Welcome to the daily NHL betting market report, your source for comprehensive and dynamic hockey betting analysis. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date as I handicap the NHL each day.
Market Report for Sunday, Oct. 30th
Wins: 18 Losses: 15 Units Won: 3.26 units ROI: 9.5 percent
Recap: I felt good about all four bets that I made on Saturday, and it was a decent day, but the Flames put a damper on things when they blew a lead late in their game (that they mostly dominated) versus the Oilers thanks to an unforgivable gaffe by goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
I’m tracking all my plays on Betstamp: a third party bet tracking app. The bets reveal themselves after the games start. I keep my own personal records as well and they may differ slightly from Betstamp due to several factors, but for the most part, it should line up closely.
Today: There are five games on Sunday, but I only have one small, very ugly bet on the Chicago Blackhawks and not much interest in any of the other four games.
All game lines via DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook, but I will sometimes use the consensus odds from the VSiN NHL Odds page if it is a better price and widely available. All recommended bets will be accompanied by recommended stake size. All stats via Evolving Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.
Columbus Blue Jackets (+ 175) at New Jersey Devils (-200)
New Jersey is probably the most talked about team in the league right now, and for good reason. The Devils have only had a couple of chances to really prove themselves, and they haven’t yet, but early signs suggest that this team is on the rise and could contend for a playoff spot. The mood changed a little bit over the weekend, though, as forward Ondrej Palat, the Devils’ big offseason acquisition, was placed on injured reserve due to a lower body injury. The Devils will likely win this game, but my model isn’t showing any value on them whatsoever.
Minnesota Wild (-200) at Chicago Blackhawks (+ 175)
You could have lost more money betting on a few other teams (Vancouver, Anaheim and Nashville) this season, but the Wild are up there. I think it’s a toss-up between Minnesota and Toronto for worst bet in hockey right now. There was action on the Wild this morning that pushed Chicago’s odds from + 165 to + 175. I managed to grab the bet at an average price of about + 180, but some shops have the Blackhawks listed as high as + 185. It’s a small bet, and I fully expect to lose, but Minnesota doesn’t deserve to be coming into this game with odds that big, and Marc-Andre Fleury hasn’t been a good goaltender for a while now. Through the lens of expected goals, there isn't much separating these two teams. In fact, Chicago has performed better than Minnesota in some areas. The Wild will likely outshoot the Blackhawks by a large margin, but whether they win or lose, there’s a good chance it’ll be by the skin of their teeth.
Notes: Marc-Andre Fleury and Alex Stalock are expected to be the starting goaltenders.
Bet: Chicago Blackhawks + 175 Stake: 0.5 units to win 0.875 units
Update: It’s tough to judge just where the market will settle, especially early in the season. There are so many different opinions out there. I wish I would have waited to see if the Wild continued to catch steam, but I didn’t think I would be the only one willing to buy back on the Blackhawks down to + 175. There are better prices available, but the market movement suggests that I overestimated my edge. I guess we’ll see where the game line closes.
Toronto Maple Leafs (-190) at Anaheim Ducks (+ 160)
Toronto might be the worst bet in hockey, but the Ducks might be the worst team. The Maple Leafs should win this game easily, but this team rarely lives up to expectations. My model prices the Maple Leafs at around -180, but I’m not sure it’s capturing just how bad Anaheim is the only team that has scored fewer than two goals per 60 minutes so far this season. Toronto just isn’t playing well, though. After nine games, the Maple Leafs rank 28th offensively in all situations, and grade out 17th in expected goals at even strength. Toronto might have a lot of talent, but it appears as if they’re relying on it too much. They’re not a fun team to bet against thanks to their skill, but they’re just about the last team I want to bet on.
New York Rangers (-200) at Arizona Coyotes (+ 175)
Maybe the Rangers got lucky on Saturday when Stars’ goaltender Jake Oettinger was forced to leave the game due to injury. New York went on to win the game 6-3. That’s in the past, though, and now they’ll bring their talents to Mullet Arena. Arizona lost their first home game of the season on Friday, 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets in overtime, and this will be our second look at the new home for hockey in Arizona. We will most likely see backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak in goal for the road team since Igor Shesterkin played on Saturday, but even with a huge downgrade in goal, the Rangers deserve to be a sizeable favorite in this game. Not big enough to warrant a bet on the Coyotes, though, as is indicated by the fact that there hasn’t really been any movement in this game since it opened.
Winnipeg Jets (+ 175) at Vegas Golden Knights (-200)
The Golden Knights’ 2021-22 stats are noisy, to say the least. It was tough to get a good read on the team due to all the injuries. They’re off to a great start this season, and they look like one of the strongest teams in the league, but I’m still somewhat surprised by just how fast the market did an about face. My model is catching up, it seems, and that’s keeping me away from betting on the Jets, but it suggests a fair price is closer to -180 assuming Connor Hellebuyck is in goal.
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2021-22 Betting Season Recap:
NHL Betting Guide (Futures): 25.9 units
Reg Season (Sides and Totals): 6.22 units
Player Props: -15.33 units
Playoffs (Sides and Totals): -14.43 units
Thoughts: I tried to do too much last season (The Propagator is one example) because it was the first time that I was going to be producing content at large scale. I was worried that my typical betting habits would be seen as too selective and therefore not enough for the average VSiN subscriber. I was wrong.
Going forward: I am back to focusing on what has worked for me all along: Making long term forecasts for futures markets and handicapping all 1,312 regular season games.