NHL weekly betting guide: True moneylines for every game
"So you're telling me there's a chance ..."
The infamous and excessively repeated line from "Dumb and Dumber" hasn't felt all that applicable this NHL season, as favorites have been winning at an alarming rate. That trend is due partly to frequent matchups between teams ravaged by COVID-19 and squads that are unscathed at that moment. The moneyline rises to a level that would normally be absurd, the undermanned team predictably loses, and the price tag on the favorite is validated.
Then came the Coyotes' road game against the Avalanche last Friday. Arizona's largely anonymous lineup reached as high as +500 before closing at +460 - making the visiting team one of the five biggest underdogs in the last 15 seasons. NHL bettors bet the Coyotes on principle and deserved better. With the game tied and headed to a shootout, it felt like they had a chance.
The point here is that once player health and lineup predictability stabilize somewhat, there should be a belief that as long as there's value in the bet - no matter the price - any team does, in fact, have a chance.
Last week, we stated the true (pre-vig) moneyline for Arizona's trip to Colorado should have been Coyotes +252/Avalanche -252. All we can do is tell you what the true moneyline (without vig) should be and the price at which we would bet each team. After that, any major discrepancy should lead to some quick research into why it might exist. Bettors can then adjust their risk tolerance based on their findings.
Before the season, we provided a three-chapter series on how to use the regular-season point-total market to create team ratings, how to interpret home-ice advantage, and how to use that information to create your own moneylines.
Four weeks ago, we shared my 2021-22 season ratings, which use the metrics I deem important to predict future success. Considering all the lineup inconsistency across the league this season, I'll continue to rely on a 50-50 split between those ratings and the preseason priors via the regular-season point-total markets. This provides a more consistent base for assessing teams in the future, rather than allowing mismatches generated by COVID-19 to pollute the numbers.
The cheat sheet
The following includes my fair price on the games (true moneyline) and the moneyline price I would need to bet either side. I only need a 1% edge for a favorite if we're getting better than a fair price on the team more likely to win. For the underdog, I'll need 4% or better to make it a bet. For games I project to be closer to a coin flip, a 2.5% edge is enough for a worthwhile wager. I also have a 5% win probability consideration for a team playing in the second game of a back-to-back with travel and a 3% consideration for a team on the second leg of a back-to-back without travel.
|DATE||GAME||TRUE ML||PRICE TO BET|
|Jan. 18||WPG@WSH||+118/-118||WPG +139/WSH -113|
|BUF@OTT||+147/-147||BUF +175/OTT -141|
|NYI@PHI||+104/-104||NYI +115/PHI +106|
|CAR@BOS||+141/-141||CAR +167/BOS -136|
|VAN@NSH||+117/-117||VAN +137/NSH -112|
|MTL@DAL||+197/-197||MTL +237/DAL -189|
|FLA@CGY||-121/+121||FLA -116/CGY +142|
|TBL@LAK||-110/+110||TBL -106/LAK +129|
|Jan. 19||ARI@NJD||+189/-189||ARI +227/NJD -181|
|TOR@NYR||-110/+110||TOR -106/NYR +129|
|COL@ANA||-171/+171||COL -164/ANA +204|
|Jan. 20||DAL@BUF||-127/+127||DAL -122/BUF +150|
|WSH@BOS||+129/-129||WSH +152/BOS -123|
|OTT@PIT||+203/-203||OTT +245/PIT -194|
|CBJ@PHI||+129/-129||CBJ +152/PHI -124|
|WPG@NSH||+105/-105||WPG +116/NSH -105|
|FLA@EDM||-105/+105||FLA +105/EDM +117|
|COL@LAK||-102/+102||COL +108/LAK +113|
|MTL@VGK||+197/-197||MTL +236/VGK -188|
|SJS@SEA||+108/-108||SJS +119/SEA +103|
|Jan. 21||NYR@CAR||+112/-112||NYR +131/CAR -107|
|PIT@CBJ||-122/+122||PIT -118/CBJ +144|
|DAL@DET||+108/-108||DAL +120/DET +102|
|ARI@NYI||+188/-188||ARI +225/NYI -180|
|MIN@CHI||-124/+124||MIN -119/CHI +146|
|STL@SEA||+105/-105||STL +116/SEA +105|
|FLA@VAN||+102/-102||FLA +112/VAN +109|
|TBL@ANA||-163/+163||TBL -156/ANA +193|
|Jan. 22||PHI@BUF||-104/+104||PHI -100/BUF +122|
|WPG@BOS||+152/-152||WPG +181/BOS -146|
|MTL@COL||+202/-202||MTL +243/COL -193|
|OTT@WSH||+182/-182||OTT +218/WSH -174|
|ARI@NYR||+227/-227||ARI +276/NYR -216|
|CAR@NJD||+130/-130||CAR +153/NJD -124|
|TOR@NYI||-106/+106||TOR +104/NYI +118|
|DET@NSH||+166/-166||DET +198/NSH -159|
|CHI@MIN||+139/-139||CHI +164/MIN -133|
|CGY@EDM||+123/-123||CGY +145/EDM -118|
|TBL@SJS||-106/+106||TBL +104/SJS +118|
|Jan. 23||WPG@PIT||+160/-160||WPG +191/PIT -154|
|OTT@CBJ||+169/-169||OTT +201/CBJ -162|
|LAK@NJD||+127/-127||LAK +150/NJD -122|
|FLA@SEA||-146/+146||FLA -140/SEA +173|
|STL@VAN||+117/-117||STL +138/VAN -113|
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.