The 2019-20 NHL regular season began on Oct. 2. That not only means the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers are back on the ice, but NHL betting markets are open at licensed PA sportsbooks, too.
As long as you’re 21 or older and inside PA state lines, you can bet on all the NHL action this season at retail sportsbooks in PA casinos, licensed online sportsbooks and mobile PA sports betting apps.
Below you’ll find a complete look at hockey betting in 2019-20 with everything you need to know to bet on NHL games in PA either online and live.
You’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions about NHL betting, pre-season odds and futures for the Pens and Flyers, plus some tried and true NHL betting strategies.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved both single-game NHL betting and betting on NHL futures markets. That means you can bet on NHL games and the prospects of NHL teams and players at any PGCB-licensed retail or online sportsbook.
Online and mobile wagering launched in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2019. As of October 2019, there are now five dedicated online sportsbooks and mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices that offer hockey betting.
These PA online sportsbooks post the same NHL lines found at PA retail sportsbooks. The major difference is that you can now make your hockey bets from wherever you are inside the state, although you’ll need to sign up for an account to start making bets online.
Fortunately, PA online and mobile sports betting operators make this quick and easy. Operators only need to verify your age and location with minimal personal information. Then you’ll need to deposit money into your account for betting.
Online sportsbooks and betting apps in PA offer the full slate of hockey bets you’ll find at any retail sportsbook in a casino. But browsing through your betting options and testing out various parlays and payouts is a lot easier.
With a clickable online betting slip, you can plug different bets in and play with the payouts without anyone waiting impatiently behind you in line at the betting window.
The speed and flexibility of using a betting app on your phone also mean faster and easier access to live in-play NHL betting options than at a retail sportsbook. While the social environment at a PA sportsbook is always fun, for efficiency and speed, online and mobile NHL betting is far superior.
As for getting money online to bet with, as fully licensed and regulated online businesses, most PA online and mobile sports betting operators accept:
Once you’ve set up and funded your account, you can browse through all the daily NHL betting lines and futures, shop around for the best odds and get in on the action within seconds.
The DraftKings Sportsbook app is now available in PA in partnership with Penn National Gaming and its Meadows Racetrack & Casino property just outside Pittsburgh.
The retail sportsbook at Meadows launched at the start of the 2019-20 NHL season. The DraftKings Sportsbook app soft launched on Nov. 4, 2019 and opened to the betting public on Nov. 7.
You’ll find all the best lines, odds and props on the slick and user-friendly DraftKings Sportsbook app. The app is the exact same platform and odds as used in New Jersey.
The Fox Bet app is a rebranding of the BetStars sports betting app previously available in New Jersey. The Fox Bet app is now in PA, thanks to deals between Mount Airy Casino, The Stars Group, and Fox.
It’s user-friendly, and all the NHL betting options are available, including in-game NHL betting. Fox Bet customers can also put together their own NHL bets using the #CustomBet feature through Twitter.
Everything from the account management to deposit and withdrawal features are fully functional. Plus, the Fox Bet app is available for Android and Apple devices.
Already the PA market leader, the FanDuel Sportsbook app is easy to use and offers an almost identical experience to its website.
Every conceivable NHL betting line is available, including live in-game NHL betting. Plus, FanDuel features ongoing promotions such as NHL odds boosts and parlay insurance.
Everything from creating an account to depositing funds and building bet slips is just a few clicks from completion. Furthermore, the app is available for Android and iOS users.
Outside of the branding, the BetRivers PA sports betting app is almost identical to its sister SugarHouse Sportsbook app.
That means it’s as user-friendly and feature-rich. It also means there are as many NHL betting lines available on the app and website as you’ll likely need.
Plus, there are plenty of the same promotional betting options you’ll find through SugarHouse. One difference is that BetRivers does not have an online casino attached. However, the BetRivers PA sports betting app still offers a modern and complete NHL betting experience.
The NHL announced in March that it would pause the 2019-20 season amid the Coronavirus pandemic. On May 26, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced it had approved a makeshift 24-team playdown to determine a 2020 Stanley Cup Champion. Highlights include:
Two hub cities will host all of the action but have yet to be named.
As for the effect on NHL betting in PA, a couple of things are clear – at least based on what one major sportsbook has announced.
Always check your favorite online sportsbook for the current odds. Here’s a snapshot of how they look at DraftKings and FanDuel as of June, 2020:
New York Rangers
The Penguins are now slated to face the Montreal Canadians in a play-in series. Here are the opening odds as set by DraftKings Sportsbook:
Pens futures odds as of June 2020 at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Two outstanding players, one of which is now a team owner, have helped the Pittsburgh Penguins become one of the most storied franchises in the NHL.
This includes Mario Lemieux, who played 17 seasons with the team from 1984 to 2006 and assumed ownership in 1999. There’s also present captain Sidney Crosby, who was selected first overall by the Penguins in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and by all accounts is currently in the midst of a Hall of Fame career.
Lemieux led the Pens to two consecutive Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and 1992. He was named the NHL’s most outstanding player four times and NHL MVP three times throughout his career.
In his first year, Crosby was named NHL Rookie of the Year. In his second, he was named the NHL’s most outstanding player and NHL MVP. In his third season, he led the Pens to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals, but they lost to the Detroit Red Wings in six games.
The very next year, Crosby became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup, helping the Pens beat the Wings in seven games. Crosby also helped the team win two consecutive Stanley Cup titles in 2016 and 2017.
The team joined the NHL in 1967 and played in the Civic Arena, also known as The Igloo, at the end of the 2009-10 season. The Pens moved into the Consol Energy Center for the 2010-11 season. It has since been renamed PPG Paints Arena.
The Penguins reached the playoffs for the 13th consecutive year in the 2018-19 season. However, they were swept by the New York Islanders in the first round.
As a top 4 team in the Eastern Conference the Flyers have earned a bye into the playoffs. Their first-round match-up is still to be determined. Here’s how Flyers odds and futures are listed at DraftKings Sportsbook as of June 2020:
The Philadelphia Flyers joined the NHL as a part of the 1967 NHL Expansion and were the first expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in the 1973–74 season. The Flyers made it two straight, winning the title in the 1974–75 season as well.
Although the team was competitive in the 1990s behind star Eric Lindros, the Flyers have seemingly been trying to rebuild themselves into contenders ever since.
They missed the playoffs last season. Plus, Philadelphia has not won a playoff series since 2010-11 and have failed to qualify for the playoffs four out of the past seven seasons.
The Flyers play home games at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
The New Jersey Devils are close enough to Pennsylvania to draw a lot of PA hockey fans. In fact, the Devils play home games at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, located only about an hour away from Philadelphia.
The Devils were the NHL’s Colorado Rockies before 1982 when they moved to East Rutherford, NJ, and started playing at Brendan Byrne Arena/Continental Airlines Arena inside the Meadowlands Sports Complex. The team moved to the Prudential Center for the 2007–08 season.
The Devils have gone as far as the Stanley Cup Finals five times, winning three times in 1994-95, 1999-00, and 2002-03 seasons. They lost in the finals in 2000-01 and 2011-12.
The home-ice proximity to Philadelphia makes the Flyers one of the Devils’ fiercest rivals. Both teams also compete in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division.
The Devils made the playoffs in the 2017–18 season. Forward Taylor Hall set the franchise record for points in consecutive games (26 straight) and was nominated for the Hart Memorial Trophy for the league’s MVP and the Ted Lindsay Award for the NHL’s most outstanding player.
However, Hall missed close to 50 games with a knee injury, and the Devils missed the playoffs in the 2018–19 season. The team won the NHL’s draft lottery and selected Jack Hughes first overall ahead of the 2019-20 season.
NHL.com releases a Super 16 NHL Power Rankings aimed at identifying the top teams in the league throughout the regular season. The list is put together by a dozen NHL beat writers employed by the site.
NHL.com also does the same heading into the season. The NHL.com 2019-20 offseason Super 16 only included one PA team. The Pittsburgh Penguins fit into the No. 13 spot
The writers seemed to agree that swapping second-tier stars around the league in the offseason may have the Penguins bettering the first-round playoff sweep the team suffered a season ago.
Check the current Super 16 rankings every week on NHL.com.
Licensed sportsbooks in PA offer a variety of basic hockey bets:
The moneyline is the easiest way to bet on the NHL. NHL moneyline bets pay according to a team’s probability of winning a game outright. The odds are locked in at the time you place the bet. All you have to do is pick the winning team to get paid
Moneyline odds are posted as either positive (+) or negative (-) numbers at PA sportsbooks. Negative numbers represent the favorite and show how much you’ll need to bet to win $100, plus your bet back. Positive numbers are for underdogs and show how much each $100 bet will pay, plus your bet back.
The Philadelphia Flyers, for example, will likely be posted as underdogs on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers’ moneyline might be +165. That means if you bet $100 on Philadelphia to win, you’ll get $265 back if they do.
If you like Pittsburgh at home instead, you’ll probably find the Pens at close to -200. That means you’ll need to bet $200 on the Pens to get $300 total back.
NHL puck lines are the same thing as point spread bets in football betting. Most puck lines are set at -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. This is because the average NHL game is decided by two goals or less.
Betting the puck line requires you to pick the winner with the puck line factored into the final score. Alternative puck lines are also often offered by PA sportsbooks at different prices.
NHL totals are the NHL version of an over/under. Sportsbooks set a line on the total number of goals both teams will combine to score, and you bet on whether the actual total will be over or under that.
Typically, NHL totals lines sit around five or six goals and can be booked at -110 odds on either side.
NHL futures, as indicated above, are traditionally bets on who will win the Stanley Cup, a conference, or division. However, they may also include wagers on how many regular-season wins a team will accumulate or individual player awards.
These NHL futures odds fluctuate throughout the season based on each team’s (or player’s) prospects. Some popular NHL futures and props that PA sportsbooks allow patrons to bet upon include:
NHL parlays involve combining two or more basic NHL bets into one. Parlays pay better than single bets because you must win each one for the parlay to pay.
PA sportsbooks, and in particular PA online and mobile sportsbooks, offer more advanced NHL betting options including live, in-play or in-game NHL betting. This allows you to book basic NHL bets throughout a game at odds that change as the live-action does.
With live hockey betting, you can make bets on anything from which team or player will score the next goal to which team will win the period to who will get the next penalty. Check your favorite sportsbook for all of the current Live betting odds for any NHL game in progress.
You can live stream Philadelphia Flyers or Pittsburgh Penguins games with a live TV streaming service such as FuboTV, Hulu, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation, or Xbox. However, some broadcasts may only be available by using your cable provider login in the Fox Sports Go or NBC Sports apps.
You can also subscribe to NHL.TV where every NHL regular-season game is available live online. Blackout restrictions may still apply, though.
Each of the NHL’s 31 teams plays 82 games over the course of a seven-month regular season. Then, the NHL Playoffs start, and the real battle for the Stanley Cup begins.
The NHL playoffs consist of four rounds of best-of-seven series.
Eight teams from each of the league’s two conferences make the playoffs. This includes the top three teams in each of the four divisions and the two other teams with the best records in each conference getting in as wild cards.
The top seed in each division plays a wild-card team in the first round. The division winner with the most points plays the wild-card team with the least. The second and third seeds in each division face each other, and the playoffs follow a bracket format from there until a Stanley Cup champion is crowned.
Nobody picks NHL winners in every game. But you don’t have to in order to make NHL betting profitable.
The trick is to learn how to manage your betting bankroll effectively and win just a little more than you lose. The following three NHL betting tips might help:
Only the ice itself is as solid as the home-ice advantage in the NHL. Home teams get the last line change, as well as a boost of confidence that the support of the crowd can give them.
Some teams are better at taking advantage of this. Look at the home and road records of the teams involved before making your hockey bet.
Hockey betting is a battle for information. Researching a team’s statistical data and any detailed analysis of it will help you make more informed picks. Try betting only on the teams you follow closely and use the statistical information you already know as a fan. Just make sure to bet with your head, and the stats, over your heart.
You’re going to lose a few hockey bets along the way. Losing streaks are real. But don’t be tempted to increase your bet size to chase those losses. That’s just a quick way to go broke. Instead, keep the bets the same and stay in the game until your losing streak turns into a winning streak.
Pennsylvania is home to a lot of great hockey players. Here is our rundown of the best five the Keystone State has ever produced:
Legendary New York Rangers goalie Mike Richter is from Abington, PA. He played 14 seasons for the Rangers and helped New York win the Stanley Cup in the 1993-94 Stanley Cup.
Richter was nominated for the Vezina Trophy five times and ended his career with a .904 save percentage and 301 career wins. Internationally, he helped the 2002 US Olympic team win a silver medal and was the goalie on the 1996 World Cup-winning US team.
Pittsburgh’s R.J. Umberger played 11 seasons in the NHL for the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets. His 180 goals and 212 assists make him the highest-scoring Pennsylvania-born player in NHL history.
Umberger has played internationally for the US several times as well.
Ryan “Bugsy” Malone became the first Pittsburgh-born and raised player to play for the hometown Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003.
He also played 11 total seasons in the NHL, suiting up for the Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers. Malone’s 370 career points make him the second-highest scoring Pennsylvania-born player in NHL history.
He won a silver medal with the 2010 US Olympic team and played for two World Cup US teams.
Brandon Saad was born and raised in Pittsburgh. However, he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and has won two Stanley Cups with the team in 2013 and 2015.
Saad played four seasons with the Blackhawks before two with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played for the Blackhawks again in the 2017–18 season and remains with the team. Saad’s 314 points and counting make him the third-highest scoring Pennsylvania-born player in NHL history.
Saad helped the 2010 US Juniors team win the World Junior Championship.
Vincent Trocheck is a Pittsburgh native who played six seasons with the Florida Panthers after being drafted by the team in 2011. He is currently the Panthers’ alternate captain.
Trocheck is one of only four Pennsylvania-born players to post more than 200 career points in NHL. He has 246 and counting.
Trocheck helped the 2010 US Juniors team win the World Junior Championship and played for the 2014 US World Cup team.
It is 100% legal to bet on the NHL at licensed PA sports betting operators across the state. That means PA retail sportsbooks and PA sports betting apps and websites too.
Pennsylvania legalized sports betting pending a change in the federal law back in October 2017. That change came in May 2018 when the US Supreme Court struck down the law banning sports betting across most of the US.
The PGCB put together regulations to govern sports betting here in PA and these included NHL betting regulations legalizing single-game NHL wagering.
That means you can now bet the moneyline, puck line, and totals on every single NHL game. Plus, you can bet on multi-game NHL parlays and some specific team and player props and futures.
The PGCB continues to provide oversight to the PA sports betting industry and approval for the launch of all NHL betting markets.
The state’s first retail sportsbook launched in November 2018 and the first PA sports betting apps and websites went live in the summer of 2019. Now, it’s completely legal to bet on the NHL across the Keystone State.
Puck line bets in the NHL are a lot like point spread bets in the NFL. You pick a winner with the puck line factored into the final score to determine a betting winner. See more information in our hockey betting guide above.
Overtime does count when it comes to NHL betting, unless stated otherwise by the PA sportsbook you bet with.
Shootouts count for NHL betting in terms of wins and losses. For totals and puck line bets teams that win in a shootout are credited with one additional goal in the final tally.
PA sportsbooks offer a variety of NHL betting lines, including in-game lines. That means you can bet on everything from the final score of a game to which team will win each period.
PA sportsbooks and the third-party oddsmakers many employ set NHL lines based on several factors. This includes everything from specific scheduling and game location to the historical matchup and recent performance data. Basic NHL odds principles are also applied. These include everything from the fact most games are close with fewer than five goals scored on average.
The NHL Stanley Cup playoffs determine the league champion and Stanley Cup winner. It consists of four rounds of best-of-seven series.
PA sportsbooks allow you to place bets on who will win each series, each conference, and ultimately the Stanley Cup. Plus, PA sportsbooks offer a variety of betting markets for each individual game in a series.
Additionally, you can increase potential payouts on any series bet by picking the exact score in that series.