Betting Strategies for NHL Hockey
The NHL might not get the same attention that other leagues like the NFL or NBA get, but the betting community has started to embrace hockey for its unique betting options. They call it the fastest game on ice, and if you have ever watched an NHL game in person, you’ll know exactly what that means. But hockey doesn’t have as many goals scored as it did in the past. Players like many goals, has a lot of players dressed for each game, and has a ton of different rules. How can it be exciting to bet on? For the true sports bettors out there, anything can be exciting to bet on! Read on to see our top tips for betting games in the NHL.
Team Travel / Schedule
It is an extremely common thing for professional bettors to look at in any sport: how tired a team is. Fatigue is real, and if you’ve ever done a cross country flight, you’ll know exactly how tiring it can be to travel across different time zones. Now think about suiting up and playing a professional sport after that flight. Like the NBA, NHL teams can play on back to back nights throughout the season, and nearly every team has one long road trip at some point. Knowing a team’s schedule can definitely give you an edge in handicapping an NHL game.
Knowing the Backup Goalies
For the most part, backup goalies in hockey are like backup quarterbacks in football: people love to bet against them. But sportsbooks lay those odds heavily against a backup goalie, and if you think about it, is there that much of a drop off from the best 32 goalies in the world to the best 64? Similar to NFL backup quarterbacks, most of them are actually pretty good when given an opportunity. This is all to say, just because you see a backup goalie starting, it doesn’t make it an auto bet against.
It is actually quite common across all sports for professional bettors to bet on underdogs. Why? Because underdogs give you way better odds. This is a similar strategy to betting a sport like baseball, where you don’t play point spreads and mostly bet teams on the moneyline. There is a good chance that underdogs pay off in the long-run because the wins are bigger. It’s not uncommon to find NHL underdogs at +200 or more on any given night. There’s not much value in betting on the Tampa Bay Lightning to win a game at -300 every night, especially since most NHL teams will lose between 40-60% of their games in a given season.
Target Teams Without Discipline
Generally speaking, teams that take a lot of penalties lose more games. Now it’s not a rule set in stone, but over the course of time, being short-handed during games is just detrimental to a team’s success. Targeting heavily penalized teams is a strategy that can be added to how you handicap an NHL game. If a team has a great power play unit, and they are up against a team that takes a lot of penalties, that could mean at least a goal or two in their favor which makes all the difference for a bet.
NHL Player Props
Yes, the ever-popular player prop bets have made their way to the ice as well. The NHL is similar to the NBA and NFL where offensive distribution can be somewhat predictable. Players that play on the power play make better bets for anytime goals corer or anytime point getter bets. Another fun bet to place on a player is total shots on goal for the game. When you get players like Alexander Ovechkin, these bets can be locks on almost a nightly basis. They do require some research, such as how teams defend certain positions, and how many shots they are likely to allow in a game.
NHL Live Betting
Experienced NHL bettors will know exactly what we are talking about when we say there is a crucial time during every NHL game to try and live bet. In close games, the losing team will often pull their goalies for an extra attacker in the last couple minutes of the game. If a team is already losing by a goal, some bettors hammer the puck line which is similar to a point spread where a team has to win by -1.5 goals. The odds of the team that is ahead scoring on the open net is fairly high, so it makes the added juice to betting puck lines more attractive to bettors. Bet on NHL Hockey.
NHL Wagering Tips
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