Hockey Betting Tips
While hockey is one of the world's most popular sports, it doesn't quite rank up there with football, baseball, basketball or, internationally, soccer. Because hockey is at the lower popularity range of the major sports, oddsmakers don't spend an incredible amount of time working on the lines. And this means that you can find good value on one side or the other.
Now we're not saying that it's easy to find soft lines. Otherwise, everybody would be a hockey betting guru. But you have a better chance of spotting favorable lines - especially if you're well versed in hockey betting tips. This being said, let's check out some tips that'll get you of to a good start with the game.
Tip #1 - Focus on Goalies
Every hockey team needs strong offensive and defensive efforts to win. And you should definitely look at both of these facets before wagering. But sometimes, a great goalie is the single most important factor in a game. So it's critical that you put time into studying goalies because of the major impact they have on games. This not only means looking at win/loss records, shots on goal (SOG) and save percentage, but also how many shots they're seeing per game, overtime performance, and minutes played.
You can gain even more of an edge over the hockey betting public by researching these stats with backup goalies. In many cases, backups are unheralded players whom the public might know little about. And if they're starting on a particular night, you'll get good value out of your bet by properly researching them.
Tip #2 - Look for Big Underdogs playing at Home
Much like Major League Baseball, parity is a big theme in the NHL. Ever since the NHL got rid of ties, the league's best team might finish with around a 51-31 record while the worst team will have around a 30-52 record. So even the underdogs aren't that big of dogs when they're playing a favorite - especially at home.
Considering this, you can sometimes find really attractive favorite vs. underdog matchups. If you can find a big underdog that's playing at home, studying their last few games. Assuming they've exceeded expectations recently, you should put a bet on them because you stand to win a lot more than you're wagering.
Tip #3 - Always Monitor Injuries
An NHL season is a long, grueling affair where very few players suit up all 82 games. So there are plenty of injuries throughout the year. And there are times where you won't hear about a key injury until just hours before game time.
This is why one of the biggest aspects to NHL betting success is monitoring the injury reports. Besides helping you avoid wagering on a team with a star player out, injury reports can also allow you to jump on a favorable line before oddsmakers adjust it. For instance, if you read that Boston Bruins goalie Tuuka Rask was out right when the news surfaced, you could get value by betting against the Bruins before oddsmakers react.
Tip #4 - Avoid Parlays and the Grand Salami
One way to inject excitement into your NHL betting experience is by wagering on parlays and/or the Grand Salami. But we highly recommend that you either avoid these wagers, or keep them small if you do bet. With parlays, your long-term odds of winning rarely measure up to the big payouts you can win. Plus it's extremely difficult to properly research several games and turn in a quality bet.
The same thing goes for the Grand Salami, which is an over/under wager on how many goals every team will score in a given night. To thoroughly research each team's goal-scoring tendencies and the defenses they're facing would take a big effort. It would be far more worth your while to just bet on single games, where you only have to study two teams.
Tip #5 - Carefully manage your Bankroll
The key to long-term hockey betting success is twofold: 1) put time and research into every wager, and 2) exercise good bankroll management. From a logical standpoint, the latter is pretty easy if you're disciplined enough.
Set aside an amount of money that you don't need for bills and living expenses. For the purpose of this article, we'll say that you can afford a bankroll of $500. Then, be sure to avoid risking more than 5% of your bankroll on any single game. So with the $500 amount, you should never risk more than $25 a game. An ideal figure would be only risking 1-2% of your roll, or $5-$10 in this case.
Don't forget that NHL betting is pretty fickle and even the best bettors lose money over short periods of time. But with enough hard work, you can definitely come out on top over the long-run.