Fired Ref Tim Peel A Huge “Homer” For NHL Betting

Mar 25, 2021 |
Fired Ref Tim Peel A Huge “Homer” For NHL Betting
Overall, games refereed by Tim Peel over the past four NHL regular seasons have produced a 126-81 record (60.86%) for home teams and generated +17.07 units for moneyline bettors.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Overall, games refereed by Tim Peel over the past four NHL regular seasons have produced a 126-81 record (60.86%) for home teams and generated +17.07 units for moneyline bettors.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The blood of NHL bettors ran cold when referee Tim Peel was caught on microphone saying he “wanted” to call a “f-ing penalty” on the Nashville Predators Tuesday night.

That hot-mic incident came after a suspect tripping call in the second period of the Predators’ home game versus the Detroit Red Wings. The penalty would end up having no impact on the game’s final result (Nashville won 2-0 as a -169 favorite), but Peel was promptly fired by the NHL (even though he was set to retire in late April anyway). 

The incident and subsequent fallout quickly drew a bold line between the game’s integrity and growing sports betting relationships, while also drumming up bad memories of the NBA’s betting scandal with referee Tim Donaghy in 2007.

While Peel is not suspected of match-fixing or making calls for any darker reasons, he has shown some notable trends as it pertains to the NHL betting markets. Ironically enough, those trends lean heavily towards home teams - and Tuesday’s questionable call that cost Peel his job was against the host Predators.

Peel a hit for home team bettors

Before getting fired, Peel was one of the top “homer” referees in the NHL this season with host clubs posting a 20-8 SU record when Peel was on the ice, earning $813 for bettors if they wagered $100 on the home side’s moneyline (+8.13 units) in each of those 28 games with Peel as a referee.

That’s a 71.4 percent winning clip for home teams with Peel as a ref versus a league-wide home winning percentage of just 52.5 percent (261-236). If you blindly bet $100 on every home moneyline this season, you’d be down -$1,187 overall and if you took out games in which Peel was a ref, those host clubs would have cost you -$2,000. 

Under Peel’s supervision, 2020-21 home teams have scored an average of 3.43 goals per game while visitors countered with 2.36 goals against - a 1.07 average margin of victory for home teams. Diving deeper, Peel’s home-friendly results aren’t confined to just this season.

Looking back at Peel’s betting trends from the previous three NHL regular seasons (2017-18 to 2019-20), games with him as a referee own a combined 106-73 record for home teams (59%), earning home moneyline bettors +8.94 units or $894 if you placed $100 on each of those hosts. 

Compare those Peel profits to the -180.01 units lost (-$18,001 on $100 bets) on home teams overall during that three-regular season span, in which home teams posted a collective 2,302-1,952 record (54%) but wound up in the red due to moneyline pricing.

NHL Season Home Teams (Peel) Moneyline Units (Peel) Home Teams (Overall) Moneyline Units (Overall)
2020-21 20-8 +8.13 261-236 -11.87
2019-20 18-14 -0.54 703-616 -62.31
2018-19 42-32 +1.64 817-649 -32.24
2017-18 46-27 +7.84 782-687 -85.46

Overall, games refereed by Tim Peel over the past four NHL regular seasons have produced a 126-81 record (60.86%) for home teams and generated +17.07 units for moneyline bettors ($1,707 on $100 bets), including the .59 units won from Nashville’s 2-0 victory over Detroit on Tuesday. 

That’s a stark contrast to the 2,563-2,188 overall record for home teams in that same time frame (53.95%), especially when you weigh it against the -191.88 moneyline units loss (-$19,188 on $100 bets). 

In the end, the move to fire the soon-retiring Peel was a sacrifice to the sportsbook Gods (I call him Gamblor!) and a rapid move to dose the PR fires before angry industry talking heads and anti-gambling sects could start questioning the integrity of the league’s officiating.

The NHL got their goat, but NHL bettors lost one of the best “homer” referees in hockey.

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