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NHL: January's Best & Worst Bets

Avalanche NHL

January was an interesting month in the NHL. Sidney Crosby didn’t make the all-star team, but John Scott did (and won MVP), a big trade went down between the Blue Jackets and Predators, and the Canadiens joined the Maple Leafs as one of the worst teams in the league. It was also an eventful month at the betting window with some surprises and disappointments. Here’s January’s best and worst bets in the NHL.

Best and Worst Teams to Bet on

There’s been a bit of a buzz in Colorado lately, and it’s not just from the legalized marijuana — it’s because of an Avalanche team that’s coming off their second straight 9-5 month, that’s put them in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. A strong January that included wins over some of their top competition in the conference resulted in Colorado being the NHL’s best bet in the month, earning their backers $574.59 in profits based on a $100 wager on each of their games. You could feed a lot of hungry Denverites who are taking advantage of popular new laws with that kind of money.

One team that’s fallen off a cliff recently is the Dallas Stars, who recorded just three wins in January. Back in the fall, the Stars were on the right end of this list as one of the best teams to bet on, but the poor showing in the first month of 2016 made them the league’s worst bet to the tune of -$644.74. The Stars weren’t good enough in tight games, as five of their eight losses in the month were decided by one goal.

Best Teams to bet on

Based on betting $100 on the moneyline for the team every game

  • Avalanche +$574.59
  • Blackhawks +$486.67
  • Lightning +$438.12
Worst Teams to bet on

Based on betting $100 on the moneyline for the team every game

  • Stars -$644.74
  • Wild -$627.35
  • Canadiens -$525.05

Best OVER/UNDER Teams in January

The NHL’s top OVER team in January was the Columbus Blue Jackets who went 8-4 O/U. The Jackets scored five goals in three separate games during the month, but it’s their defense (or lack thereof) that made them the best OVER bet in the league. Columbus allowed four or more goals seven times. They were especially disappointing at home, allowing an average of 4.1 goals on their home ice during the month.

The best UNDER bet also belongs to January’s best bet, The Colorado Avalanche. The low scoring games were a result of strong goaltending from Semyon Varlamov, who allowed just one goal in five separate games, and an offense that scored two goals or less in seven games. 

In a related note, the Avalanche were even more profitable during the month if your parlayed the UNDER with a moneyline victory, as the team went UNDER the total in six of their nine wins.

The league posted an overall O/U record of 60-80-36 in January.

Best OVER Teams in January
  • Blue Jackets 8-4 (66.7%)
  • Capitals 6-1-3 (60.0%)
  • Islanders 5-3-1 (55.6%)
Best UNDER Teams in January
  • Avalanche 5-9 (64.3%)
  • Wild 3-8-2 (61.5%)
  • Maple Leafs 2-7-3 (69.2%)

Biggest Upsets of January

Being the best team in the league puts a target on your back every night. Every team gives you their best game, and it makes you susceptible for an upset. Such is the case for the league-leading Washington Capitals, who ended up on the wrong end of a few of the biggest upsets during the month.

Biggest Upsets of January
DateAwayHomeAway ScoreHome ScoreAway MoneyHome Money
Jan 27, 2016AvalancheKings43+200-224
Jan 27, 2016FlyersCapitals43+196-219
Jan 21, 2016CanucksBruins42+188-210
Jan 12, 2016SabresWild32+188-210
Jan 16, 2016CapitalsSabres14-207+186