If you’ve ever bet on Hockey, you know the game can be too random to bet on team wins consistently. That is why most degenerate gamblers like myself bet on Over/Under Player shots. I’ve had a lot of success with this. (humble brag)
In this article, I break down some of the things I’ve put together to help me find an edge when picking players.
Where I Bet
- Underdog Fantasy
- SportsBooks (Bet365)
There are really good odds with Underdog Fantasy to make hockey bets. If you have pick 5 players you get 20X your bet. But the odds are harder to hit. For example, a player would be Over/Under 3 shots at UnderDog, whereas a sportsbook is 2.5 shots. May not seem like much, but it can be a difference between winning and pushing your bet.
Finding The Edge
There are definitely better matchups than others. Some teams, like the Anaheim Ducks, will allow, on average, 39 shots per game, whereas a team like the New Jersey Devils will only allow 24 shots on average. That’s quite a large discrepancy. So right out of the gate, I want to target players going up against the teams that allow a lot of shots through poor defense, take a lot of penalties, or don’t block shots.
But every team is built differently, and while it may seem easy to pick McDavid, Ovi, Stamkos, etc every night, the shot totals are steep. Usually, star players are Over/Under 4 to 5 shots. Whereas a top-six forward is usually 2.5 to 3 shots a game.
I wanted to create a metric that accurately portrays a player’s worth in the contribution of shots for their team. So I made a Shooting%Share.
Shots per game average X Total of Games / Total shots
The issue here is players missing games. Their share of the team’s total shots would be lower than it should be if they missed time. So you have to project for all games. Once I have a player Shooting%Share, I could divide it by their opponent’s average shots allowed. That would give me a projection of how many shots I could expect.
I was amazed by how close my number was to the player odds. But there would usually be one or two players that would stand out.
Home vs. Away
I don’t have enough data to lean on home vs. away yet, but some players do seem to shoot more at home instead of being on the road and vis versa. I’ll keep updating this as I go. We’re early into the season. but if you have any thoughts/questions or ideas please feel free to share.