NHL: Analyzing the betting numbers to this point

Jan 29, 2013 |
By: Jon Campbell
NHL: Analyzing the betting numbers to this point
The stripes have been busy so far this year.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
The stripes have been busy so far this year.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
If you like favorites and home teams, the NHL is the place for you in the early going. Teams went just 12-16-2 in their home openers but the home side has come around - especially home faves who are 35-15-0-3 through Monday's action.

And scoring is up too. John Kreimer of NHL.com wrote that scoring has risen through 64 games (before Sunday's action) - barely - compared to the same number of games last season (5.66 versus 5.63). Surprisingly, that has translated into an over/under record of 35-39-3 through 77 games heading into Tuesday's action, according to our trends.

Kreimer wrote the 2011-12 season ended with just 5.32 goals per game on average, so if that is any indicator, scoring will come down as the season progresses.

Here are some other numbers puck bettors will want to know. (Numbers are through 64 games or as of before Sunday's action unless otherwise specified.)

Teams have scored 120 power-play goals compared to just 84 scored in the same number in '11-12.

Power plays are up too. There have been 583 compared to 506 last season. Teams are scoring on 20.6 percent of their PPs this year through 64 games compared to 16.6 percent through the same number last year.

Kreimer writes that the league power play average hasn't reached over 20 percent for a full season since 1989-90 (20.8 percent), so we're seeing some old time hockey numbers on the PP.

In typical NHL fashion, refs are blowing the whistle more early on. So far games are averaging 30 mins per game compared to last season's full-year average of 22.4 PIMs per game. The new rule that prohibits players from gloving the puck on faceoffs is contributing to the rise.

Favorites are 50-21-1-4 so far (65.8%), which isn't a mind-blowing number. But the juice has been pretty low for most favorites early on as oddsmakers try to feel these teams out.

Err, with that in mind, that low juice might be coming to an end. Of the seven games on the board early Tuesday morning, all seven home squads were favored and the lowest juice was around -135 (Ottawa hosting Washington).

Underdogs are 47-30 on the puckline through Monday (61%). With the heavy price you pay on the underdogs on the 1.5-goal line, that's not good enough yet to be blindly betting the pups.

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