The 'goal' markets are not only the most exciting in the high octane sport of ice hockey, they are also the most flexible and predictable. This makes them the perfect hunting ground for beginners and experienced punters alike.
The 'goal' markets offered by the likes of 888 Sports on popular ice hockey games (all major leagues and internationals) include:
The sheer variety available makes it is easy to tailor your bets to match the level of risk and reward in your ice hockey betting strategy.
A good strategic approach for those favouring low risk, or with limited tactical and statistical background knowledge, is to focus on the 'total goals' market. Beginners may be sceptical, but despite the large number of goals per game in most leagues, the average is relatively consistent. In the 2012-13 NHL season, for example, 20 of the 30 teams had a 'goals per game' (for and against) average of five-point-something. A small amount of research into form will give a pretty safe bet on a market that will usually award odds around evens.
Dig a bit deeper and seek those that buck the trend in order to increase value by betting on results that fall outside of the league average. Stats are available on goals scored and goals conceded in a match too, so for higher odds players can venture in to the 'total goals by team' market.
Another way to boost your takings is to look at the 'both teams to score' market. Usually the answer will be yes, but if you can find the games where a shutout is likely, or build an accumulator with several likely results, you can increase your returns without taking on too much additional risk.
In international games, make sure to check the form of the country, how recently they've played, and the form of their key players. Remember that a team that plays together less frequently is less predictable, but that should deliver better odds too.
For those on the hunt for really high odds, a high-risk approach is to look at the 'correct score' market. This is particularly interesting for predicted mismatches where 'match winner' and 'total goals' markets don't offer much value. For example, at Sochi 2014, Russia were 1/50 to beat Slovenia at 888 Sports, but confident punters could place bets on a rout for big odds. For example, 6-1, 5-1 and 4-1 were all rated at 13/1, so it's possible to players to hedge their bets on several outcomes and still see healthy returns.
Casual players more interested in injecting some excitement, and potential profit, into their viewing experience can look to the in-play markets. 'Next goal' markets are particularly fertile when you can see the rhythm of a game changing, or when a line on a hot streak is on the ice. Look for teams with high power play conversion rates for an extra boost on a reliable market too.
Whichever market you choose to focus on, remember to check the stats and tailor your bets to the desired level of risk and reward. For all the latest ice hockey odds, visit 888 Sports today!