League Insight

Lights, Camera, Action.

The volume of games, goals and action in the NHL makes it an exciting sport for both pre-match and in-play betting. Ice hockey is an end-to-end sport that is played at a high pace. There is action throughout the 60 minutes of regulation play, and the statistics below illustrate the number of engagement points there are over a season.

Market Volume

There are always a very large volume of pre-match markets available for NHL matches. With an average of 104 markets per game and an average of 48 games per week, there are around 5,000 pre-match betting opportunities per week on the NHL.*

This gives bettors and operators ample opportunity week in, week out to engage and enjoy the highest quality ice hockey on the planet.

Once the matches go in-play, even more markets become available. It is hard to find a sport that is faster, more physical and delivers as much end-to-end action as ice hockey. As such, “The Fastest Game on Earth” is a feast of action for in-play bettors.

*Based on a sample of 15 bookmakers pre-match betting opportunities over a seven day period.

Parity & Unpredictability = Entertainment

A league with more parity provides hope and engagement for all fans. It also delivers certainty and stability for franchise owners, as competitiveness and the prospect of playoffs is far greater. The unpredictability of the action means that anyone, can win any match and this increases fan engagement as the hope of victory adds intrigue for every fan.

Source: Wave Intel: NHL’s parity measured

The above diagrams depict the number of teams that qualified for the playoffs having not qualified the year before. From 1992-2004, the average was just 3.8 different teams, year over year. Following the introduction of the salary cap in 2005, that number rose to 5.4, a 66% rise. Greater parity makes teams more marketable, matches for broadcasters more appealing and betting markets become more attractive as fans from every team can envisage any result possible.




The St. Louis Blues' win last season was testimony to this. They had the worst record of any of the 31 NHL teams on January 3rd. After this they went on a run that defied belief and won the first Stanley Cup in their history.


The European Reach of The NHL

Commercially, the NHL showed the popularity of ice hockey in Europe, as well as their commitment to the continent, by tweaking the schedule and the timing of 50 Saturday and Sunday matches. By doing this, broadcasters and partners could create a ‘European Game of the Week’ and further push fan engagement in Europe. With broadcasters in over 25 European countries, the need to keep this audience engaged is clear.

2019 Global Series 2020 Global Series
Berlin, Germany Mannheim, Germany
Lausanne, Switzerland Bern, Switzerland
Prague, Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic 
Stockholm, Sweden Helsinki, Finland


2020 will mark the fourth consecutive year that the NHL will return to Europe for matches during the regular season. Tickets for all the games this year and last “sold out instantly”. The appetite for European NHL action is also evident with multiple broadcasters showing games across the regular season and playoffs.

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