My foray into the world of sports betting was as a punter, primarily following the ups and downs (well, mostly downs…) of my local team as they battled against the ever-present threat of relegation. Over time, I began to become more and more interested in the ins and outs of various strategies and became adept at spotting a good operator.
My day job was, at the time, writing and editing for a local newspaper, so turning my professional skills to my interest in sports betting followed naturally. I started writing about sports betting as a hobby initially with my own blog, analysing odds and providing betting tips where I thought I could find value. Eventually, I was headhunted to write the same content for a betting firm, which resulted in me leaving my local paper job behind and turning my professional interests solely to sports betting writing by 2017. Since then, I have been proud of the body of work I have been able to produce.
Using my interest in all aspects of the sports and gambling world to guide me, I now write for Betting.net, compiling operator reviews, bonus reviews, and sharing the tips and tricks across our various sports betting guides. When I’m not at my keyboard, I am an avid rock climber, with an ultimate goal of eventually ascending the Seven Peaks — if I can fit it in between penning the latest bookmaker review, that is!
Hockey is one of the most exciting games across the world. And, at betting.net, we know better than anyone betting on hockey is always a whole lot of fun. The trouble can be, however, finding hockey odds that are valuable.
That’s where we come in. Finding competitive and worthwhile hockey odds can be difficult when you don’t know where to look. We’re here to provide a one-stop destination for all the best hockey odds. It’s important you bettors understand how to compare and understand hockey odds so that you can make the most of all the hockey odds NHL.
Most important reasons to compare odds – Profit and understanding
Most people assume that comparing hockey odds isn’t worth their time, and proves to be redundant. That’s not true in the slightest!
Comparing odds is essential for any bettor, especially a hockey fan, and there’s a number of reasons why you should always compare before you bet.
For one, it’s a statistical fact you’ll make more money comparing hockey odds. Bettors who compare odds before they bet raise their winnings by 10-15%. That’s a whopping amount, especially if you’re playing big! And, that’s a yearly income if you’re an experienced bettor. Second of all, odds are always moving. They’re like a conveyer belt – they’ll rise and fall in value regularly before you bet.
By tracking your hockey odds, you can see which hockey bookmakers have better odds changes. If they don’t fall or rise as sharply as another bookmaker, you know the first bookmaker has the better hockey odds overall.
How do bookmakers determine their odds? – Plenty of mathematics
Determining odds is a lot more technical than you might think. If you look at how odds work, you’ll see how much actually goes into it. For example, bookmakers will take all of these factors into account before calculating odds: historical data, prior data, expert opinion and team performance.
There are other factors that can easily determine the odds: like in the case of hockey odds, it could be any injuries going into the Stanley Cup. All of this is done by experts, and this initial phase is known as the ‘true odds’. Once the true odds are calculated, you move onto the next stage.
The best sports betting odds will then be toned down by the bookmaker. This is done for fairness reasons, on both the bookmakers and the bettors’ end. If the odds remained at the true odds level, the odds would be extortionate.
So, if a bettor won big, a bookmaker would have to pay out big money on every bet. And, if a bettor loses, every customer would go bankrupt – the true odds are always that big. The true odds are decreased proportionate to their value – so they’re more fair, but keep their original flair.
Why do odds vary between bookmakers?
This is an interesting question, and it’s definitely important you hockey fans understand this before betting on hockey odds. A bookmaker’s entire odds are heavily dependent on the business itself. Which is why you will find completely different odds depending on the size and variety of the bookmaker. That’s why we cannot stress enough how important it is to compare bookmaker odds before you place any bets.
So, the amount of bettors playing at the bookmaker will heavily depend on how a bookmaker moves the moneyline. You have to remember a bookmaker is a business first, so they have to act in their own best interest.
Most popular odds formats explained – All the types you need to know
Depending on the hockey odds NHL you’re looking for, many will have different variants of odds. These odds types all represent the same value, they’re just presented differently. Although it’s easy enough to use a betting odds converter to swap between different odds formats, you should at least have an awareness of how each type is displayed and what it means. Here’s the main formats:
Decimal odds explained
Decimal odds are exactly how they sound: the odds presented in a simple decimal format. These are the easiest odd types to understand, and are commonly used in most European countries. These odds represent the amount someone wins for every $1 wagered.
So, for example, if you had some hockey playoff odds, for a game between the Blackhawks and the Maple Leafs. If the odds were 1.5 on the Maple Leafs to win, you would win $150 if you put $100 down on them. And, if it was 2.2 on the Blackhawks, you would win $220 if you put down that $100.
Fractional odds explained
Fractional odds are another type that say what they do on the tin. They provide the odds in a fraction form. A little more complex than decimal odds, fractional odds are popular in the UK and Ireland.
It’s simply just a ratio of the profit won. An example of fractional odds would be a game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The hockey odds on the Oilers winning might be 13/2, and the odds of the Penguins is 1/4. This means that putting $100 down on the Oilers will see a $750 win, and putting $100 down on the Penguins will see a $120 win.
American Odds explained
American Odds are the most popular form of odds, and can be confusing if you’re unfamiliar with them. They centre around the stake of $100, and feature both + and – signs. Odds of +100 means you will make $100 with a $100, so overall $200. And, -100 would mean you need to bet $100 in order to make $100.
Here’s a better example. If you had hockey odds of -345 on the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup, but odds of +450 for the Columbus Blue Jackets to win. You would have to bet $345 in order to win $100 on the Bruins. But, if you bet $100 on the Blue Jackets, you will win $450.
How to calculate the expected value- an important equation
The expected value is an important equation to know if you’re going to be comparing the best hockey odds. It’s generally used to predict how much we will win, on average, per bet if we were to bet regularly on the same odds. It’s calculated through a simple enough equation, which we’ve laid out below:
(Probability of Winning) x (Amount Won per Bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount Lost per Bet)
So, let’s put this into practice with hockey odds. There’s usually plenty of enhanced odds offers for the Stanley Cup Final.
And, for the sake of argument, you want to put money down on the Chicago Blackhawks (2.5) against the Maple Leafs (12.0), with a draw at 5.2.
You would have to average the Blackhawks winning, and the average of the draw and the Leafs winning added up. And, let’s say you just put down $20.
The probability of the Hawks winning is 0.126. And, the probability of you losing the bet is 0.872. Your formula would look something like this.
(0.126) x (50) – (0.872) x (20) = -11.14
So, this shows this isn’t a wise bet in the long run – you’ll be losing an average of $11 for every $20 bet. While it’s certainly a useful formula to know about, a betting odds calculator will work it out for you in seconds. And if you’re betting in-play, those seconds can be vital!
Why loyalty doesn’t always pay – Always shop around
Long term betting
Long term, or futures betting, has really become popular for hockey odds NHL. It’s critical you take the time to shop around if you’re going to take the time to futures odds, cause we guarantee you’ll find vastly different odds depending on where you plan to bet.
It’s oddsmakers who determine the betting lines you see on your sportsbook platform. It isn’t one person behind them, an oddsmaker definition is a group of experts behind the scenes who use advanced algorithms to make sure that the odds allow the bookmaker to profit. That’s why the odds for favourites will be vary and you need to find the sportsbook that you believe is the winner.
When it comes to smaller bets and betting on a player’s individual success, this one always tends to fluctuate. The preseason hockey odds will be far different than the hockey playoff odds for the Stanley Cup.
And, knowing when to pull out of one sportsbook, and go to another will be your key to really making some serious way with your winnings.
This one should go without saying, but you should always shop around to see which sportsbook has the best overall value on hockey odds NHL.
Now that the Stanley Cup is up and going, you need to find a sportsbook that ticks all the boxes. Best game total, point spread and moneyline prices are the key ones. For example, DraftKings usually aces all of these in hockey odds during Stanley Cup season.
Other factors to consider when comparing odds – The sportsbook package
The hockey odds themselves will always be the most important part. But, there’s some other aspects you should consider when you’re shopping from sportsbook to sportsbook. Most wouldn’t even consider this when searching for odds, but we believe these will really help you get a leg up.
What bonus offers does the sportsbook have? Is it possible that the offers could help your hockey odds improve at all?
This is an important question to ask, because the regular bonus offers can really help you when you sign up to a sportsbook. Deposit signup offers, and cashback bonuses are great to use during Stanley Cup season.
This is far more important than you think. If you’ve placed a whopper bet on the Oilers at great hockey odds, but the bet didn’t go through – you need to get onto a good customer service.
Especially, if the money is out of your account. Ideally, choose a sportsbook that has a 24/7 service in their customer service, and a live chat function for instant feedback.
Odds comparison vs live betting – The real hard part
The one tricky part when it comes to odds comparison is trying to do it live. If you have a live stream of the playoffs, and you’re watching the hockey odds constantly switch and change- how are you meant to deal with this? We’ve got a couple of pointers that might make your odds comparison a little easier.
Halftime is your biggest ally, because you won’t get a better opening to pin down some great hockey odds NHL live quite like during half time. You have 5 whole minutes to get everything ready – your EV (Expected Value), compare odds across a couple of sites, then put your money down. You won’t get a longer break for hockey odds than during halftime.
We know fights aren’t as common as they used to be, they’re still bound to happen. This is hockey! We definitely believe the fights are a small window where you can make a quick bet or two on rising hockey odds. It usually takes a minute or two for it to be finished or broken up, so that’s a sizable window you could easily take advantage of.
Conclusion – Become a hockey odds connoisseur with us!
Now that we’ve arrived at our final stop, you have plenty to digest now about hockey odds. You have a better idea of how odds work as a whole. How they’re calculated, how the bookmakers determine their value, and the best way to compare them across multiple sportsbooks. You’ve also learned a neat formula for making the most of your hockey odds: the Expected Value.
You also know the advantages of odds comparison instead of sticking with one sportsbook – which is plenty. You’ve got all the tools to make the most of hockey odds and hockey spreads on your betting adventures. So, what are you waiting for? The Stanley Cup is happening now!
This depends on what you mean. If you mean hockey odds specifically, that’s a tough question to answer. But, if you mean odds as a whole, they’re an important part of betting. They are used to determine the amount you could win with a wager – they are the backbone of all bookmakers, hockey odds and all the other types of odds. For more information, check out our guides over at Betting.net.
❓ What does P mean in hockey?
There’s a number of phrases associated with hockey that you need to know when betting on hockey. It’s important you have a basic understanding of the sport before you decide to put money down on it. There’s a number of different phrases and terminology that is commonly used by oddsmakers that is important to know. To find out more, visit us at Betting.net.
🙋 What’s the difference between American odds and fractional odds?
There’s a number of differences between the two different odds types. They’re both completely different to decimal odds, which are calculated from using decimals to see how much money you could win off a wager. Having an understanding of all the odds type is important, but you can use an odds betting converter to help you. Call in at Betting.net to see ours.