With the NHL set to get back on the ice on Saturday, August 1, with its restart tournament, now is a perfect time to get up to speed on some insightful betting keys you need to know. Whether you prefer one of the top favorites on the board, a middle-of-the-pack contender or a genuine longshot, these five key things you need to know will help you in your quest to have a profitable NHL restart betting campaign. Let’s find out where the National Hockey League is standing right now so you can make your bets against their NHL odds.
2020 Keys to Profitable Betting on the NHL Restart
Like Mufasa once told young Simba…remember. This means, remember who was hot before the hiatus. Here’s a quick run-down of just that! Out West, no team was hotter than the Los Angeles Kings who won their last seven before the hiatus. Winnipeg won four straight and Nashville had won three straight. In the East, Carolina hit the break with a conference-high, three straight wins while Florida had won two in a row.
Maybe a better look at who was hot and who was not is to look at each team over their last 10 games. In that case, out west, the L.A. Kings went 8-1-1 over their last 10 while Vegas and St. Louis both went a robust 8-2. However, no team in hockey was as hot as Philadelphia, which won nine of their last 10 before the hiatus. Boston was the second hottest team in the East, having gone 7-3 over their last 10.
Ell, if you’re looking back at which teams were hot before the break, then you need to look at who was not as well. In the Eastern Conference, the Islanders were relegated to just two wins over their last 10 while Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh won only three of their last 10. In the Western Conference, Dallas and San Jose were both limited to just three victories over their last 10.
Rest vs. Rust
With nearly four months off since the league last laced them up on March 11, teams have either gotten rusty – or a lot healthier – depending on each franchise. Boston was on fire with 16 wins in their last 20 games before the break. Will the Bruins be able to regain their momentum? That scenario also applies to Philadelphia and Vegas which had gone 14-5 over their last 19 before the hiatus.
Conversely, the break came at a great time for a handful of other injury-ravaged teams like Dallas, which dropped six straight before the break. In the East, the Islanders and Blue Jackets were both in danger of being left out of the postseason with the Isles dropping seven straight and Columbus going 3-15 over their last 15. However, under the new, 24-team format, both teams will have had ample opportunity to stop their free-falling ways and get back to some semblance of playing winning hockey.
Under the league’s bubble, all games are in Edmonton and Toronto, so every team except the Oilers and Maple Leafs will be effectively playing road games for the duration of the 2019-2020 campaign. Sure, there will be no hostile crowds to contend with, but still, these games will be held in unfamiliar territory for 29 franchises.
To that end, in the Eastern Conference Washington recorded a conference-high 23 road wins while Boston was second with 22 and Tampa Bay, third with 21 while Carolina and the New York Rangers were tied with 19 road wins. In the Western Conference, Colorado racked up a league-high 24 road wins. Edmonton and Calgary both had 20 road wins while St. Louis had 19. Nashville and Dallas were tied with 18 road victories.
Last, but not least, I believe it’s going to be crucial to look at the play of each team’s goalies. Colorado’s Michael Hutchinson has been the best in the league this season with a league-best 1.00 goals against average and a league-leading .944 save percentage. Then, there’s Vegas’ duo of Robin Lehner and veteran star Marc Andre-Fleury. Lehner is second in both, goals against average and save percentage while Fleury is second in shutouts with five. Tuukka Rask was vying for the Vezina before the league’s hiatus as he sits in fourth place in GAA (2.12). St. Louis net-minder Jake Allen is fifth in GAA (2.15). At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s Tampa Bay’s Curtis McElhinney who has a 2.89 GAA or Edmonton’s Mike Smith who checks in with a 2.95 GAA. Simply put, keep an eye on each team’s goalie play early on and make your wagers accordingly over the course of the NHL restart campaign!