Over-Under Record: 42-32
The Flyers were the best over bet this season and that’s not all too surprising. What was surprising was how it happened.
Heading into the year, everyone assumed this team would be a great over bet. However, they were anything but that in the first month of the season. They averaged just 1.85 goals per game in October (third-lowest) while allowing just 2.73. In November, their average combined score was just 4.53 goals per game – among the lowest in the league. Odds makers had them facing a lot of 5.5 and even 6’s early on in the year but they quickly had to adjust.
But as the Flyers fired head coach Peter Laviollette and started to adjust to Craig Berube, the team got back to business. Now with lower, adjusted totals, the Flyers turned up the heat. In the last 23 games over the year, they were the second-highest scoring team (3.22 goals per game) while giving up the eighth-most goals (2.83 goals per game). That’s the Flyers we know and love. But again, by that point the totals had shifted and it was easier for this team get above the number.
So that’s the story of how the Flyers became the best over bet this year. Not easy to peg but if you stuck with it or caught on to the trend, you profited.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Over-Under Record: 45-34
It’s hard to believe that the Leafs were among the better defensive teams in the league in October. They ranked sixth in goals allowed with just 2.29 per game. However, that would not lost and the Leafs eventually became a very easy over bet on a nightly basis. The Leafs allowed the most shots on goal per game this season and while their keepers stood on their heads at times, it was clear that it wouldn’t last.
Over the final 22 games of the season, only one team gave up more goals per game than the Leafs 3.36 average. The levies broke and this team headed above the number very regularly.
Los Angeles Kings
Over-Under Record: 22-41
The Kings were your best bet for the under this season and it’s no surprise. Entering the year, we knew they would again have one of the best defenses in the NHL and they didn’t disappoint. Jonathan Quick and company allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (174). The other main reason why they were such a great under bet is that their offense disappeared. Even though we expected their scoring droughts to be behind them, that proved to be quite wrong. Only one player on this team had more than 50 points (Anze Kopitar) and as a result, Kings games played to an average score of 4.6 this season.
Over-Under Record: 28-42
The Habs were the second-best under bet this season, which comes as a little bit of a surprise. The reasoning was quite simple: an improvement in defense/goaltending and a decrease in goals scored. The Habs ranked third in goals scored two years ago but that ranking dropped to 21st this year. As for the goals allowed, they went from 13th all the way sixth. The Habs weren’t expected to be such an under team, which means they faced a number of 5.5 totals this season. That allowed them to get under the number plenty even with an average combined score of 5.1 goals in their games.