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NHL Hockey Betting: 2015-16 Season Underway

NHL Hockey Betting: 2015-16 Season UnderwayThe NHL Season is officially underway after four games were played last Wednesday. That opening four-game Wednesday slate saw home teams go 0-4 while favorites went 1-3, but since that time the chalk has dominated.

We compiled our stats from Wednesday through Sunday, and while hockey is notorious for home ice advantage not accounting for much, we were surprised to see home teams had a losing overall record through the first week of the season.

Out of 31 games played in total Wednesday through Sunday, home teams went a combined 14-17 straight up. Favorites did very well for NHL bettors, as they finished the week with a winning 22-9 record, including a 21-6 mark after opening day.

Online sports betting on hockey is similar to baseball where it is a moneyline sport. That means if you bet a favorite, you have to wager the amount of the line in order to win $100 (ex: a -130 favorite means you would need to wager $130 to win $100). Underdogs will yield a profit of the line on a $100 wager (ex: a +130 underdog means a $100 wager will result in a $130 profit).

And while MLB Betting allows for players to lay a run and a half to get better odds on big favorites (runline), NHL betting allows for puckline wagering, usually laying a goal and a half for better odds.

As we noted in our early results, favorites tend to cash at a high rate and home ice advantage doesn’t mean much. However, the online sportsbooks will still base their lines on home ice advantage, so backing a road favorite tends to give the hockey bettor much better line value than backing a home favorite.

Early goal differential is a good indication on how a team really is. Entering Tuesday, Boston is already -9 in goal differential while Columbus and Los Angeles are both -7. There have been New Jersey Devil sightings but not on defense as the Devils have already given up eight goals in just two games. Tampa Bay has been the hottest team out of the gate winning all three games while scoring 13 goals (+7 goal difference best in the league).

It’s not uncommon for NHL teams to be listed as big favorites, but for good reason as these big favorites tend to win at a high rate. There’s nothing better than cashing a big underdog ticket, but don’t go overboard backing NHL underdogs. If last week proved anything, it’s that backing favorites is the way to go when betting on hockey.

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