NHL Betting Trends
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NHL Betting Trends

Higher scoring games, home versus away team success, regular season compared to playoff scoring. There are multiple NHL betting trends to look into for the next 2020-21 NHL season.

Betting Trends for the 2020-21 NHL Season

There is much to dissect from the previous National Hockey League season.

It is important to consider everything, from what happened until the season stopped in March to everything in the NHL bubble. Looking into everything from the last season, and seasons before it can help us predict some upcoming NHL betting trends.

Away Moneylines Offers The Best Values  

One of the biggest NHL betting trends is betting on the away team – whether they are underdogs or favourites. Last season 19 of the 31 teams in the NHL produced a positive return if you bet on them on the away moneyline for every game (this stat does include the NHL playoffs).

NHL Stanley Cup Futures 2021

Even if you take away the bubble and the playoffs, betting trends on the NHL still show more success betting on the away team. When the season stopped in March, only seven teams in the league had a .500 or worse record against the spread on the road.

Of course, there is a time and place to bet on the home team…

East Teams More Successful at Home

Before the 2019-20 NHL season suspension in March, Eastern Conference teams had more success at home than their Western counterparts. In the middle of March, eleven NHL teams had at least 20 wins at home. Seven of those 11 teams came from the Eastern Conference. Of course, home and road splits lose their value if the NHL returns to a bubble next season.    

Goaltending Talent Declines

In 2010, the NHL team save percentage across the league was .909 and only two teams posted save percentages worst than .900. In 2015, the league percentage was .911 and two teams posted save percentage below .900. In 2020 the league save percentage was .905, and five teams finished the – albeit abbreviated – season with a save percentage under .900.

The decline in save percentage is due to a combination of subpar starting goaltending and below-average backup goaltending. The 2020 season saw only three goaltenders with 40 or more games finished the season with a season percentage above .920. Two of those teams – the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars – had backups with save percentages above .919. This stat translates to those two teams having 27% of goaltenders in the league with at least ten games and a save percentage above .919. It seems NHL teams are struggling to find quality goaltending.

NHL Betting Stats 2020

NHL Stanley Cup Futures Betting Trends

Looking back at the last ten years of NHL Stanley Cup futures, one betting trend stands out. Only twice in the previous ten years has the favourite at the start of the regular season won the Stanley Cup – the Tampa Bay Lightning (+700) in 2020 and the Chicago Blackhawks (+700) in 2015.

Seven of the last ten Stanley Cup champions opened the preseason with odds between +1100 and +1600.

The lone team to open the season with odds worse than +1600 was the St. Louis Blues (+3000) in 2019.

Picking one or two teams with odds between +1000 to +1500 to win the Stanley Cup is a smart betting strategy to employ on the next NHL season. The top online sportsbooks in Canada, such as Sports Interaction and PowerPlay Sports, always offer quality NHL Stanley Cup futures every season.  

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    Best NHL Betting Sites
  • Short-Handed Goals Meaningless, Power Play Percentage Important

    One stats category that does not seem to mean anything is short-handed points. Nine teams last season finished the year with seven or more short-handed goals. Of those teams, four missed the playoffs, one team made it to the play-in round, the remaining four clubs made the playoffs – with Vegas having the most success.

    NHL Betting Trends 2021

    Ignore this stat when you are researching NHL games. Instead, focus on the power-play percentage. Not a single team in the top nineteen for power-play percentage missed the 24-team NHL playoffs this season. Of those 19 teams, only one – the Arizona Coyotes – had more wins than losses + overtime losses. Scoring on the power-play results in wins.

    Goal Totals Per Game Across the League

    Typically, online sportsbooks set the game totals at 5.5 or 6.0 goals. Before the suspension of the season in March, the average score was 5.96 goals. However, this number is pulled down by three teams averaging between 5.10 and 5.33 goals per game. Those were the only three teams in the league to average under 5.5 goals per game. Conversely, 17 teams averaged more than 6.03 goals per game.

    If you remove those three teams, the average score per game changes to 6.04 goals. That number is much more in with the league median of 6.03 goals per game.

    The 2018-19 season also averaged 5.96 goals per game (although very slightly behind 2019-20), making the last two seasons the highest-scoring since 2005-06. If you exclude the post-lockout season, where new rule changes caused a flurry of offence, it is the highest-scoring season since 1995-96. The increase in goal scoring the last two seasons in one of the most essential NHL betting trends stats for next season.

    Betting Trends for Another Bubble

    When and how the 2020-21 NHL season starts and works are undecided. Talk of a partial bubble is floating around, but no one can know for sure. A bubble may be necessary if the Canada-US border remains closed, and the NHL is granted no travel exemptions.

    Considering the 16 teams that played at least eight games, the bubble produces some different numbers than the regular season. Four teams averaged game totals of 4.88 goals or less. Two teams tied at 6.00 and only three teams totalled more than 6.00 over the playoffs.

    The average score per game in the bubble – including the play-in round – was 5.47 goals per game.

    That drop off is enormous compared to the regular season. Was the lower scoring due to the bubble, or was it only the best teams in the leagues and the postseason? Last year's postseason averaged 5.57 goals per game, only 0.10 more goals per game than this year.

    The decline in scoring seems to have more to do with the playoffs than the bubble. If the NHL cannot go back to normal and requires a bubble – whether it is just for the start or longer – we can expect scoring to return to average regular-season numbers.

    See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you: