NHL Playoff Betting Strategy
The NHL regular season is a long grind, but if you can maintain a profit during the regular season you should be able to add to your profits during the NHL playoffs. Betting on the NHL playoffs is harder than betting on other sports in North America, as every team can potentially win the Stanley Cup. We constantly see low seeded playoff teams make a Cup run, so you can put too much weight on the teams seeding in the playoffs.
When betting on the NHL playoffs there are some important tips to keep in mind that we're going to share with you below. If you follow out NHL playoff betting strategy you should ensure a profitable end to the hockey season. The playoff format in the NHL has been used since the 1992 season without any changes. Since the 1992 season the 8th seeded playoff team has won 28% of the 1st round series against the #1 seed, which goes to show you how close each NHL team is in terms of skill.
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» NHL Playoff Betting Tips
- Home teams usually have an excellent record during the regular season and having home ice advantage during the playoffs is always important to every team. However, historically home ice advantage hasn't helped teams as much as one would assume. Road teams have actually done better than home teams most seasons in the playoffs, which is important to remember because road teams typically have better odds as well.
- It's very tempting to bet big favourites in the playoffs because it's hard to see a big favourite losing against a lower seeded team. In the 1st round of the 2010 playoffs there were 15 games where the favourite had odds of -200 or higher. Now you'd think they've won most of those games, but the favourites only won 7 of the 15 games, so if you had been betting big favourites you'd have lost a lot of money. Avoid betting big favourites at all in the NHL playoffs, as the juice will end up catching up to you at some point.
- In the playoffs you want to pay attention to the goalie stats while handicapping games. Every NHL playoffs there is always 1 or 2 goalies that shine and help their team make a Stanley Cup run. You should identify the overachieving goalies early in the playoffs and ride them as much as possible if the odds are reasonable. Even when a goalie is running hot it's hard to justify betting a team favoured by -200 or more.
- If you want to bet on a team that you know is going to be a heavily favoured team throughout the series you can bet on the series wager. Most online sportsbooks will offer a series wager where you bet on the team you think will win the best-of-7 series. Generally you won't need to risk that much on a team to win the series and it's a better bet than betting on the favoured team every game. If the favoured team wins the series 4-3 you win the series bet, but if you bet each game separately you'd be down money because of the juice you'd have lost by betting the favourite on the 3 games they lost.
The NHL playoffs are the best time of the year for NHL handicappers and can be very exciting when you're making money. Keep the tip above in mind when betting on the NHL playoffs and it'll help you avoid losing big. We like focusing on underdogs during the regular season, but we don't mind betting favourites if we feel there is a big edge and the odds aren't over -200.