NHL Betting: 5 Keys To Help You Win In The NHL Playoffs



Betting on the Stanley Cup playoffs is completely different than betting on regular season hockey. With the same teams facing each other up to seven times in a row in a series, there isn’t much need for scouting reports and scheduling analysis. Every player is motivated that that time of the year so there is a good chance each team will be at its best night in and night out. The games are usually very close and the betting lines are as well. Here is a look at five keys to help you win in the NHL playoffs. Don’t Overvalue Home Ice In all professional sports, home advantage is a common theme. However, unlike in the NFL the margin for home advantage is much slimmer in the NHL than some might think. The numbers illustrate this. Through the first 46 games of the 2017 NHL playoffs, the visiting teams own a 26-20 record. Therefore, the visiting teams have actually posted better results than the home teams in this year’s postseason. This shouldn’t be a complete surprise. When teams are on the road they can play a more relaxed game without feeling the pressure of pleasing their home fans. Playing in enemy territory isn’t nearly as intimidating as it once was either. The numbers don’t lie. Make sure you don’t overvalue home ice advantage in the NHL playoffs. Current Form Matters More Than Seeding One of the biggest mistakes that casual bettors make is putting too much focus on seeding and not enough focus on current form. In reality, you should actually do the opposite. Teams go through many highs and lows over the course of the season. It’s important to remember that while a team might have had a more consistent regular season in terms of point production they might not be as their best come playoff time. Make sure you focus more on current form rather than playoff seeding. Value Hot Goalies A very common theme in the postseason is that a hot goalie can carry a team over a substantial stretch. If there are two very evenly matched teams, there is a good chance that the team with the better goalie is going to win the series. A hot goaltender can easily steal a playoff series. Make sure you value the potential of a hot goaltender. Consider Stanley Cup Futures One helpful tip when it comes to betting on NHL playoff games is that the NHL futures odds could often hint at quality value betting the individual games. For example, if the sixth seed in a conference is considered more likely to win the Stanley Cup than the third seed according to the futures odds, then there might be value betting on that sixth seed to complete the upset in the individual games. Make sure you consider the Stanley Cup futures since they can often provide helpful hints. Avoid Heavy Favorites Another important rule to remember is that you should try to avoid the heavy favorites. A sweep is rare in a playoff series and even this year when we saw a sweep it was the eighth-seeded Nashville predators taking down the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in four games. The heavy favorites could win some games but the value just isn’t there from a betting perspective. Take the time to shop around for the best odds and do your best to avoid betting on the heavy favorites when possible.