Profitable NHL betting strategies focus on implementing solid wagering fundamentals, stats analysis and advanced betting concepts, maximizing rewards while minimizing risk. All hockey betting fans benefit from performing an in-depth investigation of odds and matchup data while maintaining disciplined wagering habits.

Sharp Hockey Betting Strategies

The Essentials

Hardened punters and hungry rookies should follow these essential tips and strategies when betting on sports. Everyone benefits from implementing solid fundamentals into their wagering routine.

Don’t Splash Cash – Follow A Plan

Throwing money around on random bets based on hunches will be the quickest method of emptying your bankroll. Attempting to cash in quickly on a hunch may seem like a great idea in the moment, but the best way to approach sports betting involves sticking with a plan. 

The plan you choose to follow should mesh well with your betting strengths, helping you proceed towards a reasonable goal. If you’re familiar with the eastern conference, focus on that half of the NHL. If you’re good at predicting blowouts but tend to whiff on totals, choose to wager on pucklines instead of over/unders.

Treat Sports Betting Like An Investment

Competitive sports are inherently unpredictable, with upsets and bad beats occurring on a regular basis. Even experts don’t expect to win more than 60% of their wagers. However, when approached with an investment mindset, sports betting may produce steady returns over a longer period of time. Similar to financial portfolios, sports bettors should invest in familiar products.

Set Aside A Specific Amount For Betting

Never bet more than you’re willing to lose. Before you begin sports betting, decide on a specific amount of currency you’re willing to invest and stick with that amount. Don’t try to cover losses by indiscriminately adding funds to your account. Instead, attempt to patiently return to profitability with the amount set aside. Adjust your strategy instead of inflating your bankroll.

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Determine A Standard Betting Amount

Stick with a standard amount – perhaps one or two percent of your bankroll – when placing bets. If you’re working with $1,000, a standard betting amount might be $20, which would be 2% of your total roll.

If you’re convinced that your pick will be a winner, you have the option of doubling up on your wager to collect a bigger payout. On the other hand, if you’re betting on a high-risk, high-reward scenario, you could bet half of your standard wager to reduce your exposure. 

Sticking with standard betting amounts reduces the difficulty of tracking success while increasing the predictability of losses and gains. Losing a standard amount isn’t a big deal in the long term, but risking your half your bankroll could instantly ruin your betting plan for an entire season.

Perform Your Own Research

Before committing to a wager, make sure you perform due diligence. Check out roster reports, standings, stats and other info sources to learn more behind the context of the matchup you’re predicting. 

If possible, give different teams the eye test, watching a couple of games before wagering on or against a club. At the very least, catch highlights and game recaps to get a glimpse of how teams perform on ice instead of relying strictly on numbers.

The Key NHL Stats

There’s never been a better time to be a hockey stats nerd. Over the past decade, advanced stats and analysis created dozens of new ways to measure on-ice performance, revealing vital numbers which improve predictions. Stats can help reveal nuance and context when studying head-to-head matchups and other betting scenarios.

Record Over Last Ten Games

Ten-game metrics provide a glimpse into recent performance, giving a rough idea of the momentum of a club. Put simply, a team with a 3-5-2 mark over their last ten will be less likely to perform better than a club with a 7-2-1 record.

Goal Differential

The difference between the number of goals scored and goals allowed paints a simple, yet surprisingly effective picture of the quality of an NHL team. During the first round of the 2018 NHL playoffs, teams with the better goal differential won every series – an example of the validity of this metric.

Head-to-Head Records

Every team in the NHL features different strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, mediocre clubs match up well against great teams, because the lesser team is uniquely equipped to attack a specific deficiency within a superior opponent.

In other cases, solid teams might not have a dominant record over an inferior club because the better team doesn’t play with their usual intensity.

Historical records can reveal powerful trends. The Toronto Maple Leafs have won eight of the last ten regular season meetings with the Boston Bruins. However, Toronto hasn’t defeated Boston in a playoff series since 1959, including a pair of game sevens in which the Maple Leafs clawed back from a 3-1 deficit.

Keep in mind that trends eventually break. Montreal defeated the Maple Leafs in 14 consecutive regular season meetings between March 2014 and February 2017. However, the new edition of the Toronto Maple Leafs destroyed that trend with four consecutive wins. As a result, betting for the Leafs over the Canadiens was extremely profitable during the 2017-18 season.

Situational Statistics

NHL databases break down team and player records according to specific matchup scenarios. Some teams perform better at night compared to afternoon games. Certain players play well on Saturday nights, while others prefer weekdays. Goaltenders might feature an outstanding record and save percentage against specific teams, while other clubs feast on that particular netminder.

Situational stats shouldn’t be the only reason that you wager on a specific team. These types of stats add context, either supporting or disproving the value of your wager. If the numbers don’t line up with your predictions, you may wish to reconsider your bet, or reduce the amount you risk.

Player Injury Reports

Even the best teams suffer through repercussions when the injury bug bites. Scan injury reports and rumors to ensure that key personnel from both teams will play. If a player’s questionable to suit up, there’s a good chance that the lines will move when the status of the player is announced. Buy early If your bet might become more expensive, and vice versa.

Schedule Losses

The NHL regular season features a tough, 82-game slog, including back-to-back games, three matches in four nights, and up to five games in a calendar week. One of the worst scenarios involves a team playing two road games in two evenings, sometimes referred to as a schedule loss. Upsets tend to be more likely when a favorite hasn’t at least one full day of rest before their next match, especially on the road.

Advanced NHL Betting Concepts

Spotting sportsbook trends, managing your bankroll and deciphering the odds will reveal opportunities to find an edge. Incorporate advanced betting ideas into your decision-making process to give yourself the best chance at long-term success.

Maximizing Value

Mathematically predicting wagering value may be complex, but the idea of optimizing risk/reward is relatively simple to grasp. Essentially, you want to derive as much profit as possible from each bet without accepting too much risk.

If a lopsided match between clubs results in a favorite moneyline of -300, while the puckline features a line of +100, selecting the latter bet would typically provide better value. The risk of a two-goal win is greater than a straight up win, but the puckline pays three times better than the moneyline.

There’s always the risk of an upset, another important issue to consider. If you’re risking $100 to win $33 on a favorite, a loss sets you back significantly, requiring three wins to recoup. Risking $100 to win $100 reduces the winning rate needed to profit from sports bets. As such, getting the best value for your bets inherently reduces risk.

Reading Line Movements

Odds aren’t static for moneylines, pucklines, futures and many other types of sports betting. The lines move as the conditions surrounding the betting matchup change. An injury to a key player will alter the lines, while a large volume of bets on a club will also nudge the numbers before a match.

Sportsbooks change lines throughout the season to help balance their books and respond to wagering trends. In some cases, oddsmakers will inflate payouts or subtract points from a spread to encourage players towards a specific wager. Ideally, you want to bet early if suspect a line will become more expensive. If you think the line will become less costly, patience might increase the reward.

Hedging Bets To Reduce Risk

One method of reducing risk involves hedging bets when possible. If you’re wagering on the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup at +900 and the Winnipeg Jets to win at +500, you’ll earn profit if either club wins the cup. Since you stake multiple bets for this strategy, the more you hedge the less you profit. 

Hedging is never a guarantee. Balancing risk and reward is vital for deriving profit from this strategy.

Buying Points & Alternative Lines

Sportsbooks feature alternative lines for many matchups, giving sports bettors a chance to reduce the risk or increase the reward on their wager. Since pucklines are fixed at +/- 1.5 goals, alternative lines may feature a spread of +/- 2.5 goals. If an over/under is set at 5.5 goals, an alternative line might involve a total of 4.5 goals or 6.5 goals, with the odds and payout adjusted accordingly.

Successfully buying points and betting on alternative lines requires experience and research, but the additional reward and betting flexibility can help boost betting profit in the long run.