The NHL continues to grow in popularity from a sports betting perspective and while the analytics surrounding the game have also grown in popularity over the years the information out there pales in comparison to what is available for the NFL or even the NBA. We took the time to break down some key tips that could help NHL handicappers gain an edge when it comes to betting on hockey. Here are some more simple rules to remember when it comes to betting on the NHL.
Accounting For Home/Road Splits
It’s always important to take in to account the home advantage that teams will benefit from in their respective sports and the same is true for the NHL. The numbers illustrate the difference between numbers registered at home and on the road and it’s important to keep the splits in mind when it comes to evaluating matchups. There were only 11 teams in the NHL that finished with a true record below .500 at home last season and there were only five teams that finished with a true record worst than five games below .500 at home last season. That means that all but the worst performers on home ice won at least 43% of their games on home ice while the best teams won around 70% of their home games. The sportsbooks will concentrate on the overall strength of teams for the most part when making their lines and there tends to be less emphasis on the home/road splits than there probably should be. Take the time to account for the home/road splits when trying to predict winners and you can really gain an edge that the sportsbooks might not even be taking in to account to the degree that they should be.
Understanding Home/Road Totals Variances
If teams are winning more games at home than they are on the road then there is a very good chance that they are scoring more goals at home than they are on the road. However, there are always cases where the disparity between the goals scored at home compared to on the road are much greater than you would expect and that needs to be taken in to account when it comes to betting on totals. There are situations where teams that want to play a more defensive game actually have lower totals at home where they are most successful but that is simply a result to their approach to the game. The scoring totals across the board are up this season from last year’s averages so it will be very interesting to see if there is some regression as the year progresses. However, regardless of whether the scoring averages stay high or come down a little it’s important to consider home/road total variances when betting on totals. The numbers are out there at sites like NHL.com and ESPN.com so take the time to crunch the numbers in order to get a more accurate indication of what will happen in specific sports betting NHL matchups.