How To Bet On NHL Playoffs

Nothing in sports compares to the NHL playoffs. Four rounds of demanding action will take a toll on every player’s psyche and body. You don’t get to win the Cup without spilling some blood, losing some teeth and suffering numerous contusions and lacerations. But you won’t need to suffer any of those maladies to succesfully wager on Lord Stanley’s Mug. With so much parity in today’s salary cap-based NHL, even an eighth seed is capable of knocking offa top-seeded club. [+]

The Los Angeles Kings showed this could be done when they won the 2011-12 Cup as a No. 8 seed, a team that perilously close to missing the playoffs altogether.

That’s good new for bettors because upsets bring more significant paydays and Stanley Cup lore is rich in shocking results that totally went against the form charts.

 

What Are The NHL Playoff Matchups

Knowing the background of the NHL playoff matchups is crucial. Don’t take it for granted that a higher ranked team in the regular season will dominate. [+]

There are certain teams that just aren’t suited for the tight-checking, physically-pounding style of hockey that permeates the playoffs. For instance, high-scoring, run-and-gun squads generally don’t enjoy long-term playoff success.

Look for teams that display a consistent ability to play steady, solid defense. They tend to survive a seven-game series the best. Dig beyond the stats to recognize trends. That team might have qualified as a wildcard, but they may have owned the first-place team they are facing all season long. Big teams generally wear down smaller squads and teams with depth of scoring will usually outlast a squad that relies heavily on one line for its offensive output.

Former NHL GM George McPhee once suggested that they should simply rename the Stanley Cup playoffs “Goalie” because goaltending is such an essential requirement for success, so the smart money bettor is someone who knows goalies. Traditionally, there are some goalies who raise the level of their game in the playoffs – think of Turk Broda, Billy Smith and Patrick Roy from past years and and Jonathan Quick among today’s netminders. Trying to beat him four times in a seven-game series is a significant challenge.

NHL
NHL
# team pts P W L GF GA
Regular Eastern Conference
1 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 79 57 32 16 204 154
2 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 78 55 31 12 185 133
3 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 73 58 24 19 192 162
4 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 71 56 23 17 176 165
5 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 68 58 23 22 182 174
6 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 66 57 21 19 169 167
7 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 64 56 20 20 168 174
8 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 63 57 22 21 158 169
9 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 62 56 18 23 151 156
10 New York Islanders New York Islanders 60 58 18 25 194 214
11 New York  Rangers New York Rangers 59 57 19 25 166 175
12 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 55 55 17 23 149 166
13 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 54 53 20 23 154 172
14 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 51 55 17 26 144 172
15 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 47 55 13 27 147 194
16 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 44 57 14 30 137 188
Regular Western Conference
1 Vegas Golden Knights Vegas Golden Knights 78 56 28 15 192 154
2 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 77 55 26 12 173 143
3 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 75 57 29 15 183 154
4 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 72 59 27 21 170 151
5 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 70 57 26 20 175 151
6 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 68 57 23 19 166 158
7 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 67 56 25 20 168 158
8 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 66 57 20 20 161 164
9 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 65 56 22 21 162 140
10 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 65 58 22 20 161 166
11 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 64 55 24 21 174 163
12 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 56 57 19 25 160 166
13 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 50 55 16 28 157 184
14 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 50 56 19 28 147 180
15 Arizona Coyotes Arizona Coyotes 40 57 7 32 137 195
Regular Western Conference Pacific
1 Vegas Golden Knights Vegas Golden Knights 78 56 28 15 192 154
2 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 68 57 23 19 166 158
3 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 66 57 20 20 161 164
4 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 65 56 22 21 162 140
5 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 65 58 22 20 161 166
6 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 50 55 16 28 157 184
7 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 50 56 19 28 147 180
8 Arizona Coyotes Arizona Coyotes 40 57 7 32 137 195
Regular Western Conference Central
1 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 77 55 26 12 173 143
2 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 75 57 29 15 183 154
3 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 72 59 27 21 170 151
4 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 70 57 26 20 175 151
5 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 67 56 25 20 168 158
6 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 64 55 24 21 174 163
7 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 56 57 19 25 160 166
Regular Eastern Conference Metropolitan
1 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 71 56 23 17 176 165
2 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 68 58 23 22 182 174
3 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 66 57 21 19 169 167
4 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 64 56 20 20 168 174
5 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 63 57 22 21 158 169
6 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 62 56 18 23 151 156
7 New York Islanders New York Islanders 60 58 18 25 194 214
8 New York  Rangers New York Rangers 59 57 19 25 166 175
Regular Eastern Conference Atlantic
1 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 79 57 32 16 204 154
2 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 78 55 31 12 185 133
3 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 73 58 24 19 192 162
4 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 55 55 17 23 149 166
5 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 54 53 20 23 154 172
6 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 51 55 17 26 144 172
7 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 47 55 13 27 147 194
8 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 44 57 14 30 137 188

Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Tips

Unlike the NBA, NFL and MLB, the NHL does not create a new trophy for each season. The Stanley Cup resides at the Hockey Hall of Fame and the it’s the same trophy that’s ever so carefully transported to the site of each spring’s Stanley Cup final once one team is in position to win it all.

Every player on the winning team gets his name inscribed on the barrel of the Cup and after the Cup is won, everyone on the winning team takes a turn lifting the mug aloft in triumph. During the summer months each player is granted one day with the Cup to celebrate their accomplishment with loved ones.

Players are very superstitious about this tradition and no one will touch the Stanley Cup until they win it and have earned that right.

And here’s how to best bet on the playoffs. You want to first analyze how well each team fares against one another in the regular season.

This will provide the insight needed to evaluate which bets to make. Teams riding a hot streak entering the playoffs often have the best chance to advance into the deeper rounds. Number one seeds are rarely beaten in the first round, but oftentimes are upset in later series.

You might be tempted to take the team that performed best in the regular season but that could be an impetuous mistake. You’ll want to look deeper, analyzing the Adjusted Efficiency Margin of each team. 

The playoffs offer an incredible opportunity to find an underdog that has what it takes to upset a favorite. They may have entered the playoffs on a role and have a favorable Adjusted Efficiency Margin along with sound Corsi numbers. The Corsi Effect evaluates a team’s puck possession and can be a very important stat to take stock of.

The NHL plays at a much higher speed than it use to and perpetually dumping and chasing is no longer a viable tactic for NHL Cup contenders. You need to keep hold of the puck to win and that’s exactly what the Corsi Effect determines. 

You’ll also want to veer away from backing defending Stanley Cup champions. They rarely go back to back. The Detroit Red Wings, in 1997 and 1998, were the last team to win consecutive trophies so keep that in mind. 

Finally, ride a hot goaltender until the wheels fall off. Netminders are the most important part of a team’s playoff run. Stanley Cup winners often have a man possessed between the pipes. It’s the most valuable position to a team in sports.