Locky’s First Period NHL Model, 3/1: What Are We Learning?

Locky’s First Period NHL Model, 3/1: What Are We Learning? article feature image

Jean-Yves Ahearn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jakub Voracek

Good morning! Happy March.

With the calendar turned, I thought it might be good to revisit some of the things we set out to do at the start of this series. If you recall from the FAQ, this was more of an experiment than anything. I thought we had a chance to be +EV, but didn’t know for sure. It’s gone fine, and the projections haven’t performed particularly poorly. (I’m actually probably getting the worst of this recent downturn because I’m getting larger perceived edges at open than everyone else and therefore making larger bets. Yay me!)

What’s been very interesting, though, which I’ve talked privately with a couple people about, is the extent to which the projections combined with some other market forces are moving the numbers. When I started doing this, I thought it was at least possible that this market wasn’t susceptible to that type of easy manipulation.

This isn’t some entertainment prop offered at a random offshore with $25 limits, or even a player prop in a specific game that had a rogue price somewhere. This was at least a derivative market that was open everywhere.

After watching line movement the past week, it seems very likely that on some level, this post is responsible for serious movement in prices, and can be manipulated in this way. It’s not as efficient as I thought, that’s for sure! Sometimes, that me-inspired movement meets resistance, usually due to player news (Corey Crawford’s return for the Blackhawks two nights ago, or the two McDavid suspension games, or the entire Devils team missing their last game, among others), and the edge according to the projections never evaporates. But almost all the time, the closing numbers are very close to my projections. The question is, is that meaningful?

Because this market is less efficient, it’s possible that the answer is “no,” and again as I indicated in the FAQ, maybe the best thing to do is look for arbitrage and scalps because apparently I’m causing crazy movements with every post. Why hope that I’m +EV when you can lock in profit by paying attention to multiple sites? It was something we considered when this began, that this was at least POSSIBLE, although I was quite skeptical, but here we are.

And I’m not really sure where we go next. The projections will go through the end of the regular season, and we’ll keep learning more about this market. We may very well win money, and the hypothesis driving this model may be true and worthy of future study and analysis. I don’t know! And that’s kind of fun, too.

A Reminder

If you’re new here, I built a model to handicap first-period over/unders in the NHL.

To provide the greatest value to you the bettor, each of these articles will include a downloadable Excel file at the bottom. In it, you can insert the line at your sportsbook of choice and see the bets that are — and aren’t — offering value, according to my model.

Locky’s First-Period NHL Over/Unders: Full Slate Projections

Download the Excel doc to input odds from your sportsbooks. The table below is best viewed on a desktop computer.

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