#Betting101: Resetting Expectations After the NHL Trade Deadline

Jason Lake

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 1:31 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 1:31 PM UTC

There was a flurry of exchanges ahead of Monday’s trade deadline. With all these players switching uniform, we should be able to find a bargain or two for our NHL picks.

Only in pro sports do you get rewarded for sucking so bad. Monday was the annual NHL trade deadline, that wonderful time of the year when playoff-bound teams overspend to acquire talent from anyone who’s willing to wave the white flag. These roster changes give bettors a chance to out-think the marketplace and make some sharp NHL picks. As a general rule, the teams who bought at the deadline won’t play as well as the market hopes, while the sellers will outperform expectations of doom and gloom.

That’s a general rule. Specifically, we’d like to focus on fading the teams that have added players who were already overvalued in the market, and supporting those teams that haven’t lost all that much by selling – either because the player they got rid of was overvalued, and/or because the replacement (acquired in the trade, or brought up from the minors) is undervalued. Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and get to know the real story behind the NHL odds at the trade deadline.

The Kane Gang

Of the teams who added talent at the deadline, the biggest question is with the San Jose Sharks (33-21-9). They picked up LW Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for center Danny O’Regan and a pair of conditional draft picks. Kane has 20 goals and 20 assists this season, but only five goals and one assist since Jan. 1. He’s also an impending unrestricted free agent with off-ice issues of note.

The Sharks were already a dubious commodity as it was. Their goal differential of plus-6 is eighth overall in the Western Conference, and according to Hockey Reference San Jose has played the softest schedule in the West. They’re down 1.21 units on the puck line at 33-30 ATS. Adding Kane should make them even more fade-able going forward.

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Nash: 1st + top prospect + Spooner
Kane: 1st + top prospect + 4th
Grabner: 2nd + prospect
Maroon: 3rd + prospect

Vanek: a Wendy’s coupon

— GudbransonForNorris (@MrBooth_7) February 26, 2018


Looking at the trade deadline sellers, nobody cleared out more talent than the New York Rangers (27-30-6), who are calling “Uncle” after falling to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers sent LW Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins on Sunday; as part of that deal, they got back center Ryan Spooner, who was playing well on Boston’s second line.

New York also sent defenseman Ryan McDonagh and center J.T. Miller to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and their return package includes forward Vladislav Namestnikov, a 20-goal scorer for Tampa Bay. The Rangers (27-36 ATS, minus-10.14 units) aren’t going to be that much worse off after these trades – and they’ll be much better next year when the added prospects and draft picks start rolling in. Consider “buying low” on the Blueshirts this week, and may the cylinder be with you.

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