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NHL: Mid-Season Best Bets

With NHL season approaching the halfway point, defense becomes more prominent, and games get closer and harder to handicap. Here are some tips on who to bet—and how—from the Iceman, Davey B.

The National Hockey League doesn’t reward one-goal victories in the typical spread. Gamblers have to either take a favorite giving 1.5 goals—which is hard to cover—or an underdog getting 1.5 goals—which doesn’t pay well.

Here are some options:

  1. Thinking about playing the over-under total, the combined goals by each team? The Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning have been lights-out in that department, checking in at nearly 80 percent over.
  2. Most teams hover between 45 percent to 55 percent in the over-under performance category. One reason? They’re bunched regarding goal-scoring totals. The leading offensive unit, the Washington Caps, average 3.7 goals a game. The worst offensive unit, the Detroit Red Wings, average 2.2 goals per game.

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  1. The best and worst offensives theoretically combine for 5.9 goals in one game. What’s the typical NHL over-under? Six. It’s hard to find an edge. Payouts will change in-game if you want to try to get new odds during the contest. During an NHL game, odds will change after a goal and/or about every five minutes.
  2. The Dallas Stars have been the best team going under against the spread, at 69 percent. Good goaltending and a tight style of play are the keys to that success.

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  1. Want to take a chance betting other strong defensive teams, hoping they can win a low-scoring game by two goals or more? This group includes:
  • New York Islanders
  • Boston Bruins
  • Arizona Coyotes
  • Louis Blues
  • Colorado Avalanche
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Dave Bontempo, a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster, has covered sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, HBO and Showtime and called boxing matches on every major network. Dave is a winner of the Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence given by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and is a member of both the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame. He writes regularly for sportsquare.com and Global Gaming Business magazine.

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