Why Betting NHL Underdogs is a Winner

This is why betting NHL underdogs is a winner.

Key Points

– Betting NHL underdogs can be extremely profitable for bettors that know what they are doing.

– NHL underdogs win more than any underdog in the other major sports.

Why Betting NHL Underdogs is a Winner

Looking for an underdog betting strategy that can consistently produce winners? Look no further than the NHL.

Betting NHL underdogs is a winning strategy for bettors that know what they are doing. There are a few advantages when betting on the NHL. One is simply that the markets aren’t as tight as those for the NFL and NBA. Want to find betting value? You have a better chance of finding it betting on the NHL.

Here’s a look at why you should consider betting NHL underdogs as part of an overall winning betting strategy.

NHL Dogs Win

In a typical NFL season, underdogs might win somewhere around 35 percent of all games. The NBA numbers are a bit different. NBA underdogs win somewhere between 30 and 35 percent of the time.

In the NHL, underdogs win more than 40 percent of the time. This is one of a few betting trends for greater success that bettors can use to their advantage.

As a bettor, those are pretty good numbers. The issue is finding the right underdogs to back.

Keep in mind that in the NHL, the heavy favorite is usually carrying odds of between -140 and -300. Because of the number of times NHL underdogs win, sportsbooks are very careful with their numbers. There’s just too much risk for sportsbooks to price favorites any higher. 


Betting NHL Underdogs – Similar to Baseball

If you know anything about betting on MLB, you know that you should NOT bet consistently on heavy favorites. That should make sense to you knowing that those favorites lose 40 percent of the time in the NHL.

Remember, sportsbooks aren’t dumb. They know that the betting public will back teams like Tampa Bay and Colorado no matter what the odds are. If the Avalanche are a -140 favorite against Vancouver, sportsbooks can easily move those odds to Colorado -170 and still get action. This happens in baseball too.

When you put too many bets on -200 NHL favorites, you lose big. Say you have a game between rivals Toronto and Montreal. The Maple Leafs are a -154 favorite while the Canadiens are a +128 underdog. 

After doing your research, you like the Canadiens and put $100 on them. A Montreal win results in a profit of $128. If you had bet $100 on Toronto and they won, you would have profited $65. That’s the power of betting NHL underdogs.

Avoid the Home Underdog

When betting on some sports, bettors like to find the home underdog. A team is playing at home in front of its own juiced-up crowd. Home field advantage in the NFL accounts for three points typically. 

That is not the case in NHL hockey. First of all, it’s rare to find a home underdog in NHL games. If an NHL is playing as an underdog, there is a good reason for it. 

The numbers don’t lie either. Over the past few seasons, betting NHL underdogs at home would not have been profitable. In the 2020-21 NHL season for example, home underdogs won straight up just 35 percent of the time.

In most cases, it is best to avoid the NHL home underdog. 

Why Betting NHL Underdogs is a Winner

NHL Betting Strategy

One of the biggest components of any NHL betting strategy should include an analysis of situational spots. Specifically, bettors should be looking at the NHL schedule for spots where a rested team is taking on a team on little or no rest.

There are a number of times during an NHL season when a team must play on back-to-back nights. Over the past few seasons, teams that have had an extra day or two of rest compared to their opponent have been very successful. In over 4,300 such games, the rested team won 57.3 percent of the time.

It would be worthwhile then to find an underdog that is rested taking on a team that is playing the second night of a back-to-back. 

An even better strategy may be finding home underdogs and betting them on the puck line. Remember, the puck line is the NHL’s version of the point spread. Almost always, the puck line is 1.5. A puck line underdog is given +1.5 goals meaning they cover the spread if they lose by one or win outright.

During the 2020-21 NHL season, home underdogs won against the spread over 66 percent of the time. That’s definitely a situation where betting NHL underdogs is a winner.

Final Notes

Betting NHL underdogs pays. The key is to find the right ones to back. That begins with research. Any winning bettor will tell you that if you want to find winners you have to do your homework. 

If you aren’t going to do the homework, it might make sense to work with professional sports handicapping sites that specialize in hockey. At least you will have a better shot of winning when betting NHL underdogs.

Don’t forget to shop for the best lines. Betting on an NHL underdog at +155 and winning is better than betting on that same dog at a different sportsbook at +145. That’s an extra $10 on a $100 bet.

Stick to your money management strategy. Stay disciplined and do not chase your losses. Smart bettors will usually stake 1 to 5 percent of their bankroll per bet.

Finally, like pitching in baseball, goaltending has a huge effect on an NHL game. When a starting goaltender sits out a game, it makes a huge difference. Keep that in mind when betting NHL underdogs.