When it comes to betting on sports, one of the most difficult sports to bet on is NHL.
It truly is a sport where on any given night, one team can beat another. Sure, we do see underdog wins in the NBA, NFL and EPL, but not at the rate of upset wins in the NHL.
You can see a 3.50 underdog like the Buffalo Sabres, hand out a 4-0 thumping to the Tampa Bay Lightning for no rhyme or reason other than “that’s hockey”.
Of course, if you look beyond just the result, some of these results make more sense.
If you’re looking to bet on hockey, you need to be sure to be making informed bets, so that even when you lose, the variance in hockey won’t crush you emotionally.
Understanding all of the advanced data related to hockey can be very helpful. In this article, I am going to list 5 tools I use when it comes to betting on hockey.
#1: A Sportsbook with a Lot of Betting Options
The first thing you need when it comes to betting on hockey is a sportsbook that covers more than the basics. A sportsbook which only offers money line and over/under bets? Not going to cut it.
You want a sportsbook that will allow you to bet variations of those, and various props. So that if you crunch the data, and you believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs will score at least 4 goals, but you aren’t sure if their opponent can match that, then you can bet Leafs Over 3.5 goals.
Or if you feel a game is going to be a very high scoring one, and the over/under is only set at 5.5. You could increase that to 6.5 to get better odds.
There are many great sportsbooks with these options, such as Bet365 and Betway. The latter of which, has a very high rating at BetStation.com.
If your current sportsbook only has a handful of offerings on each game, then it’s time to change to a better option.
#2: Money Puck
Money Puck is a website primarily dedicated to xG. xG means expected goals, and it provides live analytics on matches, calculating the chance of a goal in a match.
As an example of how you can use this data; perhaps the Leafs and Lightning have played two games against each other in a season, and the games have finished with 3 or 4 total goals.
They are playing for a third time, and the over/under is set at 6.5 goals. Based on the previous two matches, you might be inclined to bet the over.
However, when you check the xG metrics at Money Puck, it indicates that both games actually had an xG of over 9 per game, meaning that there should have been a lot more goals than there were.
This means that betting the under isn’t as good a play as you initially thought, as both offences created and had the chances in those games. They just couldn’t convert. This could be due to the goalie situation, bad variance or other factors. Either way, it’s helped you look beyond the result, and see that there is more to those last two results than meets the eye.
#3: Left Wing Lock
When it comes to NHL betting, for the majority of the teams the most important factor to consider is who is in goal. As an example, in the 2022/2023 NHL season, if the Edmonton Oilers had Jack Campbell in net during the regular season I’d never consider them, but if Skinner was in net then they were always a viable play.
Left Wing Lock is the best website for listing who the starting goalies are. They have 3 different statuses: Projected, Likely and Confirmed. They will link to any tweets where they got their information from.
They also provide goalie metrics so you can look at the goalies’ basic stats for a team and compare. They have a wealth of other information such as goalie calculators and rankings, and are a key website to have in your bookmarks when it comes to betting.
#4: Hockey Viz
Their tagline is Understanding hockey with pictures and that is exactly what they offer. They provide lots of information based on advanced metrics, but provide it in an image format instead.
Hockey Viz has various models they are running which calculate the likes of EV Shot Rates, Penalty Rates and xG. They also run detailed projections on the season and the playoffs with their advanced metrics, again in an image for easier reading.
#5: Natural Stat Trick
I’ve saved the best for last. This is my personal favourite website when it comes to NHL advanced metric data.
They offer up previews for every game with all of the advanced metrics, and you can change the data to only count the last 10 games or the last 25 games. You can choose to display the metrics based on all scenarios, or only 5 vs 5, or even 5 vs 5 SVA which means adjusted by the score and venue.
Natural Stat Trick also provides advanced metric data for every individual player. So if a key defender is out for the Dallas Stars one night? You can have a look and see just how big a factor he is, and if his replacement is going to be a big drop-off in the metrics or not.
The above tools are vital if you are looking to bet on hockey, as they will provide you with more statistics and advanced metric data than you’d ever need, and will help you make more informed decisions.