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1 Week Until NHL Season Home Openers!

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1 Week Countdown Until NHL Season Home Openers…

START THE CLOCK!!

It’s only one week left until NHL referees drop the pucks to mark the first of the season openers. It’s no doubt that players, fans, sports bettors and professional handicappers can hardly wait.

When we look back to the 2013-2014 preseason precedent, we have found some very powerful indicators:

When it comes to season home-openers, the home team wins 17-13.

This is not a significant statistic because within that winning pool are all the usual suspects.  Teams like ANA, BOS, CHI, COL, DET, PIT, SJS, STL, VAN, WSH to name a few. Obviously these teams would have been priced at chalk and therefore a 17-13 showing isn’t a profitable consideration.

What was interesting was the next filter we applied:

When it comes to season home-openers, the home team that had a winning record in their preseason was 10-5.

This filtered consideration offers far better odds. Even if priced at -200, sports bettors would still break even.

The second last consideration improves even further:

When it comes to season home-openers, the home team that had a winning record in their preseason AND made the playoffs in the season prior, marked a promising tally of 7-3 in the 2013-2014 season.

Equally interesting, (and most powerful), is the flip-side to this consideration:

When it comes to season home-openers, the home team that had a winning record in their preseason BUT DID NOT make the playoffs in the season prior, marked a dismal tally of 1-6 in the 2013-2014 season..

While there is still plenty of preseason hockey left this year before we can determine winning preseason records, we do know the teams that made the playoffs last year:

Colorado Rockies
Minnesota Wild
St. Louis Blues
Chicago Blackhawks
Anaheim Ducks
Dallas Stars
San Jose Sharks
Los Angeles Lakers
Boston Bruins
Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightening
Montreal Canadiens
Pittsburgh Pirates
Columbus Blue Jackets
New York Yankees
Philadelphia Flyers

So once the 2014-2015 preseason tallies are in, we will find all of the teams with winning records and fade the ones that came short of last year’s playoff. This is the 1-6 payoff consideration.

Also, we will be betting the teams with winning preseason records who made it to the playoffs last season. This is the 7-3 consideration.

The historical precedent shines to the tune of a 13:4 payoff. There is profit here, and once the preseason tallies are in, it will be a simple matter of plugging in the numbers.

Let’s look at some of the opening matchups and find out if the ATS Database can further establish which teams might have some favourable historical precedence in this position:

WPG @ ARI

  • When PHOENIX played as Home team vs WINNIPEG: Coyotes are 8-1-1!!
  • When PHOENIX played as Home team vs WINNIPEG in the month of October: Coyotes are 1-0-0.

 

CBJ @ BUF

  • When BUFFALO played as Home team vs COLUMBUS: Sabres are 4-6-0
  • When BUFFALO played as Home team vs COLUMBUS in the month of October: Sabres are 1-3-0 in this position.

 

NYI @ CAR

  • When CAROLINA played as Home team vs NY ISLANDERS: Canes are 18-13-0
  • When CAROLINA played as Home team vs NY ISLANDERS in  October:
    Canes are 1-2-0 in this position.

 

VAN @ CGY

  • When CALGARY played as Home team vs VANCOUVER: Flames are 18-30-4
  • When CALGARY played as Home team vs VANCOUVER in the month of October: Flames are 2-4-1 in this position.

 

BUF @ CHI

  • When CHICAGO played as Home team vs BUFFALO: Hawks are 8-4-0
  • When CHICAGO played as Home team vs BUFFALO in the month of October: Hawks are 4-1-0 in this position.

 

MIN @ COL

  • When COLORADO played as Home team vs MINNESOTA: Rockies are 27-22-2
  • When COLORADO played as Home team vs MINNESOTA in the month of October: Rockies are 2-0-1 in this position.

 

CHI @ DAL

  • When DALLAS played as Home team vs CHICAGO: Stars are 21-14-2
  • When DALLAS played as Home team vs CHICAGO in the month of October:
    Stars are 4-1-1 in this position.

 

NJD @ FLA

  • When FLORIDA played as Home team vs NEW JERSEY: Panthers are 14-23-2
  • When FLORIDA played as Home team vs NEW JERSEY in the month of October: Panthers are 1-3-0 in this position.

 

SJS @ LAK

  • When LOS ANGELES played as Home team vs SAN JOSE: Kings are 32-25-2

 

COL @ MIN

  • When MINNESOTA played as Home team vs COLORADO: Wild are 25-22-1
  • When MINNESOTA played as Home team vs COLORADO in the month of October: Wild are 4-1-0 in this position.

 

CAR @ NYI

  • When NY ISLANDERS played as Home team vs CAROLINA: Islanders are  10-23-0

 

TOR @ NYR

  • When NY RANGERS played as Home team vs TORONTO: Rangers are 18-14-0


NJD @ PHI

  • When PHILADELPHIA played as Home team vs NEW JERSEY: Flyers are 30-28-3
  • When PHILADELPHIA played as Home team vs NEW JERSEY in October:Flyers are 5-2-0 in this position.

 

ANA @ PIT

  • When PITTSBURGH played as Home team vs ANAHEIM: Penguins are 8-3-1


WPG @ SJS

  • When SAN JOSE played as Home team vs WINNIPEG: Sharks are 6-2-1
  • When SAN JOSE played as Home team vs WINNIPEG in the month of October:
    Sharks are 0-1-1 in this position.

 

NYR @ STL

  • When ST LOUIS played as Home team vs NY RANGERS: Blues are 8-4-1
  • When ST LOUIS played as Home team vs NY RANGERS in the month of October:
    Blues are 3-0-0 in this position.

 

FLA @ TBL

  • When TAMPA BAY played as Home team vs FLORIDA: Lightening are 24-20-5
  • When TAMPA BAY played as Home team vs FLORIDA in the month of October: Lightening are 5-2-0 in this position.

 

MTL @ TOR

  • When TORONTO played as Home team vs MONTREAL: Leafs are 26-19-1

 

MTL @ WSH

  • When WASHINGTON played as Home team vs MONTREAL: Canadiens are 19-16-2
  • When WASHINGTON played as Home team vs MONTREAL in  October:
    Canadiens are 1-0-1 in this position.

 

EDM @ VAN

  • When VANCOUVER played as Home team vs EDMONTON: Canucks are 28-18-4
  • When VANCOUVER played as Home team vs EDMONTON in the month of October: Canucks are 7-1-0 in this position!

 

Rationale:

The explanation here is simple. Most teams that make the playoffs make them consistently. It’s no secret that year-in and year-out we see the same team names in the playoff tree. Coaches know exactly who to play in which position and probably have the next years lines drawn up before the Stanley Cup is even lifted. For these types of teams with winning pedigree, preseason hockey has nothing to do with winning. It’s got everything to do with not getting injured and with experimenting with all the new drafts. They don’t need to try to win preseason games because they have nothing to prove. They know they’ll see the playoff tree again.

On the other hand…

Teams that were left out of the tree last year, particularly the bottom 10 teams, are left with 1st round draft picks to sort out and have to figure out where the new talent can fit in with the old. All of the new blood are fighting for their spot at the head of the pack and want to be placed on the front two lines and or on power play units. With the lackluster performance of the team in the past season, they feel they can step straight into leadership roles. And they play like it. Scheifele in the 2012 preseason is a classic example as he was in amongst the top point scorers in the ’12 preseason.

This psychological combination causes underdog teams to beat even the toughest in the league from past seasons. Look at the numbers.

In the 2013 preseason:

Toronto Maple Leafs led the Atlantic Division. (finished season 23rd in league)
New York Islanders were 2nd in the Metro Division. (finished season 26th in league)
Nashville Predators were 2nd in the Central Division. (finished season 19th in league)
Arizona Coyotes were 1st in the Pacific Division. (finished season 18th in league)

On the flip side:
Anaheim Duck finished last in the Pacific Division. (finished season 2nd in league)
San Jose Sharks finished 2nd from last in the Pacific Division. (finished season 5th in league)
Colorado Rockies finished last in the Central Division. (finished season 3rd in league)
St. Louis Blues finished 2nd from last in the Central Division. (finished season 4th in league)
Pittsburgh Penguins finished 2nd last in the Metro Division. (finished season 6th in league)

So now we simply wait for the results of this year’s preseason numbers, plug in the teams where they belong and we’ll have the picks that promise a profitable opening day!

2014-2015 promises to be another electric year of world class hockey. All that’s left to do is grab your chips and your beverage of choice, buckle in, and ENJOY!

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