There are a variety of gameplans and systems you can employ when betting on hockey to try and increase your chances of being a winner. Some are as simple as merely paying attention and doing your homework by studying the NHL schedule, reading the standings every day and by having a nose for NHL news so you are always up to date on injuries or lineup changes that could affect the line in the next game played by that team.
One system to follow that tends to offer success is to play home favorites early in the season. Bookmakers tend to undervalue the home favorite at the start of the season because trends and tendencies for the season are still in the developmental stage, so they can’t be as certain as to which teams are going to be the strong plays on home ice. And with so many roster changes each year due to the NHL salary cap, it can often take up to 20 games for a team to settle in and develop chemistry.
Well-rested favorites are always a solid play. The NHL schedule is an 82-game grind and teams tend to wear down. But any team that is given a few days of rest and relaxation way from the demanding stress of game day will often find a new lease on life. And the bonus of being able to practice for a few days in a row is that they can take time to iron out any kinks in their game and to hone their special teams play.
The flip side of this wager is to look for underdogs facing a tired team. Suppose a top NHL team is in the midst of three games in four nights stretch or enduring the end games of a long, grueling road trip. They are susceptible and could easily lose to a lesser club. And remember in today’s parity-driven NHL, the really isn’t a significant difference between the top teams and the bottom dwellers.
In European hockey, things tend to be much different. The schedule is shorter and the travel not as demanding. And there tends to be a significant imbalance between the contender and the bottom feeders.