Even if you don’t know a hockey puck from a Swedish meatball, there’s a trend that has been profitable over the short sample of a couple of seasons for betting on the NHL.
Identify a team with one to three days’ rest that’s playing on enemy ice against a team that was busy the day before in a road game. Bet the visitor at DraftKings, BetMGM, or FanDuel. Done.
There are two such matchups scheduled for this weekend that will be discussed below.
As mentioned in a preseason story in Gaming Today, in the pandemic-aborted 2019-20 season visitors went 39-32 in this scenario. In all other league games, the home teams were a collective 79 games over .500. (Last season’s freakish schedule was disregarded since teams competed in regional bubbles of sorts, sometimes playing seven straight games against the same opponent).
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The results have been even better this year. Through Tuesday’s games, rested visiting teams have gone 16-5 vs. home teams that played away from home the day before. In all other games, the home squads have gone 57 games over .500.
Bettors making a $100 wager on the road team in each of those 21 games would show a profit of $612.46 this year. Surprisingly, oddsmakers dealt the visitors at odds of -105 or worse in 17 of the 21 games.
Noteworthy victories for this trend occurred on Dec. 31 when the New York Rangers won at Tampa Bay, 4-3, in a shootout. Last Sunday, the Minnesota Wild went to Edmonton and snapped the resurgent Oilers’ five-game winning streak, 7-3. That marked the most goals Edmonton has given up in a game all year.
Then there’s this wrinkle. Since Dec. 19, visitors in this system have gone 10-1, with seven of the victories by two-plus goals, which makes giving 1.5 goals on the puckline a nice option, too.
Oddly, the only loss in that 11-game stretch came Monday when heavily favored Toronto (-420) was routed in Montreal by the league’s worst team, 5-2.
Here are the two games to target this weekend:
Saturday: The Islanders, on one day’s rest, play on the road against the L.A. Kings, who will have played the night before in Anaheim against the Ducks. It’s important to note that the Islanders, also coming off a night’s rest, won Tuesday at Seattle 5-2 against a Kraken team that played the night before in Vancouver.
Sunday: Vancouver, operating on two-days’ rest, will play at New York against the Rangers. New York will be playing back-to-back games after its showdown in Pittsburgh the day before.
Also read: NHL Odds Update: 2022 Stanley Cup Longshots, Liability In Las Vegas