Hockey trends to bet as 2022-23 NHL playoffs approach

The NHL trade deadline has come and gone, which means we are now firmly in the business end of the 2022-23 regular season.

With that being the case, let’s take a look at a couple of surprising trends that have emerged through the first five months of the campaign. 

Arizona Coyotes at home 

Prior to the season, I hypothesized that, despite being one of the worst teams in the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes would be a good bet at home this season. 

The prediction was based on a couple of factors, with the most important being that Arizona would be playing its home games at Mullet Arena, a 5,000-seat complex on the campus of Arizona State University.

Patrik Nemeth #2 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Dallas Stars
Patrik Nemeth #2 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Dallas Stars
NHLI via Getty Images

The idea was that visiting teams would either have a difficult time adjusting to the unique set-up or not take it seriously. 

So far, the prognostication has rung true.

No team — not even the record-setting Boston Bruins — has treated bettors better at home this season than Arizona.

The Coyotes are just 14-13 at Mullet Arena, but because they’re almost always an underdog (they’ve closed at plus-money in 22 of their 27 home games), their ROI is much higher than Boston’s. 

If you bet $100 on every Coyotes home game this season you’d be up $983, which is a 36.4 percent return on investment.

Not too shabby. 

But now comes the hard part.

Arizona was already playing with a thin roster, but it got even more barren at the deadline. Jakob Chychrun, Shayne Gostisbehere, Nick Ritchie and Nick Bjugstad are all gone, which leaves the Coyotes’ lineup with just four players with over 30 points this season. 

NHL awards races are over 

Usually, the NHL awards races go down to the wire.

Not so much this season.

Connor McDavid is -4000 to win the Hart Trophy (NHL MVP) and -2000 to win the Rocket Richard (most goals), while Linus Ullmark is -800 to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender.

Boston’s Jim Montgomery has all but wrapped up the Jack Adams and currently sits at -500 to be named Coach of the Year.

The Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year) and Norris Trophy (top defenseman) are a little more open, but not by much.

Matty Beniers is -350 to win the Calder, while Erik Karlsson is -250 to win the Norris. 

Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers
NHLI via Getty Images

Betting on the NHL?

Favorites are a thing of the past

Last season was arguably the chalkiest in the Salary Cap Era.

According to the Action Network, favorites had their best season from a win percentage standpoint in 2021-22, and the over cashed in over 50 percent of games for the first time since at least 2005-06. 

Things have course-corrected a bit this season.

Favorites are still winning over 61 percent of games in 2022-23, but unlike the last campaign, they are a losing bet.

If you blindly bet $100 on every favorite in ’22-23, you’d be down $3,558 for a -3.3 percent ROI.

Last season, that same bettor would have netted $3,400 for a 2.3 percent ROI. 

It’s a similar story with overs.

Last season, betting $100 on every over in an NHL contest would have turned a $1,246 profit for a +1 percent ROI.

This season overs are clipping at 47.8 percent and would have lost a $100 bettor $7,637 for a -7.7 percent ROI.