# How do I bet on NHL picks effectively?

Betting can be complicated, especially when it is related to sports like the NHL. There are a lot of variables to consider and multiple ways that a bet could be made, so even if you feel ready to place one, you still need to understand the basics of how betting works – and how to make sure you do it correctly.

## Understand odds

Odds are the heart of every bet since they dictate how much you win and what kind of risk is involved with the bet you make. In most cases, odds are laid out as an X:Y ratio, with X being the amount you will get per Y you wager. For example, 10:1 means that you will be paid out \$10 for every \$1 you wager – if your bet is successful.

Odds are also a great way to tell how risky a bet might be, in the opinion of whoever sets them. If one team has 2:1 odds and another has 10:1, then the 10:1 team will pay out far more, but that is usually because they are much less likely to win. Bookmakers try to ‘balance’ odds so that teams with higher win chances layout less, enticing people to bet more money on teams that are far less likely to succeed.

These odds come from past data: if a team performs well and wins often, then the odds usually lower because they have a higher chance of success, but a poorly-performing team will see odds climb higher. If two teams have played against one another often and one keeps losing, then their past games will be used as data to work out fair odds for either side.

## Analyze data

A major part of any bet is being able to use data as a tool, especially if you want a higher chance of making a big, winning bet. The more familiar you are with a game and the players taking part, the easier it can be to understand how likely victory will be for either side, which is why it can be so hard to bet on sports that you know nothing about.

To get around this problem, some sites and services offer NHL picks as data, which they run through their own custom algorithms and sell to customers. These algorithms can often contain things like information about player performances at an individual level, the rate of the two specific teams winning against each other, and sometimes even data about how often a team wins in their own state compared to playing games abroad.

These picks usually give you an easy way to see the most likely outcomes of individual games, while some go a step further and contain data for larger bets (such as the outcome of an entire tournament) or smaller ones (like the chance of a certain player scoring X amount of times). Each company and service has its own algorithm for this kind of information, but they are all based on past real-world data.

## Use automated tools

Another useful feature for betting is any kind of automated bankroll or betting system, which can be handy for trying to keep on top of bets without needing to make them manually. Not everybody likes to use them, especially if they are used to the normal way of betting, but they can be a great way to save time and manage the money you are spending.

If you have some money to spare to pay for a decent service, combining some automated systems and tools with a set of NHL picks from a reliable handicapper service means that you are able to quickly manage the money you are betting across multiple different games.  And easily check the upcoming odds of who will be playing, and even automate certain bets if you re really confident in the odds that you will be seeing.

## Bet smart

Finally, make sure that you are not betting beyond whatever reasonable limits you have set for yourself. Even in situations where one NHL team is going to absolutely outplay the other, upsets and unexpected victories can still happen, so you never want to wager more than you can afford on a single game. Betting can be fun, and betting can be profitable, but you need to keep a close eye on what you are actually doing with your money.

Story by Katie Barns