The NHL season is a nine-month feast for hockey fans with an 82-game regular season that climaxes with the Stanley Cup Final in mid-June.
Retail sports betting in Massachusetts began on Tuesday, January 31, but mobile betting will take the sports betting industry in Massachusetts to the next level. As of now, MA mobile betting apps are expected to launch in late February or early March.
In Massachusetts, Boston Bruins fans are undoubtedly ready for MA legal online sports betting to launch with all NHL teams and players on the table. Bettors can place wagers on daily game lines, game-by-game and seasonal player props, team point totals, the Stanley Cup, and league awards including the Hart Memorial Trophy and Calder Memorial Trophy.
Whether you prefer to bet in person or online, this page will serve as your one-stop shop for NHL betting action in Massachusetts.
Betting On The NHL In Massachusetts
Massachusetts sports betting was not ready for the start of the 2022-23 NHL season. However, hockey fans in Massachusetts can now bet on the NHL (and other sports leagues) at three Massachusetts casinos: MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, and Plainridge Park Casino. This launch of in-person betting comes right in the middle of the NHL regular season.
Mobile betting apps are projected to launch in Massachusetts in late February or early March. This would mean that hockey fans can bet on NHL regular season games, playoffs, and the Stanley Cup from the comfort of their own homes.
Neighboring states Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York do offer legal online sports betting, and Massachusetts legislators are well aware of the lost revenue as bettors leave the state to make legal NHL bets online.
Some of the top sportsbook brands in the country are on their way to Massachusetts. Top names coming to MA include DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Here’s what these sportsbooks will offer NHL bettors:
DraftKings Sportsbook MA
DraftKings Sportsbook is a Massachusetts-based company. It is also the NHL’s official sports betting partner and offers plenty of features. Perhaps most notably, the NHL betting market on DraftKings is expansive. Alongside the expected puck lines, moneylines and over/unders for every game, bettors can also put together a same-game parlay using DraftKings’ same-game parlay builder. There is also a vast futures market for teams and individual players, as well as plenty of player props. DraftKings also has a daily special on the highest-scoring game of the day.
As the NHL’s official partner, DraftKings offers another advantage for NHL fans. It now integrates league stats and trends into its sportsbook.
FanDuel Sportsbook MA
FanDuel Sportsbook has a simple, user-friendly interface for NHL betting with plenty of odds markets. There are daily odds and parlay boosts on game lines and alternate lines, as well as daily specials on that day’s highest-scoring team and goal total. FanDuel also offers futures odds on Stanley Cup, conference, and division winners. Much like DraftKings, FanDuel also offers a dedicated parlay builder for every NHL game.
FanDuel also has extremely competitive odds, especially on underdogs. This means that users could potentially earn a bigger payout should those underdogs be victorious.
BetMGM Sportsbook MA
BetMGM Sportsbook is another solid online option for NHL bettors. Main features include extensive player award odds, an Original Six Stanley Cup winner prop, and daily specials on games, including scoring and goaltending props. BetMGM also offers cross-sports parlay specials and daily boosted player and team props.
There is also a retail BetMGM Sportsbook available at MGM Springfield Casino, meaning users can place NHL bets through BetMGM in person.
Other Sportsbooks Coming Soon
At full capacity, Massachusetts could feature as many as 15 mobile sportsbooks. So far, 11 licenses have been claimed and approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). In addition to DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM, other sportsbooks coming to Massachusetts include Caesars, BetFanatics, WynnBET, PointsBet, Bally Bet, Betr, Barstool, and Betway.
Best NHL Odds Boosts And Promos
Each sportsbook will offer new users with a variety of Massachusetts welcome promos. These sign-up offers can help add winnings to your bankroll.
In addition to sign-up welcome offers, many sportsbooks will also offer regular odds boosts. Because DraftKings is the official betting partner of the NHL, it will have boosts tailored to nationally televised games. These boosts may be convenient for Bruins fans who want to bet on other NHL games. BetMGM offers a daily “Lion’s Boost” on specific games. For example, in a game between the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals last season, BetMGM’s Lion’s Boost was for both teams to score in the first period at +200 odds.
These regular odds boosts and promos can be found on the homepage of most betting platforms. Sportsbooks may also have a specific promos page. Make sure to stay on the lookout for these generous NHL offers throughout the course of the season!
Each offer is different, so be sure to read the full terms and conditions before claiming them.
Signing Up For Massachusetts Sportsbook Accounts
Signing up for an online sportsbook account is a simple process that usually takes just a few minutes to complete. To make things easier, the process is similar no matter which book you choose. When you are ready to create your account(s), you’ll have to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Email address
- A username and password
- Phone number
- Final four digits of your Social Security number
Sportsbooks must verify your age and address before you place a bet. To do this, you will most likely be asked to upload a picture of your ID. Sportsbooks will also ask for the last four digits of your SSN. Some new users may be weary of this, but don’t worry, licensed and regulated sportsbooks have plenty of security measures in place, and they are just needing to verify your identity.
If you download the application on your phone, it will ask you to enable your location services. Wagering online is illegal if your current location doesn’t permit online betting.
Once you work through the initial sign-up process, don’t forget to look for any welcome bonuses that may be available! After the sign-up process is complete and you receive your bonus, you can start placing NHL bets.
How NHL Betting Odds Work
Massachusetts sportsbooks offer vast betting markets on NHL games. While there are plenty of wagers to choose from, a large amount of NHL betting involves three primary bet types: moneylines, puck lines, and totals (over/under).
NHL Puck Lines
NHL puck lines are the hockey version of spread bets that are popular for football and basketball odds. Because of the scoring structures of those sports, the spreads move more frequently than hockey. For NHL games, the puck line is a standard 1.5 goals. If you bet the puck line, you are betting on the favorite to either win by two or more goals (listed as -1.5), or the underdog to keep the game within two goals (listed as +1.5) or win outright.
NHL moneylines work the same as any other sport’s moneyline wager. It’s a bet on which team will win the game. For example, consider a game in which the Bruins are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Bruins are the favorite with -125 odds on the moneyline. That means that you would have to wager $125 in order to win $100 if the Bruins win.
NHL Totals (Over/Unders)
Bets on NHL totals involve betting on how many goals both teams will combine to score during a game. Bettors can choose to bet over or under the listed number. For hockey, totals typically range from 5-8 goals. The odds for NHL totals are usually listed around -110 for each side, although they can vary.
NHL Alternate Lines
NHL alternate lines are a way to get a different puck line number for a game. They can sometimes work in a bettor’s favor because the standard puck line number rarely moves from 1.5. Alternate lines may flip the line on the favorite and underdog. Let’s say tonight’s Bruins puck line is -1.5 (+140) against the Penguins. An alternate line would be Bruins +1.5 (-500). In this case, your bet has more of a chance to hit, but your payout would be considerably less. Doing the same for the Penguins would maximize upset odds.
The problem with alternate lines is the NHL’s margin of victory. The average NHL victory margin in 2021 was 2.08 goals. Expecting an underdog to regularly win by two or more goals isn’t a feasible long-term betting strategy, which is usually why the odds are so lofty.
How To Find The Best NHL Game Odds
Finding the best NHL betting odds requires the use of multiple sports betting sites. While the odds on a particular game might look similar across multiple sportsbooks, even small edges can add up. NHL lines aren’t static. They’re fluid and move based on injuries, roster adjustments, and betting action like any other sport. Finding the best NHL line is about finding the most profitable number. Because of this, we recommend downloading multiple sportsbook apps in order to shop around for the best odds.
In the Bruins vs. Penguins example, one sportsbook may have the Bruins as -125 favorites. Another book, however, may list the Bruins as -115 favorites. The -115 line has a potential $86.96 profit on a $100 bet. Betting the same amount at -125, meanwhile, has a potential profit of $80.
NHL Props And Futures Bets
Props and futures bets exist on a spectrum on all sportsbooks for NHL betting. Players can make expansive, league-wide futures bets like trying to pick the Stanley Cup winner. There are also player props like betting on how many goals the Bruins will score in the first period of a January regular-season game.
Futures bets are wagers based on long-term predictions. Examples of NHL futures bets include Stanley Cup winner, Eastern and Western Conference winner, division winners, and Presidents Trophy winner. Bettors can also place wagers on season-long player props like goal and point totals, as well as awards like the Art Ross Trophy (NHL’s leading scorer) and Vezina Trophy (top goaltender).
Some sportsbooks offer futures bets on whether a specific team will make the playoffs. Many of these NHL futures are available both before and during the season.
Because futures are long-term predictions involving multiple potential outcomes, the odds for the bets can have a higher potential profit. For example, betting on the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of a season may have odds of +700.
Proposition bets, or props, are bets on specific occurrences during an individual game. For NHL games, you can bet on props such as whether a specific player will score a goal, total points by a specific player, total shots by one of the team, or team goals scored during a specific period, among others. As you can see, prop bets are generally separate from directly betting on the outcome of a game. You can bet on a Bruins player to score over 1.5 goals and win the bet even if the Bruins lose.
NHL Live Betting
The proliferation of legal, online sportsbooks has changed the way people bet on the NHL and other sports. Online sportsbooks allow you to bet on games that are in progress. This is called “in game” betting, or live betting.
Why is live betting so popular? One reason is that you can potentially find favorable odds during a game that wouldn’t be available before the game. This also means you can bet as the action takes place.
DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM all offer live betting on NHL games. FanDuel streams several out-of-market NHL games each day, so you can live bet while watching the game within the app.
What Makes NHL Betting Unique?
Hockey is a beautiful game. It combines the precision of basketball with football’s physicality — all while played on a sheet of ice at incredible speeds. Here are some things that set NHL betting apart from betting on other sports:
The empty-net goal
NHL rules allow a team to substitute another skater for its goaltender. Teams often pull their goalie in the final minutes of a game when trailing. While the team employs six skaters, this also leaves the net wide open.
According to data from the 2018-19 NHL season, teams that pull their goalie get scored on 44% of the time. Now, consider the 2.08 average margin of victory and the static puck line of 1.5. When you play the puck line, you’re often betting on the probability of an empty-net goal.
In NFL games, a touchdown is worth six points. A team can then kick an extra point or attempt a two-point conversion. A field goal is worth three points, and a safety is worth two.
The NBA also has a byzantine scoring structure. A foul shot is worth one point, a bucket from inside the arc is two, and a score outside the arc is worth three.
In the NHL, a goal is worth one point. In MLB, a run is worth one, as well. Because of this structure and the static MLB spreads of 1.5, NHL betting shares similarities with MLB betting.
Regular season games employ a five-minute sudden-death overtime period followed by a shootout if the overtime period passes without a goal. The winner of the shootout receives a single goal on the scoreboard.
The value of a goal combined with the OT scoring structure makes betting on the NHL far different from betting on any other major sport. Once a regular-season game reaches OT, the margin of victory will always be one goal. The same is true of a playoff game, where teams play an indefinite number of sudden death overtime periods.
These overtime rules set NHL betting apart compared to the other major sports leagues, including MLB. MLB games go into extra innings, but a team can still win by more than one run in those instances.
NHL Betting Rules At Massachusetts Sportsbooks
When it comes to player props, be aware that goals during the overtime period count. However, goals during the shootout do not count toward prop totals.
If you bet on a goalie shutout prop on DraftKings, the starting goalie must play the entire game without allowing a goal. If the team substitutes the starting goalie for any reason, the bet is void if the starting goalie had not allowed any goals before the substitution. Check the full rundown of NHL betting rules.