Dennis Schneidler, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Mat Barzal
If you need to know how much of a grind betting on the NHL can be, look no further than Saturday’s slate.
The NHL card featured 10 games. Five of those closed with a favorite at -175 or higher and six went to overtime. All six overtime contests featured an underdog of +130 or longer (using Pinnacle’s closing line): Buffalo +130, Florida +137, Anaheim +153, Los Angeles +161, New Jersey +171 and Detroit +187.
Florida and Anaheim ended up on the right side of the overtime coin flip, while Buffalo, New Jersey and Detroit fell in a shootout and the Kings lost in overtime.
Speaking of the Kings, their game with the Penguins featured one of the worst opening lines of the season.
The Pens opened as -250 favorites at Pinnacle, considered by many to be the sharpest sportsbook in the world, with the Kings coming back at +222. The line was triple-tapped immediately and dropped 50 cents in under 25 minutes.
By the time the puck dropped — well over 24 hours after the opening line was posted — the Penguins were -179 favorites and the price on Los Angeles was +161.
Not only were the Penguins on a back-to-back, but they were scheduled to start Matt Murray in goal. Murray has been on and off the injured reserve for the past two seasons and even when he’s been healthy, he hasn’t been effective.
Of course the Penguins ultimately cashed, but if you were on the Kings early and beat the closing line you should be happy with how you handicapped that game. Not only did you beat the market but you got a sizable underdog to overtime, which is more or less a coin flip.
Anyway, that’s in the past. Let’s talk about Monday night’s card because it features two more exploitable lines.
NHL record: 26-27, +8.38 units
>> All odds as of 8 p.m. ET on Sunday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
Betting odds: New York Islanders at Colorado Avalanche
- Islanders moneyline: +170
- Avalanche moneyline: -200
- Over/Under: 6 (-110/-110)
- Puck drop: 9 p.m. ET
The New York Islanders were both lucky and deserved winners on Saturday night. The Isles, who were -220 to beat Detroit on Long Island, dominated much of the game but were down, 2-1, in the third period. They caught a break on the game-tying goal and then won in a shootout after a back-and-forth overtime.