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Stanley Cup Finals Betting Trends

By Matt Devine  () 

Betting on the NHL playoffs has never been quite as exciting as it is today. With the introduction of shops like DraftKings, in addition to the numerous options available around Las Vegas, every game of the playoffs includes a plethora of wagering options. Want to bet there will be a shutout? How about throwing down a few shekels that you’ll see overtime? Feeling adventurous and want to place a wager on the exact score of a game? All of these propositions, and more, are available right at your fingertips.

The Boston Bruins opened Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals on Monday as the favorite to hoist the team trophy (named for Lord Stanley of Preston, who donated the cup, as the 6th Governor General of Canada – there’s your free pint in a bar bet) in 2019. Down 0-2 just a few minutes into the second period to the St. Louis Blues, the Bruins finished the contest on a 4-0 run to take a 1-0 lead in the series. This was the 12th time in the last 14 seasons the home team has won the Stanley Cup opener. Should Boston hold course, it will be the 11th time in the last 14 seasons that the team who wins Game 1 is crowned the champion.

Throughout this article you’ll find a number of trends dating to and including the 2005-06 season of the Stanley Cup Finals (2005-06 was the year the NHL enacted a series of significant rule changes that modified, amongst other things, the dimensions of the rink). These trends are based solely on games played in the championship round. This list includes trends:

• for games 2-4 of the Stanley Cup Finals

• by series records of 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, and 2-1

• for close-out games

I’ll have Part 2 ready for the second half of the Stanley Cup Finals available in next week’s PSW with updates based on the results of Games 2-4. For now, let’s cash some tickets!

GENERAL STANLEY CUP TRENDS SINCE 2005-06

(79 games total, including Game 1 of this season)

• 15 of 79 (19.0%) games have gone to OT

• home team is 54-25 (68.4%)

• the road team has been the favorite just five times, and is 4-1 in those contests

• the underdog is 46-32 (58%) with the puck line (outlier is a game that went off -110 a piece)

• when the home team is favored, it has covered the puck line in 9 of the last 12 games • under is 44–27-8

• 53 of 79 games (67.1%) have seen a total of 5 goals or less scored

• when 6 or more goals are scored between the two teams, the home team is 21-6 (77.8%)

• when 5 or less goals are scored between the two teams, the home team is 33-19 (63.5%)

• the road team has scored more than two goals in just 27 of 79 games

• yes, there will be a score in the first 10 minutes of the 1st period is 37-42 (46.8%)

• team that scores first is 60-19 (75.9%)

• the home team has scored first 49 of 79 games (62%)

• in those 49 games when the home team has scored first, it is 42-7 (85.7%)

• in the 30 games that the road team has scored first, it is 18-12 (60%)

Goals by Period Breakdown  

1st Period (under 1.5 goals is 48-31, 60.8%)

- 0 goals: 18 times  

- 1 goal: 30 times

 - 2 goals: 18 times  

- 3 goals: 6 times  

- 4 goals: 4 times  

- 5 goals: 3 times  

2nd Period  

- 0 goals: 16 times

 - 1 goal: 20 times  

- 2 goals: 24 times  

- 3 goals: 8 times  

- 4 goals: 7 times  -

5 goals: 4 times

 3rd Period OT  

- 0 goals: 9 times  

- 1 goal: 25 times  

- 2 goals: 27 times  

- 3 goals: 7 times  

- 4 goals: 9 times  

- 5 goals: 2 times

TRENDS BY GAME

Game 2’s Since 2005-06 (13 Game 2s)

• home team has been favorite in all 13 games

• home team is 10-3 (76.9%) SU and 4-1 in last five games

• dog is 9-4 (69.2%) with the puck line ( 1.5 goals)

• road team has been held to two or fewer goals in 10 games, however visitors have scored 3 goals in three of last four contests

• Game 2s have seen the most OT action as 5 of 13 games have played to extra time

• teams have combined for five or fewer goals in 11 games (7 goals and 9 goals are the outliers)

• over is 2-10-1

• nine times there has not been a score in the 1st 10 minutes, including five of the last six games

• the home team has scored first in nine games and is 7-2 (77.8%) when doing so

Game 2 Goals by Period Breakdown  

1st Period (under 1.5 goals is 9-4, 69.2%)  

- 0 goals: 3 times  

- 1 goal: 6 times  

- 2 goals: 4 times  

2nd Period  

- 0 goals: 4 times  

- 1 goal: 2 times  

- 2 goals: 4 times  

- 3 goals: 1 time  

- 4 goals: 2 times  

3rd Period OT

 - 0 goals: 1 time

 - 1 goal: 5 times

 - 2 goals: 5 times

 - 3 goals: 2 times

Game 3’s Since 2005-06 (13 Game 3s)

• home team has been favorite in all 13 games

• home team is 11-2 (84.6%) SU, winning last three in a row

• home team has scored 3 goals nine times

• road teams has reached the 3-goal mark just four times

• only twice has there been OT

• the team that has scored first has won 10 contests

• the home team is 8-0 (100%) when scoring first

• the home team is 3-2-8 after the 1st period and has not had the lead heading into the 1st intermission in the last eight games (0-2-6)

Game 3 Goals by Period Breakdown

 1st Period (under 1.5 goals is 9-4)

- 0 goals: 4 times

- 1 goal: 5 times  

- 2 goals: 3 times  

- 4 goals: 1 time  

2nd Period  

- 0 goals: 3 times  

- 1 goal: 1 time  

- 2 goals: 5 times  

- 3 goals: 2 times  

- 4 goals: 1 time  

- 5 goals: 1 time  

3rd Period OT

- 0 goals: 2 times  

- 1 goal: 1 time  

- 2 goals: 7 times  

- 3 goals: 2 times

 - 5 goals: 1 time

Game 4s Since 2005-06 (13 Game 4s)

• home team has been favorite in 12 games (outlier -110 both directions)

• road team is 8-5 (61.5%) with the 1.5 puck advantage

• only once has a game gone to OT

• teams have combined to score five or fewer goals nine times

• the team that scores first is on a 10-game winning streak (10-3, 76.9% overall)

• home team has scored first 10 times and is 7-3 (70%) when doing so (7-0 in last seven occurrences)

• the road team has only held the lead once at the end of the 1st period (home team is 5-1-7)

Game 4 Goals by Period Breakdown  

1st Period (over 1.5 goals is 7-6, 53.8%)  

- 0 goals: 2 times  

- 1 goal: 4 times  

- 2 goals: 5 times  

- 3 goals: 1 time  

- 4 goals: 1 time  

2nd Period  

- 0 goals: 3 times  

- 1 goal: 3 times  

- 2 goals: 4 times  

- 3 goals: 1 time  

- 4 goals: 1 time  

-5 goals: 1 time  

3rd Period OT  

- 0 goals: 3 times  

- 1 goal: 5 times  

- 2 goals: 1 time  

- 4 goals: 4 times

TRENDS BY SERIES RECORD SINCE 2005-06 Teams Up 1-0 (13 times)

• The winner of Game 1 has hoisted the Stanley Cup in 10 of the last 13 seasons, including six of the last seven (last season VGK won Game 1 before losing to WAS)

• Home team has been 1-0 11 times. In those Game 2s…

   - home team is 9-2 (taking 2-0 series lead nine times), all as the favorite  

   - the under is 9-1-1 (90%)  - no score in the 1st 10 minutes is 8-3 (72.7%)

   - the home team has scored first eight times

• Only one time has the road team (Kings in 2012) won both of the first two games

Teams Tied 1-1 (3 times)

• The team to score first in Game 3 has won all three games

• All three Game 3s have been tied at the end of the 1st period

• The under is 3-0 in these Game 3s

Teams Up 2-0 (10 times)

• only twice has a team gone up 3-0 (the 2012 Kings are one of them) in the series…both teams up 3-0 went on to lose Game 4

Teams Up 2–1 (11 times)

• five times the series has been tied up at 2-2 after Game 4 … six times the initial home team has returned home up 3-1

• seven times the road team has scored 2 or fewer goals in Game 4

• seven times 2 goals have been scored in the 1st period in Game 4

• eight times the team that scores first has won Game 4

CLOSE-OUT GAMES (22) SINCE 2005-06

• every series has gone at least five games -- 10 of 13 have gone at least six games -- 3 of 13 have gone seven (last seven seasons have gone six games or less)

• teams up 3-2 in the series are 7-3 (70%) in Game 5

• of the three Game 7s, the road team has won twice

• of the last 12 close-out games, the home team has score two or fewer goals nine times

• 14 close-out games since the 2005-06 season have featured 5 or less goals (9 of the last 12 have featured 5 or less)

• only four close out games have gone to OT

• the team to score 1st in close-out games is 21-1 since 2005-06 • under 1.5 goals in 1st period is 15-7 (7-1 in last eight, 10-2 in last 12)

• 18 close-out games, including the last seven straight, have featured 2 goals or less in the third period

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