NHL Regular Season
Betting Odds Review
I recently took the time to go through some of last season’s NHL regular season betting statistics. There are two reasons why I concentrated my efforts on the regular season, and excluded the playoffs in my research. The regular season is more of a daily grind, and a larger sample size. The playoffs only involve 16 of the 30 NHL teams. Besides that being a much smaller sample size, my personal playoff handicapping theories and methods differ substantially to how I approach the long trek of an 82-game regular season schedule.
Evaluating Last Season’s NHL Regular Season Money Line Results
One of the more interesting facts that I discovered was that just 12 of 30 NHL teams made a profit versus the money line last season. Even more surprising was the fact that 2 of those 12-teams didn’t even qualify for the playoffs. The Winnipeg Jets were just 37-45 versus the money line, yet they were the 6th best money earner at +10.37 units. What you might find even more alarming was the Calgary Flames were #9 on the earnings list at +7.13 units, despite just a 35-47 record versus the money line. Finally, how about those Columbus Blue Jackets? Not only did Columbus finish 2nd in earnings this past season at +25.83 units, they’ve also been the top money earner over the previous 2 seasons at +40.54 units. That 2-year number by the Blue Jackets far exceeded the next best team, that being the Anaheim Ducks at +34.31 units.
NHL Teams that Made a Profit in 2013-2014
Below is a list of the 12-teams that made a profit against the money line. The numbers in parenthesis were based on to win 1.00 on a favorite, and to wager 1.00 on an underdog.
1. Boston Bruins (+32.22)
2. Columbus Blue Jackets (+25.83)
3. New York Rangers (+19.69)
4. Tampa Bay Lightning (+15.23)
5. Anaheim Ducks (+12.30)
6. Winnipeg Jets (+10.37)
7. Colorado Avalanche (+9.41)
8. Pittsburgh Penguins (+8.92)
9. Calgary Flames (+7.13)
10. Philadelphia Flyers (+6.58)
11. Los Angeles Kings (+4.27)
12. Chicago Blackhawks (+0.75)
San Jose Sharks (-15.27): Despite the Sharks posting a stellar 51-31 money line record for the season, they still managed to lose their backers a considerable amount of money on the season. A prime example why was their home loss last November 5th at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sharks were a mammoth -400 money line favorite in that game, and they lost to the worst team in the NHL by a score of 5-4 in an overtime shootout. They also lost to the Florida Panthers as a -325 favorite, and to the Winnipeg Jets as a favorite of -225. Those 3 losses alone accounted for a -9.50 units.
Detroit Red Wings (-19.04): The books continued to give the Red Wings a lot more respect than their talent level indicated that they should’ve been receiving. Part of their reasoning was undoubtedly due to public perception. The Red Wings franchise had been one of the most successful on the ice over the last 20-years, and continued to be a public betting favorite this past season. They were the final team to qualify for the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, and were soundly defeated in their opening round series by the Boston Bruins.
Vancouver Canucks (-26.16): The Canucks literally sent their backers to the poor house this past season. They had the distinction of being the worst team to make a money line wager on in the entire NHL. Vancouver had been consistently one of the best teams in the Western Conference over the previous 5 seasons. They were grossly overvalued for the better part of the year as the books kept waiting for them to reawaken. You would’ve had a better chance of Rip Van Winkle awaking from a cat nap than the Canucks eventually turning things around this season.
Team Not Likely to Keep the Cash Coming In
New York Rangers: The Rangers produced the 3rd most units in the NHL against the money line this season. “The Broadway Blue Shirts” were one of the best road teams in the NHL, and many of those away wins came as an underdog. They were also a team that wasn’t overvalued due to a below average home record. However, due to an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Finals, an unlikely repeat performance on the road this upcoming season, and their prices figuring to be much higher in the next go around, they will be lucky to make a profit in 2014-2015.
Team Most Likely to Turn the Money Around
Ottawa Senators: In the 2012-2013 campaign the Ottawa Senators were one of the surprise teams in hockey. As a result, it was no surprise they were 2nd in the NHL making +20.09 units for the year, and all in a strike shortened 48-game season. This year saw a lot of their younger players regress, and it reflected in their money line numbers. The Senators were 28th in the NHL losing 22.95 units. That’s a net difference of 43.04 units in the space of one season. I look for the Senators to bounce back this season, and display some of the form we saw from 2 seasons ago. You will certainly be able to get them at some pretty attractive prices especially in the first quarter of the season.