Betting on the NHL has its own unique tactics that can make it trickier to predict than other sports. Novice bettors who don’t pay attention to these betting oddities can make huge mistakes on their own bets, which can be easily avoided. In this post we’ll cover three common mistakes hockey bettors make betting on the NHL. Once you familiarize yourself with these three mistakes, check out our other post on 4 tips how to become a bettor NHL bettor and the current Intelligent Tips and Expert NHL picks available.
The NHL has a number of rules to ensure parity between the teams at the sports books. Much more than NFL betting, which requires some research but can also be invested defensively by novice bettors or gamblers, NHL betting takes research and conservative betting. So the three biggest mistakes that bettors make that seem minor in comparison to other sports.
Not Paying Enough Attention to the Goalie and Defense
One of the biggest mistakes that hockey bettors make is reducing the goalie to a statistic. This is a mistake because a goalie, unlike players in the NFL, NBA, or MLB, are central to the game: a goalie on a hot blocking streak will substantially affect the game more than a single player in these other sports. A common betting mistake is simply to look at goalie averages and pick the better average. This doesn’t take into account that often goalies on a streak can change the outcome of the game against far superior opponents.
Of course, even the best goalie can be thwarted if he has a weak defense in front of him, so it’s also important to look at the recent form of the defense, especially if you’re dealing with a goalie on a hot streak. Is his defensive line helping him, or making less of a difference? In this a smart bettor or investor will look at the recent form of the goalie first, and then whether the defense in front of him will be a relative asset or liability.
Puckline Betting Mistakes
The biggest mistake that can be made by a novice NHL bettor is to trust the puckline, especially early on. This is among one of the key mistakes that you won’t learn among NHL betting basics and handicappers tips. The puckline almost always ranges between 3 and 5 points. Such ranges are nearly blowouts, as more games fall within the spread as opposed to outside of it. Because of this, unless there’s a real, tangible advantage and a blowout is in fact to be expected, it’s usually better to bet the underdog, as games are often close, meaning it’s less likely that even the favorite will cover the spread. Of course, such a judgment shouldn’t be made arbitrarily, but should always be based on researching the teams’ recent form, particularly their respective defenses.
Ignoring Externals: Home Advantage, Travel, Recent Form
Another mistake novice bettors often make is to overstate recent advantages. For example, the home team usually has an advantage, but this is not a hard and fast rule. Some teams have a very poor home showing or weak support. Some teams actually do better on the road. That said, there are real home advantages, the most obvious being that the home team players are usually better rested, comfortable in their personal environment. Away players, by contrast, have the discomfort of travel, and the home team’s support (usually) rallying against them.
In short, calculating psychological factors such as home advantage and travel should be done in light of recent form. For example, a team that thrives during away games during the season on a hot streak is something that should be taken into account if they’re playing an away game against a lackluster home venue. In such a case, home advantage should be considered overstated.