NHL Betting Tips: Dogs & Devils

This edition of the Pick Sixty Betting Strategy series looks at the cost of betting moneyline underdogs, tips for implementing a hockey betting strategy and the process for calculating expected win percentages

We lost a half-unit with the big dog Devils last night and one thing I briefly contemplated before booking the bet was the psychological effect winning and losing has over the course of a week, month, season compared to the bottom line. For a lot us I’m sure the bottom line is going to end up being more important but no one likes to have a losing record straight-up. It was just a passing notion and obviously I made the bet and it lost. Didn’t lose any juice but now the voice of reason which stands in front of me booking more big dog plays is going to be a little stronger. It will pay to more selective on big dogs but the danger of losing on too many dog plays is that big faves could suddenly start looking more selective.


One solution is to start each day by initially focusing on the tighter moneylines priced within 25 cents of ‘Pick em’ and be strict on your selection policy. If a -125 fave looked alright in the morning and it gets bet up to -135 throughout the day, too late – you missed it. Cross it off and check the results later. If your handicapping was ‘on’ and it the fave won, you’ve learned a good lesson that can apply next time. If it lost, you saved yourself from paying too much juice.


Money management in sports betting is unfortunately preached a lot more than it’s practiced. Due diligence with your handicapping process and strict adherence to a strategy that you implement on yourself can be tough at first but over time and with success, it becomes the norm.


Logging all picks and keeping track of your records on sides, totals, puck line picks or regulation picks can also pay off but for some people it quickly becomes overwhelming. One of the most important aspects to betting on hockey or any other sport is to make sure you are still enjoying the process. Don’t lose sight of that.


We’ll tweet tonight’s picks and post the write-ups on the Pick Sixty Sports facebook page as well as the EveryEdge.com hockey betting forum. I strongly suggest following us on Twitter (@PickSixtySports) to get all the picks as they happen and try and make a habit of stopping by the EE NHL forum every afternoon. There is a good crew posting hockey picks daily and you don’t have to wade through a ton of garbage to find good information. See you there (my handle at EE is ‘jughead’ btw).


If you are betting moneyline favorites with an average price of -125 you need to be right at least 55.5-percent of the time just to break even. The method for calculating this expected win percentage is to take the price of your favorite (125) and divide it by itself plus one hundred (125 +100). So essentially you are dividing 125 by 225 for a result of 55.5.


So far this season, NHL faves priced between -120 and -125 are 42-36 (42-25-11 including OT) and that’s a win-percentage of 53.8 so they are underperforming expectations by almost two-percent. Keep track of these teams daily with the following SDQL code from SportsDatabase.com (season = 2014 and F and -125 <= line <= 120).

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