Just like any other professional sports league, NHL betting trends play a significant role in the handicapping process. Whether they pertain to general league trends, current results on both moneyline and total line bets or a team’s overall win/loss record, past NHL trends can help shed some light onto to future outcomes.
Heading into the final few weeks of the 2018/2019 NHL regular season, one of the best bets all season long on the closing moneyline has been favorites playing at home with a winning rate of close to 60 percent. Favorites, in general, have been cashing in 58.2 percent of the time and even when they are playing on the road, favorites have ended up winning 56.4 percent of the games.
Must see: NHL Hockey Late Season Betting Tips
What these general trends do not disclose is the winning rate for heavy favorites of -150 or more on a closing moneyline as opposed to the winning rate for much tighter games where a team is only slightly favored to win. Since betting the NHL moneyline is all about risk verse reward for betting heavy favorites, you would need to break things down on a deeper level to get a better understanding of these moneyline trends.
An alternative to moneyline bets is NHL puck line bets where there is a 1.5-goal spread between the favorite and the underdog with an adjusted moneyline. The season-long results on this type of bet paint a completely different picture when it comes to the actual results. The best bet on the NHL puck line this season has been home underdogs with a winning rate of close to 70 percent. Underdogs, in general, have won a puck line bet in 64.3 percent of the games. Road underdogs have also been a solid puck line bet at a winning rate of 62 percent.
These results paint the picture of quite a few close games over the course of the season. Since the risk/reward factor shifts towards betting the underdog on the puck line, it is once again very important to make note of an individual team’s winning (or losing rate) with each type of bet.
Closing total lines continue to increase in the NHL. Not that long ago, you basically had lines of 5 goals or 5.5 goals. Increased scoring in the league in recent years has bumped these levels up to 6 goals and even 6.5 goals on occasion. Another way that online sportsbooks have begun to adjust the total line is with increased commissions for one bet against the other. For example, you might find a total line listed as follows:
New York Rangers Over 5.5 (-115)
Philadelphia Flyers Under 5.5 (+105)
In this betting scenario, you would have to risk $115 for a $100 bet on the OVER. You could actually collect $105 on a $100 bet if the game stays UNDER.
Either way, the Oddsmakers have been on the mark setting the total line this season with 49.1 percent of the games going OVER the closing total line.
Find the NHL game previews and predictions
When it comes to betting individual NHL teams, it stands to reason that the Tampa Bay Lighting is at the top of the list with a plus $1,554 return on a moneyline bet. At 53-13-4 through their first 70 games, the Lightning now has 17 more points than the next best team, which just so happens to be Boston as their Atlantic Division rivals.
Winning that many games is bound to boost your overall return even if you are favored to win almost every night. The second-best betting team on the list is the New York Islanders at plus $1,268. They remain in a heated four-team battle for the Metro Division title with 87 total points in 69 games. Most of the money won by New York has been on the road (+$1,029) behind a record of 19-11-3.