Betting On Hockey Tips

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Are you wondering what sports handicappers look for when betting on hockey games? There is more than simply picking the team with the better stats. Stats are an important part in the game of hockey, and they do portray an interesting reference on what teams have done in past hockey games. However there is more to the betting on hockey than stats.

As a professional hockey player, and now as an avid hockey bettor, I am aware of many other intangibles in and out of the dressing room.

The first thing to do is wrap your head around the hockey cliche, “Any team can beat any other team on any given night.” After you have done this, you will be able to make more informed wagers.

Many things come into play when trying to pick a winner. Here is a list of a few other things, besides stats, to consider when betting on NHL or other hockey games.

 - Injuries. With all the travel and hockey games that are played, injuries are bound to happen. Some injuries may be easier to explain or notice than others. Broken bones take 6 weeks to heal, and then the player is fine. However, if you injure a groin there is no set timeline for recovery and the injury may easily return. Then there are minor injuries that may not keep a player out of a game, but can affect his performance on the ice. Injuries to key players in the roster can have a drastic affect to the teams chemistry and confidence. Keep an eye on the injured list, or who is banged up.

- Hot/Cold Streaks. A player that is hot and full of confidence is not something to take lightly. When things are going right for you, and you feel good, you fell an extra boost of adrenalin every shift. Cold streaks can bring a similar negative effect. Just like a day when you feel nothing can go right for you. A “oh great just my luck” kind of attitude. Look who is streaking. 

- Travel Schedule. In any league if you are traveling the day of the game, or traveling many hours and time zones, it will be definitely be a factor. Players are only human. Dealing with practices, heading to the airport, then on a bus, and try to get some sleep in a different time zoned hotel can be a challenge. Then try to play games in back-to-back days or 3 out of 4 nights, it becomes increasingly difficult. People then start to wonder why a certain player had an off night and is not at the top of their game. May be his schedule. The schedule also cannot be fair to all teams, so watch for teams playing back-to-back games vs well rested teams. 

- Missing Training Camp Or Any Prolonged Absence. This is one intangible that may be underestimated. Just because a talented player jumps back onto a roster, does not mean he will jump back into mid-season form. I have yet to see a anyone miss training camp, and have a career year. Or miss a large chunk of the season, and put up career numbers. Training camp prepares players and teams for the long season. Missing the start of camp is like walking into a movie 10 minutes late, you are constantly playing catch up and never quite get into the grove. Don’t bet on players that have been out for a long period of time.

- Current Events. Any events surrounding a team can affect chemistry and focus. Players or coaches that suddenly leave for personal reasons can create sympathetic feelings and less focus from the team. Similarly, a trade that brings in a top player can boost the teams confidence instantly.

- Take your own emotions out of the decision. This is a hard thing to do for hockey fans. You naturally have your favorite players and may favor certain players. You have your favorite team and it may be hard to bet against them, but this is about betting to win. You gamble to win money and if you have to bet against your favorite team because they are not playing well, then so be it. Bet on hockey to win.

- Goaltender. All teams have a good number 1 goalie, especially NHL teams. Most starting goalies want to play every game, but this is not possible. Coaches have to consider spreading the work load between his started and back-up over season. So there will obviously be games that back-up goalies will be playing. Some back-ups do not see a lot of action and may be rusty and have off timing. It is a small intangible, but keep an eye on who is between the pipes.

- Trust People That Know. Be careful who you take your betting information from. There are many people out there that claim to be hockey ‘experts’. Look for information from people that know the game, have been involved, or have been betting on hockey games for some time. Look for successful bettors and oddsmakers. Follow successful people. This is the main reason everyone listens when a former NHL coach, GM, or player speaks on TV. People want to hear from the people who have been there done that. Listen to experts.

Hopefully these tips can help you wager on hockey games and win. Building good habits and slowly growing your bankroll is the key to hockey betting success.



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