PA hockey betting

Betting The NHL Playoffs: Can Pittsburgh Win Another Stanley Cup?

The puck dropped on the  2018-19 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on Wednesday, April 10. For the first time ever, anyone inside Pennsylvania can legally bet on the outcome of the different games and series at Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

That means you can watch the Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run this year, or you can get in on the action yourself at Pittsburgh’s only sportsbook at Rivers Casino.

Unfortunately, Philadelphia Flyers fans will have to wait until next year to do the same, because the team missed the playoffs this year. They can go to one of many Philadelphia-area books to bet on the rest of the playoffs though.

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs is the annual four-round, best-of-seven elimination tournament held after the 82-game regular season to determine which team will hoist the Stanley Cup as NHL Champions.

The playoffs feature the top eight teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences in seeded match-ups determined by each team’s regular season record and divisional standings.

Betting on the NHL Playoffs is very similar to betting on the NHL during the regular season. Except in the playoffs you can wager on the outcome of individual games, each seven-game series, and the entire NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Basic NBA Playoffs betting in PA

In fact, all licensed PA sportsbooks offer a variety of simple and easy ways you can bet on NHL Playoff action.

Basic NHL Playoff bets available at all PA books include:

  • Futures
  • Moneylines
  • Puck Lines
  • Totals
  • Parlays

How to bet on the NHL Playoffs

NHL Playoffs futures

Traditional NHL futures are bets on who will win each Conference or Stanley Cup before the regular season starts.

However, Pennsylvania sportsbooks will take futures bets on all 31 NHL teams throughout the regular season and the 16 playoff teams once the regular season determines who they are. Of course, sportsbooks will adjust the odds and remove the teams eliminated from contention as the playoffs continue.

Penn sportsbooks will also allow futures bets on teams to win a particular series round-by-round throughout the NHL Playoffs.

NHL Playoff moneylines

Sportsbooks set moneylines on each individual NHL playoff game according to what oddsmakers feel are each team’s probability of winning. All you have do is pick the winner of the game.

The odds on each team are posted as either a negative (-) or positive (+) number. If it’s negative, that team is considered the favorite and the number represents how much you must bet to win $100 plus your bet back.

If the number is positive, that team is considered the underdog and the number represents how much every $100 you wager will pay, plus your bet back.

NHL Playoff puck lines

Puck line bets in the NHL Playoffs are moneyline bets with a point spread factored in.

The average NHL game is decided by two goals or less, so the puck line for just about every game is set at -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog.

All you need to do is make the correct prediction with that puck line factored in to win. Puck line bets are booked at odds posted on each team just like the moneylines.

NHL Playoff totals

NHL Playoffs totals are bets on whether the total number of goals scored in a particular NHL Playoff game will land over or under a line set by oddsmakers.

Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania will typically make the odds on totals -110. That means whether you like the over or the under, you’ll have to bet $110 to win $100 plus your bet back.

NHL Playoff parlays

Putting together two or more basic NHL Playoffs bets into one bet is called betting an NHL Playoffs parlay.

Parlays pay better than individual bets do. However, you need to win every leg of the parlay to win anything at all.

NHL Playoff in-play betting

Most PA sportsbooks also offer live in-play betting on NHL Playoff games. This allows you to place bets in the middle of a playoff game with odds that change as the action does.

NHL Playoff betting tips

Putting a bet down on an NHL Playoff game is a simple process. However, picking winners can be downright hard. More than any other sport, there is parity in hockey.

The Tampa Bay Lightning may be a lock to go deep in the playoffs this year. However, every other match-up is a toss-up.

Get an edge in making your NHL playoff picks by focussing on these three facts regarding the NHL:

  • Home-ice advantage is real. Home teams get the last line change. Plus, there is a boost of confidence that comes from the backing of the home crowd. Most teams have a big edge at home. Pay attention to the regular season home and road records of the teams involved in a series.
  • Most NHL games are decided by one goal and feature five goals or fewer. In fact, there’s real parity in the NHL. Look for lines that provide serious value and allow you to take advantage of this fact.
  • Goalies impact games. Starting goalies have as much impact on games as the starting pitcher does in a baseball game. Sharps bet on the best goalie more often than not. Look for goalies that get on hot and cold streaks as the NHL Playoffs continue.

Where to bet the NHL Playoffs in PA

All licensed sportsbooks in PA are taking bets on the NHL Playoffs. Here’s a look at the current Pennsylvania sportsbooks and where you can get some money down on the Penguins or any other team you think is ready for a run at the Stanley Cup this year:

CasinoPGCB Approval DateRetail Sportsbook LaunchOnline Sportsbook Launch
Hollywood Casino at Penn NationalOct. 3Nov. 17, 2018Q2 2019
Parx Casino SportsbookOct. 3Jan. 10, 2019Q2 2019
South Philadelphia Turf ClubOct. 3Jan. 17, 2019N/A
Rivers CasinoOct. 31Dec. 15, 2018Q2 2019
SugarHouse CasinoOct. 31Dec. 15, 2018May 28, 2019 (Testing)
Harrah's PhiladelphiaOct. 31Jan. 24, 2019Q2 2019
Valley Forge CasinoDec. 19March 13, 2019Q2 2019
Valley Forge Turf ClubMarch 6March 14, 2019N/A
Presque Isle Downs CasinoFeb. 6June 12019
Mount AiryApplication pendingN/AN/A
Mohegan Sun PoconoApplication pendingN/AN/A