When it comes to sports betting, many players will gravitate to the NFL and college football because of how big of a deal it is. The NBA is huge as well and Major League Baseball is steady, but a lot of people will stay far away from hockey.
If you can research it properly, you can make it out like a bandit. One of your best options at the best sportsbooks is betting on NHL totals (versus sides). Here's why:
The Range For Normal Totals In The Sportsbook
NHL totals are simple to forecast in your sportsbook because you really only have two main options: a total of 5, 5.5, 6, 6.5 or 7. You used to get the odd 4.5 total for an NHL line but those days are gone. The league has opened things up for more scoring. That's why nowadays, 6.5 tends to be the standard total.
Goaltending Must Be Factored
It has been said that goalies can steal you wins and that can hold true for sports bettors as well. With the advent of the internet, there are tons of ways you can check out how a goalie plays against a certain team, arena or situation.
There are obviously stats for goalies when they play at home versus away. And you can use ESPN's splits to see how the goaltender has performed recently, by month, before or after the All-Star break, and more.
More importantly, where you want to start is to see who is in net. Teams rotate goaltenders so much that you have to see who is starting. That makes a huge difference. Sites like LeftWingLock usually deliver the most up-to-date starter information.
All of these data points help make your pick. Meanwhile, sportsbook look at more general tendencies. As for individual players, the sportsbook will not put a lot into picking their total and you can jump all over that if you do the proper research.
Style Of Play
This is arguably the second-most important point when handicapping NHL totals. Make sure you keep track of which teams are free-flowing that like to skate up and down the ice, and get into shootouts. At the same time, some teams are very conservative. They’ll play to get a lead and then clamp down defensively.
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Steely of play is crucial in regards to totals. Typically, if you know the coach well enough, you’ll have a good feel for the style of games they like to play.
Scheduling & Rest Play A Part
Scheduling is critical as teams who play more games tend to struggle defensively. For example, if a team is playing three games in four nights or four games in six nights, they are going to have heavier legs. That usually leads to higher-scoring affairs as they’re not as crisp in their own zone. Teams that are rested typically are sounder and have more time to prepare for their opponent.
Try to keep an eye on how many days off teams have in between games. When you factor back-to-back situations along with travel, fatigue starts to play a big part in NHL totals.