Betting on NHL - Hockey betting strategies and how to become a bettor NHL sports gambler

How to Become a Better NHL Bettor: 4 Tips

While betting on the NHL (see NHL picks) is not as common as on the NFL, NBA, or MLB, sports bettors and investors looking to augment their current betting portfolio with little time of to learn a new sport and strategies, can often find a great fit with the NHL. And those hockey bettors active in profiting from betting on the NHL, will find 4 tips in this post on how to become a better hockey bettor.

However, while similar to many other sports in terms of general betting practice (“pucklines”, for example, are over/under totals), hockey betting has some unique features to it that can catch a novice unaware when betting on their NHL picks. By following a few simple tips, however, NHL betting is something that is easy to become good at, if you put the time– as with any other sport– to apply study to what you’re betting on.


Don’t Overspend and Study What You are Betting

Because NHL betting is less common than betting on other sports (it has a very large following, but it is comparatively smaller) it’s more common for the sport books to put smaller returns on both money lines and puck lines.

This is very revealing for two reasons:

  1. It tells bettors to bet more conservatively and splash on certain blowouts.
  2. The house pays attention to the randomization in the NHL (salary caps and other unique facets of the league give it more parity) and gives it a place of prominence. In this, monitoring expert NHL handicapper picks and predictions, and following the games themselves is incredibly important and can help you notice things like what criteria or conditions handicappers betting systems are using, or other game performance trends as goalie streaks. But remember, if betting emotionally is a bad idea, it’s an extremely bad idea in the NHL.

Pucklines: Why Betting the Underdog Actually Works Against You in a Close Match

Pay attention to the puckline very carefully. Early betting often starts with a separation of 5.5 over/under. You can easily compare pucklines across multiple sports books, bookmark your favorite games to watch the puck line, and set line movements in free ‘Compare Odds’ service launching in early 2015.

Now count the point spread in all the actual games played for three consecutive weeks. Guess what you won’t see! That’s right, the spread is deliberately higher to account for parity.

Almost no NHL game actually ends with a point spread of five or six points. Hockey is a low-scoring game: this means if you bet on the favorite, to win within the spread, you have a very good chance of winning big for less.

It’s also worth noting that some underdogs have a very strong payout, and keeping the spread in mind, if research tells you it really can go either way, it’s better to go with the underdog. To validate your NHL predictions, have a look at both the expert hockey handicappers picks and global consensus or public picks to see which way the experts and hockey analysts are playing, of fade the public.

Doubling Up: Using Puckline and Money Line In Unison

If there is a prohibitive favorite on the board, and you’re already betting on the favorite for the spread, it doesn’t hurt to bet on the money line as well. Often these bets can be very profitable, provided of course that your research indicates that the favorite really is strong.

Again, because hockey is a smaller betting market, it’s important to remember that “local favorite” betting can sway the outcome. This is a case where the wisdom of crowds can be a huge mistake.

Making Use of the Zig-Zag Theory Correctly

Among all sports betting strategies, the Zig-Zag theory (a team that has just lost is usually a favorite to win the next game, especially in higher-stakes games) but it’s important to remember that variables such as goalie streaks can seriously hamper the Zig-Zag theory– it’s parity coming into play.

Because of this, the Zig-Zag theory should only be applied on games where the two teams appear fairly even and there are no psychological factors that give one team an advantage over the other.

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