Handicapping Tips and Strategies for Betting on Hockey

Betting on hockey is fun AND exciting! Ice hockey is a fast-paced sport that can feature games that have high-scoring outputs. However, you’ll also get performances that shut the door on scoring together.

It also is one of the hardest sports to bet on. Take the NHL as an example. Truly any team can beat any other team in any game.

What can help to handicap a bet is to look into various analytics that the NHL and the sport of hockey provide.

In hockey, many fans look to use the phrases of hard-working, effort, and skill to define a hockey matchup or a particular team. Those fans need the use of certain analytics and statistics to help further educate them on a specific bet that is being made.

Here are some handicapping tips and strategies for betting on hockey.

Betting on Hockey – Know the Betting Lines

Hockey is not like many other sports, and where the lines can change vary drastically from game to game.

Knowing the puck line, moneyline, and over/under is critical to making a successful bet on a hockey game. Even though a team may have been the favorite the night prior, they may be looked at as the underdog in the specific matchup.

Knowing the betting lines and if it will be rewarding or not is crucial to handicapping a bet that is being made on hockey.

Betting the NHL is fun and exciting

Starting Goaltenders

While hockey is one of the top “team” sports due to the constant rotation of players being brought into action. No one position can impact the game more than the goaltender. Researching the starting goaltenders will help educate the bettor to know the matchup and make a successful play with those goalies.

There are some instances where a team is on a back-to-back, and a team will put their backup goalie in to start the game. If someone assumes it will be the regular starter, then that can impact the outcome. This in turn gives someone unfortunate results with their bet.

Pay attention to who is between the pipes for a hockey game. Your future betting self may thank you. Some cappers that focus on betting on hockey strongly weigh starting goalies.

Expected Goals

While many people refrain from using advanced NHL statistics with their hockey knowledge, the expected goals or (xG) can truly help determine if a team gets into the high-scoring areas of the ice rink. 

It really is a basic concept once simplified.

If a team has a higher expected goal rate, then that means they get in scoring areas more often. If that team gets into the scoring areas more often, it can be expected that the specific team will score more goals. Look for teams with high xG to help bring games to the over goal total.

An underlying statistic that, if used wisely, can pay positive dividends. If you use this data to handicap the entire schedule on a given day, you should look at betting the NHL Grand Salami.

Home Ice Advantage When Betting on Hockey

Just like any other sport, there are teams that truly outperform the competition when they are in their home arena. Knowing what the trend is for the two teams competing in the specific game will help you understand who has the home-ice advantage, if any is there. 

Now there are some teams that do not have a home-ice advantage during the season. Whether a team does or doesn’t have success at home, it will only benefit the person making a bet to know if a team has a home-ice advantage or not. 

Special Teams

Let’s take a look at special teams in ice hockey come down to two things, powerplay and penalty kill.

Special teams’ performance in a hockey game can determine who will win in a single matchup. It can also determine the outcome of someone’s bet that is made for the game. There are certain teams that feast on powerplay opportunities. They win a majority of their games based on their powerplay percentages. 

Research the two teams’ powerplay success percentage to help determine which team, if any, will be dangerous on the powerplay.


Also, look into each team’s penalty kill percentage. Knowing if one of the teams is successful or struggles killing penalties can help make a better assessment of the two teams and the possible scoring outcome for the game. 

All in all, knowing some specific statistics in the sport of hockey can help handicap anyone’s bet that is made. Analytics isn’t something that is widely spoken or used in the sport of hockey. But, when used effectively, it can be beneficial to anyone making a bet on an ice hockey game.

Our handicapping tips and strategies is a series we created for every wagered sport. The latest was a guide to betting on basketball. Go check it out.