How To Bet On The NHL And Win

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What are the best strategies for betting on the NHL? What are the keys to successful NHL betting? In this article we discuss how to make money betting on the NHL.

At the beginning of every NHL season bettors wonder what they should do in order to make money betting the NHL over the coming months of the season. In this article we will lay out a solid plan of attack to help you enhance your chances of making a profit long term betting on the NHL this season.


Five Tips to Bet on NHL and Win

#1 - Mark Your Schedule Early
#2 - Know Who is Starting In Goal
#3 - Make Your Own Lines
#4 - Avoid Short Odds On Totals
#5 - Keep Records 


#1 - Mark Your Schedule Early

When the NHL season schedule is released in late July it's a good idea to print out the entire season for every team, then go through each team’s schedule identifying the following:

  • Every time teams play on consecutive calendar days. You want to also note whether those consecutive games are at home or away on both legs of it.

  • Every time teams play a game started at an unusual time. Generally teams may play a matinee on weekends or holidays. These games often conflict with teams internal body clocks.

  • Every extended road trip for teams. You also want to focus on Western teams playing in Eastern Time zones and vice versa for Eastern teams.

  • Groupings of games where teams play 3 games in 4 days, 4 games in 6 etc. These can also drain team’s stamina on the end of these groupings as well as leave benches thin due to nagging injuries that can’t be overcome with rest.

If one does this NHL schedule analysis in full, you should realise games in which teams may not be able to bring their best effort and look for spots to indicate when teams may have a clear stamina advantage over a tired one.

Teams may also be focused on games against division rivals more than another team in these spots as well. Be sure to move fast when lines come out on these games to beat the market if it looks like a good spot to back or to fade someone.

 


#2 - Know Who is Starting In Goal

One individual position that is extremely important to winning wagers is goal-tending! Be sure to use a reliable source to determine who is getting the start for each game you are wagering. Two websites that are helpful are dailyfaceoff.com and goaliepost.com.

This step kind of ties into the previous step because when teams play on consecutive days, often the starting goalie will not play both of them. You should know each team’s depth at goal and have the separate stats for each goalie as this will often change power ratings for teams. There can be a huge drop off in overall team performance when the backup goalie is playing. It definitely pays to know who is starting.

 


#3 - Make Your Own Lines

This may not be easy for some, but it is essential if you want to be ahead of the market to know when you are getting “value”. At times the term “value” can be overused, but one would never know if they had value unless you’ve priced it yourself first. If you have no idea how to do this, and it takes time to learn, track what the prices the bookmakers are listing for every game. Print the odds each day when they are released as well as at closing. After about a quarter of the season is through you should be able to see what odds makers believe is the correct price (openers), as well as what the betting public believes is a good price (closers). Neither, by itself, is good exclusively but you should be able to see a range of prices for each team in a variety of situations.

Honestly this step may take a full season before you feel confident in betting the differences between your numbers versus books but it is essential if one is to beat the market. Often amateur bettors forget that you are not betting teams versus other teams but betting against odds that the books put out. We hear people say things like “Team A is playing great hockey” or “Team B is horrible right now.” That doesn’t mean team A is a must bet and team B is a bet against! Most likely the bookmakers know both teams and price them accordingly.

 


#4 - Avoid Short Odds On Totals

Hockey totals are generally lined with the same static numbers, these being 5, 5.5, and sometimes 6. Bookmakers have the advantage in most cases with this by being able to use these numbers and offer shorter odds should stats indicate the scoring to lean one way or the other.

Historically about 30% of games land right on the total of 5. Games going over 5 occur about 45% and that leaves the under at about 25%. If one looks at scenarios where 4 or less goals are scored it is a very small set of results. These are 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 2-1, and 3-1 results. Once a game goes 2-1 the team losing cannot score again or it will result in at least a push and possibly a loss. We suggest you avoid betting totals when the game is lined at 5. Bettors pay a premium for resting on that key number and with the juice or vigorish assigned it makes long term profits extremely difficult. Bookmakers place a price of at least 85 cents to sit on that number versus betting 4.5 or 5.5 totals. In the playoffs it gets even more pricey based on the premise that defence wins championships and scoring becomes limited.

 


#5 - Keep Records

No professional bettor would be considered professional without this step. If one didn’t track every wager made, as well as all wagers and games not bet, would the bettor be able to reveal where their strengths and weaknesses are. This ties into step 3 when making your own lines. Track team scoring, team goals allowed, as well as different scenarios so that when teams are in an adverse situation you won’t be baffled by lines that don’t seem quite right. Tracking how teams perform in different price scenarios can reveal spots where the betting public or the books are giving too much or too little credit to a team and you may find great spots to bet on or against them.

 

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