NHL betting review: Devils lose Cup, win big for bettors

Jun 13, 2012 |
The New Jersey Devils were the best moneyline bet in hockey.
The New Jersey Devils were the best moneyline bet in hockey.
New Devils fans may not have a Stanley Cup to celebrate but they do have a big fat bankroll thanks to their team’s surprise success this season.

The Devils were the top money team in the NHL for 2011-12, going 48-28-2-4 which translated into 20.25 units for moneyline bettors. New Jersey made a good chunk of those winnings on the road, going 24-15-0-2 away from the Garden State.

The Devils weren’t the only team making waves with hockey bettors this season. Here’s a look back at the best and worst bets in the NHL:

Worst moneyline bet – Montreal Canadiens (-19.58)

Les Habitants weren’t just a headache for Montreal faithful this season. The Canadiens finished 31-35-4-12, dead last in the Eastern Conference, and burned just about any NHL bettor who touched them. The franchise cleaned house once the season was done, leaving a big question mark surrounding next year’s chances.

Best puckline bet – Pittsburgh Penguins (27.67 units)

The Penguins weren’t monsters against the NHL’s version of the spread, going just 43-39 ATS this season. However, with injuries to Sidney Crosby and a number of key players, Pittsburgh was getting great prices on those 1.5-goal spreads. Evgeni Malkin, who should win the Hart Trophy for his efforts, is responsible for most of those units.

Worst puckline bet – Tampa Bay Lightning (-33.41)

Not even Steven Stamkos and his 60 goals could keep the Bolts covering the puckline in 2011-12. Tampa Bay was a huge disappointment, finishing 38-36-5-3 and going 36-46 ATS. The Lighting hemorrhaged goals, giving up 3.4 a night – worst in the NHL.

Best over bet - Tampa Bay Lightning (52-29-1 over/under)

For the reason mentioned above and the goal-scoring prowess of Stamoks, the Lightning were near sure things for over bettors, playing above the number in more than 63 percent of their games. Tampa Bay’s offense managed to score 2.8 goals a night despite finishing 28th in the NHL in shots and 25th on the power play.

Best under bet – St. Louis Blues (21-43-18 over/under)

When you have the best goalie combo in the league, it’s easy to keep opponents off the scoreboard on a nightly basis. The Blues masked duo of Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak shared crease duties, with Elliot winning 23 games and Halak winning 26. St. Louis ranked tops in the NHL in most defensive categories and posted an outstanding 9-25-7 over/under mark on the road.
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