Betting lines catching up to Golden Knights
January 30, 2018 2:30 AM
by Nick Pellegrino
A rule of thumb in pro football betting also occurs when wagering on pro hockey: No matter how good a team looks in any single game it does not mean they will play in a similar manner in the ensuing outing.
So when the Vegas Golden Knights, owners of the best home-ice record in the NHL, hosted the New York Islanders last Thursday at T-Mobile Arena, the betting line on the Knights went through the roof in making them the biggest favorite (-210 to -220) in the franchise’s short history.
However, the Islanders enjoyed two days off in southern Nevada, then went to business in taking down the Knights, 2-1, heading into the All-Star break that concluded Monday. The Golden Knights resume regular season play Tuesday at Calgary.
In addition, the betting total was posted at 6.5 (or a season-first 7 goals offshore), many thinking the high-octane yet defensive-deficient Isles would surely be involved in another shootout. NYI had gone Over the total at a rate of 31-8-2 over the previous 41 games until a week ago (now 3-2 to the Under).
Sounds like the streak was broken, yet the public still pounded the Over. Big mistake.
New York goalie Jaroslav Halak carried a shutout deep into the third period, as the suddenly defensive-conscious Islanders skated to their second consecutive 2-1 victory.
Halak recorded 38 saves, while Ross Johnston and Jordan Eberle scored to mount a 2-0 lead, as New York (25-20-5) reached the .500 plateau after going 2-0-1 on its three-game road trip. The Islanders resume play ninth overall in the Eastern Conference, one point behind Philadelphia for the final wild card playoff berth.
The lone Vegas goal came on the power play with 5:07 remaining, when Erik Haula scored from the blue line. Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for Vegas (32-12-4), which lost at home in regulation for the first time since Nov. 28, going 10-0-2 since a shutout setback to Dallas.
The “lock” parlay of Vegas and Over went the other way on both fronts, displaying betting warning on Super Bowl LII.
In the NFL, bettors recently witnessed strong playoff outings by quarterbacks Minnesota’s Case Keenum (vs. New Orleans), Atlanta’s Matt Ryan (vs. L.A. Rams), Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (vs. Pittsburgh and the first half vs. New England). And the public bet on them heavily the following week – and lost their money-line wagers.
So while some handicappers talk about riding a streak, the question arises: When does a streak begin? After the second win, the fifth or the seventh? And when does betting the steak end or do you bet it blindly?
It’s no wonder Philadelphia is getting all of the early, first-week Super Bowl wagering action following the NFC Championship Game performance by Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (vs. Minnesota).
In hockey, the Colorado Avalanche saw its 10-game win streak recently snapped. However, eight of the wins came at home. The Avs then hit the road and fell to Montreal in an extremely disappointing performance.
Last season, the Columbus Blue Jackets posted a franchise-record 16-game win streak. Half were at home, and among the road games only one was against a winning team. When the Jackets began playing tougher teams on the road, they fell in the standings.
This is why handicapping each contest as an individual unit is so important.