This weekend’s NHL action is highlighted by the Detroit Red Wings, who take an 18-game winning streak at Joe Louis Arena into Friday (2/10) night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks. They are approaching the NHL record of 20 consecutive home wins which is shared by both the 1929 Bruins and 1975 Flyers and have not lost at home in over 3 months — the last loss coming on November 3, 2011 against Calgary. While the Wings are scorching-hot at home, the Ducks are on a surge of their own, earning 24 points over the last 16 games in trying to get out of the Western Conference gutter.
Detroit opened as a -210 favorite at the market-setting CRIS sportsbook and, according to Sports Insights’ NHL Betting Trends, is currently receiving 80% of moneyline wagers. Despite the public pounding the hometown Red Wings, the line has dropped down to -180 at CRIS and -170 at sportsbooks such as BetOnline and Wynn. This reverse-line movement is indicating that Sharp Money has taken the visiting Ducks, which is represented by a positive Smart Money play on Anaheim triggered at ABC (14-13, +3.54 units on the year). Lines will differ from book to book, so be sure to shop for the best line prior to the puck being dropped.
In addition to a strong Smart Money move on Anaheim, a Steam Move play was made on the Ducks, triggered by CRIS (99-72, +16.05 units) which is this year’s most successful book in the NHL.
This year’s NHL Betting Against the Public article details the profitable points for contrarian betting between 2005 and 2011, and teams receiving less than 40% of moneyline bets had won 75.8 units, or a 1.6% return on investment. Dropping that percentage to 35% of moneyline bets yields an even higher rate of return of 3.6%, good for +118.8 units over that span. The article also indicated that visiting teams are undervalued, so keep an eye out for Anaheim as a potential Best Bet or Square Play for this evening.
The following table shows the breakdown of moneyline betting percentages from our six contributing sportsbooks: