The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is in the books and we have some absolutely unbelievable matchups that would tremendous if they were Conference Finals, not semi-finals.
What you are about to check next is how various kinds of bets are working out when it comes to money line and totals wagering on hockey. Much like the disclaimer – Past Results Are Not Necessary Indicative of Future Gains – they do provide a pathway to give a bettor something to think about. Plus, the more information you have at your fingertips, the more informed decisions you can make.
Typically, backing all underdogs in the first round will show a modest profit. That did not happen because there was only one series upset to start the postseason.
Favorites – 29-14 SU record = +7.15 units
It actually could have been worse for the underdogs, but Philadelphia and Colorado winning Game 5’s on the road as monstrous underdogs at least kept the losses to a minimum.
Within the context of this, we also split out several factors that have interesting tales to tell and one was noteworthy.
When looking at large favorites of -200 or more on the money line, a 7-3 record is in line with how the math should work out. However, betting chalky faves did not work out, as they actually lost money, though it was very modest. The deficit ended up being – 0.15 units but how it got there was peculiar. Two of the three losses were by -300 or larger favorites, which really skewed the numbers.
Another small loser was favorites of -150 or less. These clubs were just 6-7 and lost -2.40 units overall.
The best bet on the money line ended up being those in the midrange, -151 to -199. These were a sharp 16-4 and picked up +9.70 units of profit.
One last aspect that is often true in money line sports like hockey and baseball in the postseason, is the worthiness of being home. NHL teams fight all season long for the home-ice advantage. So what has happened this year when they earned it? Thus far merely a 22-21 record, which hardly seems worth the trouble.
The other main element bettors wager on and seek advantages on is totals. As pucks players are aware, the total of 6 has become part of the lexicon in betting totals, especially this season. This has been the case this postseason and nearly a third (14 of 43) of the first round battles had a closing number of 6 or 6.5.
Within this, we broke down the totals to 6’s and 5’s on the closing line (5 or 5.5). Here is where we stand at present, starting with overall numbers.
Over’s 17 – Under’s 20 – Pushes 6
Like on the money line, you have to dig deeper to find an edge and we have. When the total was listed at 6 or 6.5 the Under was 8-2 with four Pushes. This will be worth following particularly in the Winnipeg vs. Nashville series, along with Washington vs. Pittsburgh.
When the totals were in the 5’s, the Over was the right choice at 15-12-2.
There you have it. You have ammunition to go into the second round! Good Luck, happy hunting and we will catch up with you after Round 2.
Doug Upstone wrote this for ScoresandStats.com