How to Read Betting Trends – Side Money and Total Lines

A good hockey fan knows how to read the odds. Whether you are a recreational or fanatic sports fan, you are aware of what the lines mean and whether you should take a bet or not. Now that the 2019 Stanley Cup has ended, the bookmakers’ odds for next year’s finals have been posted. One of the biggest surprises was the poor performance of the Vancouver Canucks against the Boston Bruins. It was a big blow to their playoff aspirations, yet it gave the Bruins the impetus to move up a gear and bookmakers had to adjust the lines accordingly. Here is a guide to how to read betting trends and the impact they have on your wagering.

Why Are Bookmakers Adjusting The Lines?

It is common practice for bookmakers to review their odds and adjust them following a major event or series of events. For instance, following the 2018 World Cup, Paddy Power Betting Excitedly said, “We adjusted the overall odds on the tournament to take account of the lower odds on England, which many people seem to have ignored. Even the most ardent English supporters couldn’t deny that the team were underdogs throughout the entire competition and had a chance of causing an upset in the quarter-finals.” In the same vein, the linespread for the next year’s final between the Winnipeg Jets and the Ottawa Senators were adjusted following the 2019 Stanley Cup. The final of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League ended in a no-contest when the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies beat the Cape Breton Eagles 4–0. The linespreads for the 2020 edition have been adjusted taking into consideration the outcome of this year’s competition.

Adjusting The Line

If an event or competition is fixed, this will have an effect on the linespread. Anything that can be calculated can be applied to betting. If you have tried to bet on a fix and been burnt, it is best not to try and adjust the line in your favour. If an upset is certain, you can look to place a bet on that as soon as possible. Sometimes, if the bookmaker is confident that an upset is on the cards, they will offer better odds on this as a way of attracting more customers. In these instances, it is essential that you take the bait and bet on the underdogs in order to secure your winnings.

Reading The Trends

In any competitive sport, there are always teams or individuals who are expected to outperform the competition. In the case of the NHL, many pundits and experts have pointed to the Boston Bruins as clear underdogs heading into the 2019–20 season. With the exception of the Toronto Maple Leafs, no other team in the league boasts a larger gap between the expected performance and the actual performance. This performance gap will have a significant effect on the betting lines which, in turn, will determine your success or failure as a hockey fan. To put it simply, you will have to outperform the expected performance in order to secure a profit.

Expecting The Unexpected

One of the most intriguing aspects of sports betting is how close the lines can be. Even though the Bruins were a clear underdogs to many, some oddsmakers gave them as high as +800, which is virtually the same as +1000. This is mainly because the linemakers expected the Bruins to underperform the expected performance by a considerable margin. On the flip side, there were also a number of sharp bettors who saw the underdogs in the Canucks and felt that they would cover the spread. In these instances, you will have to look for an upset, but there is a chance that the linemakers could be correct and that the underdogs will in fact underperform expectations.

The Impact Of Poor Performance

In the case of the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, the former were expected to lose heavily to the Edmonton Oilers in their opening round matchup. Instead, the Oilers lost to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games. As a result, the betting public was relieved that the Canucks lost the series and disappointed that the Bruins looked so vulnerable. These results can be attributed to a number of factors, but the main one is that the talent level in the Vancouver Canucks’ lineup is considerably lower than that of the Boston Bruins’. After the Vancouver Canucks lost the opener to the Edmonton Oilers, their chances of winning the series were effectively non-existent because it was widely anticipated that the Oilers were going to win easily. The same thing can be said of the Tampa Bay Lightning vs Anaheim Ducks match. The Lightning lost the opener 4–3 in overtime, which nobody saw coming. After this crushing defeat, the Lightning found it hard to mount a comeback and the betting public got wise to them. While the Tampa Bay Lightning are certainly a talented outfit, they do not compare to the Boston Bruins or the Edmonton Oilers.

Underdogs Usually Cover The Spread

When an underdog, or squad expected to lose, is pitted against an overwhelming favourite, or squad expected to win, the public almost always support the underdogs. The theory behind this theory is called the ‘over / under’ or ‘point spread’ theory. According to this theory, if a team believes they are going to lose, they will not show up, or will show up weakened and physically unable to perform at their best. For instance, if the Vegas Golden Knights were to lose to the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, it would not be a shocker to see the Shark’s roster heavily populated by Vegas’ opponents. The Golden Knights will have to counter this with a convincing campaign if they want to advance to the next round.

Making Money From Home

One of the great things about online sportsbooks is that they allow US residents to place bets from the comfort of their couches. This is great for those looking to make some extra cash on the side or for those who want to try their hand at a more mature form of gambling. For those who want to place bets from the comforts of home, online US betting sites offer an excellent opportunity to do so. This is something that is not possible in most sportsbooks because of restrictions imposed by the sports authorities. Most online sportsbooks are open to US players, which means that you can place bets with relative ease and security.