While it still isn’t as popular around the sports betting world as the NFL or NBA, the NHL has gained a stronger following in terms from the handicappers over the years. There are plenty of systems out there for betting on other sports but the lack of information out there pertaining to hockey betting certainly appears to be lacking at this point in time. Here are some simple rules to remember when it comes to betting on the NHL.
Understanding True Records
The NHL awards one point to teams that tie in regulation and then fail to win in overtime or the shootout. Therefore, every time two teams play more than 60 minutes there are three points awarded despite the fact that there is a winner and a loser by the time the game is decided. There overtime and shootout losses are recorded in a different column than the regular losses and that can complicate the true records of teams. For example, the Carolina Hurricanes owned an 8-7-4 record through their first 19 games of the 2016-17 regular season. At first glance it would appear as though the Hurricanes are above .500 but in reality their true record would indicate otherwise. Carolina might have earned four points for overtime and shootout losses but for betting purposes they are losses nonetheless. Therefore, the Hurricanes’ true record is actually 8-11 on the season so their true record is below .500. A team can look much better according to their record in the standings then their actual true record and therefore be overrated at a glance. It’s important to understand that the true records represent how teams have fared from a sports betting perspective in order to apply those numbers when it comes to evaluating NHL matchups.
Another important area that many sports handicappers should take in to consideration is how teams perform against particular conferences or even divisions. For example, the Edmonton Oilers finished the 2015-16 season with a 31-43-8 record, which represents a 31-51 true record. However, they posted a 17-14-1 record against Eastern Conference opponents, which is a 17-15 true record. The fact that the Oilers played at an above .500 clip against Eastern Conference opponents but were 20 games below .500 overall suggests that they were the victims of playing in the tougher of the two conferences last season. The Oilers are off to a much better start against Western Conference opponents this season with an 8-3 record against teams from their own conference but it’s important to keep these types of trends in mind when evaluating matchups. Teams can also show strong tendencies against division opponents or in terms of home vs. road splits so the expanded standings should always be taken in to account. Breaking down these numbers can be an excellent first step when it comes to evaluating sports betting matchups in the NHL so those that want to handicap the sport should start to take an interest in these numbers.