Why Has Contrarian NHL Betting Been So Historically Profitable?

With the NHL set to begin a 48-game season this weekend, we took advantage of our Bet Labs software to update our NHL betting against the public analysis.

Our database includes closing moneylines from Pinnacle and moneyline NHL Betting Trends data for all regular and postseason games since the start of the 2005 season.

Due to the number of games each NHL season and the plus-money payouts of moneyline underdogs, NHL bettors with an edge (like those betting against the public) enjoy many opportunities to cash in on that edge.

The results below show both units won and ROI (return on investment) when betting against the public at specific betting percentage levels.

Table 1: NHL Betting Against the Public

Betting Percentage Number of Games Units Won ROI
45% 7,649 +83.71 +1.1%
35% 4,380 +109.56 +2.5%
25%  1,733 +57.75 +3.3%

As you can see, betting on NHL teams receiving 35% or less of moneyline wagers has resulted in almost +110 units won. Filtering this down and only betting teams at the 25% level drops units won to +57.75, but the decrease in games actually improves the ROI to +3.3%.

While those results are impressive on their own, NHL betting against the public has been even more profitable when focusing strictly on visiting teams.

Table 2:  NHL Visitors and Betting Against the Public

Betting Percentage Number of Games Units Won ROI
45%  4,369 +97.33 +2.2%
35%  2,555 +97.25 +3.8%
25%  1,017 +57.19 +5.6%

By omitting home teams, there isn’t much of a drop-off in units won at each betting percentage level, but we once again decrease the number of wagers needed to achieve those results, improving our ROI even further.

While these results are already quite profitable, we can continue to increase ROI by using Bet Labs’ Moneyline List filter to analyze specific moneyline levels.

The table below builds on the same filters as Table 2, but only includes teams who closed between +105 and +200 moneyline underdogs.

Table 3:  NHL Visitors and Betting Against the Public (+105 to +200 Underdogs)

Betting Percentage Number of Games Units Won ROI
45%  3,387 +46.50 +1.4%
35%  1,891 +96.27 +5.1%
25%  660 +58.10 +8.8%

If you’re interested in doing this analysis or creating your own data-driven NHL Betting Systems, we invite you request a free live demo of our Bet Labs software.

18 comments on “Why Has Contrarian NHL Betting Been So Historically Profitable?
  1. To answer the question posed in the headline, I don’t think has been profitable in recent history (last 3 seasons). A major red flag IMO when evaluating any system that relies on historical anomalous behavior.

    • I went ahead and updated the research to include only the last three NHL seasons.

      Since the start of the 2009 season, NHL visitors who received 35% or less of moneyline bets and closed between +105 and +200 underdogs won +42.25 units for a +3.9% ROI.

      In fact, 2006-07 (-7.1 units and -4.2% ROI) was the only losing season for the above criteria, dating back to the 2005 season.

  2. Just to be clear, the data refers to public betting % at OR BELOW those listed? For example does less than 25% theoretically go down to a betting % below 10% public support?

    • You’re 100% correct Jay. The “25% level” refers to all teams that received between 0% and 25% of moneyline bets, according to our NHL Betting Trends data.

  3. It would be interesting to take it one step further to determine if there is a specific + money range that is more profitable as well. Saying +105 to +200 is a huge range. Is there any way to break it down to Visitors at 35% or less between +105 and +125, between +126 and +150, between +151 and +175 and between +176 and +200?

    • If you’re interested in doing further analysis, our Bet Labs software does allow members to break this down all the way to 5-cent intervals. For example, you could look at only +105 to +110 dogs or add a couple more and look at +105 to +120 dogs.

  4. Could you show breakdown by months please? It’s clear on the chart that you have winning streaks (probably each october, the beginning of the season when lines are not sharp) ? Or i could be wrong, the scale of the chart makes it hard to see which months were profitable and which were losing on NHL?

    Thanks for great research.

    • Hey Jason, the percentages on our Free NHL Betting Trends page are puckline betting percentages.

      If you’re interested in testing out a free 7 day trial that includes moneyline percentages, I’d be happy to help you get setup.

      Feel free to email me personally at pj@sportsinsights.com if you have any questions.

    • I haven’t run the actual numbers yet, but just with the eye test it hasn’t gotten off to a great start.

      While this system has been very profitable, it has had losing losing streaks and even one losing season since 2005, so we stress long-term strategy with it.

    • I did this research earlier and the last three years have actually been profitable at the 35% level.

      Since the start of the 2009 season, NHL visitors who received 35% or less of moneyline bets and closed between +105 and +200 underdogs won +42.25 units for a +3.9% ROI.

      In fact, 2006-07 (-7.1 units and -4.2% ROI) was the only losing season for the above criteria, dating back to the 2005 season.

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