Profiting by Betting on NHL Totals

Posted by Joe Solari on April 28, 2016 in

Is it possible for bettors to make money from the NHL game totals on a consistent basis? Using the NHL betting tips and thoughts below, we strongly believe that your capacity to mint money from the NHL totals will be greatly increased, if not assured.

Profiting by Betting on NHL Totals



The Basics of NHL Game Total Betting

Generally, betting on NHL totals entails wagering on whether the total goals scored in a game by both teams will go OVER or UNDER the number set by Oddsmakers. Nearly 98% of all totals in NHL games are set at either 5.5 or 5, given the low-scoring nature of NHL games. Sportsbooks can, however, adjust the NHL total odds to either of the sides, depending on the scoring tendencies of the teams involved in a given game.

Considering most games have the lines set at these static numbers, it is extremely important to study the frequency of games that end with more than 5 goals, less than 5 goals or exactly 5 goals. Based on statistics compounded from several research quarters over the recent years, these are the general trends when it comes to NHL totals:


  • Roughly less than one third of the time, we have games ending with less than 5 goals, translating to around 30% payouts.
  • A healthy percentage of games, over 40%, end with 6 or more goals, meaning OVER bets tend to cash out quite well, especially during the regular seasons.
  • Around 25% of games end with exactly 5 goals, translating to chances of around 1 in every 4 games.
  • During the playoffs, teams tend to play more defensively, often leading to low-scoring games of 5 or less goals.


Keeping the above trends, here are some chiefly rules that can guide you to successful betting on NHL totals.

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Pertinent Rules and Tips for Betting NHL Totals

#1: In most occasions, the UNDER 5 goals is usually at 1.69 (-145 in American Odds), which generally seems like a big risk because a game has to end with either of the following limited score combinations for you to get paid—1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 2-1, and 3-1. With that, it is advisable not to be on UNDER 5 goals if the price is shorter than 1.91 (-110 American Odds). Simply put, you need at least a 5% or better edge in order to make a smart NHL total wager. This edge is not just limited to wagers on totals but for all wagers. When you have an edge that is less than 5 percent, you leave yourself with odds equivalent of betting on a coin flip, which is just mere gambling, not making a calculated investment.

#2: Most sportsbooks usually don’t mind games landing right on the flat 5 game total, as they don’t have as much risk on the balance sheets between the frequency of a push occurring and the higher juice assigned. As a bettor, you should therefore try and find instances where the game total is more likely to go over and then exploit the higher percentage. Using the flat 5 goals as an example, these are those games that are likely to end with combinations of at least 6-0, 5-1, 4-2, and 3-3.

#3: Excluding overtimes, you will find that most NHL games in the playoffs tend to total to exactly 5 or less goals. The big reason behind this is that, more-often-than-not, the NHL playoffs usually feature teams with solid goaltenders and good defensemen, which makes it difficult for teams to score. Furthermore, teams are always aware of the top-scorers in opposing team and swarm them with defenders.

#4: To ensure that your options aren’t limited, try to find a bookmaker that offers alternative game totals that can be exploited for better payouts or ‘safe’ bets in the instances that you have skewed or dicey odds.

#5: As a final and crucial tip, have a system that allows you to track each team’s scoring, especially over a given period to assess consistency. Doing so will be you make more informed decisions to help increase profits for the long haul and in a consistent basis, which is the essence of NHL total betting.