Every Tuesday, we look at one aspect of hockey and NHL betting and how to understand it with the hopes of becoming smarter and more profitable bettors. Like the other major pro sports, hockey betting has a lot of similarities and often provides the same type of wagers. However, there are a few differences that are worth pointing out and worth noting. This week, we focus on a rare and unique part of hockey betting in live, in-game bets.
Short-selling & Covering a Short
I have not been as invested in stocks and the stock market. What I do know however is that the stock market, is similar to betting, albeit with more data and being more strategic with money and investments. In the past year, especially in late January of 2021, we saw how the stock market is a gamble where investors are betting on companies to succeed and fail.
The recent news in the investment world, with minor investors forcing big hedge funds into bankruptcy by purposely investing in certain companies did raise parallels to the betting world, especially the hockey betting world.
This was most prominent when it came to betting on specific companies to fail, knowing they would go bankrupt. While in sports, it’s easy to bet on a terrible team to lose, in hockey this can be taken a step further and used to your advantage. Live betting allows you to take advantage in particular of struggling teams and lead to a profit (call it short selling if that makes sense).
The first example that comes to mind is betting on an Underdog, a heavy Underdog that everyone expects to lose. Take the Ottawa Senators being +220 Underdogs to the Tampa Bay Lightning, a line that you will likely see when these two teams meet. Betting on them to win is unlikely but live betting leaves you with a specific and profitable strategy. Especially if this happens.
|Pregame Wager||Senators lead 1-0 at the end of the first period||Senators lose 4-2 Final Score|
|$100 on the Senators with +220 odds||Cash-out with a $100 profit||Zero Profit Made but with live betting, you cashed out|
The basic idea is that a lot of teams that are heavy Underdogs, can build an early lead and quickly lose it. In hockey, you can use this to your advantage by betting on Underdogs with the direct objective to cash out the moment they take the lead, thus making a profit.
In theory, you can let the bet ride and hope the team maintains the lead and provides a great payout. The problem is that all too often, struggling teams in the NHL can quickly unravel, and oftentimes will. For every team that can pull off an upset on any given night, there is an even greater likelihood a team that can take a surprising lead to start a game.
On the other side of things, there are teams that are heavy favorites entering the game, knowing they will win. However, if they are heavy favorites, the big thing is anticipating that they will trail early on and then quickly betting mid-game. In all sports, you can bet on a heavy favorite with better odds in the middle of the game but with hockey, in particular, you can anticipate an early goal, and the odds shift as a result.
Ultimately, live betting can and should be used to your advantage. Hockey allows any team to pull off an upset on any given night but for bettors, making a profit is more likely when you cash out mid-game and these two in-game betting strategies are best for doing so.