Finding Value in NHL Betting Odds

We identify key areas to focus on when looking at NHL betting odds.

Key Points

– NHL bettors can find betting value in a number of different situations.

– The goalie matchup, the schedule, and recent performance are all helpful when looking for NHL betting value.

Knowing NHL Betting Odds

Betting on NHL games may not be as popular as betting on the NFL or NBA, but bettors can find plenty of great opportunities if they simply know where to look. Finding value in NHL betting odds simply requires some prior knowledge.

Hockey betting may seem difficult or even boring at times. There are many one-goal games in the NHL every year. Because of scoring, betting on NHL games is primarily a moneyline thing. Still, betting on hockey can provide the smarter bettor with numerous value bets all season long.

So, how can we start finding value in NHL betting odds? There are many different types of hockey lines. But we looked at the most popular, money lines and puck lines.

It starts with knowing where to look.

Analyze the Schedule

NHL teams play a grueling 82-game schedule. There are a number of times throughout a given season where a team will play on back-to-back nights. There are also stretches where teams play three games in four nights. 

Oftentimes, NHL coaches will go deeper into their lineups and play a fourth line much more than usual. That helps star players get more rest, but it also keeps those talented scorers off the ice. 

Another factor is motivation. It pays for hockey bettors to find instances where a team might be looking ahead. They may play a weak team one night and a powerhouse the next. Teams may often overlook the weaker opponent and focus on the powerhouse. That can lead to great betting opportunities.

Rest is a huge factor in the NHL. A team coming off no rest is at a disadvantage when playing a team that is rested. Looking for these opportunities in the schedule can help bettors find value in NHL betting odds.

Road Teams with Strong Road Records

Home teams have some advantages in NHL games. The biggest is “last change” which allows a home coach to make substitutions last following all whistles to stop play. Home coaches can always get the matchup they want.

That doesn’t always translate into wins though. Playing at home is already factored into a game’s odds. One of the things NHL bettors can do is look at how well a home team plays in their own arena against a team that has a strong road record. 

Veteran teams often navigate the pressures of playing on the road better than younger teams. This is something smart NHL bettors will look at before placing a bet.

If you’ve gotten this far, and are still asking, how do you bet on hockey, click the link. It’s time to learn.

The Goalies & NHL Betting Odds

There might be no more important matchup in an NHL game than the two opposing goalies. It pays to know when a goalie is playing and when he might not. Starting goalies will be rested every once in a while and bettors may find value in betting against a backup.

There are also occasions when betting on a backup makes sense. Back in the 2016-17 season, Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was having an outstanding year. His backup, Juuse Suaros, was actually having an even better one. He didn’t play as often, but Suaros had a better save percentage and a better goals against average.

Whatever the situation, it pays to know who is in goal and who is not.

Go Streaking

Don’t actually take the clothes off, but look for NHL teams with big winning and losing streaks. They always seem to happen. The Mario Lemieux-era Pittsburgh Penguins are the only NHL team with two 15-game-plus winning streaks.

Backing teams that are hot can pay off. It can also pay off on the other end to find teams that can’t find ways to win. Take the 2016-17 Philadelphia Flyers as an example. Early in the season, the Flyers enjoyed a 10-game winning streak. They outscored their opponents by 14 goals. Riding the streak paid off for some bettors.

Right after that streak, the Flyers then went on a run of 16 games in which they recorded just one victory. Streaks work both ways. Smart NHL bettors would be wise to consider them before placing wagers.

Recent Play When Analyzing NHL Betting Odds

NHL teams play their season over seven to eight months. A lot can change over the course of a season. There are injuries, trades, rumors of trades, coaching changes, and much more. All of these can impact how a team plays. Injuries can also determine some of your futures wagering.

Using the Flyers example from above, a team can go 10-0 and turn around and go 1-15. It pays for bettors to look at the more recent play of teams (or players) they are considering wagering on.

Simply betting on a team because of its strong season record may miss how the team has performed recently.