The goalie in any NHL game could be compared to a MLB team’s starting pitcher. The matchup between the pipes has a heavy influence on betting lines to almost the same extent starting pitchers heavily impact MLB moneyline odds.
Both the goalie and the pitcher have the ability to dictate the outcome of a game through their current form. At their best, they can each completely shut down the best offensive teams they face. At their worst, they can dig their team into an early hole that cannot be overcome.
A hot goalie can almost single-handedly lead a team to victory in games it had no business winning. How many times have you seen one team completely dominate the other in shots on goal and overall scoring chances only to lose that game on the scoreboard? Chances are that game also stayed UNDER the closing total line with a 2-1 score.
Top 10 NHL Saves Of The Season...So Far
Handicapping a typical NHL game should start with an analysis of each team’s starter in goal.
In fact, if the starters are not set, that game will most likely still be ‘off the board’.
You should focus those efforts on that goalie’s last five starts. Just like any player in the spotlight on a team sport, their recent play is a good indication of current form.
Over the course of a season, there are going to be multiple hot and cold runs.
The goalies with more frequent hot streaks that last a longer duration of games move to the top of the list for bettors. Teams with a pair of solid goalies on the roster should also be considered an excellent betting team. The smaller the drop off between the starter and the primary backup the better.
At the other end of the spectrum, goalies with a high goals-against average and teams that rank high on the list in average goals allowed become good candidates to go against. You can also save them for the OVER on total line bets when facing a team that ranks high in goals scored.
These are all basic generalizations but also a good way to classify any NHL team you are looking to involve in an actual real money wager.
The combination of a strong goalie currently playing to form adds some tremendous betting value to a team that is also strong on the defensive end of the ice. Sometimes a great goalie makes a defense looks better than it really is.
Goalie Stats to Focus On
Two good stats to flesh out the situation is a goalie’s save percentage along with the average number of shots on goal a defense allows per game.
The ideal situation here is a high save percentage paired with a low number of average shots on goal. An even better way to break things down is by actual scoring chances.
Solid defensive play still wins more games than a high-flying scoring line.
Hot Goalie + Solid Defense = Value
Just like a hot starting pitcher can quickly cool down a hot hitting lineup, solid defense with excellent play between the pipes offers far more value than a high scoring offensive effort.
These scenarios become a major factor in postseason play when the same two teams are facing off against one another over the course of a best-of-seven series.
More than once, a few of the NHL’s highest scorers became complete no-shows in a losing cause over the course of a playoff series because of the goalie they had to face.
A big part of the services that my marketing company, Blue Pointe Advisors, LLC offers is written content for sports betting websites. I have been working as a full-time sports betting writer for the past nine years following a previous career in the field of sales and marketing.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to write about my true passion in life; the world of sports. I also enjoy concentrating the bulk of my pieces towards the betting angle in sports.
It is always a challenge to take past results and current form to try and correctly determine a future result. Sports brings out the unpredictability in what should be a fairly predictable outcome based on the stats, facts and recent trends in a particular matchup. The one thing that I have learned over the past decade or so is that when it comes to betting on sports there is no such thing as a lock.
The main objective with my writing style is to create insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player. While there are times when my predictions fall well short of the actual outcome, I still enjoy trying to come up with a logical explanation to support my views on every pick I make.
My love of sports started a long time ago when I was just a kid growing up just outside Philadelphia. While I was a big Phillies, Flyers and 76ers fan, my number one team was always the Eagles. My dad was a season ticket holder from 1961 to 2002 and I would honestly say that he missed less than a handful of games than more than a few dismal seasons.
I was fortunate enough to go to a number of Eagles’ games back in the day including the 1980 NFC Championship when Wilbert Montgomery ran roughshod over the bitter rival Dallas Cowboys to lead Philly to their first appearance in a Super Bowl. Flash forward 40 years later and am I still celebrating the thrilling victory over New England in Super Bowl LVII. I know that my dad was smiling down on that one.