Unlike other sports that often have a linear performance where the hot teams in the regular season are the ones that are most likely to succeed most in the postseason sports betting odds, the NHL playoffs tends to unravel quite differently, with upsets and surprises reigning supreme in the Stanley Cup Playoff odds. Here are some top handicapping tactics and tips you may want to consider if you are looking to make successful wagers in the NHL playoffs odds.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting 101
A good netminder can be the difference between a solid and weak team, and you’ll be hard-done to find a Stanley Cup Champion that didn’t ride hot on the strength of its solid goaltender(s) at some point in their campaign. The 2015-16 Florida Panthers and the manner in which veteran Roberto Luongo carried them through to an unprecedented playoff spot is a good example of how efficiency between the pipes can make a huge difference in a season. When handicapping the NHL playoffs, ensure that you do a keen assessment of the goaltenders and their ability to come through for the team at the most crucial of times. A good goaltender, preferably with a solid defense to protect him and an above-average offense, would make the best combination for a dependable Stanley Cup contender.
Toughness and Depth of the Team
Eventualities like suspensions, season-ending injuries and bad form of key players are a commonality in the playoffs, and in such instances, having a deep team that can step up is absolutely crucial for success in the postseason games. This is where having dependable third and fourth lines comes in very handy, with the role players being able to take charge in the absence of the injured or out-of-form regular starters. Similarly, playing in the playoffs calls for toughness, not just in terms of physical stamina to handle the grueling nature of the postseason games, but also mental toughness to handle challenging circumstances like finding a way to overcome a 0-3 series deficit or having the nerves of steel to come from behind and claim a victory in a must-win road game. Teams that have proven to have such toughness and physical depth are the best picks when you are looking for squads that are able to go the distance in the Stanley Cup Odds.
Ability to Adapt
Given the fact that NHL postseason teams often make strategic play adjustments, roster changes and line moves from one game to another during the best-of-seven games in the playoffs, home ice advantage rarely counts much because you often have to deal with different styles of play and sometimes different players that easily change the scope of games. With that in mind, it is imperative for teams seeking success in the NHL playoffs to be able to adjust their plans, always looking to find weaknesses to exploit and adaptations to make in order to outsmart the opponent. When you have a team that is adept at making such adjustments, then you’ve struck gold. If you, however, support a team that is able to play in one way throughout the playoffs and is unable to make necessary adjustments, then you will likely find yourself and your team out of the postseason games as soon as they gets started.
Having a good offense and a good defense, as was earlier mentioned, is important for success in the NHL playoffs odds. You should, however, not forget to look into the special teams when handicapping games. With calls coming left-right-and-center from referees, having special teams that can capitalize on such calls can prove to be a huge difference between success and failure. Tasks such as the ability to score from power plays or kill penalties are some of the special teams’ skills that are emphasized here.