NHL Playoff Faves hitting 70-percent

Through Sunday’s action the chalk bettors have cashed on 40 of 57 plays but history suggests a correction is on the horizon.

 

Of the 16 seeds from the first round of this year’s NHL playoffs only three teams ranked higher than their opponent advanced but thanks to home ice advantage, the moneyline favorites have played well above oddsmaker’s expectations.

 

[dropcap2]F[/dropcap2]ollowing the Boston Bruins’ 5-2 win over the Rangers Sunday, chalk teams had already reached 40 wins in this year’s postseason and even after Ottawa’s 2-1 overtime upset win against Pittsburgh, the win percentage was marked at 70-percent.

 

Favorites after Sunday were 40-17 SU (70-percent) and outscoring opponents 2.9 to 2.2 on an average moneyline of -147.

 

Here is a breakdown with the straight-up records, average cost, Over/Under record, posted totals and SDQL code from the good people at SportsDatabase.com. To access the SDQL codes simply click F and playoffs = 1 and season and then click on each season number for more details.

 

NHL Sport Data Query Language Access

No……… SU record and percent….. ML ……. Over/Under and avg total…… SDQL Code

57           40-17 (0.70, 70.2%)         -146.9   23-22-12 (0.10, 51.1%)   5.1         season = 2012

83           38-45 (-0.30, 45.8%)       -137.5   24-43-16 (-0.31, 35.8%)  5.1          season = 2011

87           52-35 (0.21, 59.8%)         -146.0   45-34-8 (0.30, 57.0%)     5.2         season = 2010

88           53-35 (0.51, 60.2%)         -170.9   45-31-12 (0.62, 59.2%)   5.4          season = 2009

87           57-30 (0.79, 65.5%)         -162.7   34-42-11 (0.17, 44.7%)   5.3         season = 2008

85           52-33 (0.61, 61.2%)         -159.9   37-31-17 (0.25, 54.4%)   5.1           season = 2007

78           50-28 (0.72, 64.1%)         -164.1   28-38-12 (-0.32, 42.4%)  5.2          season = 2006

 

Road faves like the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night were just 5-4 in this year’s playoffs but the avg line was steep (-142) and after Detroit’s second straight dog win, bettors have to start considering the possibility that a correction is underway.

 

MONEYLINE ODDS vs. EXPECTATIONS

The formula for calculating the expected win percentage for teams involves taking the juice and dividing it by the juice + potential winnings.

 

Example: A moneyline favorite of -147 / 147 + 100 (247) = 59.5-percent

 

Direct reference is that favorites to date in the 2013 NHL playoffs are 40-17 (70.2-percent). The average juice is -147 so they are outperforming expectations by 10.7-percent.

 

But data from the previous six seasons, particularly from 2009 to 2011 shows that favorites usually end up costing bettors more than they are worth once the Cup has finally been hoisted up.

 

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2012: 70.2% SU and -146 = an expected win percentage of 59.3%. Favorites OUTPERFORM 10.7

2011: 45.8% SU and -137 = an expected win percentage of 57.8%. Favorites UNDERPERFORM 13.0

2010: 59.8% SU and -146 = an expected win percentage of 59.3%. Favorites OUTPERFORM 0.5

2009: 60.2% SU and -170 = an expected win percentage of 62.9%. Favorites UNDERPERFORM 2.7

2008: 65.5% SU and -162 = an expected win percentage of 61.8%. Favorites OUTPERFORM 3.7

2007: 61.2% SU and -159 = an expected win percentage of 61.3%. Favorites UNDERPERFORM 0.1

2006: 64.1% SU and -164 = an expected win percentage of 62.1%. Favorites OUTPERFORM 2.0

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As far as “seasons” go, three good years and three bad looks like a push but once you add up the percentages it’s clear that dog bettors had the upper hand. It’s also clear that NHL odds makers have done a damn fine job posting lines.

 

FINAL WORD

There is no proven ‘blanket betting’ system for favorites or dogs and the bottom line is that you have to trust your instincts. If you put in the work and handicap the games to the best of your ability there is a reasonable expectation to profit but just be careful backing overpriced fan favorites. Books have usually jacked those lines for public sentiment and as we’ve proven here, value on the chalk teams is often lost.

 

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