Every April, hockey fans gear up for the most exciting time of the season: the playoffs. Sixteen teams qualify annually, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll make it past division rivals or wild cards. Factors like injuries, home-field advantage, and matchup history go a long way in affecting each team’s trajectory in the postseason.
Still, it’s a feverish time for fans—and especially sports bettors. Now that more markets are live across the US and Canada, it’s never been easier to find a deal. Those looking to register with established brands like FanDuel can explore Oddschecker and bonus bets available to find a solid platform and utilize promotions. But knowing how to find sportsbook bonuses is only half the battle.
Fans also need to know which markets to target when the playoffs roll around. Given the stakes are higher and the competition is much tighter, backing a puckline or point spread isn’t always the wisest choice. Keep reading for a bit of advice about betting on the NHL’s postseason.
Dive into Props
If you’re following the NHL’s playoff brackets, then you’re likely doing a bit of research. Now that more stats are available than ever before, fans have access to hard data that can influence their betting outlook. The more knowledge you have about a certain team and its players, the more you can put that to use via prop bets.
If you have a strong feeling about a team’s offense, then look for player props on the top scorer or their over/under for points. If you know about key playmakers, look into assist props instead. Or if you think you can list a division dark horse, then target bracket-based props. The point here is that you have more freedom and flexibility to apply your niche playoff intel.
Similarly, you may want to target bets like period wagers. Period wagers, which are sometimes clumped under props and sometimes categorized separately, cover the outcome of every 20-minute period. These wagers also bode well for those with a heightened sense of each team’s offensive and defensive power.
The Grand Salami
For those unfamiliar, the Grand Salami bet is a type of over/under bet that applies to every single game being played that day. Rather than guess the total points for one match, that amount must be predicted for every game in the league. Once again, this offers a great chance to put your offensive stats knowledge to use in the playoffs. Even better, there are fewer games scheduled for each night, which means there are fewer teams to account for.
In-Game NHL Betting
Nobody is ever glued to their screens quite like they are during the playoffs. Every single play takes on greater meaning as a team battles it out over three periods. For this reason, in-game betting or live betting is particularly enjoyable—even if your team hasn’t made it to the postseason.
First, these bets are a bit more exciting because most fans are more attuned to the rhythms of the game, allowing their minds to work quickly to exploit high-value bets. Second, because there’s even more coverage on every single game, fans tend to be in the perfect mindset for immediate analysis and predictive thinking. In other words, most fans have the added impetus and energy needed to manage the live betting experience.
The Final Bet: Futures for Next Season
Let’s cover the most important postseason wager—one that’s usually on offer as soon as the final game in the Stanley Cup Finals concludes. That’s next year’s NHL champion. Though not all fans immediately start thinking about the next season when the former has only recently finished, this is the time when you can find truly high-value odds.
Because oddsmakers have less information and data to work with during the offseason, their guess is (essentially) as good as yours about which team will hoist the trophy next year. That means it’s possible for savvy fans to identify a high-value dark horse or underdog early on.