The live hockey betting market is quite active and there is always lots of betting choices when it comes to important NHL games. While the overall live betting market is quite a relaxed atmosphere, there are always some specific games that cause more bets to be placed than usual. The most recent example of this was the Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins game on January 5th, 2020.
When this game started, there were already lots of oddsmakers making sure everyone was included in the excitement, but the line moved a little faster than usual when the puck dropped. If you go back and look at historical data for this game, you will see that both teams were able to score early in the first period, but it was the Bruins who managed to hold on and eventually win by one goal.
Although this was a very exciting game to watch, it had relatively little effect on the live betting market. In fact, the overall line shifted a little bit in favour of the Sens.
However, as the game progressed and both teams struggled to create many scoring opportunities, the line began to move back in favour of the Bruins. Towards the end of the third period, the line once again moved a little towards the Sens, but it was not enough to cover the early (and sometimes massive) losses that the team had incurred. By the end of the third period, the Sens line was -140 while the Bruins line stood at -175.
This was an example of how changes in the line can occur during the course of a single game and how live betting markets are always changing in relation to the momentum of the game. While one or two large bets here and there will not affect the average Joe, it is always interesting to track the overall movement of the line and see where it stands at any given moment during the game.
Value Is Everything
One of the primary reasons that the Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins game was such a hot topic of discussion when it came to the live betting market was due to the fact that there was a lot of money to be made in this particular matchup. In total, there were 12.6 million USD worth of bets made on this game with the opening line value at -140 and the final line value at -175, which is an improvement of 28% above the opening line value.
This is especially impressive when you consider that this was a game between two teams that had not met in the 2019-20 season. Typically, games between these two teams get much lower juice levels when it comes to the overall line fluctuation. In fact, the last three games between these two teams were all decided by one goal, which is very uncommon for this kind of game. This is all due to the fact that these are historically great teams and a lot of people want to see them clash. Plus, the fact that it was the last game before the winter break added to the hype surrounding this game.
One of the primary reasons that this game was such a big draw was due to the massive spread between the lines. Usually, games with larger spreads between the lines attract more interest from bettors. This is because it is usually more exciting to see if the line you chose is going to win or lose by a large margin than it is to see if it is going to win or lose by a small margin.
A Game Above The Averages
One of the most interesting things about this particular game was that it was a meeting of the 2019-20 NHL Champion Boston Bruins against the 2020 Stanley Cup Champion Columbus Blue Jackets. The two best teams in their respective leagues meeting in a playoff game was enough to get the NHL community (and the live betting community) excited about this matchup. This was especially true because these are historically great teams that have not met in the regular season in a while.
The Columbus Blue Jackets came into this game as 2.5 point underdogs, which is a lot less than their usual 3 or 4 points underdogs. This was because the Boston Bruins were 10.5 point favorites in this game. Even more interesting is that the line moved a lot more in favour of the underdogs than most people would have expected. Just look at the game score (BSL -129, BOS -117), which means that the underdogs won by a relatively large margin of 12 points!
This game marked a turning point for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Just a few days after this game, they were able to shock the basketball world by defeating the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Since that point, they have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. Just like the Ottawa Senators above, they are a team that saw the value in getting big points in basketball and applied that to the NHL as well.
It is important to note that this game would have been a completely different story if the lines had moved more in favour of the Bruins from the beginning. The game would have finished in a much closer contest and the value for both teams would have been less significant.
As it stands, the Columbus Blue Jacket game against the Boston Bruins is one of the top five most popular articles on all of Sportsbetting.com when it comes to live betting stories. In addition, it is one of the top five most popular stories on all of Sportsbookreview.com, which is owned and operated by the same company as Sportsbetting.com. (Forbes Media, LLC 2020)
This game was an important one for the Columbus Blue Jackets and it showed that even though they lost that game, the value that they gained from it was more than worth it. Just like the Senators above, the Blue Jackets are a team that takes advantage of their underdog status in basketball and applies that to the NHL as well.