There are 14 games on Thursday night’s NHL schedule, giving us plenty of places to look for value on this large slate.
However, I’m going to target a late-night contest on the west coast.
Here’s my favorite NHL pick today.
NHL betting odds used for this hockey pick are current as of Thursday, Nov. 30, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Best NHL Prediction Today
Ducks Moneyline (-110)
After a solid start to the season, things have gone south for the Anaheim Ducks. Greg Cronin‘s squad has lost seven straight and eight of its last 10 games.
Goalscoring has been a significant problem during this losing run. The Ducks have scored two or fewer goals in six of their last seven, with the only exception being a three-goal outing in a 4-3 home loss to Montreal on Nov. 22. Anaheim has netted the fifth-fewest goals (59) in the NHL this season.
On the bright side, the Ducks will host a team that has even fewer on Thursday night. The Washington Capitals have netted the second-fewest goals (46) this season and will be playing the second night of a back-to-back after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Wednesday.
Washington ended LA’s five-game winning streak despite being outshot 39-15, so it could certainly be the team that Anaheim finally gets right against.
How NHL Betting Works
The NHL is the highest level of hockey in the world.
The best hockey players from across the globe are putting their skills on display on a nightly basis. With the advent of legal online sports betting, you can cash in when those greats do what they do best.
Here’s a look at how NHL betting works.
Best NHL Bets
There are various ways to wager on the NHL. Here are some of the most popular ways to do so.
The easiest way to bet. A bettor simply determines which team will finish victorious when the game ends.
Moneyline bets will be for a team to win by any method, including overtime and shootouts. That team can win by any margin. As long as the team you wagered on gets the W, you cash in a moneyline bet.
Moneyline odds can vary based on how likely a team is to win each night. There are also first-period moneylines and win-in-regulation bets, where a bettor chooses a team to lead after 20 minutes and 60 minutes, respectively.
Spread betting in hockey is known as puck-line betting, and the spread is almost always +/-1.5 since one-goal games are so prevalent in the NHL.
Where spread betting can vary is with odds since the likelihood of a multi-goal win can differ depending on the matchup.
An extremely close game on paper may have a -1.5 puck line carrying +240 odds while the +1.5 underdog is priced at -260.
A more lopsided-looking game may see the favorite laying -1.5 at -170 odds and the underdog at +1.5 (+130).
Totals betting is also known as Over/Under betting. In hockey, it refers to how many goals will be scored in a given game.
The total in NHL games will typically be either 5.5, 6, or 6.5, with corresponding odds based on how likely a high- or low-scoring game is.
Typically, the odds for the Over or Under won’t be shorter than -140, making totals betting an excellent way to get value.
Prop betting involves any wager not ultimately tied to the final outcome.
There are various types of hockey prop bets available for your choosing. You can wager on player props, which involve choosing an individual to record a goal or go Over or Under in a particular stat category.
You can wager on game props, like whether there will be overtime. Or you can wager on team props, like a club scoring Over or Under a predetermined number of goals, usually 2.5, in a game.
Futures wagers involve trying to project which team or player will win a championship or award.
NHL futures bettors can wager on a team to win the Stanley Cup, the Eastern or Western Conference, or make the playoffs.
In some states, you can also wager on players to win end-of-season awards, like the Hart Trophy, Selke Trophy, Jack Adams Award, and more.
Betting on futures can be a great way to cash in on long-odds wagers. However, they also require patience. Futures will not cash until they are settled, meaning they will only pay out after the regular season, NHL Awards, or Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Parlay betting is among the most popular ways to wager on sports. In a parlay bet, players combine multiple legs in a single wager to get longer odds.
There are two predominant types of parlays: traditional and same-game parlays.
Traditional parlays typically combine multiple teams to win or cover the spread. Same-game parlays, a novel development in the age of online sports gambling, combine multiple legs from the same game, like moneylines, totals, and props.
The odds in a parlay are longer since all legs need to hit for the bet to win.
Live betting is one of the hallmarks of online sports wagering, and it’s great to do with hockey, too. Live betting is when a user wagers on an outcome — moneyline, spread, total, or prop — while the games are ongoing.
Sometimes, the best way to get value is waiting for the first goal, as NHL odds can shift dramatically depending on which team strikes first.
Late game-tying goals are rare but happen enough for hockey bettors to cash in on plus-money odds throughout the season.
NHL Betting Strategy
Hockey betting, like all sports betting, is about finding trends.
Advanced stats and predictive metrics are helpful in determining what will happen on a game-to-game basis, especially since there are fewer mainstream predictive stats in hockey compared to other sports.
But be sure to consider regressions, as trends are trends until they aren’t. Plus, even an Oilers-Maple Leafs game can go Under if an inexplicably hot goalie goes off.
Hockey betting can seem more random than other sports. The best strategy is to have fun, do your homework, and bet responsibly so you’re not losing more than you’re comfortable betting on a regular-season game that doesn’t turn out the way you planned.