Betting NHL Hockey Totals - Be Patient and Be Frugal
by Doug Upstone Scores & Statson
For the last five years, when it comes to betting NBA basketball, you have gotten your ass, sorry, rear end kicked. You're betting football, you love college basketball, but you would like to have something else to follow.
You are mildly intrigued by hockey, but you see 31 teams, you don't follow the sport all that closely, though you do have a team you like, and you wonder how you can possibly even break even, but alone win money.
Plus, you love watching hockey once the Stanley Cup playoffs start and bet the games you like them. So what can do? Read on my puck-friendly pal.
Look Into Hockey Totals
With the NHL season just starting, this is a great opportunity to learn, pick up wisdom and begin preparation.
Because the NHL is more or less every day if your schedule does not allow to do research daily, at least four days a week, they are five or more games, thus, focus your attention on those days. Or whatever works best so you can develop a routine.
One of the aspects betting totals is simply because you are dealing limited numbers like 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 and the occasional 7. This also helps limit your range of thinking like what you might see in college hoops totals.
Step One: Wait (and do research)
Don't even think about making a totals bet until November 1st. That's right, you heard correctly. If you are interested in making money betting hockey totals and are not just betting for fun, you have to learn.
To begin with, after every team has played seven games, start reviewing their game scores. For both goals scored and goals allowed, what you want are averages. To get the best numbers possible in those seven games, toss out the highest and lowest number, as this will give you a more accurate portrayal of a team's offense and defense.
Here is an example, say the defending Stanley Cup champions Washington start the season in this fashion.
Goals Scored: 7, 4, 2, 4, 2, 1 and 6. If you took that average at face value, that would be 3.71 goals per game. If you dropped the high and low scores, the adjusted total is 3.6, which is a more accurate view of the Capitals offense.
You would do the same for the Caps defense and whom they would be playing.
After doing this, say you came up with Washington is averaging 5.92 for a total score and their opponent is at 5.85. You find the total from the sportsbook is at 5.5, these numbers would present a good possibility of an OVER bet.
Step 2: Home/Road Scenarios and Scheduling Quirks
As the season rolls along, you can start generating more advanced data. Specifically, how teams play at home or on the road. If you do a simple Google search, you will find websites that can give you an immediate answer on goals scored and allowed on every team on home ice or in opposing buildings.
Once a team has played 10 times both home and away, you can trust the information and take it at face value, without having to subtract anything. This is best used in conjunction with seven-game windows because it creates and up to the minute perspective.
In the NHL it is not unusual for teams to have homestands or road trips of five or more games. In either case, you should watch how a team plays the first two or three games to have a better understanding of how they playing in that situation and see if you can profit from it.
Step 3: When Possible, Avoid "The Juice"
Not many hockey totals are or stay at standard -110 odds. This is typically what they look like:
Over 5.5 (-120) vs. Under 5.5 (+100)
If you want to bet the Over, it will cost you $120 to take home a profit of $100. If you prefer the Under, it would only cost you $100 to win $100.
From a value wagering perspective, if you find the right Over/Under wager in which you do not pay any juice, that is the best scenario. However, it is always best to be on the right side of a total, because that is how you make money.