If you hadn’t yet heard, the Boston Bruins are on fire, once again.
Last season, Boston went on an insane second-half run and nearly caught the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the Atlantic. While that won’t be possible this season with the Lightning running roughshod on the rest of the NHL, the Bruins are once again scorching hot and quite possibly the best team in the NHL at this very moment.
Boston has notched at least one point in 18 straight games. Their last regulation loss came way back on January 19th when they were upset by the New York Rangers by a 3-2 score. They are 11-0-1 over their last 12 games and 14-0-4 over their last 18.
All of this was coming to an end on Thursday night when the Bruins and Panthers entered the final minute of regulation with Florida leading 3-2. However, the Bruins managed to tie the game with just 37 seconds left on a power play marker by Matt Grzelcyk.
It all but assured the two clubs were going to overtime and the Bruins would indeed stretch that point streak to 18 games. However, this team is so good right now that they decided to score again with just seven seconds left to win the game 4-3 and stun the Panthers in the process.
As big -204 favorites, the Bruins were able to give moneyline bettors a sigh of relief.
Speaking of that moneyline, the Bruins have clearly been earning Bruins moneyline supporters plenty of cake of late.
Let’s take a look at the 18-game point streak as well as the Bruins’ moneyline price on each occasion.
|Bruins on the Moneyline – Last 18 Games|
|Jets||-153||L 4-3 (SO)|
|Flyers||-208||L 3-2 (OT)|
|@Rangers||-148||L 4-3 (SO)|
|Kings||-235||W 5-4 (OT)|
|Avalanche||-183||W 2-1 (OT)|
|@Sharks||+125||W 6-5 (OT)|
|@Golden Knights||+122||W 3-2 (SO)|
|@Blues||+116||L 2-1 (SO)|
|Hurricanes||-126||W 4-3 (OT)|
Now, it’s time for the math.
Let’s assume that you wagered to win $100 on every game that the Bruins were favored in. For instance, that first Jets game at -153, you would have to wager $153 to win $100. That’s how the American odds format works.
In a game where Boston is the underdog, you bet $100 to win more than $100. For instance, the game at San Jose where the Bruins were +125 underdogs, you would wager $100 and won $125.
The first few games would not have been profitable as the Bruins went just 2-0-3 and lost on the moneyline on three of the five occasions. However, they took off from there.
To give a clear view, let’s re-do the same table, but add a running moneyline profit/loss column along the right-hand side.
|Jets||-153||L 4-3 (SO)||-$153|
|Flyers||-208||L 3-2 (OT)||-$361|
|@Rangers||-148||L 4-3 (SO)||-$307|
|Kings||-235||W 5-4 (OT)||-$207|
|Avalanche||-183||W 2-1 (OT)||-$107|
|@Sharks||+125||W 6-5 (OT)||+$318|
|@Golden Knights||+122||W 3-2 (SO)||+$440|
|@Blues||+116||L 2-1 (SO)||+$340|
|Hurricanes||-126||W 4-3 (OT)||+$740|
Now, for a team that has won 14 times in their last 18, the Bruins have won their nightly moneyline backers $840 in that time. If I told you that you bet on a team every night, and that team wins 14 of 18 games, wouldn’t you expect to win more than $840 on a nightly $100 wager? I would.
However, this is what we need to understand about the moneyline. On the occasions that the Bruins were listed at -200 or greater to win, they went 3-0-1, and all four games were decided by just one goal and three of the four went to overtime, and they lose last night’s game against the Panthers nine times out of 10 down 3-2 with less than 40 seconds to go.
In other words, there’s no value there. That loss to the Flyers as -202 favorites is back-breaking.
That said, let’s re-do the table one more time, but let’s count only the last nine games where the Bruins’ moneyline price was quite reasonable on most nights.
|@Sharks||+125||W 6-5 (OT)||+$225|
|@Golden Knights||+122||W 3-2 (SO)||+$350|
|@Blues||+116||L 2-1 (SO)||+$250|
|Hurricanes||-126||W 4-3 (OT)||+$650|
Now there is a solid return on investment during a nine-game stretch. Instead of betting the Bruins on the moneyline at odds that don’t provide value early in the streak, bettors that did so when the Bruins’ moneyline odds offered value profited almost the same amount in half the time.
This is a good lesson that there is never a sure thing in sports and that we need to be smart when dealing with moneyline bets.