Professional hockey found itself at a crossroads in the fall of 1917. Many of the game’s greatest players had exchanged their sticks for rifles while serving combat duty on the European front during World War I. Left with with only the old, the infirm and the unproven to suit up, hockey people wondered whether anyone would pay to see their product, so it was no surprise when the operators of the National Hockey Association announced they were folding their league in November of 1917.
It turned out that it wasn’t merely a personnel issue. There was also a personaility issue that was part of the problem. The owners of the NHA teams were tired of dealing with Eddie Livingstone, bombastic owner of the Toronto franchise. Within days of folding up their league, the same bunch – minus Livingstone – gathered in Montreal to form the National Hockey League.
NHL Betting Lines Today
Have a look at all the upcoming game odds below so you can plan your betting strategy accordingly. Make sure you check regularly to see whehter the lines have been altered.
The National Hockey League was truly national in scope when it was first formed. A four team league, there were two teams in Montreal – the Canadiens and the Wanderers – as well as two in Ontario – the Toronto Arenas and Ottawa Senators.
It was a far cry from today’s 31-team NHL. The NHL first went international for the 1924-25 season, when the Boston Bruins were added as an expansion franchise along with the Montreal Maroons. The Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Americans added to the international exposure of pro hockey the following season and in 1926-27, the Detroit Cougars, New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks came aboard, making the NHL a 10-team loop, the largest growth that the league would show until 1967.
NHL Standings Right Now
Here’s where you will find the up to date NHL standings and they are a wealth of information to the hockey bettor. In today’s four-division NHL with 31 teams and just 16 playoff spots up for grabs, it’s a royal rumble for postseason position from the first puck drop.
With both division and wildcard races ongoing, the lineup of who is in and who is on the outside looking in can and will change on a daily basis. Watch for teams about to embark on road swings, which can prove debilitating as the grind of travel steadily wears a squad down.
How To Win At NHL Betting
The simplest way to bet on the NHL is via the moneyline. Sportsbooks set a price on each team prior to the game based on a $100 bet. For example, if the New York Rangers are -120, it means they are the favorite and you’d need to bet $120 on them to win in order to collect $100.
By contrast, if the Pittsburgh Penguins are +140, then they are the underdogs in that game and you’d win $140 for every $100 wagered on Pittsburgh.
The puckline is another popular wager. Favorites are listed at -1.5, meaning they’d be required to win by two or more goals for you to cash a winning ticket. Underdogs go at +1.5, so if they lose by a goal or win outright, then you are also a winner if you bet on them.
Today’s NHL is vastly different from the game when the league first formed. Double digit scores were the norm in the NHL’s early years, when offense was stressed and goaltenders didn’t resemble stunt doubles for the Michelin Man.
In the current game, goals are as scarce as 100-point seasons by players and 20 goal scorers are worth their weight in gold. There are still a few teams who can put the puck in the net, but the days of betting the over are going to be rare.