The National Hockey League (NHL) was founded over 100 years ago in 1917. Today, it is the best hockey league in the world, attracting players from all over the globe to North America to compete for the legendary Stanley Cup. With online gambling in Michigan now legal, hockey fans can wager on all of their favorite teams, including the Detroit Red Wings.
NHL Betting Odds
Whether you want to bet on the favorite or the underdog, NHL betting odds are always available and always changing.
As with all sports betting, NHL betting odds constantly fluctuate. Not only that, but different sportsbooks likely will offer you different odds on the same game. It is in your own best interest to shop around to find the best numbers.
Sports betting odds can take on three different formats: decimal, fractional or American. What’s the difference? Presentation, mainly. For example, if the Detroit Red Wings were playing the Chicago Blackhawks, the Red Wings may be the underdogs and listed as +200 on the moneyline. That is an example of the standard American odds. It would mean that a $100 bet would payout $200 if the Red Wings won. In a decimal posting, the Red Wings would be 2.00, but the end result would be the same with a $100 bet netting $200. As a fractional posting (which is mostly used in horse racing), the Red Wings would be a 2-1 underdog. But all three listings – +200, 2.00 or 2-1 – are all the same with a $100 bet resulting in a $200 payout.
If the Red Wings were the favorite in the game against the Blackhawks, you may see the American odds posted as -110. This means that you would need to bet $110 to win $100. The larger those odds are, the more you would need to risk to win that wager. It’s possible the Red Wings could be a heavy favorite with the odds posted as -250. This would mean to win $100; you would need to bet $250. Sometimes betting on the favorite isn’t the best play given these sorts of possible returns.
Use these numbers to your advantage. It can be very tempting to always bet the underdog seeing the potential return on your money with the +110 number. But at the same time, that team is an underdog for a reason. Yet, having to risk a lower rate of return when betting the favorite isn’t always advantageous either. The betting favorite doesn’t win every game.
The best NHL betting strategy will factor the game at hand, your bankroll and the current odds in order to make the best play. We suggest you do the same.
Is betting on NHL legal in Michigan?
With the passage of Michigan’s Lawful Internet Gaming Act, the Michigan Gaming Control Board was put in charge of licensing and regulating each of the state’s online casinos and sportsbooks. No need to wager illegally on the NHL at some off-shore sportsbook. Now, legal betting in Michigan is available for the NHL at any of the state’s online sportsbooks. You must be 21 years old and within the borders of Michigan to legally place a bet.
Most common betting markets
There are three main NHL betting markets from which you can choose:
- Moneyline: This is the most straightforward bet available. Simply choose which team you think will win the game. The corresponding odds may get a bit extreme, depending on how heavily favored one team may be over the other. If the Toronto Maple Leafs were playing the Buffalo Sabres, the odds might be Maple Leafs -190 and the Sabres +180. But if you think tonight is the night for the underdog, the moneyline may be the best place to cash in on that feeling.
- Puck Line: The puck line is the NHL’s version of the point spread usually seen in the NFL or NBA. This evens the playing field and turns a heavy underdog into a more even play against a favorite. The puck line is a constant -1.5/+1.5 goals with the odds corresponding to such a wager. For example, if the Vegas Golden Knights were playing the Detroit Red Wings, the Golden Knights might be listed at -1.5 with -125 odds while the Red Wings would be +1.5 with +120 odds. In this instance, a winning bet on Vegas would need the Golden Knights to win by 2 or more goals. A winning wager on the Red Wings, however, would result if Detroit won outright, or merely lost by a goal (or if the game resulted in a tie).
- Totals (Over/Under): In this type of wager, you don’t care which team wins or loses, you simply bet on the number of goals scored in the game. If the Boston Bruins were playing the New York Rangers, the over/under might be 5. Given the matchup and the odds, you might want to bet on the over – meaning you would need a total of 6 goals or more scored in the game for you to win. Or if you believed the goalies were going to stand firm, you might wager on the under and hope no more than 4 total goals are scored in the game. If exactly 5 goals were scored, it would be a push, and your money would be returned due to the tie result.
There are other NHL betting options available at most online sportsbooks, too. These include:
- Parlays: A parlay is a combination of bets tied together into one play. For example, you might want to bet on the Sabres moneyline, the Red Wings -1.5, and over in the Bruins/Rangers game. With a parlay, you can bet all three outcomes at once, however you need all three to win in order to win your parlay bet. If that does occur, you will win more money than you would have had you made those three bets individually. More risk, more reward. In fact, you can stack upwards of 10 plays into one parlay to win big money…if you’re right about every leg of that parlay bet.
- Props: Some of the most entertaining bets available for a game are the prop bets (short for “proposition bets”). Depending on the creativity of the sportsbook, you can find all sorts of interesting bets and odds. Sometimes you can bet on such things as whether or not there will be a shutout, or which team will score first and win the game, or even which individual player will score during the game. Prop bets can be included in most parlay plays, too.
- Futures: Think you know which team will win its division? Or win the Stanley Cup? Or who will be crowned the league MVP? If so, then you might want to make a futures bet. This is simply a bet on a future result which often won’t be decided until the season’s end. This is an excellent situation to search around for the best odds because rarely do sportsbooks offer similar odds for such a wide variety of possible outcomes.
No matter what kind of hockey fan you are, with this many different types of NHL betting options available, you’re bound to find something you like.
NHL Live Betting
Even if you miss the opening face-off, you can still get in on the action thanks to the live betting options available. Many sportsbooks will allow you to bet on first, second and third period results as well as the game’s ultimate outcome even after it has started. Odds for these events will change during the course of the game – and sometimes change rapidly – so make sure to check your numbers and the odds prior to finalizing any play. To see what games are in play and what live NHL betting options are available, go to the “live” section of most online sportsbooks. There you will find all of the teams currently on the ice.
NHL Betting Strategy & Tips
Of all the major US sports leagues, the NHL is considered by many to be the most difficult to handicap. This is not to say you cannot be a winning NHL bettor; it just means you may have to work a bit harder to find an edge. Consider these tips as you create your own NHL betting strategy.
We hope the covid era of the NHL (as well as for the rest of the world) is coming to an end. When it does, the league will be right back to playing its usual 82 game schedule. Within a typical season, teams can be forced into playing several games in a short time span. Plus, extended road trips can be grueling. Look for teams that might be struggling within these stretches to pounce on for an advantage.
Home ice advantage
It’s been proven that home field advantage – or in the case of the NHL, home ice advantage – is real. Home teams benefit from more power plays and usually win more games. Combine a team in the midst of a lengthy road trip with another enjoying an extended home stand and you might just have yourself a winner.
One thing to compare is the strength of each teams’ four starting lines as well as their overall usage. A key injury (or two) can throw a head coach’s lineup into disarray and force him to alter his lines. Players not used to skating with each other may struggle, especially against a team which has an established and healthy line rotation. And always – always – check the health of the starting goalies.
Most teams have a clear starting goalie and a backup. Make sure to check who is starting in the net before placing your bet. You don’t want to be shocked to see the backup goalie in the pipes the night you lay down a big bet. Also, goalies can be streaky. It’s said that nothing is better than a hot goalie during the playoffs, and the old adage seems correct. But it often holds true during the regular season as well. If a goalie appears to be stopping every puck thrown his way, it might be time to get on board and roll with him while he’s hot.
The puck line
Unlike the point spreads in the NFL and NBA, the puck line doesn’t vary. It is always posted as -1.5/+1.5. What varies is the odds. But if you feel you have a potential winner and you don’t want to lay the big odds on the moneyline, the odds with the puck line should be less. Yes, you do run the risk of losing on the favorite even if the team wins by only a goal, but if all signs are pointing to a win, the value in the odds on the puck line should make up for it.
Remember to always shop around for the best prices available. It may not seem like a big deal to bet on a team at -140 as opposed to -120, but over time it can mean the difference between being profitable or coming up short – even if you’re winning a majority of your wagers. Utilize the odds to make the smart play which, sorry to say, is to sometimes not make a bet at all given the circumstances. But when you do see an advantage, be ready to maximize it. Good luck!
The NHL in Michigan
The NHL has had a home in Detroit since 1926. Though the original Detroit franchise was named the Cougars, the Red Wings name has been with the team since 1932. Along with the name change came the appearance of the “Winged Wheel” logo which has been synonymous with the franchise as has been their red and white color scheme. Even though the Red Wings have endured some down times in franchise history, the team has won 11 Stanley Cup championships over the years – the most of any US-based NHL team.
The 20-21 NHL Season
The 2020-21 NHL season has not been typical. Due to covid restrictions, the league saw its typical 82 game schedule reduced to just 56 games. Also due to the Canadian border protocols, the league realigned itself into four divisions, one of which featured all seven Canadian franchises grouped together.
While covid did cause the postponement or cancelation of some games, the NHL did deliver a quality product to its fans this year. Connor McDavid scored 100 points (32 goals and 68 assists) in the span of just 53 games, leading the league in scoring as well as leading the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs won its division for the first time in 21 years while the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes each won their respective divisions as well. The Hurricanes were led by the league’s top goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic who posted a sub-2.00 goals against average (1.90) in the 23 games he played.
While the Detroit Red Wings were able to welcome a limited number of fans back to Little Caesars Arena, the team hoped to avoid a last place finish in the Central Division. The team was led in goals (11) by left winger Adam Erne and in wins (9) by goaltender Jonathan Bernier. While clearly in a rebuilding phase, the Red Wings did select 19-year-old winger Lucas Raymond with the 4th overall draft pick in this year’s draft. There is hope that a full schedule in the 2021-22 season will bring better results to the franchise.
The 2020-21 NHL wasn’t without controversy, either. Veteran referee Tim Peel was fired by the league after being caught on a hot mic admitting that he called a make-up penalty in a March game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators. In May, George Parros, the NHL Head of Player Safety, made a foolish mistake in merely fining Washington Capitals Tom Wilson for his egregious violence after the whistle in a game against the New York Rangers. This led to the Rangers taking matters into their own hands, and two days later, the rematch between the teams turned into an on-ice brawl which ultimately led to a $250,000 fine against the Rangers.
Now, the time has finally arrived for the playoffs. While the final team seedings have yet to be determined, according to the sportsbooks, the NHL betting favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup are the Colorado Avalanche – even though they might not win their division. Close behind are the Vegas Golden Knights, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Of course, this could all change in the span of a few games because nothing is more exciting than playoff hockey. Check out your favorite sportsbook to get in on the action before it’s too late!
Top 100 NHL Goals of the Season (2020 – 2021)
What you need to know to bet on Michigan’s Detroit Red Wings
The Detroit Red Wings have a proud standing in the NHL as one of the Original 6 teams. During its run of 11 Stanley Cup championships, “Hockeytown” has brought the NHL some of its most legendary stars, including:
Geordie Howe: The Red Wings all-time leading scorer, Howe is on the NHL’s version of Mount Rushmore. “Mr. Hockey” played with the Red Wings from 1946-1971, and retired as the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer. Howe’s #9 jersey was retired by the franchise in 1972.
Steve Yzerman: “Stevie Y” joined the Red Wings in 1983 and played through the 2005-06 season. Yzerman won three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings (1997, 1998 and 2002) and finished his career as the league’s sixth all-time leading scorer. When “The Captain” retired, he moved into the team’s front office where he now serves as the Red Wings general manager.
Nicklas Lidström: Considered one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, Lidström won four Stanley Cups as a member of the Red Wings during his 20-year career. Lidström also was named to the All-Star team 12 times and won the James Norris Memorial Trophy for the league’s top defensemen seven times. The Hockey Hall of Famer also had his #5 jersey retired by the Red Wings in 2014.
All told, the Red Wings have retired the numbers of eight of their best players, including Terry Sawchuk’s #1, Red Kelly’s #4, Ted Lindsay’s #7, Alex Delvecchio’s #10 and Sid Abel’s #12. The storied franchise has also had over 50 Hockey Hall of Fame members play for them in the course of team’s history.
And let’s not forget one of Detroit’s best contributions to the history of the NHL: the octopus. Begun during the team’s 1952 run towards winning the Stanley Cup, tradition has it that the octopus’s eight-arm symbolized the eight wins the team needed that year to win the championship. Since then, the octopus has become the Red Wings’ unofficial mascot, and fans have developed a kinship with the dead creature that has been hurled onto the ice to boost team spirit when required.
Where can I bet on NHL games in Michigan?
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