Using Advanced Stats to Bet NHL Games

The race to this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs in the NHL regular season is really heating up the cold winter months in anticipation of early April’s postseason start. With close to 70 percent of the extended 82-game schedule in the books, there are enough facts, stats and betting trends in the books to gain a solid assessment of all 31 teams.

On the surface, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals have emerged as the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference.

When looking at the NHL standings, the defending champion St. Louis Blues are setting the pace in the Western Conference with a logjam of five teams battling it out for first place in the jumbled Pacific Division.

Knowing Advanced NHL Stats is a Necessity

Looking back at last season’s NHL playoffs with numerous upsets in the opening round, it is hard to say which team or teams have the best chance to win this season’s Stanley Cup. However, when it comes to winning individual games there are certain advanced stats that can aid the handicapping process.

 


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Basic stats such as a team’s goals per game and goals-against average can still paint a pretty clear picture of any team’s overall playing form. Breaking down each of those stats over a team’s last 10 games can provide the same clear picture of a team’s current form.

Even the top NHL teams hit a cold stretch from time to time making it extremely important to assess current form as opposed to just looking at the season-to-date numbers.

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The Colorado Avalanche have been one of the best betting teams on the NHL moneyline all season. One of the big reasons is consistency. With a 7-1-2 record over their last 10 games, the overall return for the year stands at plus $526.

The Avs have averaged 3.8 goals a game during this same span while holding opposing teams to just 2.4 goals a game. For the year, Colorado has one of the best differentials in goals scored (3.65) and goals allowed (2.83) in the league.

Look at the Total Goal Differential

Total goal differential is a good stat to note when betting the NHL puck line.

Betting favorites that consistently win games by two or more goals can provide a huge boost to any NHL betting bankroll. Going back to the Avalanche, they are +43 goals through 54 games played. Five of their last seven wins have been by two goals or more.


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The New York Islanders have been the best betting team this season in the Eastern Conference with a plus $743 return on a moneyline bet through their first 54 games. They are 32-16-6 with a solid road record of 15-9-2.

Home vs. Road Stats

Since most teams play as underdogs on road, stats related to their road record are also important to note. Knowing the difference between a teams scoring average at home and on the road is a start. You also need to track the defensive effort in goals allowed.

What makes the Islanders an attractive betting team is a GAA of 2.70. Their overall moneyline return through those first 27 road games is plus $536.

New York has allowed an average of 2.5 goals per game over their last four road games and that includes matchups against Tampa Bay and Washington as two of the highest scoring teams in the NHL.

You can get overwhelmed in the NHL handicapping process with too many stats. The most important ones to take note of are the ones that can have the biggest impact on a team’s overall betting record on the moneyline, total and puck line.

About the Author

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.