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NHL Restart Bubble Trends

Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets during pre game skate in an empty arena

Hockey is back! After several months with no play and the conclusion of the 2019-20 season in doubt, the NHL and the NHLPA came to an agreement on a playoff format with all of the games being played in two hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton. This poses a question, though: How do you handicap games on neutral ice?

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This is a question many hockey bettors have asked themselves. Do you stick with the method you used in the regular season? Do you use previous matchups to project games in the bubble?

Well, there have been a few betting trends that have emerged that might assist you in increasing your bankroll while enjoying the intense Stanley Cup playoffs.

New to betting on hockey? Be sure to take a look at our NHL betting guide to help you get in on the action. Also, check out our NHL Odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

Eastern Conference Bubble: UNDERs & Underdogs

Eastern Conference Bubble Betting Trends
ConferenceFavoritesUnderdogs-1.5+1.5OVERUNDER
Eastern Conference88313312

If you looked at regular-season meetings between the qualifying-round series contestants in the Eastern Conference (Penguins/Canadiens, Hurricanes/Rangers, Islanders/Panthers and Maple Leafs/Blue Jackets), the favorites went 3-8 SU and 2-9 ATS.

The chalk had shown up to play in the early stages of the qualifying round, led by the Hurricanes’ sweep of the Rangers, en route to a 7-2 SU and 3-6 ATS record. However, the underdogs have barked back; including the round-robin games, the favorites are now just 8-8 SU and 3-13 ATS.

As for the totals, money could be made on the UNDER. In the 16 games that have been played in Toronto in the East bubble, 12 have gone UNDER, with three OVERs and a PUSH. The average combined score of those games has been 4.75.

Western Conference Bubble: OVERs & Favorites

Western Conference Bubble Betting Trends
ConferenceFavoritesUnderdogs-1.5+1.5OVERUNDER
Western Conference1078997

There has been a lot more parity in Edmonton where the West bubble is located, though the edge has gone to the favorites. In four round-robin games, the favorites came out and covered in three of those; Colorado failed to cover over St. Louis.

Although the chalk is undefeated in the round robin, in the qualifying round (Oilers/Blackhawks, Predators/Coyotes, Canucks/Wild and Flames/Jets), it has been the underdogs leading the charge. Through 13 qualifying-round matchups, underdogs have won seven games to the favorites’ six and the +1.5 puckline is 8-5. In the regular-season meetings between these teams, the favorite record was 4-4 SU and 3-5 ATS.

While the goalies have been standing on their heads in the East and making it hard on goal scorers, it has been a bit of the opposite in the West as the OVER has hit in nine of 17 games with one PUSH. The average combined score in Edmonton has been 6.12.