Sports like football may garner most of the betting attention, hockey is still one of the most popular sports to wager on.
In fact, ESPN reported that hockey is the fourth-most popular sport by betting handle.
The popularity may not be there as is with football or baseball, but that is OK—this allows for us to find spots to bet on that others are not taking advantage of.
With that, picking the correct online sportsbook is something you definitely want to ensure.
Here, we will look at the best NHL betting sites so that way you will know everything there is to know about them without ever even needing to load the site.
Let’s dive in.
Benefits of Betting NHL Hockey Online
While brick-and-mortar sportsbooks may offer some amenities such as a place to sit and watch the game and may also sell food, betting online is, in my opinion, a lot more desirable.
Let’s face it, at in-person sportsbooks, the emphasis may be put on other sports, so there may be limited coverage.
Also, in-person sportsbooks don’t offer welcome bonuses and other promos that online sportsbooks will.
This will allow us NHL bettors to make even more money and avoid the traffic jam or getting around a congested brick-and-mortar sportsbook.
Best NHL Betting Sites
Not only does Caesars have an easy-to-use interface, but there are also so many other desirable features. Of course, this leads us to those promotions you can only get at online sportsbooks. First and foremost at Caesars there is a first deposit match up to $1,500 for new users, which is one of the best sign-up bonuses in the industry.
In addition to this welcome bonus, Caesars is also known to offer NHL-related promos such as giving free bets for things such as the team you wagered on scoring three or more goals.
With the NHL-specific promos, the fool-proof welcome bonus, and elite-level user interface, Caesars is in a palace of its own.
To be straightforward, FanDuel is just an awesome environment for sports betting. The laid-back aesthetic makes it that much easier to enjoy what you’re doing. With the daily fantasy sports and casino offerings, the wallet is combined. So, if you ever play those game types and win, you can use those winnings on NHL bets.
The user interface is really simplistic while also being charming, which I can appreciate. There’s nothing really in bold or in your face and overwhelming. The simplicity allows for the sports league icons and team logo icons to pop and you’re able to easily locate your betting target.
The welcome bonus is a nice, well, bonus, too. It gives players a $1,000 risk-free bet. While you may receive a site credit back, it’s virtually a free bet because the site credit is non-withdrawable, but any winnings from the credit you receive back are immediately withdrawable.
There is an NHL bonus which is parlay insurance. On NHL parlays with four or more legs, you will receive up to $25 back if exactly one leg loses. The entirety of the parlay must have odds of +400 or greater.
PointsBet isn’t exactly the easiest site to figure out right away compared to others. You just need to choose your location from a different menu and then click to go to the sportsbook. It’s not the same as other sportsbook sites where everything is visibility there immediately.
However, PointsBet has a compelling welcome bonus and a wagering type that is unlike any other.
The welcome bonus is $2,000 in risk-free bets. These are divided up into two parts—$500 and $1,500. For the $500 portion, that is for traditional betting markets, so this can be used on any wager type for NHL games. The remaining $1,500 is for PointsBetting.
PointsBetting is that wagering type that is unlike any other. With this, you can multiply your winnings quickly, but there is also risk attached to it. Fortunately, with this welcome bonus, the first bet is risk-free. Think of it as a spread bet on steroids, and be sure to set the win/loss parameters.
The way PointsBetting works is say the total on a match was 5 goals. If you bet the over with a $10 wager, you would get your bet multiplied by the number of goals it went over in winnings. So, if the game finished with 9 total goals, you’d win $40. However, if the game finished with 1 goal and you bet the over, you’d lose $40.
As you can see, there is definitely a risk, but the welcome offer will at least make you immune to the first wager.
All of the sportsbooks that you’ll find listed here all have top-level user interfaces and BetMGM is no exception. The site is laid out in a way where everything is very easily identifiable, right down to the NHL emblem so you can easily find this betting section.
The layout is basically a horizontal menu with the different icons and logos with the ad carousel below this showing all of the latest offers. From left to right, you will see a list of the sports, the bets available after selecting NHL, and your bet slip.
Why BetMGM lands at No. 4 here is the welcome bonus. The welcome bonus includes a $1,000 risk-free bet. The difference with this risk-free bet versus others is that the refund comes back in free bets. Depending on the amount of your bet, you will also receive them back in increments, allowing for more flexibility and the ability to spread the risk around a bit more.
BetMGM also offers an NHL-specific promo as well. This offer will give you a $10 free bet for live wagering when you place $50 in live wagers on NHL contests.
I debated leaving DraftKings outside of the top five, but let’s face it, there are not many more reliable brands out there, especially when it comes to NHL betting. This entire new generation of bettors knows DraftKings quite well from daily fantasy sports, so that trust is already there.
Like FanDuel, the wallets between other online gaming options are tethered to one another.
DraftKings doesn’t offer the best welcome bonus or really any other promos that could be used for NHL betting, but the site itself is probably one of, if not the best in the business and the odds are always available for multiple markets and at good prices.
How To Pick the Best NHL Betting Sites
- User Interface: This isn’t necessarily a make or break, but the easier it is to find something, the more likely you are to actually wager with that site. Sometimes there are additional features that can override how poor a user design is. Most prominent online sportsbooks do a fantastic job of this already thankfully.
- Welcome Bonus: We stressed this numerous times in the top sites section above. A welcome bonus is what draws me to an online sportsbook in the first place. The more lucrative and upside the offer has, the better.
- Promos: For NHL bets, promos can be hard to come by. However, if you find an online sportsbook that has additional promos that can be used or are specifically for the NHL, that is a massive bonus.
- Odds: Nowadays, odds are typically quite close to one another minus a few points on the juice or so. With that said, if you are in a state with multiple online sportsbooks that are legal, it can’t hurt to do a bit of odds shopping.
- Banking Methods: This one is a simple concept: If the site doesn’t have adequate methods to accept my money or pay me money that I’ve won, there’s really no sense in trying out that online sportsbook.
- Cash Out Feature: It was not long ago when this feature was rare, but it appears to be at all online sportsbooks now. This feature allows for you to bail on a bet prematurely and either save as much money as you can for another day of wagering, or give you some additional funds from currently winning, but not the amount you would get if you did actually win the wager.
- Bet Types: The more markets and ways I have to wager on NHL games, the better and happier I’ll be. A favorite is typically player props. This is not a feature a lot of online sportsbooks tend to offer, however.
- An Actual Desktop Platform: Some new online sportsbooks only have mobile capabilities. Without a desktop option, this could alienate some potential players, including you. Always be sure that a desktop version exists if you do not wish to play mobile.
Why You Should Avoid Illegal Betting Sites
Illegal and offshore betting sites are interesting, to say the least. While you cannot be prosecuted for wagering at these sites, it is illegal for the sites to take your wager.
The biggest gripe I have with offshore and illegal betting sites is that there is no guarantee you will receive your winnings.
You could win big, but if the site doesn’t decide to pay you, you have no recourse. Also, a lot of these offshore betting sites like to send a check by mail, typically from another part of the world outside of the United States. It is very possible that your check could be lost in the mail.
With online sports betting becoming more legal, it’s becoming wholly unnecessary to even bother messing around with these sites.
NHL Betting Promo Offers To Keep in Mind
First Bet Match
This type of offer is becoming more and more popular as sportsbooks try to make themselves stand out among all the risk-free bet offers. The offer is just as it sounds, where the online sportsbook will match your first bet in the form of a free bet or site credit.
For example, if you were to create a new account, make your first deposit and place your first bet of $1000, you would then receive a free bet in the amount of $1000, no matter if your first bet wins or loses.
Risk-Free Bets are the most popular promo offers in the US Online Sports Betting industry. The basic premise is that you sign up for a new account, make your first deposit and place your first bet. If that first bet is a loss, you will get a refund in the form of either a free bet or site credit.
When you get a refund in the form of a free bet, you get another shot at winning your money back. Free bets will typically only pay profits on winning bets but not the stake. For example, if your first bet is a loss, and you get a $500 free bet refund, that free bet is a one-time use bet that can be placed on another bet. If you were to bet that $500 free bet on the Lakers -2.5 at -110, the potential payout would be $455, not the $955 ($500 wager+ $455 profit) that you would get with a cash wager.
If you get the refund in site credit, that site credit will play the same as cash, and typically has a 1x playthrough. This means if you get a $1000 refund in site credit, you can bet any denomination you choose and the payouts would include the stake amount. For example, if you bet $10 of that $1000 site credit on a bet at +200, a winning bet would pay out $30 ($10 stake+$20 profit) in withdrawable cash. Once you wager through the full $1000, any remaining funds are yours to keep.
First-deposit bonuses give you the opportunity to essentially double whatever your first wager is. Where deposit bonuses can get dicey are the wagering requirements.
We’ve mentioned wagering requirements a few times already, so let me explain what these are.
Wagering requirements are the number of times in which you must wager the deposit made and/or the bonus. You need to fulfill this to make the bonus funds you receive from the offer become withdrawal cash.
So, if a deposit bonus is 100 percent up to $500, but the wagering requirements are 5x the bonus, you would then need to wager $2500 to convert the bonus funds to cash. Most sportsbook will have low 1x wagering on sports, and slightly higher if you were to use the funds for casino wagers.
However, if you can find a deposit bonus that has low wagering requirements such as BetRivers, who offers 1x wagering, this will take all of the stress away from forcing NHL bets to meet those requirements.
No Deposit Bonus/Free Bet
Imagine being able to just register for an account, receive some site credit, and being able to wager on NHL games right away.
With this type of bonus, you’re able to.
What gives the No-Deposit Bonus the third spot here is that the amount of site credit you’ll receive is usually something on the smaller end like $10-$25 and comes with 1x wagering requirements.
This type of bonus is also sometimes available as a partner to a deposit bonus or another more lucrative welcome bonus.
So, the sheer amount of site credit is what drops the No-Deposit Bonus down the list.
Bet & Get
The Bet & Get promotion, to me, is just OK. We highlighted DraftKings Sportsbook earlier and this is the type of welcome bonus it offers.
Let’s use DraftKings welcome bonus as an example of how these work.
At DraftKings, you will receive bonus funds equal to 20 percent of your first deposit of up to $1,000.
However, from here, you must wager $25 per $1 earned. So, instead of getting the funds right away, you receive small amounts over time, and there is still a time deadline on these.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with this offer, however, minus the lack of an immediate boon to your account.
Where Can I Legally Bet on the NHL Online?
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- Louisiana (coming soon)
- West Virginia
- New York (coming soon)
- Rhode Island
- Florida (temporarily halted)
Choose More Than One NHL Betting Site
We mentioned several sportsbooks above, but there is even more than that. Depending on which state you are located in, there could be upwards of two dozen. Signing up for multiple sportsbooks gives you the opportunity to take advantage of all the new player offers, line shop to get the best price on all your NHL bets and possible find arbitrage opportunities.
Online sportsbooks also offer daily odds boosts, and ongoing promotions such as parlay boosts, risk-free bets and other special NHL offers.
There’s a sea of opportunity out there to make money wagering on the NHL!