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Winning at Hockey Betting

Winning at Hockey Betting
by Mike of

Winning at hockey betting can be a challenging adventure as it is a blend of Football, Basketball and Baseball betting all rolled up into one. Once you understand this facet of approaching the game you can really rake. The advice in this article will surely increase your odds of winning and beating the hockey bookies.

So why is it like a combination of all three sports? Lets have a look at each sport individually and compare.

Football – Perhaps like no other sports, three things, speed, physical play and emotion will forever connect football and hockey.

In football a big hit, sack or a dominating offensive line can sway the outcome of the game.

In hockey the same can be held true; a punishing hit into the boards, a fight or laying down in front of 100 MPH slap shot can swing the tide of emotion in the game and in most cases change the outcome.

Once a team feels and sees itself being physically dominated the emotion can be drained and often it is only a matter of time before the final is determined.

In recent memory, if you look at the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 they went to Stanley Cup finals by having a blend of speed and physical play. In the following year many teams started to beef up on physical players as well as speedsters on their benches in order to compete with the likes of the Ducks.


Physical play has long been a hallmark of teams like the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers who try to intimate teams into submission.

Basketball – Perhaps the slightest comparable sport is hoops but two factors are similar that should be considered; travel and star players. Basketball and hockey play the same amount of games in regular season with the difference being that the NBA schedule is a bit more condensed as they start a month later but finish around the same time in June. So there are times when the teams are playing back-to-back or 4 games in 6 nights. Also, 12-15 day road trips typically dominate a teams schedule each year.

An angle that has worked (historically) when betting the NBA is playing on a team the first game without their star player, but then begin to fade them if the player is out for the long term.

The same theory can be held true for the NHL but sometimes it’s not necessarily about the star power, it's about leadership or knowing the key role that particular player has on the team.

Last year the Dallas Stars lost their captain Brendan Morrow to a terrible knee injury very early in the year and as a result missed the playoffs for the first time in over 7 years.

Similarly the Vancouver Canucks lost their star goalie Roberto Luongo in late November for over 2 and half months. The first month the team did okay hovering around the .500 mark. Then in January, puck-moving defenseman Sami Salo went down with an injury and then the team failed to win a game in January and lost 9 straight at home. Both players returned to the team healthy in February and the Canucks closed out the regular season with a 20-4 mark to finish first in the division so it’s hard to say who was more important. It is no surprise though that the Canucks signed two more puck movers this summer to back up the oft injured Salo.

Baseball – Baseball betting is very stats based. You have two or three key stats that can drive your decision making. BA, ERA, WHIP are but a few that when carefully considered, that can lead to positive bankroll building.

In hockey, the key stats to consider are GAA, GF & Special team %. The other day I heard a coach discussing the opponents team statistics and the thought struck me that coaches would make good handicappers. I guess we should not be surprised that former player and then assistant head coach Rick Tocchett was linked to gambling back a few years ago and had to serve a 2 year suspension from the sport. Although ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, he is now the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning. It is interesting to me that Tocchett was associated with a gambling syndicate. I can think of another famous coach who was linked to betting on games in his own sport and he still doesn’t smell like a Rose.

When you look beyond the box scores there is another key area to consider and that is the "pitcher vs the team." Although considered the ultimate team game, baseball is dominated by one match up and that is the pitcher vs the hitter.

Some pitchers have great success versus certain line-ups and the opposite can be held true.

In hockey that key match up is the goalie vs the opposition. Certain goalies struggle vs certain teams so it's always good to know what their winning % is vs. the opposition before laying down a bet.

Now you have a brief indication of what to look for in hockey handicapping before you throw down some plays on the ice. It is always best to know the situation and if the team is healthy, then a have a look at current statistical performance as well as historical trends of when the teams have met in the past.

Lastly, if you are in live betting, playing back-to-back games or betting on a playoff series, look for that physical or emotional edge.

Since this is just an introduction, I recommend you drill down a bit on our article on "stats betting" and what to look for in moneyline bets.

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Winning at Hockey Betting - Mike compares NHL betting to other major sports and points out important variables to consider to help increase your chances of winning and beating the hockey bookies.

Betting NHL Totals - Mike gives winning tips on using the over/under to win at hockey betting.