NHL Betting: Everything you need to know for in-game wagers

For decades, the NHL has been a place where teams can take a lot of goals and rarely turn them down. The goalkeepers were too good. The defense outweighed the offense. Flip the channel. Game over.

This was before the last few seasons in hockey saw a sharp increase in scoring. Now, no lead is safe – and that’s great news for NHL in-game betting. The number of goals scored has slightly increased compared to last season.

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By Monday night, teams were averaging 3.15 goals per game. Last season, that average was 3.14. Given the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked on squads last season, resulting in a record number of goaltenders for 2021/22, the fact that this average hasn’t dropped is a reassuring sign that the offense isn’t on the wane. The total number of goals per game has also increased: 6.31 this season against 6.29 last season.

Every hockey bettor has seen total games rise to 6.5 goals at most bookmakers, with the exception of goaltending matches and battles between a few defense-stingy teams in the league. (“San Jose Sharks” are your overlords: The total has been topped in 34 of 52 games this season.)

NHL comeback kings

All this offense has led to an incredible number of comeback wins in the NHL. Look no further than Monday evening. The Ottawa Senators lost to the Calgary Flames +140 underdogs on the money line. At 6:40 of the third period, the Calgary took the Ottawa 3-1. In 21 games, the Flames lost four times after leading in the third period, placing them in the bottom third of the league in that category. Ottawa rallied and won in overtime. In-game action against the Senators with a two-goal loss would bring in a solid income.

Again, this is not an anomaly. According to research by Sportzshala Stats & Information, the winning team in more than 43% of NHL games this season (364 out of 851) has fallen behind in that game at some point. That percentage is on track to be the third-highest of any season since 1943-44. Every NHL team has at least six comeback victories, and every team has at least three post-lead losses.

But as the Ottawa Senators showed on Monday, it’s the multi-goal comebacks that open the eyes: There were 89 games in which the winning team was two goals behind at some point in the game. If this pace holds up, it will be the third-highest average of all time and the second-highest since 1986-87 – only higher was the stupid season after the 2005-06 lockout, when a lot of new rules were introduced. Return Kings this season until Monday:

  • New Jersey Devils: 1st in 25 games, 15 wins.

  • Boston Bruins: lost first in 24 games, won 14.

  • Toronto Maple Leafs: 1st in 25 games, 12 wins.

The comeback kings of the third period this season are:

  • New Jersey Devils: Lost after two periods 17 times, won 5.

  • Tampa Bay Lightning: Lost after two periods 14 times, won 4.

  • New York Rangers: Lost after two periods 14 times, won 4.

So when you look at the NHL scoreboard and see an early lead – or even a few goals lead – know that it’s not safe in today’s league. Well, unless the Arizona Coyotes are playing. They have conceded 31 times and won five of those games, the worst percentage in the league.

Stanley Cup odds

The NHL trade deadline is March 3rd. There are several names that could potentially change the season: Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews; San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meyer and defenseman Erik Karlsson; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jacob Chichrun; and St. Louis Blues center Ryan O’Reilly.

How quickly can a long-term trade affect Stanley Cup futures? Look no further than the New York Rangers. Before they traded for Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko, the Rangers were leading 20-1 to win the Stanley Cup. Now Caesars is 10-1, BetMGM is 14-1. One big deal can change the market.

To that end, keep an eye on the Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, and New Jersey Devils as teams hunting for a key deadline. Here’s a look at the top 10 Stanley Cup contenders odds as of Tuesday based on an aggregation of Caesars, BetMGM and DraftKings odds:

Two long-range shots to watch out for are the Kings (35-1) and the New York Islanders (52-1). The Kings have an 87% chance of making the playoffs at the Money Puck. They are a solid defensive team – seventh in expected goals per 60 minutes – and they could still improve by the deadline. In addition, the Western Conference is more attractive than the Eastern. The Islanders have a lot of work to do, with only an 18.4% chance of making the playoffs. But they made a trade for Canucks star Bo Horvath and got one of the best goaltenders in the league in Ilya Sorokin. Several insiders I spoke to believe the Islanders are a team made for the playoffs. If they hit it, chances are they can win it.

Future bets on NHL futures

Edmonton Oilers to win Pacific (+200): Getting cash for a division winner at this point in the season is fantastic. Think about how stuck the Bruins (-10,000), Hurricanes (-300) and Stars (-200) are right now. Money Puck gives the Oilers the best chance of winning the Pacific (33.6%). They don’t have a very good schedule – two games each against the Bruins, Avalanche and Leafs – but I like it when they finish at the top of the division if their goaltending is adequate and Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are healthy.

Connor Hellebike for Vezina (+450): There are three reasons to bet on a Winnipeg Jets goaltender being named the league’s best goaltender. Linus Ulmark of Boston (-175) is the favorite, and Sorokin of the Islanders (+500) is third. They are both in the Eastern Conference and can split the vote while Hellebike is in the West. But the big question is how Hellebike makes a stronger case than Ullmark, who has better numbers. How about this: voters see Ullmark as a product of Boston’s defensive machine, and Hellebike as Winnipeg’s de facto MVP for significantly worse defense. In addition, Hellebike could lead the NHL in shots and saves. Speed ​​matters. (Note: I vote for the Professional Hockey Writers Association award, but the PHWA doesn’t vote for Vezina—the NHL general managers vote.)

Dallas Stars – victory in the Western Conference (+650): The Stars have arguably the best hockey lineup, led by star Jason Robertson, top-five goaltender Jake Oettinger and a lot of veterans. And remember this fun fact about head coach Pete DeBoer: The New Jersey Devils and San Jose Sharks made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season off the bench. DeBoer was hired by Dallas last summer. Maybe it’s a hat trick?

Greg Wiszynski is an NHL Senior Writer, and you can read his views on betting on the Daily Wager, which airs weekdays at 6:00 pm on Sportzshala2.


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