Online sports betting is coming to Maryland. This page will be updated with the latest promos and sportsbooks as soon as MD sports betting is live.
The National Hockey League is the highest-level hockey league in the world and, with a new TV and broadcast deal in place with ESPN until 2028, set to become an even bigger part of the US sports betting arena. With a regular season that lasts from early October to late-April, followed by the ultra-intense Stanley Cup playoffs until late June, there are plenty of shots for new bettors to get on board.
If you’re already a Washington Capitals fan, you know how much fun it’s been to follow the exploits of the team and captain Alexander Ovechkin, as they’ve won the Metropolitan Division each of the last five seasons. If you’ve been eager to get a bet down on the team or Ovi, you’ll be happy to know you’ll be able to in Maryland.
The guide below covers betting on the NHL, from how NHL betting works, the most common types of wagers, and what betting on hockey offers over other sports.
Today’s NHL Odds: Moneylines, Puck Line, Totals
See below for today’s best NHL odds. Use the drop-down menu to change your odds boards between moneyline, puck line and totals. See our futures odds page for more NHL betting lines including Stanley Cup odds and Hart Trophy odds, among others.
How NHL betting works
Betting on the NHL falls into three main categories:
- Live betting
Pregame betting is, as you might expect, placing bets on a game before it starts. Sportsbooks release odds for all upcoming NHL games, usually a day or two in advance, and you can bet on the moneyline, puck line, or over/under, for starters.
Live betting, also called in-game betting, is betting on a game as it’s playing out. The bets you can place while the game is happening are in many ways the same as the ones for pregame betting, but the odds change depending on the current score and game situation. Bets may also cover smaller time frames (for example, the second period).
Prop bets on individual team statistics or player outcomes (score a goal, get a penalty, etc.) are also a popular part of pregame and live betting.
Futures betting means placing bets on the outcome of an entire season or portion of a season. There are all sorts of NHL futures bets, from the next winner of the Stanley Cup to the winners of the individual awards (Art Ross, Hart, etc.) at the end of the season. You can also bet on a team’s overall win total, seeding in the playoffs, and more.
Futures bets are the only NHL bets that you can make during the offseason. Some sportsbooks release odds for the next Stanley Cup winner just days after the previous postseason ends. You can also place futures bets throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
How to read NHL odds
Learning to read the odds is essential before venturing into the world of NHL betting. Don’t worry, though, as this is not too complicated. To explain NHL betting odds, we will use the following example:
|Colorado Avalanche||-130||-1.5 (+250)||O 6 (-110)|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+110||+1.5 (-310)||U 6 (-110)|
Note: The second team (appearing on either the bottom or right) is the home team. Some sportsbooks might make this clear by adding the @ symbol. In such a case, it would be Colorado Avalanche @ Vegas Golden Knights.
The three odds above represent the three main bets for this game: moneyline, puck line, and over/under.
The moneyline odds show the Avalanche at -130, indicating that a wager of $130, if correct, would return a $100 profit, along with your original bet. The Golden Knights are at +110, which means that a bet of $100, if correct, would return a profit of $110 plus the original bet.
Then there’s the puck line, which is like a handicap. Since most NHL games are likely to be tight, low-scoring affairs, adding +1.5 goals to Las Vegas comes with much lower odds. If you feel as if Colorado might win by more than two goals, then you’ll get excellent odds of +250.
The over/under bet is about predicting the total number of goals in the game. In this case, the sportsbook has set the line at six goals, so you can wager on if the actual total will be over or under that number. Don’t be confused by the fact that the “over” and “under” parts of the bet appear next to a specific team. The number still refers to the overall goals, not one team’s total.
Why bet on hockey?
Betting on hockey isn’t the most popular option at the sportsbook, but that’s more because the sport itself isn’t on the same level of popularity in Maryland as football, basketball, or baseball. Nevertheless, NHL betting has its advantages, and here are a couple of reasons why it could be a good choice for betting:
- Long season: Every team in the NHL typically plays 82 games throughout the regular season, meaning that there will be a total of 1,312 games in the 2021-22 season. Games take place almost every day, so there’s plenty of betting action from fall all the way until the start of summer when you factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
- Three-way betting: Hockey games can end in a tie after regulation, allowing for three-way bets. This means that moneyline and puck line bets come with an additional outcome and ultimately can have better odds.
Popular NHL bets
There are dozens of bets you can make on any given hockey game. However, moneyline, puck line, and over/under remain the staples of NHL betting. Here is a quick explanation of how they work:
- Moneyline: This is the most basic NHL bet. You just need to choose the winner of the game. In three-way moneylines, you will also be able to bet on a tie after regulation.
- Puck line: Sometimes referred to as just the “line,” this bet introduces handicap goals, with the underdog typically receiving 1.5. Then, if the line is +/-1.5, the underdog can either win outright or lose by one goal. Alternatively, if you bet on the favorite, that team will need to win by two goals or more for the bet to be successful.
- Over/under: With over/under, aka totals, you’re betting on how many goals both teams will score in a game. The exact score or the outcome of the game doesn’t matter, just the total goals from both teams.
NHL props and futures
Beginning bettors usually stick to the three main bets. However, for every NHL game, sportsbooks prepare dozens of other bets called props. Even if you’ve never bet on hockey before, these bets will still be easy to understand, so you may want to give them a try.
Prop bets fall into three categories: team props, player props, and game props. Team props include various milestones that each of the two teams can achieve during the game:
- Which team will score the first goal?
- What will be the outcome of the first period?
- Which team will score last in regulation?
Game props, meanwhile, are wagers on whether a specific situation will happen during the game:
- Will the game go to overtime?
- What will be the winning margin?
Player props, on the other hand, involve individual players. You can bet on the top goalscorer, how many assists a specific player will get, who’s going to score the first goal of the game, and a variety of other options.
The NHL also offers the opportunity for futures betting. This is long-term betting where the goal is to predict outcomes for an entire season. You can bet on the winners of divisions and conferences and predict the winners of individual awards, like the Hart Memorial Trophy, which goes to the regular season MVP.
Stanley Cup Playoffs format
After the regular season is over, the top 16 teams meet in the playoffs. The team with the better record will always have the home-ice advantage.
The top three teams from each division plus two wild-card teams from each conference go to the playoffs. In the first round, the top team in each division will meet with a wild-card team, and the second and third teams will face each other. The winners of the first round play one another in the second round to determine who goes to the Conference Finals. Those winners move to the finals, where they battle it out for the Stanley Cup.
All four rounds of the playoffs are played in the best-of-seven series with a 2-2-1-1-1 format.
To see live Stanley Cup odds from Maryland online sportsbook and learn a bit more about how to bet on the NHL playoffs, check our dedicated page here:
Live betting NHL hockey games
You can bet on any NHL game from the puck drop to the final buzzer via live betting. While the game is running, you will find all the same bets as you would before it started, with some interesting additions such as the following:
- Player to score the next goal
- 10-minute winner
- 10-minute goal total
- Race to a certain number of points
- Current period lines and totals
- Current period correct score
Of course, the odds will change over time and will depend on the current game situation.
Betting live on the NHL works best via a sportsbook app, simply because you can place bets from anywhere and not miss anything. Almost every major betting site features an app. The best one available in Maryland for NHL betting might be the FanDuel mobile app. It works flawlessly, has an excellent design, works for streaming games and live betting, and it’s available for both iOS and Android devices.
Profitable NHL betting tips for beginners
Here are some tips to consider if you’re about the place your first NHL bet:
- Check the injury report: If a key player is injured or resting, things could change dramatically. Of course, the bookmakers will adjust the odds accordingly, but some injuries are reported late, meaning that you shouldn’t rush with making a pregame bet and instead wait until the lineups are announced.
- Factor in home-ice advantage: Home teams in the NHL win almost 55% of their games, and that percentage is even higher in the playoffs. Look at each team’s home/away record before the game to see how that team plays when it’s the host or visitor.
- Watch out for back-to-back games: Every team in the NHL will play several sets of back-to-back games during the regular season. Fatigue can play a significant role on the second night of a back-to-back, especially if the team is on the road. Also, the coaching staff might decide to rest some players in one of the two games.
How to bet on the NHL online in Maryland
Starting to bet on the NHL online is relatively simple. All you need to do is find the right betting site, create an account, deposit and start placing bets. Follow the steps below:
- Select one of the legal Maryland sports betting sites from our list.
- Click the link to go to the homepage of that betting site and claim any welcome bonuses.
- Open an account by filling out a registration form.
- Head to the sportsbook’s cashier page to complete a deposit.
- Use the appropriate bonus code (if necessary) and claim your free bets or welcome bonus.
- Check the sportsbook’s list of available markets and find “NHL” or “Hockey.”
- Explore all of the different game lines or futures available to bet on.
- Start making your bets.
NHL betting partnerships
The NHL has reached partnership agreements with several high-end sports betting companies in the last several years, including FanDuel betting app, PointsBet app, and BetMGM sportsbook. All of these online books are available to people in Maryland.
It’s also worth noting that Capital One Arena (home of the Washington Capitals) is home to what was the first land-based sportsbook in DC. William Hill (now branded Caesars) opened a retail sportsbook there in 2020, with four walk-up betting kiosks and 10 electronic ones.