NHL Betting Trends: Hot and Cold Report
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 4/13/2011
All of the teams in this week’s NHL Hot and Cold Report are heading to the postseason, but in the NHL where more teams make the playoffs (16) than not (14), still playing hockey at this juncture of the season is by no means a sign that you are a hot team.
The Penguins were able to catch the Philadelphia Flyers in the Atlantic Division standings, mounting a furious late-season rally. However, the Flyers ultimately won the tiebreaker. The Penguins were able to capture the No. 4 seed and home-ice in the first round by winning four consecutive games to close out the regular season. The winning streak is tied with Buffalo’s as the longest heading into the playoffs. Pittsburgh has won $100 bettors $403 over the last four games and won $682 during the last 10 games when it won eight of 10. And this is all being done without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and many expect Crosby to return to the lineup if the Penguins can make an extended playoff run.
The Buffalo Sabres are one of the most overlooked playoffs teams in the Eastern Conference. Just last year a No. 7 seed from the east (Philadelphia) reached the Stanley Cup finals. It could happen again this year with the way the Sabres are playing; they have won four in a row and eight of 10. During that stretch the Sabres have returned $100 bettors $625. Buffalo’s only losses during that stretch were one-goal decisions at Washington and at Toronto. To add to the storyline, Buffalo plays Philadelphia in the first round and the Flyers are not looking too hot.
By the sheer grace of a tiebreaker and running into the lowly New York Islanders in the final game of the regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to hold on for dear life to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division title despite losing five of their last six.
The Flyers and Penguins both finished with 106 points, but Philly gets the nod based on more regulation wins. With the way they have been playing lately, the defending Eastern Conference champions need all the help they can get. After a 5-2 win at Pittsburgh that all but sewed the division up, the Flyers went ahead and lost five in a row to teams like the Thrashers, Devils and Senators. That stretch of bad hockey where Philadelphia went 1-5 cost $100 bettors a whopping $598.
Nobody wants to enter the playoffs on a cold streak, as a No. 8 seed, as the defending Stanley Cup champions with a big target on their back, or by facing the Presidents Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks in the first round. However, the Chicago Blackhawks will do all of the above when they begin their Stanley Cup title defense this week.
The Blackhawks are a pedestrian 4-5 over their last nine games, and they lost a crucial regular-season finale at home to Detroit. They still backdoored their way into the playoffs by virtue of a Dallas Stars loss, but the fact remains that Chicago has been a terrible bet as of late. Chicago has lost $100 bettors $397 during their last nine games.
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