Bettors searching for success can find a niche in betting on NHL team totals. Betting on hockey takes some time and effort to find real value but oftentimes the most value can be found on betting NHL team totals.
Unlike football and basketball where points are aplenty, scoring in hockey is like that of baseball. Betting the spread, or puck line, in hockey is always the same bet – betting on a favorite to win by two or more or betting on an underdog to lose by one or win outright.
Betting NHL team totals offers bettors a way to increase profits, but they have to understand the bet first. Then, they can put a few strategies to work.
The NHL Team Totals Bet
When placing an NHL team totals bet, you are betting on the Over or Under on an individual team’s point total. Here’s an example.
Vegas Golden Knights:
Over 3.5 (+110)
Under 3.5 (-150)
Over 2.5 (-120)
Under 2.5 (-120)
In this matchup between Vegas and Minnesota, bettors could wager on the Golden Knights to score more than 3.5 goals. If Vegas scores four or more goals, a $100 bet on the Over would pay out $110.
Likewise, a sports bettor could wager $120 on Minnesota to score fewer than 2.5 goals. If the Wild scored two goals or less, the winning bet would pay out $100.
Understanding NHL Final Scores
An NHL game total is typically set at between 5 and 8 goals. Allocating those goals per team, bettors will find that a typical team total is between 2.5 and 4.
It’s also important to understand common final scores. The most common result in an NHL game is 3-2. The second most common is 4-2. Knowing these results can help in determining how to bet a team total.
Tips and Strategies for Betting Team Totals
Betting an NHL team total comes down to a couple factors. One is the goaltending matchup. Let’s say that Vegas has one of the better goaltenders in the NHL. His GAA, or goals against average is 1.98 which ranks him in the top-5 among all NHL goalies. Add in a save percentage of .928 and you should understand that this goalie doesn’t allow too many goals.
Let’s also say that the opponent in this case, the Minnesota goalie, gives up 2.63 goals per game and has a .915 save percentage. Neither ranks in the top-20 in the league. In addition to the goaltender matchup, it’s also worth checking out how the two teams have fared against each other in a given season.
You find that Vegas has scored four or more goals in two of its past three games against Minnesota. With the same two goaltenders going up against one another, there is some value in Vegas Over 3.5 goals at +110.
In addition to looking at goaltending, bettors can also look at shots against statistics to get an idea of how good a team is defensively. Better defensive teams allow fewer shots which results in fewer goals.
If Vegas is a top 5 team in shots against and is also a top 5 team in goals against, there could be value on the Knights’ opponent’s total. Using our Minnesota example, a bet on the Wild to go Under 2.5 goals is a sound bet though you may wish to use another simple strategy before placing that bet. Shop around to find the best NHL odds on a given bet before placing it.