ice hockey league across the globe.
It’s also one of the major professional sports leagues in Canada and the United States. The oldest professional trophy in North America is the Stanley Cup which is awarded to the ice hockey champions after the playoffs at the end of each season.
The United States Hockey League (USHL) is a top-tier ice hockey league for juniors that features a total of seventeen teams and consists of players that are younger than twenty-one. The United States Hockey League is strictly amateur that allows former ice hockey players to participate in NCAA college hockey. The seventeen teams are split into two conferences, including the Western Conference featuring eight teams, and the Eastern Conference featuring nine teams.
The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) is an international professional ice hockey league that was established in 2008. The league features a total of twenty-seven ice hockey clubs situated in Slovakia, Russia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Finland, China, and Belarus and plans to expand to more countries. The KHL is considered the premier ice hockey league in Asia and Europe, and second in the world after the NHL. The Gagarin Cup is awarded to the champions after the league playoff championship at the end of each season. The Champion of Russia title is awarded to the Russian team that ranks the highest.
Types of Ice Hockey Bets
Ice hockey is one of the most exciting and fastest sports in the world, and for bettors, the action can be equally entertaining. While picking winners and handicapping is normally the focal point when it comes to ice hockey, there are a wide range of other betting markets available that can also contribute a decent profit if you know how to use them to your advantage. I included the various types of bets you’ll find in ice hockey along with descriptions below:
A Canadian line is essentially a point spread which will work as an advantage for the underdogs in a matchup by basically levelling the playing field between the two teams. This means the favourite team in a ice hockey match is required to defeat their opponents by more than the spread for the bet to win. This creates a balanced and active market for both teams in a wager. Let’s look at a Canadian line example:
Montreal Canadiens -1.5 (+140)
Toronto Maple Leafs +1.5 (-160)
In my example, the favourites are the Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are the underdogs. The Canadian line is indicated by the negative and positive symbols, indicating if the team is receiving or giving the points. The odds are situated on the far right, reflecting the potential payout. The Montreal Canadiens will need to win by two goals or more to win a bet, or the Toronto Maple Leafs will need to lose by a goal or less for you to win the bet. The odds impact the payout. For instance, you will need to wager $100 on the Montreal Canadiens to win $140, while you will need to wager $160 on the Toronto Maple Leafs to win $100.
A moneyline wager is a type of bet that excludes the Canadian line. In a moneyline bet, you simply need to guess which team will win the match outright for you to win your bet. Both the underdog and favourite will have different odds to balance the markets for both teams in a bet. Let’s look at a Moneyline bet example:
Vancouver Canucks -185
Edmonton Oilers +145
In my example, the favourites are the Vancouver Canucks, and the underdogs are the Edmonton Oilers. As there’s no assigned spread, you can easily identify the favourites through the negative symbol, and the underdogs through the positive symbol. You will need to risk $185 to win $100 on the Vancouver Canucks, and if you bet $100 on the Edmonton Oilers, you will win $145.
A game total in ice hockey is a set number of goals that bookmakers expect to be scored in a match by combining the scores from both teams. You will then need to predict if the game will have more (Over) or less (Under) goals than the predetermined total. Let’s look at a Game Total example:
San Jose Sharks vs Chicago Blackhawks
Over 4.5 goals
Under 4.5 goals
In my example, the game total has been set to 4.5, and you can bet on whether the combined scored goals by both teams will be under or over this number. Should the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the San Jose Sharks with a score of 3-2, the total score will be five, which means the match went over the total.
A parlay bet consists of a single bet combining no less than two and no more than twelve individual bets. For you to win a parlay bet, each of your bets must win. Should any individual bet lose, the parlay bet will be deemed a loss, and the remaining results from your other individual bets will not be valid. Parlays are extremely popular due to the high payouts they offer to bettors. The more bets you decide to include, the higher the payout will grow.
A proposition bet, or prop bet for short, is any bet that is not directly linked to the outcome of a game. Prop bets offer an extra layer of excitement to bettors in a hockey game along with a wide variety to choose from. The most popular prop bets in ice hockey are mainly focused on player and team performances. You can bet on the number of points an individual player will have during a single game, or how many goals a specific team will score during a game
Ice Hockey Betting Tips and Strategies
Ice hockey is a furious and fast-paced sport, so it comes as no surprise that betting on ice hockey is just as frantic. However, like any other professional sport, statistics are gathered in large volume, and trends quickly become your friends. With so many betting markets available in various ice hockey tournaments and leagues, its vital that you create a betting strategy to boost your chances of winning. I included the best tips and strategies surrounding ice hockey, and hope they lead to a winning wager.
Mark Your Schedule Early
At the start of each ice hockey season, it’s advisable that you print the entire season for each team and go through the schedule to identify certain aspects. This will include teams that play on consecutive days, and check if the games are played at home or away. You also want to check every team that starts at an unusual time, as unusual times will usually conflict with internal body clocks. You will also need to look for extended road trip teams, such as Eastern teams playing in Western time zones, and vice versa. This will give you a good indication of which teams might not be able to bring their A game, and which teams will have a clear stamina advantage as opposed to a tired team.
Know the Goal Tender
The goaltender is probably the most important individual position when it comes to ice hockey. Ensure that you use a reputable and reliable source to find out who starts for every game before you make a bet. This also aligns with the schedule I mentioned above, as teams that play on consecutive days won’t use the same goaltender. So, ensure you know the depth of each goaltender and what their rating are.
Avoid Short Odds on Game Totals
Ice Hockey game totals are usually presented with the same static numbers, ranging from five to six. Oddsmakers will normally have the advantage when using these numbers, and provide shorter odds if statistics indicate the score will lean towards a specific total number. Historically, around 30% of hockey games fall exactly on the total of five. Hockey games that exceed five only occur around 45%, leaving 25% that go under a total of five. Therefore, I highly suggest avoiding totals betting when the game total is set to five.
Legality of Ice Hockey Betting
Ice hockey betting is massive in both Canada and America. However, once you go outside Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon, online sports betting becomes illegal in every state. The Federal Wire Act prohibits U.S based online betting services from offering betting markets to citizens, PASPA essentially affects the gambling shops in the United States, and the UIGEA targets gambling organisations and payment processors, but not bettors at all.
Fortunately, the regulations in the United States only work on American soil. That means the UIGEA, PASPA, and the Federal Wire Act can do nothing if the online sports betting site is located offshore, allowing U.S citizens to place a bet on ice hockey. However, there are certain pitfalls that you need to be aware of, as not all online sports betting sites are reputable and safe. Therefore, you will need to ensure that the sportsbook you choose is licensed and regulated to ensure betting on the site is 1–% legal. Once a sports betting site is legal, the rest will fall into place in terms of bonuses, customer service, and most importantly, security.
Hockey is considered as one of the more difficult sports when it comes to betting due to the fast-paced and physical nature of every match. However, those that follow the game statistics and player analysis will find that hockey betting can turn into a very profitable experience in the long-term. The main objective when it comes to hockey betting is to compare a wide range of online sports betting sites on getting the best possible odds, ensuring that your bets will provide the highest possible returns.