Welcome to the 2011-12 edition of NHL Sports Marketwatch, where the team at SportsInsights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the sports marketplace.
Overall Record= 1-0, 1.45 units
Hockey can be a very profitable sport to bet on when you base it off moneyline odds, especially when betting underdogs. The plus odds are a reason that NHL moneyline dogs can show value over time. Most people like to win and therefore overvalue winning teams. Our selections on moneyline underdogs will normally win less than 50%, but the plus odds payoff makes it a profitable investment.
Recapping Last Week
Last week’s NHL Marketwatch “Game to Watch” selection, the Carolina Hurricanes, came through with a 4-1 victory on the road over the defending champion Boston Bruins. Led by star goaltender Cam Ward (33 saves), the ‘Canes picked up goals from four different players to take down the heavily favored Bruins and give Marketwatch its first win of the season.
New Jersey Devils +152 over Los Angeles Kings
With the first month of the NHL season winding down, the New Jersey Devils (3-2-1, 7 pts) head to the Staples Center to take on the upstart Los Angeles Kings (5-1-1, 11 pts), with the puck being dropped at 10:30 PM ET. After opening the year with a 3-0 loss to the Flyers, the Devils have rebounded to win three of their last five games. Among the two losses suffered during that period, one of which came in a shootout against the mighty Sharks.
After a lackluster first season in New Jersey, star winger Ilya Kovalchuk has bounced back and is playing like his old lamp-lighting self thus far this season. The talented Russian currently leads the Devils offense with six points in six games (2 goals, 4 assists). The Devils have also gotten good production out of center Patrik Elias (3 goals, 2 assists) and captain Zach Parise (3 goals, 1 assist). However, the biggest surprise on the Devils’ roster has been 2011 4th-overall-pick Adam Larsson. The 6’2”, 197 lb Swedish defenseman made the team as an 18-year-old, which is hard to do, and has averaged nearly 24 minutes of ice time thus far, putting him second on the team behind Kovalchuk.
Defensively, Johan Hedberg has stepped in for the injured Martin Brodeur and performed well between the pipes in his absence. The former Penguin has a 3-1-1 overall record with an impressive 2.24 GAA and sparkling .923 save percentage. In addition, Hedberg has already had some success against the Kings this year. Less than two weeks ago he came on in relief of an injured Brodeur and stopped all 16 shots he faced, leading the Devils to a 2-1 shootout victory over LA.
Conversely, while the Kings have jumped out to a 5-1-1 record thus far, their margin of victory has not been huge, as three of their five victories have come by just one goal. In addition, it is expected that former UMASS netminder Jonathan Quick will be given the night off, forcing the Kings to rely on 23-year-old back-up Jonathan Bernier (0-1-0, 4.12 GAA, .846 SV %) to lead them to victory.
The Kings opened at -193 at Pinnacle and have dropped to -165 despite having a 66% advantage in public support for moneyline bets according to our Betting Trends. We have also received several system plays on the Devils over the past two days as well. BetOnline (1-0, 100%, +0.95 units) has triggered a Smart Money move on New Jersey +170, while Heritage (13-13, 50%, +0.47 units) has triggered a Steam Move on the Devils +170. We are taking the Devils +152 (Pinnacle) to upset the heavily favored Kings and keep NHL Marketwatch on the winning path.
Games to Watch (1-0, 1.45 units)
New Jersey Devils +152
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