NHL weekly betting guide: True moneylines for every game
The Washington Capitals were +130 at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday, and it was an easy bet to make. Everything about that matchup inferred a coin flip - the two teams are tied atop the standings, but it's actually the Capitals who have the better metrics at even-strength.
Last week's moneyline projections showed Capitals-Hurricanes would be an even game. So with the contest tied 2-2, it could go either way, but getting +130 for a 50-50 win probability was always a good bet, even if the Capitals didn't get a late power-play goal and an empty-netter to clinch it.
The Hurricanes' hot start and subsequent slowdown prove why it's a good idea to always look forward in our hockey handicapping, using the information in our rearview.
Before the season, we provided a three-chapter series 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.
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. I also make adjustments for injuries to key players.
With roughly 25% of the season played, here's how I'm weighing those three factors as of Nov. 29:
We get further away from last season's advanced metrics but still need to stay in touch with them for teams we expect to get better, such as the Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Much of that can be built into the market's assumptions about each team after their offseason changes, which was found in the regular-season point-total market. Teams like the Seattle Kraken (over/under 92.5 points), Chicago Blackhawks (91.5), and Montreal Canadiens (89.5) were assumed to be around average, despite one being an expansion team, one being at the bottom of the league, and one making the Stanley Cup Final last year. If you disagreed with any of these numbers, you had ample opportunity to bet the under on their win total, and you'd be in good shape, as they have 15, 16, and 14 points, respectively.
This season's metrics look beyond a team's record to evaluate how that team is playing, so we can see if it's trending up or down. The longer the season goes, the more it validates another team that was deemed mediocre just two months ago: the Calgary Flames. Lined at 91.5 points, they've outperformed this season to a degree of 14% above league average by my numbers. Calgary competing for the Pacific Division is no fluke, and an over bet on its point total is sitting pretty.
The cheat sheet
The following includes my fair price on the games (true moneyline) and the moneyline price I would need to bet either side. I just need a 1% edge for a favorite if we're getting better than a fair price on the team that's 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|
|NOV. 29||SEA@BUF||-104/+104||SEA +106/BUF +115|
|VAN@MTL||+113/-113||VAN +133/MTL -108|
|ARI@WPG||+206/-206||ARI +248/WPG -196|
|PIT@CGY||+121/-121||PIT +142/CGY -116|
|NOV. 30||WSH@FLA||+121/-121||WSH +142/FLA -116|
|DET@BOS||+176/-176||DET +211/BOS -169|
|SJS@NJD||+114/-114||SJS +134/NJD -109|
|ARI@MIN||+206/-206||ARI +248/MIN -197|
|CBJ@NSH||+121/-121||CBJ +143/NSH -117|
|CAR@DAL||+119/-119||CAR +140/DAL -114|
|ANA@LAK||+133/-133||ANA +159/LAK -128|
|DEC. 1||PHI@NYR||+134/-134||PHI +159/NYR -129|
|VAN@OTT||-107/+107||VAN -103/OTT +126|
|COL@TOR||+143/-143||COL +169/TOR -137|
|SEA@DET||+108/-108||SEA +127/DET -104|
|VGK@ANA||-140/+140||VGK -134/ANA +165|
|PIT@EDM||+126/-126||PIT +149/EDM -121|
|DEC. 2||BUF@FLA||+243/-243||BUF +298/FLA -232|
|STL@TB||+139/-139||STL +164/TB -133|
|COL@MTL||+108/-108||COL +128/MTL -103|
|CHI@WSH||+140/-140||CHI +165/WSH -134|
|OTT@CAR||+214/-214||OTT +259/CAR -204|
|SJS@NYI||+131/-131||SJS +155/NYI -126|
|BOS@NSH||-116/+116||BOS -112/NSH +137|
|NJD@MIN||+158/-159||NJD +187/MIN -151|
|CBJ@DAL||+153/-153||CBJ +182/DAL -147|
|CGY@LAK||-116/+116||CGY -112/LAK +137|
|DEC. 3||SJS@NYR||+169/-169||SJS +201/NYR -162|
|NJD@WPG||+172/-172||NJD +205/WPG -165|
|VGK@ARI||-139/+139||VGK -134/ARI +165|
|CGY@ANA||-114/+114||CGY -109/ANA +134|
|EDM@SEA||-124/+124||EDM -119/SEA +146|
|DEC. 4||STL@FLA||+150/-150||STL +178/FLA -144|
|TB@BOS||+115/-115||TB +135/BOS -111|
|MTL@NSH||+121/-121||MTL +142/NSH -116|
|COL@OTT||-120/+120||COL -115/OTT +141|
|BUF@CAR||+194/-194||BUF +234/CAR -186|
|TOR@MIN||-110/+110||TOR -106/MIN +130|
|CBJ@WSH||+144/-144||CBJ +171/WSH -139|
|NYI@DET||-102/+102||NYI +108/DET +113|
|CHI@NYR||+142/-142||CHI +168/NYR -136|
|PIT@VAN||+106/-106||PIT -102/VAN +124|
|DEC. 5||TB@PHI||+105/-105||TB +124/PHI -101|
|SJS@CBJ||-108/+108||SJS -104/CBJ +127|
|CHI@NYI||+167/-167||CHI +199/NYI -160|
|TOR@WPG||-102/+102||TOR +108/WPG +113|
|LAK@EDM||+175/-175||LAK +209/EDM -168|
|CGY@VGK||+107/-107||CGY +126/VGK -103|
If you're looking at betting a game this week, refer to this chart to see whether you're truly getting value with one side or the other. New injuries or lineup issues will naturally arise, but this is a good reference point for identifying whether the side you like actually has value.
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.