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Big Faves Coming Through In NHL Playoffs

Wagering on the NHL can be more brutal than a two-hander to the back of the legs.

Call it parity due to the salary cap. Call it the grind of the marathon schedule. Whatever reason you like — it can leave some black eyes and cut up bankrolls. 

But there’s a trend unfolding in these playoffs that could be showing it’s getting a little easier – although you might not like the price tag. 

Big favorites (-150 or higher) are now 7-1 in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs – a win rate of 87.5 percent and a profit of 5.5 units or $550 for the bettor using $100 units. Six of those seven winners also covered on the puckline which really makes this a lucrative trend right now.  

It’s a massive swing from the first round when faves of -150 or greater went just 8-10 and were a bankroll nightmare. 

Digging back into late first-round, big faves are 11-1 straight up and 9-3 on the puckline. 

This may be a small sample size of games but there’s logic to the change in the trend. And I think that logic is that oddsmakers are getting much better at predicting who’s going to win right now —and predicting where the money is going to come in. 

Oddsmakers will admit the NHL is a bit of a crapshoot for them during the regular season. Both because of its unpredictability and also because they just don’t pay as much attention to it as other sports. They don’t have to.

Sportsbooks simply don’t get as much action on the NHL as the other three major pro sports (NFL, NBA  & MLB).  Puck gets so little action the Nevada Gaming Board simply lumps the NHL into the category of “other” sports along with golf, tennis, UFC and any other niche sports you can think of.  

But this time of year oddsmakers — along with other casual bettors — start paying closer to the NHL as the excitement grows and there are fewer games to track. As a result it gets a little easier to keep tabs on teams and the money of the bigger bettors who like to play the NHL. 

I noticed this trend of big faves coming through recently because I balked on a few of them because of the price tag. Turns out I shouldn’t have. 

It’s something you might want to keep an eye on moving forward when betting the NHL. I’m going to. 

The St. Louis Blues are -160 at home tonight against the Dallas Stars in the next game seeing big juice.   

RECORD OF -150 (OR HIGHER) FAVES IN NHL PLAYOFFS
DateFavoriteOddsScore
May 8Lightning-161W 4-0
May 7Sharks-165W 5-1
May 7Capitals-150 W 3-1
May 3Blues-150W 6-1
May 2Penguins-150 W 3-2
April 30Lightning-160W 4-1
April 29Sharks-160W 5-2
April 29Lightning-150 L 5-3
April 24Capitals-165W 1-0
April 23Blackhawks-150W 6-3
April 23Pittsburgh-181W 6-3
April 23Ducks-163W 5-2
April 22Panthers-160L 2-1
April 22Capitals-225L 2-0
April 20Capitals-160L 2-1
April 19Blackhawks-161L 4-3
April 17Ducks -175L 3-2
April 16Kings-150L 2-1
April 16Stars-205W 2-1
April 16Penguins-175L 4-2
April 15Ducks-157L 3-2
April 15Panthers-160W 3-1
April 15Lightning-153W 5-2
April 14Ducks-175W 4-0
April 14Panthers-150L 5-4

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