NHL Playoffs Over-Under Trends
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 05/13/2009
Everything changes in the NHL come playoff time and for bettors it's no different.
While the NHL playoffs have been playing "under" for the most part, knowing how often a certain team's games went "over" during the regular season will give you a good idea of which teams to back in the playoffs. The teams that have been enjoying the most success are the ones that played "over" routinely during the regular season.
Through 68 playoff games the under is 33-25-10, but teams used to playing under have struggled.
Both San Jose and New Jersey were division winners and the Sharks actually had the best record in the entire league. Compared to the rest of the league, the Sharks and the Devils were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in having the most games play under. Despite home ice advantage both teams were eliminated in the first round. Of the 12 teams that played the most games under during the regular season, only San Jose, New Jersey and Carolina advanced to the playoffs.
On the other end of the spectrum, of the 12 teams that played the most games "over" during the regular season, six made the playoffs and all six were still alive late into the second round. Those teams used to playing in high scoring regular season affairs have found a way to reinvent themselves in the playoffs where only 36 percent of the games have gone over the total.
Washington, Detroit and Boston ranked in the top five for playing the most games "over" during the regular season and all were still alive late in the second round.
When looking to bet the over/under, the extra half a goal has proven to be invaluable this postseason. Only one game during the entire playoffs has had a total other than 5 or 5.5. In the first night of the playoffs the Penguins and Flyers had a total set at six. Of the 35 games with an over/under set at 5.5, 20 of them have gone under. The under has also been a winning bet with the 22 games that had a total of five. The under is 12-10-10 in games with a total of five.
Even though the high scoring teams are moving on in these NHL playoffs, it has as much to do with the star goal scorers as it does with the goalies that are keeping scores down.