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= 2-0, +2.97 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 New Jersey Devils, posted a 3-0 shutout victory at the Staples Center over the heavily favored Los Angeles Kings. The Devils scored all three of their goals in the second period, two of which came off the stick of playmaking veteran Dainius Zubrus. Patrik Elias also scored for New Jersey while Martin Brodeur’s back-up, Johan Hedberg, stopped all 31 shots that came his way to pick up his 18th career shutout and keep Marketwatch undefeated on the season.
Anaheim Ducks +153 over Washington Capitals
With the NHL season entering its second month of play, the Anaheim Ducks (5-5-1, 11 pts) invade the Verizon Center to take on the Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals (7-2-0, 14 pts), with the puck being dropped at 7:30 PM ET. After opening the year with a 4-1 overall record, the Ducks have lost five of their last six games and been outscored 19-11 along the way. However, among their five recent losses, one came in a shootout against the mighty Blackhawks while three other defeats were by two goals or less.
Offensively, Anaheim is a talented bunch that have yet to hit their stride. They currently rank 29th in goals scored, but with players like Teemu Selanne, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu and former 2nd overall pick Bobby Ryan pacing the top two lines, we view the Ducks as a snakebitten group littered with offensive firepower that is primed to break out of their goal-scoring slump any day now.
In addition, the Ducks have several talented puck-moving defensemen who have yet to hit their stride, led by Lubomir Visnovsky, Francois Beauchemin and Toni Lydman. Second-year blueliner Cam Fowler, who was taken 12th overall in the 2010 Draft, has also struggled thus far, registering just two helpers this season after scoring 10 goals and dishing out 30 assists as an 18-year-old rookie last season. Nonetheless, Fowler is averaging over 25 minutes of ice team each game, tops on the team.
Defensively, Jonas Hiller is the number one goaltender and boasts an impressive 93-65 career record with a 2.51 goals against average and stellar .920 save percentage. This season, Hiller’s stats aren’t eye-popping (4-4-1, 2.55, .904), however his numbers haven’t been entirely indicative of his overall performance. Simply put, Hiller has gotten little to no offensive support.
Conversely, the Capitals remain one of the most popular teams in the league thanks to their plethora of star power (ie. Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin). And while it is true that the Caps sit atop the league standings, they have hit a mini-skid as of late, losing two in a row after starting off the season 7-0. Helping out our case, while the Ducks are relatively healthy, several of Washington’s best players are banged up heading into this showdown. Defenseman Mike Green, one of the Caps’ best offensive weapons on the blue line, has been ruled out of this contest with an ankle injury, while veteran center Jeff Halpern is listed as doubtful and enforcer Jay Beagle is questionable with a concussion.
The Capitals opened at -195 at Pinnacle and have dropped to -166 despite having a 65% advantage in public support for moneyline bets according to our Betting Trends. We have also received several system plays on the Ducks over the past 24 hours, highlighted by a Smart Money move on Anaheim +180 from Cris [Cigar] (5-4, 55%, +1.79 units).
We are buying the Ducks while they’re low and taking them +153 (Pinnacle) to upset the heavily favored Capitals and keep NHL Marketwatch on the winning path.
Games to Watch (2-0, +2.97 units)
Anaheim Ducks +153
Enjoy the games!