Ice Hockey Betting
Hockey fans will be able to take advantage of all of the markets available to bet on games. Ice hockey betting is not restricted to placing bets on the final winner of the matches, as there are many aspects of each game that can be bet on. Here are some of the most popular bets that can be found for the sport.
The most straightforward bet to place is on which team will win the match. From the odds it is easy to determine which team is favourite, but here at mr.play, betting on the favourite will still bring some good winnings.
Puck line bets
Bettors who want to increase their odds or reduce their risks can use puck line bets as an alternative to moneylines. The puck line is the same as a moneyline, where the bettor needs to pick which team will win, but there are handicaps that change the odds. When betting on the favourite, using a puck line of -1.5, -2.5 or -3.5 will increase the odds, as the team needs to win by 2, 3 or 4 goals, respectively, for the bet to pay out. On the other hand, when there is a clear favourite, it is possible to bet on the underdog with a positive puck line, such as +1.5, +2.5, +3.5, and so on. The odds will be reduced, but the chance of winning the bets is increased, as the underdog needs to win or not lose by more than 2, 3 or 4 goals.
There are a number of bets that are not specifically related to the final outcome of the game, but relate to certain aspects of the game. Prop bets offer fans the chance to make bets on game aspects such as:
- Which team will open the scoring?
- Will a certain player score?
- How many fouls will a certain team concede?
- Winning margin
- Which period will have the most goals scored?
These bets are more difficult to predict, but can offer higher odds. Many fans place props bets to increase their excitement whilst watching games.
National Teams to watch out for
Team Canada is one of the top teams in ice hockey. As the winners of the inaugural competition, and subsequent five competitions, Canada is a force to be reckoned with. Currently, they have won the world championship 27 times, tying with Russia for the leading champions. Ice hockey is a national sport in Canada, with many fans turning up for events and backing their national and local teams. As defending champions, Canada will look to secure their 28th title, to become the all-time leading champions of the world championship, a title they held for 66 years, from the inaugural competition that they won in 1920 until the Soviet Union overtook them in 1986.
Formerly the Soviet Union, Russia won its first competition in 1954, beating defending champions Sweden and leading champions Canada. The Soviet Union dominated the championship in the early sixties through to the early 1980s, winning 17 titles between the twenty years between 1963 through to 1983. They managed to win three more titles as the Soviet Union, before the USSR disbanded. As Russia, the team has won 5 titles to date, making 27 in total, tying with championship leaders Canada. Russia won the championship most recently in 2014, though they have come close in recent years, reaching second place in 2015 and third place in 2017. The popularity of the sport in the country is immense, and there is no doubt that they will want to overtake Canada in the upcoming championship.
Formerly part of the Czechoslovakian team that won 6 titles and finished runner up 12 times, the Czech Republic has won 6 championships to date, putting their tally at 12. As Czechoslovakia, the team won their first championship in 1947, when the tournament restarted after World War II. They put up a fierce resistance to Canada, who were dominating the championship until the hiatus that lasted from 1940 until 1947. In the following two years, they achieved a runner up place and a second championship. During the 60s, when the Soviet Union dominated the championships, Czechoslovakia had more success as they came in runners up five more times, and finally broke the Soviet Union's championship winning streak in 1972. They challenged the Soviet Union through the 70s as well, winning twice in 1976 and in 1977. Czechoslovakia won their final title in 1985, and by the time they won their next medal, the country had already split to become the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic won their first championship in 1996, and won five more titles to date.
Sweden won their first championship in 1953, though they were title contenders far earlier. Sweden earned their first runners up place in the third championship tournament, held in 1928. Since then, Sweden has won the championship ten more times in 1957, 1962, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2006, 2013, 2017 and 2018. Sweden have come in runners up a total of 19 times and placed third 17 times. The team has firmly established themselves as title contenders and are currently ranked 7th in the IIHF world rankings.
Whilst nowadays Finland are an established side with world championship wins, and hosts of the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championships, they do not have an extensive winning record as their success started in the 90s. Finland placed second in the 1992 world championship, when they lost out narrowly to Sweden. Two years later, they came in second place again, when Canada won their iconic 20th world championship title in 1994. The following year, Finland finally beat the odds and won their first world championship, beating the neighbouring Sweden. The nation had to wait 16 years before they would win another world championship, though they came close, coming in second place in 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2007. Finally Finland broke the drought and won the world championship in 2011. They came in second in 2014 and 2017, but then beat Canada in the finals to win their third title in 2019. This year, as hosts of the competition, Finland will look to win their fourth title.
As part of Czechoslovakia until 1993, when Slovakia became an independent country, they have claim to 6 titles alongside the Czech Republic. Slovakia won its first independent title in 2002, beating Russia and placing ahead of Sweden. To date, the Slovakian team has not repeated their 2002 championship win, but they placed third in the following year and came to the finals, where they lost to the Russians in 2012. The Slovakians have become a favourite underdog in the Ice Hockey World Championship. As a smaller country, which has historic ties with the competition but not as large a population as some of the other contestants, Slovakia has drawn an international fanbase purely for their determination and passion for the sport. There are many fans who would back Slovakia to create an upset and win the upcoming World Championship.
The United States is considered one of the top six, though they have only won 2 world championships to date. The last time the US won the world championship was in 1960, though they have placed runner up 9 times, most recently in 2021. The team has often been criticised for not taking the world championship seriously. The Stanley Cup is often played at the same time as the World Championship, and many professional US ice hockey players prefer to play in the Stanley Cup, forcing the US team to play with secondary players or amateur players for the World Championships.