Shootout Impact on NHL Hockey Bets


The shootout impacts NHL hockey bets.

Key Points

– Hockey bettors should know that the shootout affects NHL hockey bets.

– NHL bettors should be aware of how many games go to overtime.

Shootout Impact on NHL Hockey Bets

Even though the NHL shootout has grown in importance, many bettors barely take shootout performance into account when they are analyzing a hockey game. Being able to correctly handicap teams in the shootout could mean the difference between a winning season and a losing one. That’s because, according to NHL betting stats, a sizable percentage of NHL games end in the shootout.

If two teams are reasonably evenly matched and the game is expected to be close, a team’s ability to excel in the shootout could be the deciding factor in your NHL hockey bets. 

This should not, however, be the only consideration when choosing a team to back. Here are a number of factors to think about in regards to shootouts when when placing NHL hockey bets.

The Frequency of Overtime

It goes without saying that shootouts are only significant when a team frequently goes to overtime. There is no need to be concerned about a team’s performance in shootouts if only a small percentage of their games go to overtime.

Some teams have a propensity to play more overtime games than average. There could be a number of reasons for that. One could be offensive performance combined with strong goaltending. Because of the mismatch between their offensive and defensive play, other hockey teams may not go into overtime as frequently.

Take the 2018 Philadelphia Flyers as an example. The NHL average for overtime games that season was 23.1 percent. The Flyers had an average of 31.1 percent. Almost one of every three games that Philadelphia played went to overtime. 

That means considering the shootout should have been a must when handicapping the Flyers that season. 


NHL Hockey Bets & Success in Shootouts

Some NHL teams excel in shootouts. They have very strong one-on-one players that can score almost at will against even the best NHL goalies.

Other teams are average and some have often given up the extra point before the shootout has even begun. The poorer shootout teams are usually those that have goalies that have a hard time stopping breakaway chances by opponents. Their top scorers are not among the best in the NHL. Oftentimes, they may also have their best scorers out of the lineup due to injury.

Whatever the reasoning behind a team’s shootout performance, a team’s past performance in shootout situations can be very instructive for bettors. Performance in shootouts is difficult for teams to quickly improve upon.  If there is trend then, bettors can usually capitalize on the NHL hockey bets in games that go to a shootout.

Shootout Performance Trends

Similar to changes in the sports betting industry over the last 20 years, the NHL changed how it decides tie games. There are no ties any more in NHL hockey.

With shootout performance so important now, it’s worth researching whether or not a team will sustain its current level of shootout play. Is their current performance sustainable?

If they are a very successful shootout team, will that continue over the course of the rest of a season? Or is there reason to believe that the team will struggle in shootout situations over the remainder of the season?

As mentioned, it is difficult to improve a team’s shootout play very quickly. However, if a team’s poor shootout play is due to the best scorer being out of the lineup, their situation could change quickly. It’s extremely important to watch the injury reports and how certain players match up against opponents.

Goalie Play & NHL Hockey Bets

Hockey is a lot like baseball in the sense that one player can have a dramatic influence on the outcome of a game. Pitchers in baseball have a big effect on how a game plays out. It’s the same with the goalie in hockey.

Goalie play is always a factor when placing NHL hockey bets. Whether a game goes to a shootout or not, the starting goaltender plays a large role in the outcome of an NHL game.

It is worth checking to see a goalie’s record in shootouts. Some excel in one-on-one situations. Some very good goalies are not as good in the shootout situation. Keep that in mind as you place your NHL hockey bets. 

After having looked at the opponent-versus-goaltender matchup for the game, you can extrapolate how the same opponent would do against that goalie in a shootout. Depending upon the team your backing, you should consider the possibility of the shootout before placing the bet. Remember, the 2018 Flyers faced a shootout in one-third of their games that season.

Different Hockey Wagers

When you place NHL hockey bets, you have some options. Bettors can wager on regulation time only or on the game’s overall result. An NHL game can end in regulation, in overtime, or as the result of a shootout. 

Smart bettors will become adept at spotting the value in the different NHL hockey bets. Again, if you have a team that plays a lot more overtime games than the average, bettors may want to consider betting on the overall result. In those cases, the smart bettor will consider the impact on a shootout on the final outcome.