NHL unders improved to 11-5-2 in the first round of the playoffs Saturday, continuing a totals trend from the opening round of last year's NHL postseason that has the under paying out at nearly 63 percent.
Saturday's playoff games finished 1-3 over/under, featuring a 1-0 Los Angeles Kings victory over the St. Louis Blues in their Game 3 clash which had a 4.5 total. The Anaheim Ducks blanked the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 and the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals went into overtime scoreless with the Caps coming out on top 1-0. The only over came from the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 defeat of the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of their series.
Any $100 bettor would be up $447.16 if they picked the under in each of the first 18 games of the playoffs. Oddsmakers like to trim totals down to five as the standard number in the NHL playoffs. And with good reason.
In the opening round of the 2012 playoffs, there were 48 games played and 241 total goals scored - an average of 5.02 total goals per game. That led to an over/under record of 14-23-11 in the first round, paying out under bettors at more than 59 percent.
Only the infamous series between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Penguins trended towards the over, going 4-2 over/under with the teams scoring 56 combined goals (9.3 goals per game).
Playoff action continues Sunday evening. The league's best under team in the regular season, the Ottawa Senators, are at home to face the Canadiens in Game 3 of their series. The total is set at five. The Sens posted an under record of 30-11-7 on the season.
The Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders in Game 3. The total is 5.5.
The Minnesota Wild are home to face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their series. The total is five.
The San Jose Sharks host the Vancouver Canucks in the final game Sunday. The total is five.
Under bets cashed in at a 54.08 percent rate during the lockout-shortened schedule this year, including a 62.79 percent rate in the final seven days of the season with teams rounding into playoff form.