Skip to content

NHL weekly betting guide: True moneylines for every game

Dave Reginek / National Hockey League / Getty

The NHL regular season's final weeks are not to be trusted.

For bad teams, it's one thing to think about a club relative to its draft position in February or March. Still, it's another thing when losing the final few games guarantees as many draft lottery balls as possible. Management often decrees that certain goaltenders start and lesser players get more ice time in the name of "giving opportunities to the young guys." Why not just bet against the bad teams, then? Well, those young players aren't trying to look bad and are giving everything they have to get noticed. Plus, the market will lean to the favorite even more, so the only play is to back the inferior squad, which isn't a particularly fun way to finish your campaign either.

For mediocre teams, it's one thing to think about a club relative to its playoff position and the concept of a must-win game. However, it's another thing to pay the tax oddsmakers charge on backing a club sitting on the playoff bubble just because it has more theoretical motivation. The reality is pressure can only cause problems. Once players are on the ice, they aren't thinking about the standings when they make the snap decision about where to shoot, pinch, or dive to block a shot.

For good teams, it's one thing to assume that a club doesn't necessarily have the motivation to win to secure a playoff seed. But it's another thing to fade a squad like the Bruins even after they sit their stars for rest purposes. A good team is more than just a few players; It's a collective - culture, coaching, and player development. On the flip side, you're not likely to get a deal on Boston, Toronto, Tampa Bay, or any other club with its playoffs seeding set.

Thoroughly confused? That's what happens in the final weeks of the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB seasons. It comes with the territory. These will be the final moneyline projections of the regular season since the best bet for the first full week of April is to take time to regroup and not give back the profits made value-betting during this long NHL season.

The recipe

We started the campaign using the regular-season point total market as a baseline for rating teams since it's our best preseason measurement. Throughout the season, we adjust club ratings using on-ice metrics to remove the cognitive bias of win-loss records, which outliers like special-teams results, poor goaltending performances, and other unreliable events can skew. Our priors have almost entirely been flushed out this late in the campaign, and this season's metrics remain.

The cheat sheet

There are no bad bets at the right price, but how do we know what a good price is?

The following includes my fair price on the games (true moneyline) and the moneyline price I'd need to bet either side. I only need a 1% edge for a favorite if we're getting better than a fair price on the team more likely to win. For the underdog, I'll need 4% or better to make it a bet. For games I project to be closer to a coin flip, a 2.5% edge is enough for a worthwhile wager. I also have a 5% win probability consideration for a team playing in the second game of a back-to-back with travel and a 3% consideration for a team on the second leg of a back-to-back without travel. When it comes to injured players, I do my best to estimate the impact on their team's win probability.

When the betting markets open up the night before, you can compare those prices with our "price to bet" column to see if you're getting any value with either side's moneyline. There's also a possibility that a moneyline moves into a bet-friendly range at some point between market open and puck drop.

March 27 FLA@OTT -126/+126 FLA -121/OTT +149
MTL@BUF +155/-155 MTL +184/BUF -149
NJD@NYI -132/+132 NJD -126/NYI +155
SEA@MIN +122/-122 SEA +143/MIN -117
COL@ANA -136/+136 COL -131/ANA +161
EDM@ARI -181/+181 EDM -173/ARI +217
March 28 CBJ@NYR +206/-206 CBJ +249/NYR -197
TBL@CAR +132/-132 TBL +156/CAR -127
MTL@PHI +191/-191 MTL +229/PHI -183
NSH@BOS -259/+259 NSH +319/BOS -246
PIT@DET -126/+126 PIT -121/DET +148
VAN@STL -102/+102 VAN +109/STL +112
DAL@CHI -167/+167 DAL -160/CHI +199
LAK@CGY +118/-118 LAK +139/CGY -113
EDM@VGK +135/-135 EDM +159/VGK -129
WPG@SJS +118/-118 WPG +139/SJS -114
March 29 NYI@WSH +121/-121 NYI +143/WSH -116
FLA@TOR +121/-121 FLA +142/TOR -116
MIN@COL +127/-127 MIN +150/COL -122
March 30 PHI@OTT +129/-129 PHI +152/OTT -124
CBJ@BOS +301/-301 CBJ +378/BOS -286
NYR@NJD +175/-175 NYR +208/NJD-167
FLA@MTL -148/+148 FLA -142/MTL +176
NSH@PIT +216/-216 NSH +261/PIT -206
WSH@TBL +196/-196 WSH +236/TBL -188
CAR@DET -174/+174 CAR -167/DET +208
STL@CHI -106/+106 STL +104/CHI +118
LAK@EDM +122/-122 LAK +143/EDM -117
ANA@SEA +210/-210 ANA +254/SEA -201
VGK@SJS +101/-101 VGK +112/SJS +109
March 31 NYR@BUF +116/-116 NYR +136/BUF -111
DET@WPG +191/-191 DET +230/WPG -183
CGY@VAN -116/+116 CGY -111/VAN +136
DAL@ARI -147/+147 DAL -141/ARI +175
April 1 STL@NSH +101/-101 STL +111/NSH +110
BOS@PIT +101/-101 BOS +111/PIT +110
FLA@CBJ -194/+194 FLA -185/CBJ +233
TOR@OTT -130/+130 TOR -125/OTT +153
BUF@PHI +143/-143 BUF +169/PHI -137
CAR@MTL -211/+211 CAR -202/MTL +256
NYI@TBL +164/-164 NYI +195/TBL -157
NJD@CHI -230/+230 NJD -220/CHI +280
DAL@COL +135/-135 DAL +159/COL -129
LAK@SEA +106/-106 LAK +104/SEA +117
MIN@VGK +137/-137 MIN +162/VGK -132
ANA@EDM +286/-286 ANA +356/EDM -272
SJS@ARI -145/+145 SJS -139/ARI +171
April 2 NYR@WSH +115/-115 NYR +136/WSH -111
BOS@STL -146/+146 BOS -140/STL +172
PHI@PIT +174/-174 PHI +207/PIT -166
OTT@CBJ -109/+109 OTT +102/CBJ +120
NYI@CAR +185/-185 NYI +222/CAR -178
NJD@WPG -107/+107 NJD +103/WPG +118
DET@TOR +223/-223 DET +271/TOR -213
LAK@VAN +106/-106 LAK +117/VAN +105
ANA@CGY +360/-360 ANA +464/CGY -340

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

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox