2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: An Oddsmakers Take

2014-15 Fantasy Hockey: An Oddsmakers Take

Before the start of the current NFL season, we published a series of articles evaluating which fantasy football players were being undervalued according to oddsmakers. By comparing various prop betting opportunities with the Yahoo! Sports fantasy rankings, we were able to pinpoint the most under/overrated quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.

Although hockey is clearly the least popular of the six major US sports leagues in terms of number of bets, we’ve had a surprising amount of individuals asking whether we would be publishing a fantasy hockey preview based on oddsmakers’ projections. We were unsure whether such analysis would be possible until earlier this week when Bovada posted an over/under on total points (goals plus assists) for over one hundred different players.

By comparing these player props with the 2014-15 point projections at Yahoo! Sports, we’re able to determine which players are being mispriced by the supposed fantasy experts. The table below compares these Bovada totals with Yahoo! projections and will be updated if any additional sportsbooks post their odds.

Note: Players must play in Game 1 of the season for action

PlayerTeamPointsYahoo Projection
Sidney CrosbyPIT104.5104
Steven StamkosTB92.593
Evgeni MalkinPIT89.593
John TavaresNYI86.586
Claude GirouxPHI85.586
Patrick KaneCHI82.586
Nicklas BackstromWAS82.570
Taylor HallEDM81.583
Phil KesselTOR80.581
Ryan GetzlafANA80.581
Tyler SeguinDAL80.581
Alex OvechkinWAS77.575
Corey PerryANA75.575
Jonathan ToewsCHI74.574
Jamie BennDAL74.576
Anze KopitarLA73.575
Matt DucheneCOL72.573
Joe ThorntonSJ71.571
Jordan EberleEDM71.572
Patrick SharpCHI69.570
Erik KarlssonOTT68.578
Joe PavelskiSJ68.566
Nathan MacKinnonCOL67.577
Kyle OkposoNYI67.569
Gabriel LandeskogCOL67.567
Zach PariseMIN66.567
Max PaciorettyMON64.565
Jason SpezzaDAL64.565
Jakub VoracekPHI64.554
Eric StaalCAR64.565
Logan CoutureSJ63.564
Martin St. LouisNYR63.563
Ryan JohansenCLB63.561
Alexander SeminCAR63.546.5
Blake WheelerWPG62.564
Patrick MarleauSJ62.564
David KrejciBOS62.563
Chris KunitzPIT62.563
Henrik SedinVAN62.551
Jeff SkinnerCAR62.563
Patrice BergeronBOS62.563
P.K. SubbanMON62.569
Ryan Nugent-HopkinsEDM61.554
Daniel SedinVAN61.557
T.J. OshieSTL59.560
Henrik ZetterbergDET59.561
Paul StastnySTL59.560
James van RiemsdykTOR59.566
Thomas VanekMIN58.560
Milan LucicBOS58.561
Kyle TurrisOTT57.555
Bryan LittleWPG57.559
Gustav NyquistDET57.559
Shea WeberNAS56.557
Mikko KoivuMIN56.558
Dustin ByfuglienWPG56.556
Jaromir JagrNJ56.551
Nazem KadriTOR54.552
Mark GiordanoCAL54.551
Wayne SimmondsPHI54.556
Ryan KeslerANA54.555
Bobby RyanOTT53.555
Valtteri FilppulaTB53.554
Keith YandleARI53.557
Vladimir TarasenkoSTL53.555
Tyler BozakTOR52.545
Rick NashNYR52.551
Andrew LaddWPG52.555
Cody HodgsonBUF52.554
Marian GaborikLA51.553
Ryan CallahanTB51.552
James NealNAS51.562
Matt MoulsonBUF51.558
Radim VrbataVAN50.546
Jeff CarterLA50.552
Brandon DubinskyCLB50.552
David DesharnaisMON50.546
Brad MarchandBOS50.552
Michael CammalleriNJ50.552
Mike RibeiroNAS50.542
Clarke MacArthurOTT50.548
Scott HartnellCLB49.556
David PerronEDM49.550
Jiri HudlerCAL48.550
Frans NielsenNYI48.549
Chris KreiderNYR48.543
Tyler EnnisBUF48.555
Johan FranzenDET48.548
Jonathan HuberdeauFLA47.544
Tomas HertlSJ47.545
Evander KaneWPG47.545
Mikkel BoedkerARI47.548
Jussi JokinenFLA46.547
Aleksander BarkovFLA46.548
Justin WilliamsLA45.539
P.A. ParenteauMON45.541
Travis ZajacNJ44.546
Joffrey LupulTOR44.541
Curtis GlencrossCAL43.545
Sean MonahanCAL43.543
Drew DoughtyLA42.550
Marcus JohanssonWAS41.541
Milan MichalekOTT41.539
Nick BoninoVAN41.542
Nail YakupovEDM41.541
Alexander EdlerVAN40.543
Alex GalchenyukMON40.540
Mikael BacklundCAL40.540
Zdeno CharaBOS39.540
Sam GagnerARI39.539

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Sidney Crosby at the top of both the Bovada totals and Yahoo! projections considering that he led the NHL in points last season with 104. Similarly, oddsmakers and fantasy gurus seem to agree across the board on the top six selections:

  1. Sidney Crosby
  2. Steven Stamkos
  3. Evgeni Malkin
  4. John Tavares
  5. Claude Giroux
  6. Patrick Kane

However, once we reach number seven on this list we see a vast discrepancy. While Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom is projected by Yahoo! to tally just 70 points next season (tied for 21st), Bovada estimated that the crafty Swede will score 82.5 points (tied for 6th best odds). This 12.5 point gap between our two sources indicates that Backstrom should be one of the best sleepers in fantasy hockey if he can maintain a respectable plus/minus, but what other players should be targeted?


  1. Carolina F Alexander Semin: +17 (Bovada 63.5, Yahoo 46.5)
  2. Canucks C Henrik Sedin: +11.5 (Bovada 62.5, Yahoo 51)
  3. Philadelphia F Jakub Voracek: +10.5 (Bovada 64.5, Yahoo 54)
  4. Nashville F Mike Ribeiro: +8.5 (Bovada 50.5, Yahoo 42)
  5. Edmonton C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: +7.5 (Bovada 61.5, Yahoo 54)
  6. Toronto C Tyler Bozak: +7.5 (Bovada 52.5, Yahoo 45)


  1. Nashville F James Neal: -10.5 (Bovada 51.5, Yahoo 62)
  2. Ottawa D Erik Karlsson: -9.5 (Bovada 68.5, Yahoo 78)
  3. Avalanche F Nathan MacKinnon: -9.5 (Bovada 67.5, Yahoo 77)
  4. Los Angeles D Drew Doughty (Bovada 42.5, Yahoo 50)
  5. Montreal D P.K. Subban: -6.5 (Bovada 62.5, Yahoo 69)
  6. Toronto F James van Riemsdyk: -6.5 (Bovada 59.5, Yahoo 66)
  7. Buffalo F Matt Moulson: -6.5 (Bovada 51.5, Yahoo 58)

Perhaps the most interesting player on the “Busts” list is Nashville Predators LW James Neal. The 27-year old was dealt from the Penguins to the Predators in the off-season after tallying 88 goals in 3 seasons with Pittsburgh. However, Neal will no longer have the luxury of playing with Sidney Crosby — arguably the best playmaking center in the league. On an inferior team with less talent surrounding him, Neal owners should expect a drop in goals, assists and plus/minus. It will also be interesting to see whether his penalty minutes (which, in the past, have been a nice bonus from a big-time goal scorer) wane as a result of his new role with his new team.

While Neal tops our do-not-draft list, another left winger ranks as our most undervalued player. Although Alexander Semin has struggled to stay healthy in recent years, he’s still just 30-years old and, prior to 2012, had seasons of 21, 28, 40, 34, 26 and 38 goals. While Yahoo fantasy experts believe Semin is over-the-hill (they project just 46.5 points in 2014-15), Bovada’s over/under of 63.5 puts him on par with star players like Martin St. Louis, Patrick Marleau and David Krejci.

Which players do you think are being undervalued? Will you be taking any of these player props over at Bovada? Please leave any thoughts, questions or comments in the section below.

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David Solar

David was the Content Manager at Sports Insights. He has since moved on to greener pastures.

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