The NHL odds makers offered many prop bets before last season but none are more telling than the lines they hung on total points at the end of the season. Here we will get a look at how right or wrong they were and what we can learn for our NHL picks next season.
The Preseason Predictions – Actual points are in parentheses
1. Boston Bruins: 112½ (Under – 96)
2. Chicago Blackhawks: 111½ (Under – 102)
3. Los Angeles Kings: 106½ (Under – 95)
4. Anaheim Ducks: 105½ (Over – 109)
5. Pittsburgh Penguins: 105½ (Under – 98)
6. St. Louis Blues: 105½ (Over - 109)
7. San Jose Sharks: 102½ (Under – 89)
8. Colorado Avalanche: 98½ (Under – 90)
9. Minnesota Wild: 98½ (Over – 100)
10. New York Rangers: 95½ (Over - 113)
11. Tampa Bay Lightning: 94½ (Over – 108)
12. Montreal Canadiens: 93½ (Over - 110)
13. Detroit Red Wings: 91½ (Over – 100)
14. Columbus Blue Jackets: 90½ (Under - 89)
15. Philadelphia Flyers: 90½ (Under – 84)
16. Dallas Stars: 89½ (Over – 92)
17. Toronto Maple Leafs: 88½ (Under – 68)
18. Vancouver Canucks: 88½ (Over – 101)
19. Washington Capitals: 88½ (Over -101)
20. New Jersey Devils: 83½ (Under – 78)
21. Carolina Hurricanes: 81½ (Under – 71)
22. New York Islanders: 81½ (Over – 101)
23. Arizona Coyotes: 80½ (Under – 56)
24. Edmonton Oilers: 80½ (Under – 62)
25. Winnipeg Jets: 80 (Over – 99)
26. Ottawa Senators: 78½ (Over – 99)
27. Nashville Predators: 76½ (Over – 104)
28. Calgary Flames: 71½ (Over – 97)
29. Florida Panthers: 70½ (Over – 91)
30. Buffalo Sabres: 65½ (Under – 54)
What Have We Learned?
The NHL odds makers were off an average of over 12 ½ points per team. That is a world of opportunity to make some serious coin betting NHL futures. The only teams that were within five games of the preseason prognostications were the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Of those the closest the NHL odds makers got to the right number was their 90 ½ point total on Columbus that saw the Blue Jackets come up only 1 ½ points short.
The major over-performers were the Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Rangers.
The major under-performers were the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and surprisingly even the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks went under the projected 111 ½ garnering a total of 102 points in the regular season.
Amazingly 20 of 30 of the projected point totals weren’t even close with nine teams vastly underachieving while 11 teams shot far over the projected totals. The lesson to be learned is that the linesmakers were way out of touch in hanging the NHL prop odds last season. You can be certain there will be adjustments for the 2015/2016 season and perhaps the sharps that set the lines will overcompensate for their woeful performance. Be on the lookout for adjustments made to the NHL props on the overachievers as well as the underachievers. There will be plenty of action in the offseason and though it is still early we do know the core of all the teams and can speculate in which direction next season will take them.
I will offer a few teams to keep an eye on when the NHL odds makers hang their preseason total projections. I would look for the linesmakers to overcompensate on teams like Calgary, Nashville, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Montreal, Vancouver, NY Rangers and the NY Islanders who over-performed this season and could experience a regression to the mean. Therefore, a wager on under the posted total could be a very sharp play.
Conversely, teams like the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins fell woefully short of their projections and it may be a good spot to go over the posted preseason totals. Stay tuned for the NHL odds makers to offer next seasons totals and be prepared to pounce early.