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NHL Prop Bets

Adrian Dater for Bookies.com

Adrian Dater  | 5 mins

NHL Prop Bets

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Hockey used to be the least option-friendly for sports bettors. Moneyline betting, puck line and over/under. Those were usually your only three options when it came to betting lines at most betting sites, along with a couple of futures bets, such as Stanley Cup odds. Thanks, and have a nice day.

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But the world has opened up so much more for hockey bettors in the digital age. An awful lot happens in a hockey game, and now betting enthusiasts can wager on a ton of NHL odds. Our goal here at Bookies.com is to give you the best guidelines about the many proposition bets available, along with advice on how to make money on them.

How to make an NHL prop bet

At Bookies.com, sports bettors can be assured that every sportsbook reviewed and recommended has been properly vetted as being legal for users to place a bet with. As more and more states in the U.S. legalize sports betting, especially via mobile sports apps, it’s becoming a much easier and attractive option for enthusiasts.

Let’s say you want to make a $10 wager that Alexander Ovechkin will score a goal. Unlike the old days, you can do that now, at top legal sports betting sites such as 888sport or DraftKings. At 888sport’s site, for instance, you’d click on “NHL,” then click on the Washington Capitals’ current game/odds and then click on “more wagers” right next to the moneyline betting lines, puck line and over/under odds. There, you’ll see odds on players scoring a goal. It’s easy to click on Ovechkin’s name from there and make your bet.

You can do the same for prop bets such as what the score will be after the first period, how many goals the visiting team might score in any period, and on and on. There are plenty of fun options at every sportsbook.

NHL team prop bet options

As mentioned above, there are a lot of team prop bet options now. One of the most prevalent for team prop bets is how many goals either team will score in individual periods. This is not to be confused with the overall over/under game odds for total goals scored.

Let’s say you think the Boston Bruins will score exactly two goals in the first period of a home matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins? You can bet real money that it will happen, under your tab of prop bets available.

Let’s say you want to bet that a certain team will win by shutout? You can do that, too. Prop bets almost always have a lower ceiling on potential payouts because they generate lower handles than the more conventional bets and often feature longer odds, but as more and more people in the U.S. are able to access legalized sports betting opportunities and make hockey bets, the more the handle - and payouts - are expected to grow for hockey prop bets.

NHL Prop Bets 1

How NHL proposition bets work

A hockey prop bet, essentially, is any bet that doesn’t have anything to do with the final outcome of the game. The final score is one thing, but how that final score came to be - now that can be further dissected and predicted in the world of prop bets. That’s the essence of how a prop bet works. You wager much like any other wager, only you are betting on an event within a game, not the game itself.

Tips for picking best NHL prop bets

When making prop bets on the NHL, it’s important to shop around. Some bookmakers will have looser odds on a top player scoring a goal, so if you feel really strongly that some player will score a goal in the game, you want to find the sportsbook with the best payout. Ovechkin might be +150 to score a goal with one bookmaker, but +190 on another. If you really think Ovechkin will get a goal, you want that +190 number. At Bookies.com, you can compare all the top sportsbooks.

There is generally greater disparity between sportsbooks when it comes to prop bets, especially goal-scorer props. This where the savvy sharp can get bigger payouts, on relatively little money down, than more standard bets. And, as is usually the case, looser odds are usually given on earlier odds given by sportsbooks. Savvy bettors are always waiting for those first odds, because the bigger handle comes in and the bookies adjust the odds accordingly.

When it comes to making the actual selection, it’s important to know your players. Stay on top of the latest news, follow beat writers on Twitter, look at scoring trends. If a player has been hot, ride the streak. If the Montreal Canadiens are slow starters in games, use that to your advantage and be their opponent to lead after the first period. Trends develop throughout the regular season and not all sports bettors are on top of them. Use that information to your advantage.

Analyzing your NHL prop bet

Here’s an important thing to remember. If you are betting that Ovechkin will score a goal, odds are still going to be against it. Ovechkin, like every other NHL player, doesn’t average a goal every game. Most of the time, NHL players don’t go even two games in a row scoring a goal.

But if you do bet that Ovechkin will score, you still probably will have the highest likelihood of winning than any other player in a game. So, it’s obviously important to know who you’re betting on with props, especially with individual players.

If you are betting that some defenseman who only scored two goals all of last season and doesn’t have any yet this year, you probably will be throwing your money away. But maybe not. Maybe this is the night he gets his token goal of the year? The payout is going to be nice if that happens, which is why prop bets are so fun. They are the mad money bets that keep you interested in what happens during the game, not just the final outcome.

About the Author

Adrian Dater for Bookies.com
Adrian Dater
Adrian Dater writes about the NHL for Bookies.com. The longtime NHL writer spent 25 years at The Denver Post, 20 of which as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche.