The NHL GIFT That Keeps on Giving

The NHL GIFT is a bet worth making on a consistent basis. It’s a wager that gives bettors a chance to profit from each and every game on the NHL schedule. What bettor wouldn’t want that? Read on to learn more about this bet and how you can add it to your hockey betting strategy.

Key Points

– Bettors must learn what the GIFT bet is before adding it to their strategy.

– Since scoring is up, the NHL GIFT bet makes more sense for bettors. 

What is the NHL GIFT?

While Stanley Cup futures betting may be your thing, a good NHL betting strategy involves wagering on a number of games throughout the season. One of those wagers is the NHL GIFT.

GIFT stands for Goals in First Ten and is a wager on whether or not a goal will be scored in the first ten minutes of a game. It is a bet that has gained in popularity over the last few seasons. 

The alternative wager is the NGFT. Some sportsbooks offer NGFT, which stands for No Goals in First Ten. Bettors simply bet that neither team will score in the first ten minutes of a game.

Both of these bets are comparable to the well-liked NRFI and YRFI wagers in baseball. No Runs in First Inning and Yes Runs First Inning are bets that are increasing in popularity in baseball.


Pricing for the GIFT Bet

A goal is scored in the first ten minutes of play in 55 to 60 percent of NHL games during any given season. 

Consider the NHL’s 2016–17 campaign as an example. About 58 percent of games had a goal scored within the first ten minutes. That equates to a price of about -138. 

Bettors should be aware that sportsbooks will add extra juice when pricing the GIFT. Additionally, bettors should research the offensive and defensive prowess of the opposing teams. 

Gamblers should also be aware of the connection between GIFT odds and a game’s total. It makes sense that the chances of a goal being scored in the first ten minutes of a game are higher if more goals are anticipated in the match. For instance, there are more goals expected in an NHL game with a game total of 7. In this situation, it would be wise to consider the NHL GIFT.

Examples of GIFTs

Here are two examples from the previous NHL season to help you avoid making common errors with this bet.

Florida Panthers vs. Edmonton Oilers

GIFT: -210

Total: 7

The Panthers and Oilers were two of the NHL’s top offensive teams in the previous season. In terms of goals scored per game, Florida led the league. Two Edmonton players finished in the top 5 in terms of points. 

The total for this game was higher than usual at 7. The odds of a goal being scored in the first ten minutes were set at -210 because more goals were anticipated. A bettor would have to wager $210 to win $100 in this scenario because it is more likely that a goal will be scored in the first ten minutes of the game. 

New York Islanders vs. VegasGolden Knights

GIFT: -130

Total: 5.5

The New York Islanders and Vegas were two of the NHL’s top defensive teams last season. As a result, the game total for the two teams’ matchup was set at 5.5. That suggested that sportsbooks anticipated a lower-scoring game.

The probability of scoring within the first ten minutes of the game is lower when fewer goals are anticipated. The NHL GIFT had odds that were set at -130.

General Rules for the Bet

The GIFT is typically counted at sportsbooks from zero to nine minutes and 59 seconds into the first period. The wager is deemed a loss if a goal is scored at precisely 10:00 in the first period.

To find the GIFT bet, bettors might have to search their sportsbook. It might be found in a number of different locations. Some offshore sportsbooks will have it under the “Periods” heading. The GIFT bet may appear in a section called “Popular Bets” in some sportsbooks. 

Goals in First Five wagers, or GIFFs, are also available at some sportsbooks. In this wager, which is identical to the GIFT, you bet on a goal being scored within the opening five minutes (4:59) of the contest.

Why the NHL GIFT Keeps Giving

Each team scored an average of 3.16 goals per game this NHL season. Last year, teams averaged 3.14 goals per game. Consequently, an NHL game over the past two seasons has seen roughly 6.3 goals on average.

The NHL hasn’t seen this much scoring in a very long time.The last time teams averaged at least 3.14 goals per game was during the 1995–1996 season. 

Only 17% of NHL games last season went scoreless in the first period. If you go back 15 years, over that time frame, only 19% of NHL games were 0-0 after the opening period of play.

That indicates that a goal is scored in the opening period in 81 percent of all NHL games. The higher scoring totals seen in the previous two seasons have directly affected the odds for the GIFT in hockey betting.

San Jose (57-25), Edmonton (56-26), Vancouver (56-26) and Seattle (56-26) all had the best records in terms of GIFT bets in the 2022–23 NHL season. 

These teams and/or their opponents were successful in scoring within the first ten minutes of a game at least 68 percent of the time. An interesting note is that in Vancouver’s first 31 games of this season, the GIFT was profitable.