What Are The NHL Standings Today
The NHL currently features an odd number of teams — 31. These teams are funneled into separate conferences, 16 in the East and 15 in the West. In 2021, the Seattle Kraken will join the league, heading out West and evening things up.
Within each conference, there are two divisions. The Eastern Conference is broken up into the Atlantic and Metropolitan, whereas the Western Conference is split into the Pacific and Central.
Unlike say, the NBA, division standing actually matters in the NHL. The top three teams of each division earn an automatic playoff berth. An additional two teams from each conference also earn postseason bids based on the best-remaining record and regardless of division (conceivably, a single division could send five teams to the playoffs).
You can track up-to-the-minute NHL standings in the table below. This is a great way to discover NHL betting trends. Additionally, we’ve added key team metrics such as goals for (GF) and goals against (GA), which are key when making over/under wagers.
Each team plays 82 regular-season games apiece. Knowing that, plus where a team currently sits in the standings, will tell you a lot about their mental state toward the end of the season. Are they in the thick of the playoff race and desperate for a win? Or are they eliminated altogether and have nothing to play for besides NHL draft positioning?
NHL Betting Tips
Now on to the good stuff — NHL betting tips to win. The thing is, though, there's no "golden ticket" here. The game of hockey is incredibly complex and the NHL is wildly unpredictable. Consequently, there's no catch-all NHL betting advice that always works
What works for one better might not work for another, and vice-versa. Getting good at ice hockey betting really is a personal journey. Regardless, we do want to point you in the right direction in case you're new or stuck in the wilderness. Here are some sports betting NHL tips we've stockpiled over the years:
Be Wary Of The Unpredictable Playoffs
If this were the NFL or NBA, we'd probably saying something along the lines of, "don't fall in love with underdogs in the playoffs." In those two leagues, the favorites usually win out. The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, though? All bets are off.
Among the four major American sports leagues, the NHL might have the most upset-filled playoffs of all. Just in the last few years, we've seen the following happen — an expansion team storm into the Finals, the St. Louis Blues win its first title in 52 years, a team that tied the regular-season record for wins not only lose in the first round but get swept! We could go on and on, but you get our drift.
If you're wagering on the NHL playoffs, take it one game at a time. Don't drop that huge sum of money on (insert team here) to win its series before a game is even played, little less win the entire Stanley Cup. Watch the first two games of its current series and get a feel for them. From there, scale in your bets.
All Eyes On The Goalie
While many will say a football quarterback is the most important position in all of sports, a hockey goaltender has a strong cause of his own. How a goalie guards that six-by-four-foot net usually decides which NHL team wins or loses a game.
Evaluating the respective goalies is a must before dropping any dough on a moneyline or puck line wager. But of course, predicting a goaltender's future performance is an inexact science. While difficult, it's not impossible to do nowadays.
The rise of advanced analytics in hockey has helped matters greatly. There are certain metrics in particular that apply to goaltending. Two that should be top of mind for any bettor are save percentage (SV%) and goals saved above average (GSAA). Use these figures, plus others, to best evaluate individual goalies before their next matchup.
Look For Betting Value
This tip applies to any and all forms of sports betting, but hockey betting has a special case. Since the league isn't nearly as popular as the NFL or MLB, NHL betting markets are less efficient. That is to say bookmakers are more likely to misplace value here and there on NHL lines.
This creates an opportunity for bettors to exploit those under or over-valued plays. And when you do find a value bet, it would be wise of you to up the ante money-wise.
Bettors sometimes fall in the trap of evaluating themselves based on their win-loss record. That certainly matters, but the return on investment is the end-all, be-all evaluator. You could lose three out of five bets, but the two you did win, you maximized your value and still turned a hefty profit. Finding value is a hockey betting system in itself.
While ways to bet on hockey games are plenty, those are some of the most important. Now it's on you to heed all the advice we just gave you and start collecting wins with NHL bets. If you're ready — which you should be — the sportsbook below can help you get started. Signing up takes minutes and once you fund your account (earning a sign-up bonus in the process), you'll be all set up.