It’s pretty important when you get into anything new that you know what the dangers and pitfalls are. This becomes especially important when you’re betting on hockey because mistakes can cost you money and sometimes a lot of money. Now, normally, people have to learn these mistakes the hard way by making them and hopefully getting out the other side with some of their bankroll still intact. But, we wanted to flip the script on that and give you the inside track on what you should not be doing when betting on hockey.
Below, you’re going to find our complete list of the most common hockey betting mistakes. These aren’t mistakes that we think people do or that we saw happen once in a blue moon. These are the most common and most costly hockey betting mistakes that we see over and over again and not just from beginners, but from experienced hockey bettors as well. By taking just a few minutes to read through and commit these mistakes to memory, you are setting yourself up for a lot of success betting on hockey.
It only takes a few minutes if not less to check who is and who is not playing in an upcoming hockey game. If you’re not taking the time to see who is sitting out, who is injured, and who is suspended, then you are doing yourself and your hockey bottom line a grave injustice.
This does not just mean checking on the star players. This includes checking on the goalies as well. If a team is using their second-string goalie, it’s most likely going to put them at a pretty significant disadvantage unless they have a stud backup in the goalie department.
This might seem like a no-brainer tip, but we see people neglect doing this over and over again. Usually, the only real excuse for not checking the lineups of each team before you make your bets is laziness. There are tons of hockey resources online that put out injuries, suspensions, and news in real-time. Make sure you have a line on one of these resources, so you’re up to date on what you need to know before you place any sort of hockey bet.
There are going to be some games where the puck line is the right bet, and there are going to be some games where the moneyline is going to be the right bet. If you are only making one or the other, then you’re probably making a mistake unless you are aggressively cherry-picking the games that you choose to bet.
Make sure when you make your predictions that you don’t just decide which team you think is going to win the game, but you put some time into analyzing what you think the margin of victory is going to be. It can be tempting when you want to bet a big favorite just to take the puck line because you want the better payout. But, you need to make sure that’s a smart bet. Winning by two goals in hockey is significantly more challenging than winning by one goal even when the teams are a bigger mismatch.
We aren’t saying to shy away from puck lines on big favorites or anything like that. We’re just saying that you need to do more than just decide who is going to win the game and then take the puck line because it pays better on the favorite.
This hockey betting mistake is written about a lot across the web, but we had to mention it here as well because it is accurate. You need to make sure that you are not misinterpreting hockey stats and drawing incorrect conclusions based on those stats.
The biggest example of this is the shots on goals statistic. You might think that a team with a lot of shots on goal is a great bet to make because they are getting the puck where it needs to be to score goals. But, the problem is that a lot of inferior teams will just dump the puck into the goalie at every chance they get because they aren’t good enough to beat the other team without some luck. This means they’re going to take a lot of low-percentage shots that might look great on the stat sheet but really aren’t going to do much in the way of scoring goals.
Just make sure before you put all of your weight behind some statistics that the numbers on paper are accurately reflecting what you’re seeing on the ice. Shots on goal might be a great statistic as long as the team is taking a lot of high percentage shots. This tip doesn’t just go for this stat, though. It needs to be applied to every statistic that you look at when making your hockey predictions.
Speaking of statistics, you have got to make sure that the statistics you use to make your hockey predictions do not fall into one of the following three categories – outdated, inaccurate, or useless. Let’s take a look at each of these categories briefly, so you know what to be on the lookout for.
Outdated hockey statistics are exactly what you’d think they are. These are numbers that may have been correct at one point but have not been updated. Sometimes they’ll just be a few games behind, and sometimes they’ll be an entire season behind. You need to make sure that the stats you’re using are current and include all of the most recent contests. We live in a digital age where stat companies and sources can pull information almost instantly, so make sure that you’re getting up to date hockey stats.
Inaccurate statistics are a lot more common than you might think. The problem is that one website or one media source puts out something that is wrong and every other hockey website or resource just takes the information from them and uses it. The next thing you know, you have the inaccurate stats spreading like wildfire. If you use these numbers to make your predictions, you’re going to be in trouble.
You don’t have to check every single number that you use, but you do need to spot check your sources from time to time. If things are always right, then you should be good to go. Still check them from time to time to make sure they haven’t developed a problem. If you notice some issues, though, you may want to look into changing where you get your hockey stats from quickly.
The last category of hockey stats that we want to make sure you stay away from is useless stats. These are the “stats” that are really just coincidences that people are calling statistics. While these coincidences are really cool to talk about with your friends and make for great TV, they are terrible for making predictions.
For example, if you hear that a team has never lost a road game on a Tuesday following three home wins, that’s cool and all, but really not a great predictor of how things are going to turn out. You could argue that they are a streaky team, but there are just too many variables to count that as an actual useful stat. What you have there is a great coincidence that’s fun to talk about, but not a great predictor of future outcomes.
Hockey is a tough sport that can be pretty taxing on the body. Just because someone is a professional athlete does not mean that they suddenly become immune to the same struggles that we as non-professional athletes have to deal with. This means that if they get injuries, feel pain, and their bodies can be broken down if they are pushed to the limit without adequate time for rest and recovery.
If you neglect to look at this when making your bets, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. What you’re looking for are teams playing a lot of games in a short period of time, teams that are on long road trips traveling across the country, and teams that are playing several games that last into overtime back to back. You can also look at the difficulty and the physicality of the teams they’re playing to look for times when they might be experiencing fatigue in an upcoming game.
We aren’t saying that you should avoid any team that you think is going to be tired coming into a game. But, you need to be taking this into account and making sure that it’s properly reflected in the line. When in doubt, avoid betting on hockey teams that you think are going to be tired because that means they’ll be slower, weaker, and less of a threat to win the game.
It’s so easy to focus on offensive stats and the offensive prowess of a hockey team when you’re making a bet. Why? Well, it’s goals that win the game and goals are scored on offense. But, we want to caution you to make sure you’re taking time to study each team’s defense before making your prediction. You can have the best offense under the sun, but if you’re up against a stout defense that is stingy with goals, you may have a problem winning.
Additionally, stats show that during the playoffs and into the Stanley Cup, teams with stronger defenses have much more success than teams with strong offenses. The whole “defenses win championships” cliché phrase is nothing but truth when it gets into the post-season. Make sure you’re not neglecting the defense and getting offense-drunk when making your hockey predictions.
Well, that was a whole lot of what you shouldn’t be doing when you’re betting on hockey. But, what happens if you want to know what you should be doing? Sorry, we can’t help you. Kidding! We actually have a pretty incredible Hockey Betting Strategy Guide that will tell you what you should be doing when you’re betting on hockey games. It’s the perfect addition to this guide and will really help propel you in the right direction towards being a profitable hockey bettor. If you aren’t quite ready to bet yet and you’re looking for the logical next step, that guide is it.