NHL Handicapping Clues in Hockey Stats in 2023

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Finding Clues in NHL Data for Sports Handicapping is Vital

Being able to find NHL handicapping clues in hockey stats can be vital to winning and losing your wagers. Those who can find discrepencies or tendacies in data collected on NHL teams can stake out an advantage in the sports gambling.

Key Points

– It’s harder to find meaningful hockey stats to aid NHL handicapping.

– NHL handicapping is easier when bettors use these often overlooked stats.

NHL Handicapping Clues in Hockey Stats

If you have bet on football, basketball, and especially baseball; you know that each sport places a lot of emphasis on statistics, much more than does hockey. 

Although statistics are undoubtedly available and recorded for the National Hockey League, they are not nearly as sophisticated as those for other sports. This is partially due to the fact that hockey isn’t as popular as other sports. However, the bigger issue is that hockey isn’t a game of direct competition. 

In baseball, you can consider a pitcher’s performance against a specific batter or a batter’s performance under specific conditions. In basketball, bettors can look at individual statistics and determine how a player will match up against another player. 

In hockey, players score a lot less than in other sports. The importance of their scoring stats matters much more. Football is a perfect sport for statistical analysis because it is all about matchups. A wide receiver, for example, will go up against an opposing cornerback for most of an entire game.

Hockey is different, where players don’t always play against the same opponent from shift to shift. It makes it challenging to find hockey statistics that are particularly important. Don’t worry, though. There are a number of stats that can be used to help hockey bettors with their hockey handicapping.


First Goal Percentage

About two-thirds of games are won by the team that scores a game’s first goal. If we could accurately predict in advance which team would score first in a particular game, handicapping would be much easier. Of course we can’t, but we can determine whether a team has a propensity to score first or not. 

If one team in a game consistently scores first while another team typically starts games slowly, you may have identified a strong advantage. Teams that frequently concede the first goal make it difficult for themselves to win games.

Finding these types of advantages (or disadvantages) can help bettors with NHL handicapping.

NHL Handicapping & Power Play Percentage

Power play percentage is frequently mentioned in the same sentence as the penalty killing rate. Although both are important, power play percentage is a much better metric for evaluation. 

The success rate of a team’s power play reveals a lot about its character. It demonstrates how well they seize opportunities that are presented to them. Teams with high power play percentages are organized, cohesive, and patient. They plan for and execute the power play extremely well. 

The same qualities are required for a team to succeed. Teams that excel on the power play typically win more games. These teams are frequently generous to bettors. The opposite is also true. Teams that aren’t good on the power play tend to lose more often.

See how teams are stacking up in comparison to the 2022-23 NHL futures odds

Goals Against Average

Goals against average, or the number of goals a goalie allows per game, is the most popular statistic used to evaluate goalies. However, save percentage is much more significant. 

Goals against average takes into account some things that a goaltender does not control. The empty net goal is one example. Save percentage is the number of shots a goalie stops compared to the number of goals he allows.

The save percentage tends to fluctuate less throughout the season. Bettors can use it to determine how well a goalie will perform if there are significantly more or significantly fewer shots than usual in a game. 

One way to use this stat in your NHL handicapping is to compare a goalie’s save percentage over the course of the entire season to that of the previous five and ten games. By comparing the three statistics, you can identify goalies who are starting a streak or slump as well as anticipate team issues before the general public does. This can help you avoid becoming a losing sports bettor.

Shootout Percentage

This statistic applies when you have two teams that are evenly matched. There is a chance that the game will end in a tie and go to a shootout to decide the winner.

Shootouts are situations where some teams excel and others struggle. Smart bettors will look at teams’ shootout performances’ before making a betting decision. The outcome of a team’s shootout performance may decide whether or not a bet is placed.

When placing a bet, be sure to use a quality sportsbook that has exceptional customer service and offers the best incentives in the industry.

Road vs. Home Goals in NHL Handicapping

This is an overlooked NHL stat. Looking at how many goals per game a team averages at home versus on the road is one of the easiest ways to gauge a team’s strength. 

In contrast to football or baseball, the location of a hockey game is less important because the rink has the same surface and the ice is, for the most part, the same. In baseball or football, factors like the field’s design, whether it’s played inside or outside, and more must be taken into consideration. 

Hockey is more predictable than other sports, making it simpler to isolate the real effects of traveling and how teams adjust to it without worrying about other variables that might also have an effect. Betting NHL games played outdoors, for example, presents issues for bettors because of the players dealing with the elements.

A tough, well-coached team with good discipline is the kind of team to back if they score at roughly the same rate both at home and away over the long term. Your NHL handicapping might identify that a team doesn’t score as much on the road. Whatever the reason, the team doesn’t score as much on the road. That is information you can use to make a strong betting decision.


Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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