Ice hockey is one of the most thrilling sports to bet on owing to its lightning-fast pace and almost ceaseless action. However, if you’re new to ice hockey betting, you may likely have to endure a steep learning curve before your bets are successful. To limit your losses, here are the most common betting mistakes to avoid.
1. Always Picking the Favourite on the Puck Line
Betting on the puck line is similar to a point spread in basketball or football, where the favourite needs to win by a certain amount – almost always -1.5 goals in ice hockey.
Puck line wagers are especially appealing to rookie ice hockey bettors thanks to the big odds which usually accompany them, but don’t make the mistake of always choosing the match favourite.
2. Fixating on Shots on Goal
Studying a team’s recent shot differential is a popular way to assess a team’s performance but it can also be very misleading.
Lesser-skilled teams often shoot as many times as possible to increase their chances of scoring, while better teams will save their shot attempts for clear scoring opportunities.
3. Assuming a Win is a Sure Thing
Nothing in sports betting is a sure thing and this is especially true in ice hockey.
During a season, 20-25% of NHL games are usually concluded by overtime or a shootout and many more end up being 1-goal decisions.
A single incident could be enough to upend heavy favourites just like with blackjack online Canada, so don’t assume the game is a lock.
4. Disregarding Which Goalie is Playing
The goalie is the most important member of each team, so it’s imperative to know who’s manning the net on game night as even the best goalies in the NHL get 10-15 games off over the course of a long season.
If you find out that the backup will be in the net, be sure to check his save percentage and goals-against average.
5. Too Much Emphasis on Home Advantage
Much like any other sport, teams in the NHL have an advantage when playing at home, but it isn’t as significant as it used to be.
Home teams still win +/- 55% of games in the NHL, but they don’t win as often as home teams in the NBA or NFL.
6. Overreacting to Player Injuries
A top player injury often sends the odds careening as punters overreact, commonly to the point that value lies with the team missing their star player. However, it’s important to remember that injuries in ice hockey are arguably less meaningful than in the NBA or NFL as even top players generally don’t play more than one-third of a match.
Not Shopping the Odds
Not shopping the odds on offer is one of the biggest mistakes made by punters, but it’s especially important in moneyline-based sports like ice hockey and baseball. Be sure to shop the odds on offer across a variety of sportsbooks to ensure the best return on investment.