Online sports betting is expected in Ohio, but not live as of yet. This page will be updated with the latest news, odds and promos once Ohio sportsbooks are live.
Ohio lawmakers have been working on legalizing sports betting in the state since 2020, but regardless of its current status, it’s never too early to prepare for the floodgates to open for betting on pro and college sports.
And Ohio is a major sports state, with professional teams in all four major sports. This includes the NHL, which will be the focus below. We will break down the key aspects of betting on NHL games in Ohio, the top NHL betting sites, and even a few simple pointers for betting on NHL games.
Understanding hockey betting lines & odds
Reading sports betting odds may seem complicated at first, but once you have it down, it’s fairly simple. And, if you can learn how to read odds for one sport, you can figure it out for all of them; this includes the NHL.
First and foremost, it is important to understand the different types of sports betting odds there are. There are fractional odds (popular in the UK), decimal odds (popular in parts of Europe) and moneyline odds (popular in the US). On this page, we’ll use moneyline odds for the explanations.
Moneyline odds have a few distinct characteristics. For instance, there will always be a value with a minimum of three digits, and it will be either positive or negative. This value essentially tells you how much money you will make on a wager.
What’s also important to understand is that reading these odds will tell you some key information. For instance, if one team has negative odds, then that team is the favorite for this matchup. If there’s a team with positive odds, meanwhile, that’s the underdog. The underdog will not always have positive odds, though. In those cases, the team with better odds is the underdog.
The simplest way to explain moneyline odds is to base everything on $100 wagers and winnings. If the odds are negative, that means you would need to bet the listed amount to win a profit of $100 on a correct bet:
- Columbus Blue Jackets (-250)
In this example from BetMGM Ohio, the Blue Jackets’ odds are -250. In order to potentially win $100, you would need to bet $250. This large gap is because, in this example, they are the favorites to win.
Now, on the opposite end, are positive odds. If the odds are positive, a successful $100 wager would win you that amount:
- Columbus Blue Jackets (+195)
In this example, if you wagered $100, you would win $195 on a successful bet. These odds seem really great, but you have to remember that is because, for this game, the Blue Jackets are the underdogs.
This is a basic introduction to NHL betting odds. The rest of this page will have several more examples, so you should have plenty of practice reading them by the end.
Calculating NHL bet payouts
- Columbus Blue Jackets (-340)
For this wager, you would need to wager $340 for a chance to win $100, as the Blue Jackets are favorites with negative odds.
Now say you have a smaller bankroll and don’t want to risk $340. You could instead wager $34 to win $10. Whatever amount you wager, the ratio of your bet to the potential payout remains the same. This also is true of larger bets. If instead you placed a bet of $3,400, your potential winnings would be $1,000.
It works the same with positive odds, as well. For instance, if the Blue Jackets had odds of +180 and you placed a bet of $10, your potential profit would be $18.
Calculating odds is simple when the math is easy like in this section. If the numbers get more complex, there are online odds calculators to fall back on, as well as the sportsbook’s bet slip, which will do the calculations for you.
Different types of hockey bets
When it comes to betting on NHL games, there are several options. There are wagers that focus on the outcome of the game and some that focus on the points that both teams score. Some focus on individual players, and some on teams. This next section will break down all of the standard bets you can place on NHL games.
A moneyline wager is concerned only with the outright winner of a game. There will always be a favorite and an underdog. The favorite will have negative odds, and the underdog will almost always have positive odds. These wagers are some of the simplest to place for beginners. Here is how a bet might look on the DraftKings Sportsbook Ohio app:
- Columbus Blue Jackets (-180)
- Chicago Blackhawks (+140)
In this example, the Blue Jackets are the favorites, and the Blackhawks are the underdogs. If you wagered $180 on the Blue Jackets, you could win $100. Conversely, if you wagered $100 on the Blackhawks, you could win $140.
Puck line wagers are essentially a way to make moneyline wagers more even. This is because they will take goals away from the favorite and give them to the underdog. So, with a puck line wager, your team could lose, but the wager could still win and vice versa. The standard puck line number is plus or minus 1.5 goals.
- Columbus Blue Jackets -1.5 (+120)
- Dallas Stars +1.5 (-135)
For this example, the Blue Jackets are the favorites, and the Stars are the underdogs. Since the Blue Jackets are the favorites, they have a spread of -1.5 goals to cover. This means that for a bet on the Blue Jackets to win, they would need to win by at least two goals. On the other side, the Stars can lose by one goal and still win the wager. Because of the standard +/-1.5 line, the odds on either side vary more than the standard -110 that you’ll find for a lot of football and basketball point spread bets.
Totals are a fun way to wager if you don’t want to try to pick an overall winner. Instead, you’re betting on the total combined score of the game. These are fairly simple wagers as the sportsbook will set a line, and you bet whether the actual total score will be over or under that number. The odds for these bets are generally right around -110 on each side.
- Columbus Blue Jackets Over 5.5 (-110)
- Tampa Bay Lightning Under 5.5 (-110)
For this wager, the line is 5.5 goals. All you have to do is a wager on whether the total number of goals will be over or under 5.5, regardless of which team wins.
A parlay is a multi-bet that allows you to combine two or more individual bets into a single wager to get better odds. Almost all sportsbooks will allow you to parlay any single wagers, which is almost every other type of bet in this section. Parlays can have huge payouts, but are risky, as well. If you get any of the individual picks wrong, even if you get all of the other ones right, you win nothing. The more legs in a parlay, the greater the odds, but also the more difficult it is to hit.
- Blue Jackets (-210)
- Red Wings (+140)
- Hurricanes (-160)
- Totals odds (+475)
In this example, we chose three NHL teams, all playing in separate games. There is a mix of favorites and underdogs. Because of this and the fact that there are three teams in the parlay, the odds are now +475. This means that if you wagered $100 on this parlay, you could potentially win $475.
Futures bets are a way to place a bet that can last through the whole season. You could, for example, wager on who will win the Hart Trophy, bet on the next Stanley Cup winner, which teams will make the playoffs, and other things of that nature. Due to the uncertainty, especially before the season starts and early in the season, most NHL futures odds will be positive.
For example, if, before the start of the season, the Blue Jackets odds are +10000 to win the Stanley Cup, and you placed a $100 wager at those odds, you would win $10,000 if it turned out to be correct.
Prop bets are a variety of side wagers on aspects of the game that are generally separate from the overall score. For instance, you could bet on the number of goals a particular player might score. You could also bet on a goalie’s total saves. It’s a fun way to bet on a game when you aren’t too sure of the likely outcome.
Betting on the Stanley Cup playoffs
Competition for the Stanley Cup heats up once the regular season winds down. Eight teams from each conference make the playoffs (16 total). From there, teams compete in seven-game matchups until one emerges victorious.
When betting on the NHL playoffs, consider looking at series lines instead of individual game lines. At the beginning of the playoffs, you can also still find solid value in placing futures wagers on who will be the champion. Also, considering teams face off several times against one another, you may be able to get a solid idea of how games will play out, which can help with puck line and totals wagers.
Live betting on the NHL
Live betting is one of the most exciting ways to wager on NHL games. With live betting, you can bet on a game that is happening in real time. This means that you can bet on a game while you are watching it.
Live betting allows you to place all of the basic types of wagers. This means you can bet on the moneyline, puck line, totals, prop bets, etc. The odds on such bets will change rapidly based on what’s happening in the game. So, if you like a play, you may need to act fast. Another important factor to note is that you’ll need to bet during a break in the action. This means timeouts, in between periods, basically any time the game is not in progress.
When sports betting becomes legal in Ohio, it will most likely allow sportsbook apps, as well. This means you could live bet on NHL games directly from your mobile device using your preferred Ohio sportsbook apps. This is simple to do and makes live betting more convenient.
Hockey betting tips
Here are a few key tips to keep in mind when aiming to make the most of betting on hockey:
- Research is key: This is the most basic tip that a new sports bettor can get, but it is also the most important. You should always conduct adequate research on any bet you want to place. Study analytics, stats and injury reports before you place the wager. This may seem boring, but if you conduct research, you will be a much more successful sports bettor in the long run.
- Don’t chase losses: If you lose a bet, aim to accept your losses and move on. Tomorrow there will be more games that you can research and prepare for. The worst thing you can do as a sports bettor is chasing your loss by wildly betting on more games to try to make up for it. This is also a great time to mention that you don’t need to place a wager on every game in a particular day. Instead, try placing fewer bets on games you have actually researched.
- Make smart parlay bets: When you place parlays, you walk a fine line between smart bets and sucker bets. Parlays can offer incredible odds, but the more legs you add make the parlay that much tougher to hit. The chances of hitting a two- to three-leg parlay, for instance, are higher than when you start adding more legs. In fact, your odds of success go down significantly when you add the fourth leg. While the big parlays may be enticing due to the huge odds, if you want to place a parlay, consider focusing on fewer legs.
NHL betting rules
NHL sports betting rules are fairly similar to what you’ll find for other sports. In the event of a game cancellation, the sportsbook will generally void the bets on that game. Some sportsbooks may be different, though, so be sure to read your preferred sportsbook’s rules before placing a bet. For instance, some NHL sportsbooks count overtime for some bets while others do not. It will typically list its policy regarding overtime on the bet slip, but be sure to clarify before betting.