There’s no football to bet on until the Super Bowl. Just one NFL game remains until September. This is the point in the sports calendar where we look towards other sports such as the NHL to fill the void that’s about to be left by America’s favorite sport.
Maybe you haven’t been paying much attention to the other sports over the past few months as you’ve been in football mode. There’s no shame in that. It’s early February and the best part of college basketball, NBA and NHL is yet to come.
Perhaps you decided to dabble in the NHL betting market on Tuesday night. If you did, you might have witnessed history.
It was a favorite heavy night in the NHL
It’s been a pretty weird start to the NHL season. Teams have done their best to navigate COVID-outbreaks and postponed and cancelled games. One of the more interesting takeaways from the first half of the season is that there seems to be more of a gap between the good teams and the bad teams.
Hockey is similar to baseball in that there’s a high level of luck and randomness in every game. The sport is low scoring, with most games averaging between 5 and 7 goals. A lucky deflection off a skate or off a goalie into the wrong part of the ice could be the difference in the game.
For that reason, big favorites are rare in the sport. Favorites over -200 on the moneyline are considered large favorites while anything over -250 is seen as a prohibitively massive favorite.
On Tuesday’s 11 game NHL schedule, we saw six teams laying at least -200 on the moneyline. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche were all massive favorites. The first five teams all won their games. There were some sweats as the Lightning needed overtime to beat the Sharks and the Bruins won by just one goal over the Kraken.
Perhaps you parlayed a few of the big favorites. Perhaps you made some parlays with other sports and decided to add a hockey game. Maybe you desperately needed a winner and were willing to lay some heavy juice. If that’s the case, then you probably had some interest in what was going on in Denver on Tuesday night.
Avalanche were massive favorites
The biggest favorite of the night was the Colorado Avalanche, who were laying an insane -600 on the moneyline against the Arizona Coyotes. Arizona was a +450 underdog to win the game. Simply put, this is an insane price on a hockey game. This implies that Colorado had an 86% chance of winning the game heading into the contest.
While the line was massive, it’s hard to say that it wasn’t warranted. The Avalanche have the best record in hockey based on points-percentage. They’re the current favorites to win the Stanley Cup at BetMGM. Even without Nathan MacKinnon, their star player, Colorado is loaded with talent throughout their lineup.
On the other hand, Arizona is the second worst team in the league, better than only the Montreal Canadiens. Entering the game, Arizona had won just 10 of their first 43 games.
The game was being played in Colorado, where the Avalanche had won 18-straight home games. Arizona had just five road wins in 22 games entering the night.
It was an uninspiring performance by the Avalanche, but even while sleepwalking through the game, they had the talent level to lead Arizona 2-1 entering the final minute of the game. With 38 seconds left in the game, Lawson Crouse of the Coyotes found a loose puck on a rebound and batted home the game tying goal.
There was no scoring in overtime, so the game went to a shootout. Avalanche bettors were now laying -600 on the outcome of a gimmicky skills competition. Alex Galchenyuk of the Coyotes scored the lone goal of the shootout as Scott Wedgewood turned away all three Avalanche shooters.
Arizona became the biggest underdog of the NHL season to win outright. In fact, they’re the biggest underdog to win an NHL game since at least 2006. They absolutely ruined every NHL parlay, cross-sport parlay or desperation bets out there.
Colorado will move on and they will be one of the teams competing for the Stanley Cup. Arizona will continue to struggle and might get even worse if they sell off assets at the trade deadline. It’s one regular season game in early February that was decided in a shootout. Colorado even got a point in the standings, so it’s hard to believe they will be overly upset.
While the game might have felt meaningless to many, we learned that there’s no such thing as a lock. Especially in hockey.
Source: Yahoo Sports