But with legal NHL betting in the Big Apple, there is no question that more people are betting on NHL games than ever before, and the numbers will only grow leading up to the NHL playoffs.
Check out our list of our recommended sports betting sites for hockey bettors, along with a general sports betting guide with everything you need to know to potentially cash in on while watching hockey games.
How to Pick the Best Online NHL Betting Site
NHL games do not have odds that fluctuate as wildly as other sports, largely because there is so much parity in the league and scores tend to stay within the same general parameters. That may also be a reason why the sport doesn’t generate as much robust action with betting sites, as it is tougher to gain big payouts on a hockey bet for a single game, and tougher to find the best hockey betting sites.
Illegal offshore sites are not just unlicensed and unregulated, they don’t offer as many payment options and can make it very difficult to withdraw funds and get paid in a timely fashion, if at all. At NYBets.com, we only recommend legal and licensed betting platforms to ensure the safest, including the most profitable NHL betting experience.
While it's tough to find the overall best NHL betting site, all betting sites you see here have been thoroughly vetted by our team, when it comes to reputation, best odds, free bets, ease of deposit and withdrawal, and odds boosts in New York. Our chosen sites almost always feature free sign-up bonuses and deposit-match promotions up to a certain dollar amount. Here’s what we look for:
Safety and Security
All recommended online betting apps in New York for hockey and sites are licensed and regulated by the state government bodies where they operate. That ensures your personal information and funds are safe.
We’ve used and tested all of the best hockey betting sites ourselves. When it comes to ease of use on mobile and desktop, we’ve gone over all the terms and conditions to make sure everything is on the up and up when it comes to reliability and timeliness of payments. Some notable sports wagering platforms noted for their exceptional mobile betting app include BetRivers NY and WynnBet NY.
Odds and Betting Markets
We pay close attention to how different bookmakers sites tabulate odds. We want you to be able to get the best NHL odds on any particular game. We also look at the breadth of markets and betting options. All of our featured sites have easy-to-use mobile features that change on the fly all throughout a game.
Live, in-game betting has made the experience of NHL betting apps much more fun than the old days when you could only bet before faceoff. We look for apps and sites that offer the feature and make it clear which hockey betting site has it.
Why are Hockey Bets So Popular?
Perhaps the most fun part about betting on NHL games: You’re almost always still in the hunt for most of the game. So many games are decided by only one goal, you know you’re just one shot away, in so many instances, from potentially cashing in on your bet. Yes, it can be a white-knuckle experience betting on NHL games because so many games go down to the wire, but at least it isn’t dull.
The way to make more money on NHL bets is to correctly guess if a team will win, or lose, by two or more goals. Most every NHL game will have a spread of plus-minus 1.5 goals. That’s called the “puck line.” Regular Moneyline bets are also available, as are numerous prop bets for individual goal scorers, goals per team period, and so on.
Perhaps the most “thrilling” part of betting on NHL games is when it’s just a one-goal game with a minute or two left, and you’ve bet the puck line. With the plus-minus 1.5-goal spread on most every game, puck line bets often are settled only after one team pulls the goalie to try to tie.
If you bet the Canadiens to beat the Lightning on the puck line bet and they’re up 3-2 with a minute left and the Lightning have pulled the goalie, you’ve now got a better-than-average chance of seeing the Habs get the empty-netter and the two-goal win.
How to Sign-Up for an NHL Betting Site
Pick a quality site from our fully-vetted, recommended list. We put every site through its paces and look at every betting app to make sure bettors get the best experience. In the sign-up process, you should have the following available: photo ID, email. full name and address, birthday, proof of address, and payment method.
Be sure to take advantage of those first-time sign-up offers. Want to make your first bet for $100 on the Canadiens to beat the Lightning on the straight Moneyline?
Most, if not all, reputable online wagering sites will give you another $100 to put in your account to bet any way you like. Now you’re truly playing with house money! Then select an amount that fits your budget and make your first deposit.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods for NHL Betting
Once your account is set up, choose the deposit option that makes the most sense for you. That could be Play+, PayPal, Visa, bank transfer, etc. If you win your bet, you can count on your money being in your account in 3-5 days with no fees, if you do direct deposit. If you want to get your money instantly, there is usually a small fee, usually no more than 1 percent of the deposit total.
Bonuses and Promotions To Claim for NHL Betting
Again, online betting websites want you to become a customer, so they will offer sign-up matching bonuses, and you definitely want to take advantage of them. Many sites will continually give you matching offers as time goes along. The matching limits might be lower than the first-time offers, but very often a site will give you a “bet $35, get a $35 match” offer for upcoming games, especially NHL playoff games.
Other sites may just throw $5 or $10 into your account just as a thank you. That’s free money to bet any way you like! These sites want to make things fun and keep an NHL bettor engaged, and that’s why they’re on our carefully cultivated list.
NHL Bonuses And Rewards
When deciding which legal hockey betting sites you may sign-up with, it's important to research what kind of bonuses and bet credits they offer and compare them with other NHL betting site bonuses to select the bonuses that are best for you.
Not only can these reward and betting promo codes in New York help hockey bettors get started, but they present some excellent chances for users to win big or pick up useful incentives for future bets.
Although new users are frequently provided with these welcome bonuses, regular users have chances to win bonuses and rewards as well, just by betting through a specific online betting site or using their app. While every betting site for NHL wagering that we recommend will come with some sort of bonus or risk-free bet, providing new and current users with enticing options for betting can help keep a bookmaker competitive within the market.
Reading NHL Betting Lines and Odds
Let’s say you’ve got $100 that you just really want to bet on tonight’s Dallas Stars-Pittsburgh Penguins game in Pittsburgh. If you think the Penguins will win outright by any score, then you want to put that $100 on them on the Moneyline. If the Penguins are -145 favorites to win, you would need to bet $145 to win $100.
Now, let’s say you think the Penguins or another NHL team are going to win big, which in the NHL means by two goals or more. You’ll want to put that $100 on Pittsburgh on what’s known as the puck line (which is always set at -1.5). That will have much better odds for a potential payout. Let’s say the Penguins are +150 on the puck line, a $100 bet wins $150 if the Penguins win by two goals or more. Puck line bets always pay more on winning wagers, which is why they are the favorite of many who bet seriously on the sport.
Different Types of NHL Bets
Just like with NFL betting, NBA betting and the other major sports leagues there are countless different bets to take. Here's a breakdown of the type of NHL bets you can make in the Big Apple:
Moneyline bets in New York are simple bets based on who will win the game, by any score.
Puck Line Bets
A bet in which a spread of plus-minus 1.5 goals is factored into the equation. A “puck-line” gives you better odds because your pick must win by two goals or more. A “reverse puck-line” gives you 1.5 goals but worsens your return.
An Over/Under bet in New York is the number of combined goals scored in the game. If the over-under is 5.5 goals and you bet the over, the teams need to combine for six goals (the shootout “goal” for the winning team counts toward the final total). If only five goals or fewer are scored, the under hits.
A prop bet is a wager that is not dependent on the outcome of a game. Think Sidney Crosby will definitely score a goal? There’s a wager for that. It’s called a prop bet, and most online betting sites will offer those. They are a riskier bet, but they offer better payouts than your typical team bet.
Think the Dallas Stars will win the Stanley Cup next spring or summer? You can bet on them to do that. Futures markets are a staple of NHL betting odds, and they are one of the more popular ways for hockey fans to bet.
A parlay bet combines multiple bets into one wager, increasing both the odds and the risk. Think the Avalanche, Sharks and Penguins will both win their games tonight? You can bet on them to do that as a parlay wager. The payout is bigger than betting on a single game, but every leg of the parlay must hit for it to cash.
Think the Avalanche and Bruins will combine to score more than two goals in the first period? Think the Avalanche will score two or more goals in the first period? You can wager on those and other scenarios.
Can I Only Bet on NHL Games?
No. There is a lot more to NHL betting than just betting on games. Sure, there are a wide array of hockey odds for games, whether they be regular season of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But you can also bet on NHL futures such as individual awards, Stanley Cup champion, team win totals and Eastern and Western Conference champion.
Tips for First-Time NHL Bettors
Are you a new NHL bettor? Here are some tips to help you with betting on the NHL.
- 💪 Follow Established, Credentialed Beat Writers on Social Media
They will update injuries, lineup changes and other developments with their teams that could change betting lines on games.
- 💪 Pay Close Attention to Who Will Start in Goal for Each Team
If a team is going with the backup, its chances of winning won’t be as good as if the No. 1 guy was in.
- 💪 Don’t Get too Carried Away on Prop Bets
Yeah, it’s fun to wager whether a player will score a goal but remember that scoring isn’t easy in the NHL. Similarly, daily fantasy sports can be very tough for sports bettors.
- 💪 Bet the Under on Games in Which Both Teams Played the Night Before -
Tired teams tend to score less the next game.
- 💪 Bet the Over More Often in Early-Season Games
Teams are usually a little more loosey-goosey in early-season games, so scores tend to be higher than late in the year and playoffs.
- 💪 Bet on Western, Higher-Altitude Teams at the Start of Eastern Road Trips
It’s been proven that players who are used to playing at higher altitudes have higher oxygen levels than players who have been at sea level for a while. The higher-altitude teams will probably have an edge in speed and quickness at the start of Eastern trips.
- 💪 Bet on Good Teams to Have Good First Periods
The premium for the first goal in a game is high because good teams will tighten up more defensively with a lead. Therefore, take a good look at good teams getting that first goal - or having good totals numbers overall in that first period.
- 💪 Pay Attention to the Special Teams Statistics
If a team with the top-ranked power play in the league is playing a team in the bottom five of the penalty kill, that means the top-ranked team’s best players have better chances of scoring on power plays. That could make for a nice winning prop bet.
- 💪 Don’t Bet on Goalies to Win the Hart Trophy (MVP) on NHL Futures Bets
Goalies have their own trophy (Vezina) as league-best for a season, and voters for the Hart today are trending more and more to give the award to a position player.
- 💪 Don’t Be Swayed Too Much by “Home-Ice Advantage”
In the 2018-19 NHL season for example, home teams only won 53.7 percent of the time. Upsets can and do happen a lot in NHL betting.
Are Betting Sites Considered Legal?
While states were given the ability to legalize sports betting by the US Supreme Court in 2018, not every state has allowed it to happen yet. But more and more states are passing the proper legislation to allow it.
Among the states with legal sports betting are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Indiana, Rhode Island, Michigan, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado and Illinois. More states are expected to follow suit soon. Additionally, not every casino operator has a gambling site yet, as some states still only allow in-person wagering platforms, as opposed to betting sites.
New York NHL Betting Sites FAQ
In most states, a bettor must be 21 years or older.
Your location will be pinned to your desktop/laptop computer through geolocation software and/or your mobile device by GPS systems.
The league once discouraged associations with betting on its sport, but not anymore. The NHL is in partnership with various betting websites and welcomes legal NHL hockey betting now.
No. Offshore sites aren’t regulated like they are in the U.S. and may be dubious in quality and character. You also have no legal recourse should the wagering platforms fail to honor a bet or shut down and keep your funds.
Typically, it is the Stanley Cup Final is the NHL’s biggest betting event.
Yes. Live betting in available at virtually all online gambling websites.
Typically, a moneyline bet is the easiest to win as you are only picking a winner.
In states where mobile sports betting is legal you can enjoy a full array of NHL betting odds to wager on.
Online bookmakers aren't required to report your winnings unless you win at least 300 times what you bet and that amount is over $600 (or otherwise subject to federal income tax withholding). You, however, are required to report any and all winnings on your personal tax return. You may also be responsible for state income taxes, depending on where you live.
As the current Editor and Fact Checker editor for EmpireStakes.com, Matthew Asher has nearly a decade of experience working in public relations and digital media marketing with the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers.Matthew is passionate about the sports betting industry and has been known to explain how to bet on the NFL, College Football and other major sports leagues. He is passionate about making sure you have the most up-to-date and correct information about New York betting regulations.