NHL Western Conference Standings & Trends

David Lawrence

Monday, December 23, 2013 8:35 PM GMT

We’ve reached the Christmas Break in the NHL, so now is a great time to reflect upon what we’ve seen so far this season. Let’s take a look back at the first (almost) half of the season and see which teams have been the best to bet on, bet against, bet the over and bet the under with.

Most Profitable Team: Anaheim Ducks (+14.5 Units)

For a second regular season in a row, the Ducks have been an excellent bet. People who’ve been adding them to their NHL picks are already up 14.5 units this season.

Entering the season, Anaheim was viewed with an air of skepticism as they lost in the first round of last season’s playoffs and then traded away former 30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan. However, their offense has been just fine while their goaltending has been fantastic. They are the only team that has yet to lose at home in regulation (13-0-2), which is what is fueling their incredibly profitable record.

Least Profitable Team: Edmonton Oilers (-15.25 Units)

This was supposed the year that the Oilers broke out and took the next step. Stop us if you’ve heard that one before. With a new coach, a burgeoning roster supplemented with some veterans, Edmonton was supposed to be on the come up. Turns out, everyone was wrong…again. They have been the worst team in the Western Conference and anyone using them for their NHL picks has been punished.

The Oilers simply can’t stop their opponents from scoring. They’ve allowed 133 goals so far this season, which is the worst in the NHL. They’ve only scored 95, which means they also have the worst scoring differential (-38). No wonder why they’re losing so much.

The Oilers are 7-9 against teams with a losing record this year, which means they are 4-18 against anyone decent. That’s why they’re the least profitable team in the Western Conference.

NHL Eastern Conference Standings & Trends

Best Over Team: St. Louis Blues (18-12-5)

The Blues have been a reliable under bet since Ken Hitchcock took over the head coaching duties a few years ago but the opposite has been true this season. You might find this hard to believe but the Blues – yes, the previously low-scoring Blues – have the second-highest scoring offense in the NHL. Alex Steen has been the breakout star as he has 24 goals and 38 points this season. Previously, he had never registered more than 24 goals or 32 points in an entire season.

The Blues have five different players with at least 10 goals and nine different players who have 20 or more points. Even though they’ve only allowed the third-fewest goals in the NHL, their scoring and the fact that the sportsbooks and bettors perceived them as a low-scoring defensive-minded team at the beginning of the year is why they’ve hit so many overs.

Best Under Team: Minnesota Wild (10-20-5)

The Wild have been a fantastic under bet this season as 20 of their 35 games have stayed under the number (with five pushes). That’s because their offense has been suspect (26th in the NHL) and they’ve been the recipients of unexpectedly good goaltending from Josh Harding. If you were doing Vezina Trophy voting today, Harding would be one of the finalists.

So far this season, Harding, who was previously a backup with the Wild, leads the league with a 1.39 GAA. He has yet to allow more than three goals in any of his 27 outings and has allowed more than two goals just four times. He’s one of the main reasons why this team has been great for unders.