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Scoring Way Up in NHL in February

If you bet puck, you may have noticed the NHL picked up a big dose of scoring since the All-Star break.

Since the All-Star break ended, the OVER is mopping up in February to the tune of 61-35-15, a winning rate for the OVER of 63.5 percent. That’s a mammoth increase for the OVER of nearly 15 percent following a season O/U of 349-369-133 (48.6 percent).

The windfall for OVER bettors comes as NHL games have seen a somewhat shocking rise in scoring of 5.94 goals per game in February from the season average of 5.35 goals.

That’s massive by NHL standards. 

Scoring in the NHL has barely varied over the past four seasons, ranging from about 5.32 goals per game to 5.34 according to Quant Hockey.com . The surge in scoring also suddenly vaults the average goals per game beyond the common NHL game total of 5.5.

The reasons for the rise in scoring are tough to say but the surge started after the All-Star break so it could have something to do with player health. What’s probably more important is determining where things go from here.

What usually happens in the NHL is teams clamp down around playoff time and goals get tougher to come by. The chart from Quant Hockey will show you that scoring almost always goes down in the playoffs, although there have been a couple of exceptions to that rule in recent seasons.

What I’ll be watching for is when this trend stalls and scoring comes back down to earth. NHL lines are notoriously slow to adjust simply because books don’t see the kind of action on them that they do for more popular sports like football or basketball.

The window likely won’t last long but if you can identify when or if scoring slows, you should be able to take advantage of some soft lines in the NHL in the near future.