Some puck bettors feel like blindly backing the UNDER come Stanley Cup playoff time is the way to go if you’re inclined to bet totals. The logic is sound - tighter hockey + solid goaltending = lower scoring – but not exactly true. At least in the first round of the postseason.
While the UNDER in first round games had the slight edge last season, numbers over the course of the previous five Sportsbook rounds say that the OVER is the way to wager.
Since the 2011 postseason, OVER has a record of 105-87-38 in the first round; good enough to cash in at rate of 54.7 percent.
The first round of the 2014 NHL postseason in particular was a treasure trove for OVER bettors as the O/U count was 27-11-8 (71.05 percent). Last season trended slightly toward the UNDER as the O/U count was 16-20-7.
Scoring has decreased slightly over the past three seasons as teams averaged 2.71 goals per game during the 2015-16 regular season; down from 2.73 gpg last season and 2.74 gpg in 2013-14.
Here is a look at the OVER/UNDER record for each of the 16 playoff teams.