NHL betting is a lot of fun, but it is even more fun if you are winning.  This page outlines six key tips to improve your NHL betting ROI and turn you into a winning NHL bettor!

1. Compare NHL Betting Lines

This is the single biggest difference between winning and losing sports bettors in general.  Winning bettors shop for the best lines.  This means they have multiple betting accounts that are each funded and they place each bet with the online sportsbook that is giving the most favourable odds for their desired outcome.  If 5Dimes is offering 2.60 odds on the Detroit Red Wings to win, while Sports Interaction is offering 2.65 odds then it is very important that you place your Detroit Red Wings wager with SportsInteraction.com.  This extra 5 cents on the dollar might not seem like a lot, but over time it adds up and is often the difference between winning and losing sports bettors.  That 5 cent difference turns into a $50 difference in potential payout over $1000 of action.  If you intend to become a winning NHL bettor it is vital that you shop for the best lines.  Check out our online sportsbook page for short reviews of our four recommended sportsbooks for NHL betting.

2. Don’t Bet on Every Game

The truth is that you shouldn’t bet on the majority of NHL games.  Oddsmakers are usually pretty accurate when it comes to setting the NHL betting lines so the majority of games don’t include sharp bets.  One strategy is to  look for the sharpest bet each night and only wager on this game.  This will force you to really consider which bet gives you the highest expected return and will limit you from getting carried away betting on every NHL game.

3. Bet The Underdog

In this new salary cap era the parity in the NHL is at an all-time high.  Anyone can win on any given night and a team that finished last in the standings the previous year could conceivably challenge for the Stanley Cup the following year.  This is one reason that you will find more sharp underdog bets throughout the season than sharp favourite bets.

In addition, novice bettors generally prefer to bet on favourites rather than underdogs because they don’t fully understand how the odds work and they prefer to win the majority of their bets even if the payouts are small.  The general public loves favourites and online bookmakers realize this and often slightly sway the odds to account for this fact.  If you wager on the underdog every game throughout the season you will lose much less than if you wagered on the favourite in every game.

In the free NHL picks articles on this site you will see that about 75% of the time we will choose an underdog as our sharp bet of the day.

4. Do Your Research

Research is key.  Check out the recent trends, how teams are playing, the starting goalies, significant injuries and more.  Your goal should be to figure out why the bookmakers have set the lines where they are, realize if the lines were swayed for public opinion (even if it’s a bad opinion) and take advantage of the sharp bets.  For example, if Alex Ovechkin is injured the general public opinion will be that the Capitals have a decreased chance of winning and the bookmakers will account for this by lengthening the Washington Capitals game odds.  You should then realize that the Capitals have performed very well in the past without their star player and place a bet on the Capitals to win, taking advantage of the higher payout.

5. Don’t Bet Parlays

Parlays are very popular among online sports bettors because they offer the chance at big winnings from relatively small wagers.  Parlays are similar to lotteries and some bettors love the get rich quick aspect of parlay bets.  With parlay bets you wager on a variety of outcomes and multiply each of the odds together and then by the amount of the wager.  If every single one of the chosen outcomes wins then the parlay bet pays out.  But if even one of the bets on the parlay loses the entire parlay bet loses.  If you are a sharp NHL bettor, over time it is much smarter to place single NHL wagers because you can better manage your bankroll, choose sharper games, win money if all but one of your bets win and watch your bankroll grow steadily grow as you win NHL bets.

6. Don’t Tilt or Bet Under the Influence

If you lose several bets in a row take a break for a few days to regroup.  If you jump right back in with bigger and more frequent bets in an attempt to recoup your losses you will be broke in a few days.  Regroup and remind yourself that if you make sharp bets over time your NHL betting bankroll will increase.

Betting under the influence of alcohol is another bad idea.  Alcohol impairs your judgement and may lead you to make bad bets both in quality and quantity.  If you come home drunk one night don’t wager your entire bankroll on your favourite team because your drunken intuition tells you its the smart play.