NHL Betting Trends Two Months Into The Regular Season
Vegas Owns The Spread; Spread Owns The Habs
Miraculously, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights started the first third of the NHL season among the leaders against the spread, winning two-thirds of their ATS games. St. Louis, the New York Islanders and Vancouver have performed above expectations, with ATS percentages above 62%.
While Montreal deserves credit for climbing back into playoff contention in a weak Atlantic Division, the Canadiens have the worst ATS record, beating the spread only 30% of the time. The Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers are among the most disappointing ATS teams, especially considering lofty expectations prior to the start of the season.
Underdogs And Away Teams Create Winning Trend
A quick look at the NHL standings reveal several teams who have completely transcended expectations for the 2017-18 regular season.
The New Jersey Devils, Vegas Golden Knights and New York Islanders outperformed preseason expectations, while teams like the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks would finish outside of the playoff picture if the regular season ended today.
This has lead to a strong underdog trend for ATS wagering, as underdogs finished with approximately 68% of the ATS victories. Dogs have been most potent on home ice, beating the spread in more than 70% of matchups.
Some of the most powerful teams have performed better on the road compared to home. The Los Angeles Kings have annihilated opponents in enemy arenas, earning a 10-3-1 mark. St. Louis have been deadly on the road with a 9-3-2 record, and the Maple Leafs own a 9-5-1 road record. The Vancouver Canucks enjoy a surprising 9-5-1 record outside of British Columbia, but an injury to Bo Horvat’s likely to break the trend.
League Scoring Up But Over/Under Close To 50/50
A scoring spike during the beginning of the 2017-18 regular season has lifted the average goals per game to 3.01, nearly a quarter of a goal more than the previous year. If this trend remains consistent, this would be the first time that teams have averaged more than three goals per game since the 2005-06 season.
Bookies have adjusted their totals well, with a relatively small variance between over and under results. So far, less than 53% of games have finished over the totals, despite a significant increase in scoring. Statistically, this makes over/unders one of the more difficult types of wagers this year, due to the lack of a strong trend for either result.
Some teams have trended towards over more often than others, with the New York Islanders finishing above the total more than any team in the NHL, due to a strong offense and relatively weak defense. Out of 27 games played, the Islanders have beaten the total 19 times. Other teams trending over in totals include the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Western Conference Features Hottest Teams In The NHL
The Los Angeles Kings have played shutdown hockey for most of the year, leaping out to a six-point lead atop the Pacific Division standings with a seven-game win streak.
Vegas continues to roll, with a 7-3-0 record over their last ten games. Nashville’s chasing St. Louis, remaining a single point out of top spot in the Central Division with an 8-1-1 record over their last ten.
The Dallas Stars head into the weekend with a two-game losing streak, but they’ve earned a 7-3-0 mark in their previous ten, with a commanding 10-3-0 record at home.
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