The NHL over/unders, always a harbinger of the coming hockey season, are out. I’m not a gambler but I like to see these because it gives you an idea of what the people who back their opinions with money are thinking about the coming season.
I’ve sorted it by division and there’s some interesting stuff in there. The Pacific Division looks exactly like you’d expect – a clear separation with LA, Vancouver and San Jose and then a fight for the fourth spot. I’m not a huge Phoenix fan but that line looks a little low to me, given what Dave Tippett seems to pull off each year. Also interesting to see, if you slide your eyes over towards Conference III that the over/under implicitly suggests the Oilers will make the playoffs as a cross-over team. Not much catches my eye on the Conference III side, although Dallas maybe seems a little low – I like what they’ve done this summer.
The Northeast Division is fascinating. The sure thing lock would seem to be betting the under on Toronto. I’m not a Leafs fan but I’m incredibly excited about Toronto’s season because of its potential as a tipping point for hockey analytics – there hasn’t been a higher profile test case of hockey analytics condemnation of a team yet. I could imagine the Leafs sneaking into the playoffs; I have an awfully hard time imagining them getting to 97 points. The over on Ottawa looks pretty good too.
Over in the Met, Carolina and New Jersey catch my eye as decent over bets, Carolina more so than New Jersey. The under on the Penguins is probably pretty good too – 108.5 is a huge number and it doesn’t take much going wrong to put that out of reach.
Update: About eight hours after this post went up, the Leafs over/under was pulled from Bovada’s website. I’m no expert but I’d guess that people are willing to put money behind the opinion that the Leafs aren’t a 97 point team.Email Tyler Dellow at firstname.lastname@example.org