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.
The NHL season in particular has been significantly different compared to any of the other leagues and that is the primary focus of this week’s Tip-In Tuesday.
How The Sloppy Return Impacts Betting
The NHL took a brief pause a few weeks ago and is slowly returning to the ice. In the recent games, it’s no secret that the games have been sloppy or have seen more errors than usual.
There are plenty of reasons for the sloppy play once the league returned to action with skaters finally hitting the ice, rosters being juggled on a nightly basis, and consistency being non-existent in these unusual times.
A lot of teams are dealing with and have dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks within their rosters. While players for the most part had quick recoveries, the isolation, and inability to skate for a few days set them back for a few games and possibly weeks. In addition, the NHL reinstituted the Taxi Squad, allowing rosters to call up AHL-caliber players to start on any given night.
It’s unclear how long this unusual and sloppy play will last for but it’s clear that the recent games saw players and teams play that weren’t ready for their games. The bottom line is that the games will continue to look ugly at times and mistakes will be commonplace for at least the next few weeks and possibly until late February or early March.
What This Means for Bettors?
The sloppy play has led to multiple unusual parts of the game on display. For starters, the ice is more open, and opportunities are more common in a typical game.
From a betting standpoint, games are higher scoring, and the Over is covering more often. Eight of the nine games played on Saturday, January 1st had six goals or more, and six of the seven January 2nd games had six goals or more in them. Some games have seen ridiculously high-scoring matchups. The Sharks-Coyotes game combined for 15 goals on December 28th, the Panthers-Lightning game combined for 12 goals on December 30th, and the Sharks-Penguins game on January 2nd combined for 13 goals.
Essentially the Over has been covering and the Over is still going to cover in the upcoming week of games. Open ice, skaters seeing more scoring opportunities and the lack of consistency in the net is only going to continue to fuel the high-scoring games and thus the Over covering.
In addition, with hockey already being a sport to bet the Underdog with upsets being commonplace, the unpredictability and inconsistency will allow more Underdogs to win their respective games. In conclusion, for the time being, the Over and Underdog bets are the ones to look out for, making it important to check the lines and the odds on a nightly basis to see which games can lead to profitable payouts.