Learn How to Successfully Bet on NHL Player Props

Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals shoots the puck against the New York Rangers. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP

If you enjoy watching and betting on the fastest game on ice then you should familiarize yourself with NHL player props. All of the best U.S. licensed online sportsbooks have them and often present excellent opportunities to pad your bankroll.

What’s a Player Prop?

Most novice sports bettors limit themselves to betting on the side (team) or total (over/under) in the game but there is so much more on the betting menu these days. Player props, or proposition bets as they are formally known, are growing more popular by the day and there is a reason for that. They are fun to bet and, more importantly, they can be more lucrative than betting on the game itself.

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Examples of player props are odds on each player to score the first goal of the game, while others would be over/under on total goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, and even shots on goal. There can also be goalie props that would include totals on saves, goals allowed, and even save percentage.

NHL player props come in all forms and the oddsmakers are getting increasingly creative. But just remember that it takes plenty of due diligence to isolate those props that are likely to hit paydirt. Below we will discuss some of the homework you must do if you want to have success in betting them.

Let the Numbers Talk

As we all know some players simply match up well, or poorly, against other teams and we can use this historical data to find a players’ averages in all of the categories above. Once we ascertain what those averages are then we can compare them to the totals being offered by the oddsmakers and focus on the outliers that could prove valuable.

For instance, if a player historically averages 1.89 shots on goal against a particular team and the total is 3.5 then this could be an ideal opportunity to go under the posted total. We can employ this formula on every player and in every category.

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It’s hard work but it can pay off in the long run. But the key is that you have the discipline to wager only on props where you have a decided advantage. Another tactic is to isolate goal scorers who are slumping.

If the drought continues for too long you will often see coaches shake up their lines to get players refocused and reenergized. Oftentimes we see elite players turn their fortunes around when surrounded by a new set of linemates and that is often an ideal opportunity to go over the posted total in a variety of categories.

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Chances are if they do get back on track with a goal or two then all of the other dominoes will fall like over in points, assists, goals, and even shots on goal. The other benefit is that you will likely get better odds or lower totals on a slumping superstar as the books must adjust their numbers to reflect the player’s current productivity.

Look at the Roster

Lastly, don’t think for a moment that successful NHL player prop betting is confined only to the superstars. We often see players on the third or fourth lines that go on hot streaks but they are often ignored by the betting masses.

Don’t be a square, be a sharp, and find out which of these lower echelon players are producing because you will likely get low totals on them which will make betting over a savvy wager.

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Winning in the long term takes tenacity, bankroll management, and keen decision-making skills so be sure to run through several games of trial simulations before pulling the trigger on an actual bet. Once you have sharpened your skills and are winning more than losing then it’s time to put back your prop picks with cold, hard cash.

And remember to check back for more betting strategy at the OddsTrader blog. Happy betting!

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