We’re now firmly into the second month of the NHL season and have some interesting NHL betting stats. Teams are starting to separate themselves in the standings.
There are a few stats to look at which are incredibly useful before placing a bet on a team, beyond the usual win/loss record.
Here are a few of the favorite stats to look at before picking a winner.
Shot Attempts Against Per Game
Generally speaking, more shots should mean more goals. If a team is controlling the play and shooting the puck, opponents have fewer opportunities to score.
However, the inverse is also true. Teams who give up a high number of shots against per game not only tend to give up more goals but also have a harder time scoring.
For example, the Vancouver Canucks this season allow a league-worst 35.7 shot attempts against per game. That has translated into Vancouver having the most goals against per game (4.00) in the league as well. Teams that don’t do a good job of suppressing shot opportunities tend to get burned.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. The New Jersey Devils allow 32.2 shots against per game (seventh-most), but they also allow 2.67 goals against per game (ninth-fewest against).
This is generally not sustainable, but it is a good indicator that a team is getting good goaltending play and forcing opponents to shoot from less-than-ideal angles.
Did you know that America’s Bookie leads the way for NHL bettors?
Faceoffs take a fraction of a second to run; however, they make up arguably the most important part of the game and one of the important NHL betting stats. If you can control the puck, you can control the tempo and game flow, which ties back to the first point of shot attempts against per game.
Teams who do well in the faceoff dots tend to dominate time of possession and set themselves up for better scoring opportunities.
When betting, take a look at the teams’ faceoff locations and their win percentage in each of the three zones (offensive, defensive, and neutral zone). The Colorado Avalanche are tied for the lead in the West Division; they score 3.45 goals per game while giving up 2.18 per game.
The Avalanche also have a much more favorable ratio of offensive zone faceoffs (259) than defensive zone faceoffs (217). These are the stats that show why top hockey sportsbooks create the odds they do.
Conversely, the Canucks have taken the most defensive zone faceoffs (331) in the league. This directly leads to a higher number of shot attempts and goals against per game.
NHL Betting Stats – Giveaways
This one is a bit trickier because there are two schools of thought when betting hockey. Teams with high giveaway totals are usually more aggressive with the puck, which can lead to loss of possession and an opportunity the other way. Alternatively, teams have to have possession to turn it over.
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, making giveaways a good factor to consider when trying to bet an over/under total for the game. Giveaways, in general, tend to lead to more odd-man rushes and zone entries, allowing teams to set up and run their offensive schemes, so having a high number of turnovers could mean more goals against.
However, a low number of turnovers can mean a team is playing too conservatively with the puck, sacrificing scoring opportunities to maintain puck possession.
For example, the San Jose Sharks have the fifth-fewest giveaways this season (54) but score the fifth-fewest goals per game (2.50). At the same time, the Toronto Maple Leafs have the fourth-most giveaways (128) in the league, but they score the second-most goals per game (3.75).
Finding which teams have the advantage in each of these three categories will go a long way towards making you a stronger hockey bettor. Good luck!