NHL Underdogs Betting Strategy

Sports Betting


NHL Underdogs Betting Strategy

In this NHL betting strategy guide we're going to take a look at why betting underdogs is important. In most American sports such as the NFL and NBA there is a point spread, which makes the moneyline odds negative on both teams generally. In the NHL you can wager on moneyline underdogs and always receive positive moneyline odds. The advantage of betting on underdogs in hockey is the fact that you don't need to have that high of a winning percentage to profit from your picks.

When you bet on a point spread bet the average odds will be around -110, which means you need to win 52.38% of your picks in order to break even from the juice. When you bet on underdogs you don't even need to win 50% of your picks to make a profit, which is why betting on underdogs is such an important strategy in the NHL. Another thing to note is that favourites in the NHL are usually higher than -110 odds, which means you need to win more than 55+% of your picks.

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» Finding Value in NHL Underdogs

You can't simply bet on every underdog night in and night out in the NHL, as most seasons you're not going to make money. It's important to find value in underdogs and bet those games only. We're going to point out some handicapping tips that you can use to find valuable underdogs when betting on the NHL.

  • Home underdogs are rare in the NHL and you should generally avoid betting on them. If a team is a home underdog there is a good reason. Typically the home team has injuries or is just playing really bad if they're an underdog and we don't advise betting on them. Sometimes even bad teams play well at home and win as small underdogs, but you'll find more value betting on road underdogs that shouldn't even be underdogs.

  • Generally the best teams in each conference play well on the road, but the problem is finding the top teams listed as an underdog when on the road. If you look at the 2010-2011 regular season the best teams all had good road records and all of the teams that didn't make the playoffs played horribly on the road. Identifying the teams that play well on the road at the beginning of each NHL season is very important.

  • The public will bet up the odds on certain teams every season and you can find lots of value in the underdogs against certain teams. For instance, teams like the Penguins are almost always huge favourites against most teams because the public loves betting on them. If you can catch the popular public teams on a slump you can pick up lots of value on underdogs that shouldn't necessarily be underdogs in the given game.

  • If you like betting on multiple games every night than underdogs are great to bet on because you can have a bad night and still break even or profit. It's rare to see favourites sweep the board on any given night in the NHL, so if you can find the valuable underdogs you'll usually do great. Even if you go 2 for 5 on a given night of betting underdogs in the NHL you could end up with a nice profit or at worst break even. If you go 2 for 5 betting on favourites in the NHL you're going to lose a nice chunk of your bankroll.

  • You should always stay on top of what teams are slumping and streaking regardless of where the team is in the standings. Even bad teams will have spots during the season where they go on a hot streak and win 4-5 games in a row and if you jump on the streak early enough you can pick up some quick units.