NHL weekly betting guide: True moneylines for every game

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In point-spread betting, we pay -110 on either side. We're taught early in our betting careers that we need to hit 53% to be profitable at that price, which is 3% better than breaking even.

When betting moneylines, as we do in hockey, it's more difficult to establish how to be 3% better with prices on the move. Hitting 53% isn't going to do you any good if you play favorites of more than -110 on average. On the other hand, if your bets average out to a +150 moneyline price, hitting 43% would be more than enough to be profitable.

It didn't quite match the twists and turns of an Elmore Leonard crime novel, but we provided a three-chapter series before the season on how to use the regular-season point total market to create team ratings, how to interpret home-ice advantage, and then how to use those to create your own moneylines.

Less than two weeks of hockey have been played since then. I've taken the advanced stats I value most from those games, the market rating for regular-season win total markets, and last season's advanced stats to create a rating for each team. Also, if there's an injury to a key player that was previously unaccounted for, I'll make those adjustments.

With roughly six games played per team, here's how I'm weighing those three factors as of Oct. 25th:

2021 SEASON MARKET 2021-22
35% 60% 5%

We need a baseline for what these teams have done in the past, which is why 35% comes from last season. The Avalanche didn't just throw a bunch of guys together three weeks ago, meaning last season's body of work matters.

Many teams have changed since last year, and the perception of those changes is built into the rating taken from the regular-season point total markets before the year.

Since we don't want to overreact to a few games, this season's results carry the least weight right now. For example, we don't want to believe too much in the Sabres' early success or the poor starts by teams like the Islanders, Golden Knights, Canadiens, and Lightning. Each Monday, we'll tweak the weighting to gradually place more importance on what's happened this season.

The Cheat Sheet

The following is a lookahead to a week's worth of games. It includes my fair price on the games (true moneyline) and the moneyline price that I would need to bet on either side. I just need a 1% edge for a favorite if we're getting better than fair price on the team more likely to win. For the underdog, I'll need 4% or better to make it a bet.

DATE GAME TRUE ML +/- PRICE TO BET
OCT. 25 CGY@NYR +114/-114 CGY +134/NYR -109
WSH@OTT -120/+120 WSH -116/OTT +142
TOR@CAR -107/+107 TOR +110/CAR +126
DAL@CBJ -131/+131 DAL -126/CBJ +155
TB@BUF -156/+156 TB -150/ BUF +185
AZ@FLA +209/-209 AZ +253/FLA -200
LAK@STL +136/-136 LAK +161/STL -131
OCT. 26 CGY@NJ +116/-116 CGY +137/NJ -112
TB@PIT -150/+150 TB -144/PIT +178
VGK@COL +207/-207 VGK +250/COL -198
SJ@NSH +122/-122 SJ +144/NSH -117
MIN@VAN -123/+123 MIN -118/VAN +144
WPG@ANA +107/-107 WPG +125/ANA +110
MTL@SEA +111/-111 MTL +130/SEA -106
OCT. 27 BOS@FLA +116/-116 FLA -112/BOS +137
DET@WSH +154/-154 WSH -147/DET +182
TOR@CHI -171/+171 TOR -164/CHI +204
VGK@DAL +111/-111 VGK +130/DAL +106
PHI@EDM +129/-129 PHI +152/EDM -124
OCT. 28 AZ@TB +233/-233 AZ +284/TB -222
CGY@PIT -119/+119 CGY -115/PIT +140
BOS@CAR +106/-106 BOS +125/CAR +100
COL@STL -137/+137 COL -131/STL +162
BUF@ANA +126/-126 BUF +148/ANA -121
PHI@VAN +107/-107 PHI +126/VAN +100
MIN@SEA -111/+111 MIN -101/SEA +130
MTL@SJ +100/+100 MTL +118/SJ +117
WPG@LAK +144/-144 WPG +170/LAK -138
OCT. 29 CHI@CAR +146/-146 CHI+173/CAR -140
CBJ@NYR +161/-161 CBJ +192/NYR -155
AZ@WSH +178/-178 WSH -170/AZ +212
FLA@DET -134/+134 FLA -112/DET +137
ANA@VGK +147/-147 ANA +174/VGK -141
OTT@DAL +177/-177 OTT +212/DAL -170
OCT. 30 NYI@NSH -115/+115 NYI -111/NSH +135
MTL@LAK +104/-104 MTL +123/LAK +103
NJ@PIT +138/-138 NJ +163/PIT -133
WPG@SJ +100/+100 WPG -117/SJ -117
FLA@BOS +116/-116 FLA +137/BOS -112
DET@TOR +195/-195 DET +234/TOR -186
CHI@STL +129/-129 CHI +152/STL -124
MIN@COL +133/-133 MIN +157/COL -128
PHI@CGY +120/-120 PHI +142/CGY -116
EDM@VAN -113/+113 EDM -109/VAN +133
OCT. 31 AZ@CAR +191/-191 AZ +230/CAR -183
MTL@ANA -129/+129 MTL -124/ANA +152
BUF@LAK +171/-171 BUF +204/LAK -164
CBJ@NJ +146/-146 CBJ +173/NJ -140
NYR@SEA +102/-102 NYR +120/SEA +110

Last Tips

Things like new injuries or appearances by backup goaltenders can skew these games, which is why you have to apply your own discerning opinion on whether or not to make a bet. However, don't be shy to back a heavy underdog or lay a big price on a favorite if you find a price that's profitable long term.

With lines opening the night before, you may see no edge on either side. But lines often change enough to offer value by the time the puck drops 24 hours later. You might also see value with the opener, only to see it change with a big move before puck drop. You can then decide if you're happy with the closing line value from your first bet or - if you think it's an overreaction - whether to bet the other way.

I recommend grabbing value where you can the night before and then checking back for any overadjustments.

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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NHL weekly betting guide: True moneylines for every game
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