In hockey betting, a push is similar to a guarantee in other sports, where you’re backing a certain outcome, usually involving two (or more) teams. The key difference is that in hockey betting, you’re not looking to win money, you’re just trying to avoid losing it. For example, if you think that the Calgary Flames are going to lose, but you want to keep the chance of them winning, you’ll push on them.
Before you start betting on hockey, it’s important to understand the rules and mechanics behind the game. At the highest level, there are three separate games: regular season, playoff, and league championship. Within each season, there are typically multiple games on the schedule, which are divided into two parts: the regular season, and the playoffs. The regular season is used to determine which teams are going to make the playoffs, and the playoffs determine which teams are going to compete for the Stanley Cup (championship).
Each team is worth a set amount of points in the standings. The team with the most points at the end of the regular season wins the cup. The first place team in each standings division gets a bye into the next round, while the second placed team plays a home-and-home against the top-seeded team. The remaining teams play a crossover round-robin tournament, with each team playing the others once. This continues until there’s a winner at the end of the playoff season.
You can place a wager on any game individually, or you can do it on a team basis. The mechanics of placing a wager are the same as normal betting – you’ll find the odds, make a selection, and wait for the results. There are a few specific rules that pertain to hockey betting. First, while you can bet on the outcome of the game, you can’t bet on who will score the first goal, and similar for the other team’s first goal. You can, however, bet on which team will win the face-off, or the overtime (if there is one).
Second, all bets are settled at the halfway point of the third period, or, if there is no period, at the end of the game.
Why Should You Bet On Hockey?
The main appeal of betting on hockey is that it allows you to bet on a team that you think is going to lose, while still having the chance of them winning. The danger of backing a team is that if they do lose, then you will have lost money, but if they win, you’ll have gained money. The opposite is true with a single-game wager, where you’ll either win money, or you’ll lose money, but you won’t gain or lose any with respect to the team you’re backing.
The beauty of placing a wager on multiple games, or on the season as a whole, is that if one (or more) of those games ends up in a tie, then all bets are refunded (provided you meet the refund policy requirements). Furthermore, if two (or more) teams are tied at the end of the season, then they’ll each have a winner’s circle celebration, with the winners meeting in the middle for the ceremonial puck-toss. A potential downside to betting on multiple games is that you’ll have to wait until the end of the season to find out the results, and you’ll have to follow the results on whatever sites promote hockey odds, as well as on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, where scores and results from the previous night’s games are often posted.
Where Can I Place My Hockey Bet?
One of the key issues to consider is where you’ll get your odds. You’ll typically find the listings for hockey games in newspapers or online sportsbooks, and you can also find them on TV or radio stations that broadcast hockey games. Odds vary by team, game, and season, but you’ll usually find the over-under or straight odds for each game, along with the betting lines for each team. Sometimes there will be listed prices for each outcome (win, lose, or tie), along with a margin of error and whether the bookmaker is making a profit or a loss on that game.
Which teams are the ones you should look out for, when making your betting picks? First and foremost, you should avoid picking the home team in any game, as they are 3.7 points worse than the average team in an NHL game, according to Stats.com. You should also try to avoid picking against (or “against the spread” on) a team with a large financial interest in the game. If you want to make money from betting, then you should look for games with significant underdogs.
Additionally, you should avoid picking any team with a losing record in its previous game. In general, you want to find a team that is undervalued in the bookmaker’s eyes, and this usually means that they will be an underdog in the game. This makes them more attractive to bet on because the odds will be lower than they would be if they were a favorite. If you want to make money from betting, then you should look for games with underdogs.
Some teams are simply meant to be backed, while others are better off as a wager. If you want to place a wager on the Calgary Flames this year, then you might want to avoid the following games:
- Oct 9th – 10th: Calgary vs. Montreal (Hockey Canada Championship)
- Oct 23rd: New Jersey vs. Calgary (NHL Stadium Series)
- Nov 21st – 23rd: Calgary vs. Anaheim (Calder Cup)
- Dec 26th: Calgary vs. Minnesota (NHL Stadium Series)
There are many other games that you should consider avoiding, based on what is happening in the league this year. You can find a comprehensive list of games that we have curated here, categorized by team and opponent.
Which games are you going to choose to bet on, and why? Let us know in the comments below!