Best NHL betting sites in Ohio

Your guide to NHL betting in Ohio
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets
Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets / Jason Mowry/GettyImages

The state of Ohio has just one team in the National Hockey League and it’s a team that unfortunately doesn’t have top-tier pedigree.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have only won two playoff series in their history as a franchise, dating back to their inaugural season in 2000.

On this page, we’re going to learn everything there is to learn about betting on the sport of hockey, including types of odds that sportsbooks offer as well as a few tips and tricks.

Best National Hockey League betting sites in Ohio

Columbus Blue Jackets betting partnerships

The Columbus Blue Jackets have agreed to a partnership with BetFanatics, a new sportsbook that is now operating in Ohio.

There are plans to eventually have a physical BetFanatics location in Nationwide Arena, where the Blue Jackets play, where fans will be able to bet on their team during games.

Tips for new NHL bettors

There are 82 games in an NHL season. Not only can bettors bet on any/all of each team’s 82 games, but there are also live betting opportunities while each game is going on. Let’s take a look at some helpful tips that you should know when placing wagers on the National Hockey League.

First things first. You aren’t a professional bettor and you likely never will be. Being a pro at betting takes a big time commitment, in-depth knowledge, and a massive bankroll to place your bets with. We, casual bettors, need to keep in mind that we do this for fun. While we should always aim to win money, betting within our means is the No. 1 most important thing.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Have accounts at several sportsbooks which will allow you to always make sure you get the best odds possible for what you’re looking to bet on. Sportsbooks will often offer slightly different odds on each game, so find which one is offering the most favorable odds for what you want to wager on, and place your bet there.
  • Don’t bet on every game and if you aren’t confident in any pick, don’t be afraid to take a night off. In order to make sure you don’t lose too much of your bankroll over a long period of time, it’s important to stick to only a few bets at a time. So, if there’s 12 NHL games on in a single night, don’t bet on every single one.
  • Stay away from parlays. You will see winning parlays advertised by sportsbooks as they try to sell you a dream of getting rich quick, but it’s proven time and time again that sportsbooks make the large majority of their profits from that type of bet. Instead of placing multiple bets in a parlay where you need all of them to win or you lose your wager, try sticking to just individual bets.

Reading NHL odds

Most games of the NHL season are going to have a moneyline, a puck line, and a total that you can bet on. Those three types of wagers are the three main and most common wagers for the NHL.

Let’s start with the moneyline bet which is the easiest and most straightforward type of bet to understand. 

This bet is simply a wager on what team you think will win the game. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if the game ends in regulation or if it goes to overtime or a shootout, all that matters is if the team you bet on notched the victory. This is how the odds for that type of bet might look:

Moneyline odds:

  • Blue Jackets -175
  • Montreal Canadiens +135

In this specific example, the Blue Jackets are set as the betting favorites. The odds listed above are known as “American Odds”, which are the odds you will see the large majority of the time while betting in the United States. According to American Odds, if the number has a “-” symbol in front of it, it means you would need to wager the given number in order to profit $100 if it wins. For example, you would have to bet $175 in this example in order to profit $100 on a Blue Jackets win.

Meanwhile, the “+” symbol indicates how much a winning bet would profit if you wager $100, which is the inverse of the “-” symbol. Using the above example, a $100 bet on the Canadiens to win would result in a profit of $135 if the Habs pull it off.

Now, let’s look at the “puck line”, which is the same thing as the “run line” in baseball betting and very similar to the “spread” in other sports, like football.

Puck line odds:

  • Blue Jackets -1.5 (+120)
  • Canadiens +1.5 (-160)

The above numbers both get American odds, as well as a point spread, known in hockey as the “puck line”. This means, a bet on the Blue Jackets would require them to win by at least two goals. If you take the final score and subtract 1.5 goals from the Blue Jackets, would the score that remains still have Columbus winning? Take for example, if the Blue Jackets won the game 4-2. If you subtract 1.5 points from the Blue Jackets, the score is 2.5-2, meaning the puck line bet in favor of Columbus would be deemed a winner. In hockey, the puck line is almost always set at 1.5, which makes things easy.

Meanwhile, a puck line bet on the Canadiens means they must win or lose by only one goal in order for your bet to win. Just like you would subtract 1.5 goals from the Blue Jackets’ score, in this situation you’d add 1.5 goals to the Canadiens score. So, let’s say Columbus wins 3-2. If you add 1.5 goals to Montreal’s score, it’d be 3.5-3 in favor of the Canadiens, deeming your +1.5 puck line bet on them a winner.

In hockey, if a game goes to overtime, the puck line is already decided since a team can’t win by more than one goal in overtime.

This type of bet is largely used when someone wants to take the favorite, but wants to win a bigger payout than what the moneyline offers.


  • Total: 6.5 (Over +115/Under -125)

Is the puck line too complicated? Don’t worry, we’re back to a simple form of wager. A bet on the total is simply a bet on how many goals will be scored in the game by both teams combined. So, using the above example, if seven or more goals are scored in the game, the OVER would win. If six or fewer goals are scored, the UNDER would cash as the winning bet.

Sometimes, the total will be set at a whole number, like 6.0 for example. If that’s the case and the total lands directly on six goals, all bets would be refunded and no total bettors would win or lose.

Calculating your payout

No matter the type of bet, as you noticed in the examples above, triple digit (or bigger) “American odds” will accompany them. As I wrote about above, the “-” symbol means you need to bet the amount in order to profit $100 on a bet and the “+” symbol means you need to bet $100 in order to win the listed number.

This can of course be increased or decreased depending on the size of the bet. It by no means indicates that you have to bet $100 on the wager. $100 is simply used as a baseline to best understand how the bet will pay out.

Let’s take a closer look at it using another example of a type of bet you may see.

  • Total: 5.5 (Over -135/Under +115)

OVER (negative odds): in this example, the OVER is associated with negative odds, meaning a $135 bet would have to be placed in order to win $100. Or, a bet of $13.50 would have to be placed to profit $10.

  • Calculation for negative odds: Bet amount/(odds/100) = Potential profit

UNDER (positive odds): Given the example above, the odds next to the UNDER have a “+” symbol next to it. That means a $100 bet on the UNDER would have a potential profit of $115. Or, to use a smaller bet, a $10 wager would have a potential profit of $11.50.

  • Calculation for positive odds: Bet amount * (odds/100) = Potential profit

Other types of NHL bets

Now that we know all about the three most common types of bets to place on an NHL game, let’s take a look at other types of wagers one can make on a hockey game.


A parlay is a bet that consists of several other bets. If a single one of the bets in the parlay loses, the entire parlay loses. But, if every leg of the parlay wins, you’ll be the winner of a pretty nice payout.

Remember, parlays are fun but they have proven to be a losing betting strategy long term. In fact, the highest percentage of sportsbooks profits come from parlay bets.

They can be as small as a two leg parlay, but it can be made up of plenty more legs than that. Most sportsbooks cap out the limit at 12 legs, but some will allow you to include even more than 12 bets in your parlay.

NHL parlay example:

  • Blue Jackets -165 vs. Canadiens
  • Maple Leafs -120 vs. Panthers
  • Red Wings/Avalanche OVER 6.5 (+110)
  • Connor McDavid to score a goal +125

For this example, you would need all four of the above bets to hit for the parlay to cash. If any of the four legs loses, the entire parlay will lose.

Now that you can see an example, you can probably imagine how and why it’s so tough to cash these types of bets. It’s hard enough to win one bet, let alone multiple.

Prop bets:

In the above parlay example, you might have noticed a type of bet that I didn’t previously explain. That bet is what’s called a “prop bet”, which is usually based on a single player’s performance.

One of the most fun types of prop bets for the NHL is for a player to record a goal or a point in a game.

  • Connor McDavid to score a goal +125

For this bet, you’d simply be betting on Connor McDavid to score a goal. If he does, your bet wins. If he doesn’t score a goal, your bet loses. It’s just that simple.

Then, there are bets on things like total number of shots on goal or total saves for a goalie.

There are also team related props, including how many goals will be scored in the first period of a game. It would look like this

  • 1st period OVER 1.5 goals (-120)
  • 1st period UNDER 1.5 goals (+100)

It’s pretty simple, this is similar to a full game total except it’s focused on only the 1st period. If two or more goals are scored, the OVER hits. If one or zero goals are scored in the 1st period, the UNDER cashes.


The last type of bet we’re going to discuss are futures. These are long-term bets on a team or a player. Usually, these bets are on for a team to win a championship or for a player to win an award.

Here are some examples of different futures bets you can place on the National Hockey League:

  • Stanley Cup winner
  • Winner of a division
  • NHL Hart Trophy winner
  • Conference winner
  • To make or miss the playoffs
  • Vezina Trophy winner
  • Regular season over/under points

Odds for futures will change throughout the season depending on how a team/player performs, or external factors like injuries, trades, retirements, etc.

Here’s what the odds look like for this season’s Stanley Cup:

Futures are one of the most important markets for shopping around at different sportsbooks. Different books will offer wildly different odds for teams or players in the futures market. With the odds as long as they are, there are significant differences in potential profits depending on where you bet.

NHL playoff betting

After each team completes its 82-game regular season, the NHL begins its postseason. Eight teams make the playoffs from each conference. The top three teams in each division plus two wild cards.

There are four rounds in the NHL playoffs:

  • First round - Eight best-of-seven series
  • Second round - Four best-of-seven series
  • Conference Championship - Two best-of-seven series
  • Stanley Cup Final - one best-of-seven series

Throughout the postseason, bettors can bet on who will win each series, each conference, and of course, who will win the Stanley Cup. They can also bet on who will win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

Odds will shift for each after each game and series are completed.

Stanley Cup betting

There are more betting options for the Stanley Cup than just on who will win and who the Conn Smythe Trophy winner will be.

You can also bet on the exact Stanley Cup matchup, as in which two teams will face each other in the Final. Once the Final is set, you can bet on the exact result of the final series, including how many games it will take the winner to clinch the Cup.

All Stanley Cup betting options are available during the regular season and most of them are also available to bet on during the offseason.

NHL live betting

There is one more way to bet on the NHL that we haven’t covered yet in this article; live betting.

You can actually place bets on games while they’re happening. Obviously, the odds shift rapidly as the game is going on. That way, you can wait for the game to start and get a feel for how it’s going before betting on it. Or, you can hedge out on your pre-game bet or even double down on it if you’re feeling confident.

Here are some examples of types of live bets you can place:

  • Live moneyline, run line, and total
  • Live player props
  • What team will score the next goal

Keep in mind, many people think live betting is actually the most profitable way to wager. Because of how quickly the game is happening, sometimes sports books aren’t able to accurately set some lines. Professional bettors often use this to their advantage.

Ohio NHL TV and Radio coverage

H3: How to watch NHL in Ohio

The path to watching the Columbus Blue Jackets, and other NHL games, depends on if it’s a local game or a nationally broadcast game.

For games taking place in Columbus involving the Blue Jackets, you can watch them on Bally Sports Ohio. For out of market games or nationally broadcast games, here are the following options:

  • ESPN+
  • Hulu
  • fuboTV

How to listen to NHL in Ohio

You can listen to radio broadcasts of every game involving the Columbus Blue Jackets on NHL TV.

They also are available on local radio stations and nationwide satellite radio, such as Sirius XM

Ohio NHL players


Johnny Gaudreau - Left Wing

Johnny Gaudreau was one of the biggest offseason acquisitions in the 2022 offseason when he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Citing wanting to be closer to home, the Blue Jackets got one of the best American players in the NHL.

At 29 years old, he’s expected to be the cornerstone of the Blue Jackets as they try to rebuild.


Zach Werenski - Defenseman

Zach Werenski was described as the “face of the franchise” after signing a six-year extension with the Blue Jackets in 2021.

Unfortunately, he played only 13 games in the 2022-23 season before going down with a torn labrum. He’s expected to be ready to go for the 2023-24 season and re-establish himself as one of the best defenseman in the NHL.


Elvis Merzlikins - Goaltender

Elvis Merzlikins looked like he was going to be the goaltender of the future for the Blue Jackets after back-to-back stellar seasons in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, but he has fallen apart as of late.

In the 2022-2023 season, he just a 4.23 goals against average and an .876 save percentage. He’ll get another shot at the starting role in 2023-2023, but if he can’t live up to his potential, the Blue Jackets may search for a new starter.

Greatest Ohio NHL players of all time

The Columbus Blue Jackets are a relatively new team, but they’ve still had some great players in their history.

Let’s take a look at a list of the best all-time players for the franchise:

Greatest Players in Columbus Blue Jackets History

  • Rick Nash, Left Wing (2002-2012)
  • Seth Jones, Defenseman (2015-2021)
  • Sergei Bobrovsky, Goaltender (2012-2019)
  • R.J. Umberger, Center (2008-2014)
  • Brandon Dubinsky, Center (2012-2019)

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