There’s a number of options that go into a decision regarding a wager on an NHL. Some are long-term factors, and others could be a spur of the moment, last-minute adjustments caused by news that suddenly is revealed closer to the puck drop.
One of the first ingredients to mix into your NHL betting salad of knowledge is traveling. In the NBA, traveling is a foul. In the NHL, traveling can cause a team to run afoul of success. In the NFL, a team only hits the road once a week and just eight times all season long. In the MLB, while teams play 81 road games, they do so in three or four-game stints for the most part, so clubs get the opportunity to settle down in one place for a few days.
The NHL travel schedule is a grind like no other. Although it is similar to the NBA in terms of the number of road games – 41 – it’s not similar in that pro basketball isn’t nearly as punishing to the body as NHL hockey.
Teams will go on six or seven-game road trips, be away from home for as much as two weeks and often facing demanding rigors like three games in four nights or four games in six nights. It’s not unusual during these long treks for sickness to work its nasty way through a team.
This demanding grind is vital to chart, because it will impact your wager in so many other ways. If a team is playing on consecutive nights, odds are they might be deploying their back-up goalie, and are likely to scale back the ice time of their best players due to fatigue. Eastern teams playing night games on the West Coast will find that their body clocks are all out of whack.
Likewise, a team faced with an afternoon game on the heels of a night game will have their pre-game routine disrupted and possibly be sleep deprived. Remember, the NHL is a winter sport and teams are sometimes asked to travel in the worst weather conditions. Flight delays are not uncommon.