NHL Odds in Illinois

How to bet on the NHL + today's NHL game lines

If you think the NHL is exciting now, wait until you have a bet on a game.

You can bet in Illinois on the world’s premier hockey league. Sports betting is legal here, meaning betting on the NHL is on the menu.

You’ll have your choice of hundreds of games to bet on from the beginning of the regular season in October, through to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Our guide to NHL betting covers it all including the best sports betting apps to bet the NHL online, today’s NHL odds direct from Illinois online sportsbooks and more.

Live NHL odds at Illinois online sportsbooks

See below for today’s best NHL odds directly from leading online sportsbooks here in IL. Find today’s best puckline, moneyline and totals lines for every NHL game plus current Stanley Cup odds and odds for major player awards. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and lock your bets in.

How to bet on the NHL in Illinois

Getting started with NHL betting is a fairly simple process, but there are some things you need to know before you begin.

  • How do I sign up for an online sportsbook?: You’ll want to stick with a legal and regulated operator, as those who haven’t checked off the appropriate boxes aren’t worth the hassle. All of our recommended books have, so you need to click one of our links to get started. You’ll get some great sign-up offers for doing so, and creating an account will take just a couple of minutes.
  • How do I deposit and withdraw money?: Legal and regulated sportsbooks offer up a couple of options for each, and the choices may vary by operator. Among the standard options are credit and debit cards, wire transfers and PayPal. You can deposit and withdraw right through the cashier function at online sportsbooks and apps.
  • Are sports betting apps available?: Yes, all of the leading operators have apps available for iOS and Android users. Once you have created an account via our links with a book such as DraftKings Sportsbook Illinois or FanDuel Sportsbook Illinois, look for the downloadable link on the operator website. Then, log in on your mobile device and you’ll have legal sportsbook access whenever you need it.
  • Are odds online the same as in-person?: The odds you see at online sportsbooks and on apps will be the same as you would see if you visited the operator’s retail outlet in person. However, keep in mind that market action can lead to quick shifts in the lines. As a general rule, online betting odds are just as good as what you’ll see at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

Types of NHL bets

There are several options to consider for NHL betting. Let’s take a quick look at the most popular bet types on the menu:

  • Moneyline: This is a simple bet in which you are just choosing the winner between the favorite (negative odds) or the underdog (positive odds).
  • Puck line: This bet works like a point spread in football or basketball. For the NHL, the puck line is set at 1.5. You can pick the favorite minus that amount or go with the underdog +1.5.
  • Totals: You can place your bet on the total number of goals scored in the game. Oddsmakers set an estimated number for bettors to then wager on the over or under.
  • Props: These are additional wagering opportunities for individual games. Many revolve around player performance, while others are on team or game circumstances.
  • Live betting: You can wager on the games in real-time with these fast-moving bets. You’ll find new odds on the outcome, props and more.
  • Futures: These are bets on the season as a whole, such as the Stanley Cup winner or which player will win the Vezina Trophy.
  • Parlays: A parlay is when you include multiple outcomes on the same betting slip. These bets can be high-risk and high-reward wagers.

We’ll cover additional details for several of these bet types as we move forward. For those new to hockey betting, moneyline bets, totals and props are three ways to get started.

What about futures and prop bets in Illinois?

Throughout the NHL season, you’ll have a whole slew of sports betting options. Those aren’t the only ways to get in on the action. You can place some bets on the entire season with futures, or open the doors to more game wagers with props.

The futures market for the NHL revolves around events that will happen once the season comes to a close. Odds for the available bets will come out in the offseason, and many of the markets stay active all year. Here are some of the more popular bets you’ll see:

  • Stanley Cup winner
  • Division and conference winners
  • Playoff and non playoff teams
  • Regular-season win totals for all teams
  • Award winners — Hart, Vezina, etc.
  • Scoring leaders — goals, points, etc.

Props are additional bets on individual games. You’ll find all the prop bets available for a contest by clicking on the game listing. There will be props based on team and game situations, as well as several that revolve around player performance.

  • How many goals plus assists for Patrick Kane — over/under 1.5?
  • Will Jonathan Toews score a goal in the game — yes/no?
  • Which player will have more total points in the game — Alex DeBrincat or Ryan Suter?

On the game and team side, you might see props on which side will have more shots in the contest or if a shootout will be needed to decide things. Props are an awesome way to get even more engaged with the games you plan on betting on anyway.

What are the rules for betting on hockey online?

Many sports betting rules are pretty standard across the board, but there may also be some variances from operator to operator. A good rule of thumb to always review the house rules.

For sportsbook apps and online sites from regulated operators, you should be able to locate them via the “Help section. Here’s the gist of what you need to know when it comes to wagering on the NHL:

  • Understand which NHL bets only revolve around regulation time and others that include overtime. You’ll also find a few bets that factor in the shootout.
  • Some include game wagers and player props, so be clear on what you are betting on before clicking on submit.
  • Books use official NHL statistics for settlement purposes.

Once again, we have to emphasize that the rules in specific circumstances may vary by operator. If you take just a couple of minutes to review the terms and conditions where you are playing and understand how a particular sportsbook lists NHL bets, you may save yourself some confusion down the road.

How to bet on NHL games live?

If you thought the action on the ice moved fast, then wait until you check out NHL live betting. Also known as in game betting, these are wagers that you can place in real time. The NHL betting odds and offerings are based on what’s happening on the ice.

Live betting is incredibly popular, and leading operators stand at the ready with great platforms for you to dive in and take advantage. DraftKings and FanDuel are among those leading the way with great live betting features on mobile. Here are some of the bets you might come across.

  • Updated odds for moneyline, puck line and totals.
  • Betting on individual periods, power plays, etc.
  • Prop opportunities on player stats and accomplishments.

This area of betting can be lots of fun, incredibly exciting and potentially profitable. That said, remember not to get too swept up in the action. As with all types of wagering, always bet with your head and never over it.

Most popular NHL team in Illinois 

The NHL has an incredibly loyal and passionate following in Illinois. Naturally, the Chicago Blackhawks are at the top of the charts in terms of interest. The team competes in the NHL’s Central Division. The seven other teams that make up the division are among the Blackhawks’ biggest rivals:

  • Dallas Stars
  • Colorado Avalanche
  • Nashville Predators
  • St. Louis Blues
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Arizona Coyotes 
  • Minnesota Wild

The Blackhawks are also one of the original six NHL franchises, so games against the other five squads on that list — Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs — are traditionally always among the highlights of the season.

Here are the details on where you can catch Blackhawks action in person:

  • Arena: United Center
  • Address: 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60612
  • Opening date: Aug. 18, 1994
  • Owner and operator: United Center Joint Venture
  • Capacity: 19,717 for hockey games
  • Other events: Chicago Bulls, concerts and events

Betting on the Chicago Blackhawks 

The Blackhawks franchise traces its roots back to the founding of the NHL. There has been a good deal of success, including a trio of Stanley Cup wins. Here are some of the key details about the franchise:

  • Founded: 1926
  • Stanley Cups: Six, last in 2014-15
  • Conference championships: Four, last in 2014-15
  • Division titles: 16, last in 2016-17
  • Presidents trophies: Two, last in 2012-13
  • Retired numbers: Six, last in 2008
  • Hall-of-famers: 51, 40 players and 10 builders
  • Total games played leader: Stan Mikita, 1,549
  • All-time leading goal scorer: Bobby Hull, 666
  • Most wins in a season: Ed Belfour, 43 in 1990-91

Chicago has made it to the postseason in 63 of its 93 NHL seasons. The most recent appearance came in 2019-20, which snapped a two-year drought. The club took down the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round before falling to the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round.

Check today’s Blackhawks betting odds.

How do NHL power rankings work?

Power rankings are a handicapping tool that bettors of all experience levels can use. In a nutshell, the rankings attempt to quantify teams into a numerical value based on their strengths and weaknesses.

In theory, you compare the rankings for two teams and factor in home-ice advantage. The result should point you to the more likely result and an estimated margin of victory. While there are no foolproof systems in handicapping, power rankings can be a useful tool to use as part of an overall strategy.

Many seasoned handicappers create their rankings that factor in a number of variables, such as goal differential, strength and weakness on special teams and effectiveness at home and away.

There are also several free-to-use power ranking systems available on the internet, including the popular Sagarin ratings. Power rankings can be helpful, but remember that projected results are no guarantee, as anything can happen when two teams step on the ice.

How the NHL season works  

The lengthy NHL season traditionally begins with the preseason in the fall and runs all the way through to the Stanley Cup Final, which typically doesn’t wrap up until June. Every step of the way, you’ll have plenty of betting options.

While each game on the docket will attract its fair share of betting action, marquee contests and nationally televised affairs will see the most. There’s a spike in interest come postseason time as the Stanley Cup playoffs are among the most entertaining parts of the yearly sports calendar.

5 best NHL players from Illinois

Dozens of players who were born in Illinois have made it to the pro ranks. Here’s a quick look at five of the all-time best from that list:

Chris Chelios, D

  • Played from 1984-2010
  • 3x Stanley Cup winner — 1986, 2002, 2008
  • 3x James Norris Trophy winner — 1989, 1993, 1996
  • Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013
  • Most regular season and playoff games for a defenseman

Ed Olczyk, C

  • Played from 1984-2000
  • Third overall pick in the 1984 NHL draft by the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Stanley Cup champion with the New York Rangers in 1994
  • Inducted into US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012

Tony Granato, LW

  • Played from 1988-2001
  • Coached US men’s ice hockey team at 2018 Winter Olympics
  • 1x all-star selection
  • Current head coach at University of Wisconsin

Joe Corvo, D

  • Played from 1998-2014
  • 2x member of US national team at World Championships
  • Silver medalist at 1997 World Junior Championships

Craig Anderson, G

  • Played from 2001-present
  • 73rd overall pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2001 NHL draft
  • 2x member of US national team at World Championships

NHL betting tips and strategy

The NHL is a fun sport to bet on, and there’s profit potential to boot. That said, it can take some getting used to, especially for those new to the game. Here are three tips you can use as you begin your NHL betting journey:

  • Bet on the teams you know: A good starting point can come from simply sticking to the teams you know out of the gate. For example, Blackhawks fans should have a decent handle on other Central Division teams since the clubs square off so much. You can begin by focusing on games involving those squads before trying to tackle an entire slate.
  • Find the value: The moneyline bet is a big action driver for the NHL at sportsbook apps and websites. Unfortunately, favorites don’t always provide a lot of value, while blindly betting on underdogs can be a recipe for disaster. When scanning through the odds, try to train yourself to spot the value opportunities on either side.
  • What kind of bettor are you?: When starting out, it’s helpful to know what your overall goals are with NHL betting. Do you plan on just doing it once in a while on the bigger games? Or do you plan on being more of a high-volume bettor? If you understand what you’re working toward, you can adjust your strategy and overall approach to suit it.

Knowing what to do when NHL betting certainly helps, but knowing what to watch for is also helpful. Included on that list is trying to bet on every single game or chasing your losses in an attempt to recoup funds. As opposed to those two trouble spots, look toward taking a focused approach and learn to accept that losses will happen.

NHL betting FAQ

Basically, the puck line bet is the NHL equivalent of a point spread wager. As opposed to numbers that can be all over the map, the puck line is typically set at 1.5 goals. To cover, a favorite would have to win by two goals or more. The underdog covers by keeping the margin to a goal or by winning the game outright.

The top three teams from each of the four divisions – North, WestCentral and East – plus two wild card teams from each conference will advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs at the end of the regular season.

The tournament works in series. For the first round, there are eight pairings with eight teams advancing. It’s down to four pairings in the second round, with the division winners being re-seeded based on their regular season records to move on to the Stanley Cup Semifinals. The winners of the two Semifinals series meet to decide the winner of the Stanley Cup. All four rounds of the playoffs are best-of-seven series, which means that the first team to win four games advances.

Well, it depends on the bet you choose. Some bets revolve solely around regulation time, and others that include the overtime and shootout. Sportsbooks will label the terms of the wager, so take the time to review your selections to ensure you are betting on what you want to.

NHL period betting continues to grow in popularity, especially those revolving around the first period of action. These are wagers that are all about a single period of action. The goal is to choose the team that will come out on top for that frame of action. This bet can be ideal for those who have a good sense of how teams start out in games, and a good starting point for those new to NHL betting.

Sportsbooks have a ton of data at their disposal while setting lines. While using the assistance of computers and algorithms, the team responsible for setting the lines will crunch the numbers while considering several variables. Once the oddsmakers are happy with the results, they release the NHL betting lines to the public.

The NHL draft lottery decides which team is entitled to the next entry draft’s first overall selection. All the teams who failed to qualify for the postseason are entered. The team with the worst record has the best shot at the top pick, followed by the second-worst and so on. Trades can sometimes jumble the order as clubs will use picks as capital to acquire other assets. The most recent lottery on Aug. 10, 2020, was won by the Buffalo Sabres. The team selected defenseman Owen Power with the top selection in the draft, which was held from July 23-24, 2021.

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