Betting Early Season NHL Games

In the midst of the college football and NFL regular season and the MLB playoffs, bettors also have a chance to wager on the NHL with its new regular season starting up early in October. The top online sportsbooks have you covered with a full set of betting odds for all the games.

The most popular way to bet on NHL games is on the money line. In a straight-up clash, you have to risk more money to bet on the favorite while earning a bigger return on your bet for going with the underdog. 

Betting the NHL total line is another popular way to bet on hockey games. Total lines usually range from five goals on the lowest end to 6.5 goals on the high end. Some sportsbooks will offer reduced juice options to bet one way or the other. 


Check out the odds to win the NHL Stanley Cups


An example of the difference between a standard total line at 10 percent commission and an adjusted total line is listed below.

Montreal Canadiens   Over 5.5 (-110)
Toronto Maple Leafs  Under 5.5 (-110)

Montreal Canadiens  Over 6.0 (+110)
Toronto Maple Leafs  Under 6.0 (-125)

In this scenario, Book A is offering this game at 5.5 goals with a standard 10 percent commission for the OVER and the UNDER play. Book B moved the total line to six goals, but you would have to bet $125 to win $100 taking the UNDER. You would collect $110 on a $100 winning bet on the OVER.


Find NHL betting previews and predictions


The beginning of any new NHL season offers more questions than answers when it comes to handicapping the games. Given the offseason turnover in personnel, changes in the coaching staff and lingering injuries, there will be an impact on a team’s early play. Rust is sometimes the biggest factor from a star goalie giving up a few soft goals to a top scoring line struggling to return to form.

When it comes to some general betting advice, you should pick and choose your spots betting early NHL games. All 31 teams are looking to get off to a fast start but some will stumble out of the gate. 

The Oddsmakers are also going to make mistakes with soft betting lines for a few of the games. Slight favorites at home can be a good bet with home ice being more of a difference early in the schedule. The UNDER on high total lines could be another good play. In general, the defense may have a slight edge over offense through the first few weeks until the top scorers find their form.

Betting division matchups is another early tip. There is more history between the teams to shed some extra light on predicting future results. Betting against teams playing back-to-back road games or multiple games in a short period of time is another early tip. Rust and fatigue could be a factor early on.


Take a look at all the NHL current scores and odds


Another betting tip would be to study the betting lines across a number of different books. By noting the difference in the money lines, total lines and puck lines you should be able to find a few opportunities to enhance your return.

Once every NHL team gets a few games under their belts, their true form will begin to emerge. The top contenders will start to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. This is when handicapping the games leans more heavily towards evaluating the matchup at hand based on the early results.

About the Author

A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites.  I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.

It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.

The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.

My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.

I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.