The NHL preseason can be very useful to sports bettors. There are a few things that you can determine from these games. However, the outcome of these contests is not an indicator of how a team will do in the regular season. The preseason will give you insights into each team, offering you clues as to its regular season potential.
The preseason games are played over the course of about one month. During that time, teams may play up to nine games. The games have no bearing on the regular season and the rosters can be, at times, fairly inconsistent as coaches try out new and developing players. Although teams want to win, a club’s record is not as important as how individual players perform and how the group starts to play as a team.
What You Can Learn
There are various elements that you can analyze, as well as attributes and weak points you may recognize, when watching preseason NHL games. The games should primarily be used for analysis, as handicappers assess individuals, units, and various specifics for each team.
Here are some of the questions that you can begin to answer when watching preseason games:
- How good are the individual players?
- Who are the promising new and upcoming players?
- How much potential depth can you recognize?
- How do previously injured players look on the ice?
- Does the team show goal scoring potential?
- How solid is the defense?
- Are the penalty kill and power play units coming together?
- Can perceived weaknesses be remedied in fairly short order?
- How solid is the goaltending?
- Does the team seem to have a good attitude?
- Is there a difference maker on the team?
- Does the coach have a good rapport with the players?
Betting on the Preseason
With any professional preseason, the question remains the same: Should the sports bettor wager on it? The answer is also the same: It is not a good idea. This is the case for a few reasons.
The games are very hard to handicap individually due to the fact that rosters are not yet set, players are just starting to get back their feel for the ice, and units are not solidified. Also, since it is the first time that hockey players are back, there is precious little real information that you can use in your matchups and in making your picks.
If you are going to wager on the NHL preseason, do so judiciously. Look for games where a relatively inexperienced goalie may be in net, and they are facing a team with solid point scorers. The totals may be a smart wager in such a case, and the puck line may also work in your favor. Also, if you can find teams that are weak on defense, and they are up against some of the better offensive teams, that may be a good game on which to place a bet.
Limit your wagering on preseason games. Don’t compromise your bankroll by stretching it too thin. Low unit wagers and choice games are in order during the preseason.
Influence on the Season
Although the outcomes of these games have no influence on the regular season, they do offer sports bettors some useful information, especially as they approach the start of the regular season. The games will have an influence on the season in this way: They serve to prepare a team for regular season play by helping them begin to work together. They are the tune-up that, once the games that mean something are played, allows teams to be competitive on the ice.
Pay Attention to the Games
It is important to pay attention to the nine or so preseason games played by NHL teams. From watching these games, you won’t know which team will win the Stanley Cup, but you will get some idea as to the potential of each club. The hockey season is a long and hard one, and as far as the championship is concerned, it takes more than great players to win the Cup. Teams have to possess amazing stamina, depth, and fortitude. Learn what you can from these games, and apply that knowledge throughout the 82-game season.