NHL Totals Betting, Bye Weeks


Finding an edge in hockey betting can sometimes be tough and most of the time it results in a blown tire and a complete yard sale. There are, however, a few trends that seem to stay true year in and year out and I’ve identified one in regard to NHL scoring that I think could be beneficial to TV ratings and, more importantly, to your sportsbook account.

The trend I’m speaking of is that scoring goes up – way up – when teams get rest. Last night, the first slate after the all-star game, was a microcosm of that as we saw a total of 99 goals scored in 14 games. That’s over seven goals per game, and an OVER/UNDER record of 11-2-1. That wild night closed out a month that saw a major increase in scoring which raised the NHL goals per game league average to 5.46 and saw teams post a 185-162-31 OVER/UNDER record – a six percent increase in OVERs from the previous months.

A possible reason for this increase in scoring is the newly instituted bye weeks. The NHL realized that scoring started to dip in January because of the intense schedule its players were subjected to and wanted to do something to curb the trend. It’s a well-established fact that when scoring goes down, so do ratings, and this bye week is an easy way to get players rested up a little to give that scoring the little boost it needs in the dog days of the NHL season without making a fundamental change to the rule book. These bye weeks will conclude at the end of the month and I think you will almost immediately see scoring go back down to normal.

A few teams to target on the OVER right now are the Wild, Capitals, Blackhawks, Penguins, Stars, Jets and Blues. During the month of January, those teams combined for a 62-22-8 OVER/UNDER record and should only continue to do damage on the scoresheet in the next month or so. One thing you may notice is that all of these teams come from the Central and Metropolitan divisions. These are the two highest-scoring divisions in hockey and it’s not close. 

Something to watch out for is a shift in NHL totals. Books are slow to adjust NHL lines and when they do, they likely already missed the trend or are trying to persuade you to bet one way or the other. When your book starts throwing out totals of 6 and 6.5, err on the side of caution and possibly avoid those games altogether. That said, you should hammer the OVER whenever you see any of the teams I mentioned above get a total of 5 or 5.5 until the current scoring trend stops.

NHL OVER/UNDERs in January
Team O/U Record in January O/U Record Before January
Wild  10-2-1 13-16-7
Capitals 8-4-3 14-14-7
Blackhawks 8-3-2 11-19-9
Penguins 8-3 12-22-1
Stars 9-4 16-22
Jets 10-3-1 15-19-5
Blues 9-3-1 15-15-7
NHL Total 185-162-31 448-500-166



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