NHL Hockey Handicappers

Handicappers Checklist

Some things expert handicappers like maddux sports consider when sitting down to handicap the NHL.

If you are ready to order Maddux's NHL picks click here. Here’s a quick list of essential considerations when handicapping the team you’re going to wager on.

• Goalie success in wins, GAA, and Save Percentage
• Point scorers on board
• Two-way defensemen on board
• Home team advantage
• Recent injuries
• Overtime record
• GF versus GA
• Prior outcome this season of past match ups with the same team.

These are the nuts and bolts of what NHL hockey handicappers look at. Of course we run games through a computer program and ultimately look for positive subsets, but most public handicappers don't have those tools at their disposal.

When hockey handicapping take an extra careful look at teams that the odds makers may not respect because of public perception but may actually have a decent chance of winning, such as Edmonton or Atlanta. If a team relies on “enforcers,” that team may be at a distinct disadvantage with the new rules, an original training video that all officials have studied on what penalties to call, and the league’s edict to strictly call defensive holding, cross checking, interference, and more.

Finally, a team such as Pittsburgh, with the addition of whiz-kid Sidney Crosby and a healthy Mario Lemieux, may be a contender especially against a team with average or below average goaltending. On the other hand, Chicago now has superstar net minder Khabibulin, and he can make all the difference when up against an average or little than better offense.

Update to this handicapper article for the 2006 rule changes.

Hockey Handicapping: A Clearer Proposition

The tie is gone from hockey, which means lines will look a little different this year. Teams that are fairly evenly matched will be more difficult to pick, since there will always be a 1-goal differential at the end of the game (either via overtime or shootout).

This could bode well for hockey handicappers who take some time to do a little research on teams, especially in the areas of goaltending, two-way players, and goals against Vs goals scored. Two other things to consider with the rule changes are how many finesse players a team has and how young its legs are. Both of these elements will come into play in both the new game and the shootout.

Determining a goalie’s success rate in both overtime and during shootouts will also be important.

Finally, it’s imperative to remember that the differential in the score after a shootout will always be one goal. So if one team scores two goals in the shootout and the other scores none, the score will be recorded as a 1-goal differential and not as a 2-goal win.

If you don't have the time to put in, check out the Maddux Sports hockey handicappers picks page for expert picks on the National hockey league.


NHL Betting Information

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