The “New NHL” & Betting Against the Public (2005-2006 Season)

The new NHL Season is set to start but is almost lost in the excitement of the new football season — and the baseball playoffs.  Some sports investors, however, look forward to the NHL and NBA Seasons as “more abundant” profit opportunities.  The hockey and basketball regular seasons generate many more games than football.  SO — let’s see how SportsInsight’s approach of Betting Against the Public fares in the NHL.

Note that the NHL entered a “New Era” for the 2005-2006 Season, instituting some major rule changes after the previous year’s strike.  Major changes such as overtime and the shootout have eliminated “ties.”  Our article reflects these changes and uses only data from the “New NHL’s” 2005-2006 Season.  The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited.

NHL Moneyline Results

Although last year’s rule changes limit our data to the 2005-2006 NHL Season, this still leaves us with a very reasonable 1500 games.  Sports that primarily use moneylines, such as baseball and hockey (as opposed to sports like football and basketball, which use point spreads) often create debates about which strategy is best.  Some bettors like to focus on home dogs.  Others like taking big favorites, figuring they will win most of the time.  Confusion about how moneylines work — as well as the public’s general tendency to favorites — has historically created a bias towards betting on underdogs.

Here, we present the results of betting on the home team at various moneyline ranges during the 2005-2006 NHL Season.

Table 1 – NHL 2005-2006 Moneyline Results (Betting on Home Team at Various Odds)

Home Team Moneyline Units W/L ROI Win % Avg Odds Notes
-999 to +999 -1.6 -0.1% 57.1% -120 All Home Teams
-999 to -100 +7.7 +0.9% 62.5% -158 All Home Favorites
-999 to -200 -8.9 -3.8% 69.4% -252 Large Home Favorites
-200 to -100 +16.0 2.5% 59.7% -139 Smaller Home Favorites
+100 to +999 -9.3 -3.0% 41.5% +141 All Home Dogs
+100 to +150 +3.5 2.3% 47.7% +115 Small Home Dogs
+150 to +200 -12.1 -12.0% 34.7% +156
+200 to +999 -2.4 -8.8% 29.6% +222 Large Home Dogs

There is no clear-cut winning strategy based on the chart above.  There might be a bias towards small home favorites.  However, we would emphasize that results are only from one season and the number of games in some of the “buckets” may be relatively small.

Betting Against the Public — NHL

Last year, near mid-season, we took a look at how “Betting Against the Public” fared in the -170 to +170 (Home odds) range.  We used this range because this is where we had the most data — and where the data seemed the most “robust.”  Since this method worked well, we stayed with this approach and have updated the results below.

For the entire season, the results continued to earn a profit and solidified our comfort level of Betting Against the Public in the NHL and other sports.  Results like this (+40 units, 12% ROI) might be hard to sustain, but we believe these results highlight two factors:

  • Contrarian approaches can help investors identify “value.”
  • The NHL market might be “less efficient,” offering more biases and profit opportunities for “sharp” sports investors.

We hope you will use this and other SportsInsights tools to help you invest in the sports marketplace.  Our Premium and Premium Pro Members can access even more tools to make the upcoming NHL, NBA, and College Basketball Seasons — as well as current NFL and College Football Seasons — “profitable Sports Investing campaigns.

Table 2: NHL and Betting Against the Public (-170 to +170 Range)

Betting % Units W/L ROI Win % Avg Odds
50%  +32.8 4.6% 50.7% +111
45%  +37.4 7.0% 51.2% +114
40% +41.6 11.5% 52.5% +116
35% +26.5 12.8% 52.2% +120


We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist. It is impossible to predict the future. Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time. Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself. We do not guarantee our data is error-free. However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.