Guide to NHL Futures and Prop Bets
Welcome to our guide to betting NHL futures and props, which are two types of NHL bets for which we think sharp bettors can find edges – if they know where to look. We want PuckSharp to be that place. The place where you come for smart NHL hockey betting insights and commentary.
First on our to-do list for this guide to NHL futures and prop bets is covering the basics. You can’t make educated NHL bets without a full understanding of your options, so let’s dive in.
What is an NHL Futures Bet?
An NHL futures bet is a wager made on the future results of an NHL season. For example, shortly after the Washington Capitals polished off the Vegas Golden Knights to win the 2018 Stanley Cup, the odds rolled out on a few of the most common NHL futures bets: the 2019 Eastern Conference winner, the 2019 Western Conference winner and of course, the 2019 Stanley Cup champion. These are all NHL futures bets.
Let’s roll it back to 2017 to further the example. Based on some quick research, on June 12, 2017, the Washington Capitals were listed at 12-1 odds. On that day, you could have placed a $100 bet on the Washington Capitals to win the Stanley Cup. If you had, almost a full year later when Alex Ovechkin finally hoisted the Cup and proceeded to drink three-thousand beers in the week that followed, you would have been the winner of $1200 (and presumably, also a drinker of many beers).
Basically, if you make an NHL futures bet, forget about it for a year, and then ship it, this is you:
Ovechkin looks ready to celebrate with you Caps fans
— Post Sports (@PostSports) June 12, 2018
If Alex Ovechkin drinking beers, dancing, and swimming in a fountain is amping you up to place a futures bet, go ahead and read our pre-free agency 2019 Stanley Cup futures previews, which we’ve broken down by conference:
- Pre-free agency 2019 Eastern Conference Stanley Cup futures odds
- Pre-free agency 2019 Western Conference Stanley Cup futures odds
Here are other NHL futures bets that are usually available. Watch out for our full rundown on these throughout the year, as if things change and you jump on stale lines quick enough, there’s usually value to be found:
- Prince of Wales Trophy (Eastern Conference champion)
- Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (Western Conference champion)
- Presidents’ Trophy (NHL team with the most regular season points)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (most valuable player to his team in the playoffs)
- Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player to his team in the regular season)
- Art Ross Trophy (player with the most points at the end of the regular season)
- Calder Memorial Trophy (best rookie during regular season)
- Vezina Trophy (best goalie during regular season)
- James Norris Memorial Trophy (best defenseman during regular season)
- Maurice Richard Trophy (player with the most goals during the regular season)
What is an NHL Prop Bet?
An NHL prop bet, which is short for proposition bet, is a bet based on almost anything other than the final result of a hockey game. NHL prop bets are usually offered on player or team performance in a given game.
For example, some common prop bets for Sidney Crosby would be:
- Sidney Crosby – over or under 3.5 shots on goal in his game
- Sidney Crosby to score a goal in his game – yes or no
- Sidney Crosby – over or under 1.5 points in his game
An example for a team prop on the same night would be:
- Pittsburgh Penguins – over or under 3.5 goals as a team
NHL prop bets like these give bettors the opportunity to place small wagers on the games they’re watching that aren’t based on the final outcome of the game. This provides fans with additional rooting interest in situations where the game gets out of hand early, like for example of the Pittsburgh Penguins jump out ahead of the New York Rangers in the first period of a game. If you bet on the Rangers, your bet already looks lost, but at least you might have bet on Sidney Crosby to get over 2.5 shots and can root for the Pens’ captain to put more rubber at the net.
Throughout the 2019 NHL season, we’ll provide content with insights and analysis on where and how you can find an edge betting NHL props.
How to Bet NHL Futures and Props
Depending on where you live, your options for placing an NHL futures or prop bet have, up until this point, been fairly limited. In Ontario, Canada for example, there are exactly zero ways you can make in-person wager on the Toronto Maple Leafs – one of the NHL’s most storied franchises – to win the 2019 Stanley Cup. In fact, the best you can do in-person in Ontario is place a three-event parlay with Pro-Line, the province run Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission’s sports betting arm. In the past, we wrote about why you absolutely don’t want to bet on Pro-Line – unless you like lighting money on fire.
Unfortunately for Ontarians, as of the most recent update to this page (June 2018), online options aren’t much better. There is, however, a legal online NHL betting option for Canadians, and it’s called Sports Interaction. And Luckily for all of you, Sports Interaction has a promotion running where you can get a 100% Match Bonus up to $125 to bet on NHL futures and props.
For our friends in the United States, the legal sports betting industry was limited to Las Vegas for a long, long time. That’s not to say illegal gambling wasn’t taking place, but as of May 2018 – the month the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA – Las Vegas style sports betting will be allowed in any State that wants to accept it.
New Jersey and Delaware have already passed sports betting bills, meaning that wagering is now legal in those states. Currently, bets are only accepted at licensed casinos and racetracks, but online betting – which has a lag of 30 days – is soon to follow, both in these two states, and many more as soon as other bills get passed.
Needless to say, we’re keeping close tabs on the legal sports betting scene in the United States, and will be providing NHL bettors with everything they need to know about the options that will soon be available to them for making NHL futures and prop bets online.
Why You Should Bet on NHL Futures and Props
The #1 reason we believe NHL fans should be on NHL futures and props is simple: there are edges and value to be found. Of course, this comes with the caveat that you must be a disciplined bettor, and not just betting on anything you’re watching. But that is why you’re here reading PuckSharp, right? You’re a fan of numbers and data, and want to read smart hockey insights so you can make educated bets. And we very much appreciate you for that!
Here are just a few of the ways we believe we can add value to the sharp bettors toolbox to increase your odds of making money making NHL futures and prop bets:
- Break down how to turn futures market prices into implied probabilities in order to find the best bets
- Covering the optimal times to make NHL futures and prop bets, which are:
- Immediately after the Stanley Cup final (recency bias)
- After the draft (trade analysis)
- After the first week of free agency (who did what and why)
- Right before the season starts (based on final rosters, good rookies)
- In-season (how have teams started?)
- After the trade deadline (more trade analysis)
- Before the playoffs start (based on matchups and path to the final)
PuckSharp’s 2019 Stanley Cup Futures Odds Preview Pages
We plan to cover all of this and more on PuckSharp, so keep your eyes peeled for our content as we get closer and closer to the 2018-2019 NHL season. Get primed to place some NHL futures and prop bets!