One trend that have been in evidence in the past few years in the NHL is a steady increase in the number of goals being scored. The league has cracked down hard of the oversized equipment of goaltenders. As well, the rules have been tightened on infractions with the league going on blitzes looking to eliminate certain persistent areas of foul play, and that’s led to an uptick in power-play chances per game.
What all this means to you as an NHL bettor is that you need to adjust your sights in terms of betting on the number of goals scored in an NHL game. There were just 2.71 goals per game being scored in the NHL in 2015-16. That jumped to 2.77 goals per game in 2016-17.
There was a quantum leap in production to 2.97 goals per game in 2017-18. During the 2018-19 campaign, goal production went over three per game, the first time it has topped that barrier in an NHL season since 2005-06, when it was 3.08 goals per game.
Another stat to keep in mind when betting on the total number of goals per game in the NHL are the number of shutouts being recorded by netminders. There were 144 shutouts in 1,271 NHL regular-season games during the 2017-18 campaign, an average of one shutout every 8.82 games.
If you go to a sportsbook such as 888 Sport, you will find on offer a variety of total goals barriers that can start as low as 1.5 goals and rise up to 5.5 or higher. If you chose to make a play on one of these wagers, it is the same as playing a total bet. You put your money on the over or the under.
For instance, the Washington Capitals are playing the Minnesota Wild. 888 Sport begins the total goals wager markets at 2.5. An over play here is worth -2500, because odds are quite good that the over will be a winner. But the under is offering a return of +1150, so a $100 bet would garner you a return on investment of $1150.
At the other end of the scale, a bet of over nine goals is worth +850, but the under on the nine goal market is -1400.