Last night prior to going out for the evening, I was at my Livingroom Window gazing out at the Mighty Mississippi River and casually mentioned to my Significant Other that I had a Big Bet on an NHL Game. Without blinking an eye, she picked up the Television Remote and exclaimed, “Is that game on TV?” I was in total shock of course since she had not expressed any interest in the NHL ever. The Olympic Hockey had peaked her interest in the sport and she had become a fan almost overnight. We did not watch the game, and instead went out for some oysters and beer. That game was the Capitals/Lightning OVER the Total and it was an easy winner with 9 goals being scored.
But What does this Mean?
This means that there is a whole lot of interest in the NHL right now and the games following the Olympics have seen a lot of new faces in the stands. This always happens after the Big International Tourney and NHL League Officials are taking note. They want to keep these new faces coming to the games, they want higher TV Rankings, and one way to make sure they obtain this, is to make sure that the games are entertaining to the newcomers. How do they do that? That is simple. They Showcase the Talent in the League by having them Score a Lot of Goals. Sports Fans love to see scoring and that is true in every sport. The NHL is no different and low and behold we are seeing a lot of goals here in the early going following the Olympics.
Why Are We Seeing a Lot of Scoring?
Sometimes it pays to have good contacts when betting sports for a living and I happen to have a very good NHL Guy that gives me info from time to time. He is a very good source and most reliable. He tells me that over the weekend, NHL League Officials sent a note to all NHL Referees strictly enforcing holding and interference penalties as set forth in the rule book. The Note pretty much said that this has not been done as it should have been done this year and that they expect it to be done now. It does not take a Genius to know that more penaties mean three things. (1) More Power Plays. (2) Less Defensive Intensity. (3) More Scoring.
Let’s Look at the Results So Far
Prior to Last Night’s Action OVER in NHL Games have hit at 19-4-2 since the break. That is more than just a small abberation even on the small sample. Whether this trend continues remains to be seen but one thing is for sure. Oddsmakers might be slow to react since the NHL does not get anywhere near the volume of bets that other sports do. That is going to be especially true with the NBA coming down to crunch time and NCAA Touneys here upon us. So are these Odds that Oddsmakers are putting out going to continue to go Under the Radar. Certainly not. Vegas will, if not already, take note of this trend. However, they have not yet to the most degree. That might give us some good opportunities until this well runs dry and they start re-adjusting Totals upward.
Some Final Thoughts
This does not mean that we should bet all NHL Totals OVER without looking into the games further. This does mean that we should consider these changes when we do look at the games. Perhaps that Under Play you thought might be a good opportunity is not. Perhaps that Over Play you like, might be bumped upward. As a Professional Handicapper, I am always looking for an edge, whether that be longterm or shorterm. This might be a good shortime Edge for sure and already has been. Incidentally, the Capitals/Lightning game last night featured only the 11th time this year that we have seen a Posted Line at 6.5 Goals. With last nights win, OVER is now 11-0 in those games. Is that an Edge? I think so. It looks like we will be watching some NHL here at my house with the Peaked Interest that my mate has for it. I just hope that I am not zapped with any holding or interference penalties during the games. (smile)