While the betting crowd is drawn to the explosive plays of the NFL or the precision of MLB, ice hockey provides both. Betting on the NHL can be overlooked, so today we’re talking about how hockey influenced the world of betting and why you should try your luck with one of North America’s most prestigious sports.
The relationship between the NHL and the betting scene has a few key differences when compared to other leagues, so let’s check them out. If you’re interested, you can find resources like Fanduel’s NHL sportsbook online that offer odds when teams clash on the ice.
The Stanley Cup
Like any other league, there’s a big, shiny award at the center of the sport that acts as the grand prize for the team that wins the entire season. For the NHL, that’s the Stanley Cup, and you can take bets on which team is going to get their hands on it.
So, what makes the Stanley Cup so special? Although the NHL isn’t the oldest league after its founding in 1917 (MBL is oldest, 1869) the Stanley Cup is the oldest sports trophy that North American teams have battled for. When you’re placing bets on who is going to win the Stanley Cup, they’re playing for a lot more than a hunk of metal, they’re playing for the oldest competitive sports legacy in Canada and the USA.
The League Welcomes It
Every sports league, including the NHL, was against sports betting in the past. That isn’t surprising, the 1900s saw several landmark rulings that passed restrictions on both civilian and in-league gambling. The establishments that offered betting services were painted as underground criminal elements, which wasn’t far from the truth after the rise of mafia activity and racketeering during the Prohibition Era.
Things have changed a lot since then, there’s less public scorn and much of the legislation restricting gambling have been overturned in the USA. The opposition was mainly driven by the NFL and the NBA and NHL joined in, but now the tides are turning and the NHL have reconsidered their position.
There are still regulations in place to keep insider betting controlled but the NBA sends data to partnered gambling institutions to inform their odds. The NHL has adopted this approach to sports betting, having recently announced they are working with Betway as their official gambling partner. Now they welcome civilian gambling and ensure you get the most accurate odds when you place a bet on ice hockey.
Hockey Players Like Gambling
Even when there are restrictions in place, hockey players seem to like gambling more than players in other leagues. Bookies have spoken about how professional hockey players often run afoul of legislation or taboo, and there are many federal investigations to back it up. Take the incidents involving Don Gallinger and Billy Taylor as examples, or the more recent Rick Tocchet or Thomas Vanek affairs
It’s been theorized that the higher count of Canadian and European members in the NHL, more than any other league, means they have different understandings of gambling laws and are more likely to find themselves running afoul of existing policy. Whenever a scandal erupts, it often starts conversations about whether the laws surrounding betting are too strict or too loose. While we can’t say their actions have influenced the world of betting for the better, it’s still an influence, nonetheless.
No Playing Favorites
You don’t even need to bet on a team when betting on ice hockey. This is because an NHL sportsbook offers several different ways to bet. Betting on who wins the game is called money line betting but it’s not necessary, it’s just another type of betting available to you. You also bet on a team for puck line betting, where the favorite team is handicapped by 1.5 points and you can win small by supporting the favorite or win big by supporting the underdog.
If you don’t want to choose between teams, however, then you can use over/under betting options. This is where the oddsmakers guess how many goals will be scored in the game by both teams. The bettor takes them up on the deal by saying that more or fewer goals will be scored, while putting their money where their mouth is.