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Consider The 5.5-Goal Total In NHL Betting

If Salt 'n' Pepa’s 1986 hit song-turned-ear worm “Push It” is ringing in your ears, it might be a sign you are playing a lot of NHL totals these playoffs. 

That jam kept echoing in my ears as we continue to watch the pushes rack up through 34 games so far. The OVER/UNDER record is 10-14-10 in the Stanley Cup playoffs with the latest push coming Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins bowled over the New York Rangers 5-0 at Madison Square Garden.     

The 5-goal total set for that game is a number that’s become as boring as your morning oatmeal. We’ve seen only two 5.5-goal totals so far, both of which were in the Pens-Rangers series, while every other O/U has been set at 5. 

Five is obviously a pretty important number in the playoffs. The average goals per game is at 4.79 through 34 games and we typically see a renewed commitment to defense when the postseason rolls around. Which means we also see 5.5-goal totals disappear.  So far we’ve only seen two, which were both in the Penguins-Rangers series. 

The temptation is to play the UNDER but if you’d done that for every game in the playoffs, you’d be out some money. 

Another option is to buy the half goal, take the UNDER and parlay it with another play you like if the steep juice is too much for you. You’re going to have to pay around -200 to get 5.5 – but if you play it with say, an NBA point spread or an NHL moneyline, you’re going to turn it into plus money. 

Some bettors shun parlays because they’re tougher to win than single game bets. Obviously. But you really have to consider the winning percentage and profitability here.  

If you played UNDER 5.5 goals for every game in the playoffs, your record would be 24-10 on the NHL totals instead of 14-10-10 if you were just playing 5-goal numbers. That’s a win percentage of 70.5 and it’s good enough that you wouldn’t even have to play these games on parlays. 

As single wagers at $100 per bet on the UNDER 5.5, you’d be up $200 these playoffs with a 24-10 record assuming  you’re dealing with -200 juice in every bet. 

The competition only gets tougher as the playoffs go on so I don’t expect scoring to explode any time soon. Consider taking the UNDER 5.5 and possibly parlaying it as an option as the road to the Stanley Cup continues.  

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