The Sweet 16 is now just a day away. But until then, bettors have a juicy Friday betting menu filled with 4 NHL games and 11 NBA games. For an updated breakdown of Friday's action, including the top line moves, systems plays and sharp contrarian bets, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I will also be joining Patrick Meagher and Michael Lombardi on The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's turn our attention to the NHL. Most teams have played about 33 games thus far, which means we are more than halfway through the 56-game regular season. What have we seen thus far in the NHL betting this season? First off, favorites have dominated, going 320-184 (63.5%). A $100 bettor taking every favorite would be up roughly $2,800 so far this season. Home and road favorites have been equally impressive, with home favorites 179-99 (64.4%) and road favorites 139-85 (62.1%). Home favorites -175 or more are 69-20 (77.5%). Big favorites -200 or more in general are 60-18 (76.9%).
One big distinction is favorites off a loss vs favorites off a win. Favorites off a loss are 130-66 (66.3%), while favorites off a win are 179-112 (61.5%). Home favorites off a loss are 75-33 (69.4%).
Favorites receiving line movement in their favor have also been profitable. Hockey is a relatively low bet sport without much public influence, so line moves are typically more driven by wiseguys who grind hockey every day and have an edge. Favorites with a line move of 10-cent or more (think -130 to -140) are 88-41 (68.2%).
With all of these profitable trends in mind, let's discuss a pair of Friday night NHL games receiving respected action...
7 p.m. ET: New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals
This East Division showdown features one of the best teams in the standings against one of the worst. The Devis (12-15-4) are 5-11 over their past 16 games. Meanwhile, the Caps (21-7-4) are 8-2 over their last ten games and 12-2 over their last fourteen games. This line opened with Washington listed as a -190 home favorite. We've quickly seen this line get steamed up to Caps -200. The Caps have value as a favorite -150 or more with a high total of 6 or more (72-31, 70% this season). Washington also has value as a home favorite -175 or more (69-20, 785%) and a home favorite on the second leg of a back-to-back (28-12, 70%). The Caps also have a bit of a rest advantage as the Devils will be playing their fourth game in six days. Washington will be playing its 3rd game in seven days. The Caps are + 15 in goal differential. The Devils are -19. Washington is 12-2 as a favorite. New Jersey is 10-18 as a dog. These teams played last night and the Caps won 4-3 as -200 favorites.
10 p.m. ET: San Jose Sharks at Arizona Coyotes
This West Division matchup features a pair of teams in the bottom half of the division standings looking to gain some momentum. The Sharks (13-14-4) have won two straight games, both of which came at home against the Kings. Meanwhile, the Coyotes (14-14-5) have won two of their last three, including a 5-4 win over the Avs their last time out, cashing as + 200 dogs. This line opened with Arizona listed as a modest -118 home favorite. We've seen some respected money hit the Coyotes, pushing this line up slightly to -120 or -125 across the board. Arizona has value as a home favorite (179-99, 64%) and a rested favorite vs a tired team. The Coyotes last played on Tuesday (in their home arena) while the Sharks last played on Wednesday and now must travel. Favorites in this rest vs tired spot are 26-10 (72%) this season. Also keep an eye on the total here. It is 5.5 with the over juiced up to -120. Both teams are profitable to the over this season, with the Sharks 17-14 and the Coyotes 18-14-1.