The National Hockey League (NHL) is the cream of the crop when it comes to ice hockey anywhere in the world. Originally started up North, the sport has spread like wildfire…or more like something cold that spreads fast. The NHL now has fans in all corners of the US as well as all corners of the globe. With this popularity, you can understand why the NHL is a favorite amongst sports bettors. The action is fast-paced, and if you know what you’re doing, you can stand to make a lot of money.
In this guide, we’re going to walk you through the ins and outs of NHL betting strategy. We’ll give you the tips and the tools that you need to dominate the books. With some hard work, research, and our strategies, you’re going to be well on your way to cashing in big if you can put it all together. Without any further delay, let’s get into the strategy.
The Importance of Travel Schedules
Often overlooked in most sports are the travel schedules of each team. While this is important in all sports, it becomes much more important in a physically demanding sport like ice hockey. It’s a game where your body is beaten up, bruised, and pounded night after night. If you don’t think this is going to have a toll on performance, you’re living in a fantasy world.
Obviously, all teams go through the same punishment. If that’s the case, then is it just a wash because everyone goes through it? The answer might seem like a yes, but in reality, it’s a no. Imagine if you played two home games in a week versus playing four road games in a week? Which team is going to be the freshest for that next game? You can bet your bottom dollar that the team with fewer games and at home is going to be much more physically prepared for the next game.
So, what should you be looking for and how do you apply this? Well, you should be looking for teams that you think are going to be suffering from excessive fatigue and look to see if there is a good line to bet against them. Remember, just because a team is tired or on a long road trip does not mean they are destined to lose. All it means is that they are not going to be as fresh which could impact speed, power, focus, and overall performance.
You also want to make sure that you look at how far teams have to travel. If they’re bouncing all over the country, you can bet that their sleep and recovery are going to be hindered. They may be professional athletes, but they’re also still human.
The best advice we can give you with this is to take it into account but don’t let it dominate your strategy too aggressively. It’s important, but it doesn’t mean that just because a team has had a lot of travel, they are suddenly going to turn into lame ducks. We like to use this when a line is close, and we’re on the fence about a bet. If this backs up our bet, it makes us a lot more confident with what we’re betting on. If it’s contradictory, we may shy away from the bet that we were on the fence on.
Serious sports bettors savor statistics. However, the problem with savoring something too much is you start to salivate and look like a fool. What are we trying to say so mystically? We’re trying to say that statistics are extremely important when making your picks, but you need to be careful that you don’t overvalue the wrong statistics. Let’s break this down into a few individual things to look for.
Accuracy of Statistics
The absolute most important thing that you have to check when working with statistics is whether or not they are accurate. Now, we are not saying that every number you get off the web you have to take out your calculator and check it out. What you can do instead is make sure to get your data from a reputable source. There are plenty of data sites out there that you can use that pride themselves on their accuracy.
We highly recommend using one of these sites or using something like ESPN for your numbers. Even then, you should still spot check a few of the numbers just in case. Make sure that someone somewhere isn’t about to lose their job for making a terrible stats error. You won’t be able to get your bets reversed by a sportsbook by telling them that you accidentally used bad stats.
Stats that Matter
You’ve got to use your noggin and make sure that you are only using statistics that mean something. There are a lot of stats that sound great on Sportscenter, but don’t mean much when it comes to betting. It’s entertaining to hear that a certain team hasn’t beaten the other team when they play on Thursdays for the last 12 years.
Does this actually have anything to do with how good either team is? It certainly does not. Unless they were the exact same teams every year and there is something special about Thursdays (like they make them play in different types of skates), then this stat is worthless. You’d be amazed at how many bettors love to latch onto these “fun facts” and end up convincing themselves to make a bet they otherwise wouldn’t.
Make sure that a stat is useful before you try and use it. How do you know if it’s useful? Ask yourself if the stat will have a direct effect on the game. How many goals the goalie has allowed on average that year? Great stat. How the teams did in their last five meetings right before they got a bunch of new players? Probably not so great. We know you’re smart kids. You just have to take a few minutes and assess the stat and decide how to proceed.
Ice hockey is a game that is played in lines. A line is a group of players that are sent onto the ice together at the same time. The lines can be changed throughout the game and will match up against the different lines of the opposing team. Why is this important? Well, to understand how well a team is going to perform, you need to understand how their different lines work together. You also need to understand how their lines are going to match up against the opposing team’s lines.
You’re looking for line matchups that are going to create favorable scoring opportunities. This sort of analysis allows you to go deeper into the team’s roster and find the situations where potential goals are possible.
Looking for Value
While the rest of these strategies and tips are important, they all pale in comparison to this tip. Calling this a tip might even be doing it an injustice. This is actually the basis of all successful sports betting. The secret to winning long-term is being able to identify bets that have value. Sometimes this will mean betting on teams that you think are going to lose and sometimes it means passing on betting on teams that you think are going to win.
The concept can be tough to wrap your head around initially but once you do you will officially be on another level. Sports betting and NHL betting have nothing to do with what your win-loss record is. They have everything to do with what your return on investment in. Basically, you can have a “losing” record and still be crushing your bets and making a ton of money. On the flip side, you could have a “winning” record and be losing money and be a terrible sports bettor.
This is a concept that you MUST understand before you plan to go any further. To help you out, we’ve put together a fully dedicated sports betting guide on how to find value in your bets. It’s intensive, but it’s crucial to your success in the industry.
Putting it All Together
You’ve now got all of the tools you need to get started building out your winning NHL betting strategy. Are these all the things you should be looking at when you bet? No. What we were aiming to do here is give you an idea of where your mind should be going when you’re looking to place an NHL bet. These are the same things that our team of experts uses on a daily basis to make their picks. Mix these strategies with hard work and effective research, and you’re on your way to being a profitable NHL bettor.
Remember, at the end of the day that all of these strategies revolve around finding value in all of your bets. If you can successfully find value, you’re going to be making a lot of money every NHL season.