NHL Betting Tips
You may assume that betting on the NHL is easy, but you couldn't be more wrong. If the moneyline odds were always even money you would be able to make a lot of money, but that isn't the case. The favoured teams always have negative moneyline odds that can reach above the -200 range, which is incredibly high. I've never met an NHL handicapper that's made money by betting on favourites all the time, as no matter how good you are the juice will eventually catch up to you.
To make money betting on hockey you're going to need to do your homework on a daily basis. During the NHL season there are hockey games almost every night and you need to be able to handicap the games on a daily basis. There are lots of things that you'll need to learn while handicapping NHL games, but we're going to point out many of the best tips below to help you out.
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- During the regular season home teams do very well and the top teams always do very well when they play in front of their home crowd fans. A lot of the time the best teams will be heavily favoured at home, but you can find a lot of value when two good teams play against each other. Even the worst teams in the league often end up finishing around .500 at home, which would most likely be profitable betting blind, as the worst teams are often underdogs even when they're playing at home.
- There are thousands of trends that a handicapper can look at while capping NHL games, but the problem is that most of the trends are useless. I only pay attention to recent trends and recent head-to-head trends. Some teams don't play against each other very often, so make sure you check the dates of recent head-to-head match-ups to ensure you're not using trends from a few seasons ago. Recent trends are important and will help you determine when a team is struggling and when a team is playing well, which will help you pick the best performing teams.
- Two important stats that I always take a look at each team include starting goalies and injuries. Injuries play a big role in the NHL and you'd be surprised how many times an important player sits out a game or two because of a minor injury. A couple games isn't that big of a deal to the team, but when betting on the game it's important to know who's going to be playing and who's going to be out of the line-up. During the regular season some teams play the back-up goalie fairly regularly, so make sure you know which goalies are going to be playing in the games you bet.
- If you want to bet on the game totals in the NHL you should look at each team's recent performance and heads-to-head performance. Generally you can expect teams to play similarly against each other, especially when the two teams play against each other regularly. If two teams play defensive battles most of the time and average under 4 goals a game when they play each other, it's probably a smart bet to bet the under 5 goals.
- Betting on favourites in the -110 - -150 range is fine in the NHL, but you don't want to make a habit of betting on teams to win when the odds are higher than -150. You also need to make sure you're not scared about betting underdogs. In the NHL any team can win on a given night and it's our job to find the value in teams when they're playing well. Just because a team is an underdog doesn't mean they don't have a great chance at winning any given game.