WILD BILL ANDARA TheRx – The easiest way to learn how to bet a sport that is new to you is to focus on narrowing down your options. If you initially pick out positive opportunities and start your handicapping from there, your chances of success increase significantly. A daunting task becomes much easier by limiting your scope.
LAS VEGAS – I know some people have avoided hockey betting like the plague. However, by following a simple limiting principle, a bettor new to the game can make some successful strides to becoming a winning NHL better.
One approach deals with streaks and the “luck” factor. People who don’t follow hockey don’t seem to comprehend this approach. One should expect each sport to have a set of quirks that sets it apart from the others. Hockey, from a betting perspective, really does have a completely different foundation.
Luck plays a huge role in game-to-game hockey results. Sure, luck does tend to even out, but it plays too big of a role in hockey to ignore.
Similar to baseball players failing more than seven out of 10 times at the plate, hockey players miss the net much of the time when they have a chance to score. If you bet on a team and it happens to be the night their shots hit the back of the net at a high percentage, you will cash your ticket. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean your team was more talented.
This luck angle makes it important for handicappers to consider how a team is running, but in a different way than most approach it. Teams can get lucky for some time, but percentages eventually even out. Unlike baseball, where exploiting long streaks can be profitable, hockey bettors usually do better wagering against streaks. Bettors who found “form” in other sports often find hockey unbeatable because hockey betting really should be based on different logic.
A hockey streak usually involves some luck. It seems a bit counterintuitive, but the best time to bet against a hockey team is often when it is playing at its best. Oddsmakers tend to quickly adjust for teams that appear to be playing well because they don’t want bettors wagering heavily on the hot team of the week.
When the bettor stops trying to fight luck and just lets it work for him, winning at hockey becomes much more likely. The way to use this logic is simple. Review team game logs and note any team that has won or lost five games in a row. In addition, study the ‘totals’ and find streaks of three games or more.
When you have found your targeted teams or ‘totals,’ only allow yourself to bet opposite the streaks. You probably will want to just make theoretical plays at first, or bet very small amounts if you need a sense of urgency. In any event, you will come to realize these are good spots to find solid values betting against the streak. Simply let the law of averages work for you.
Once you limit yourself to just a short list of potential plays, you can quickly develop other tools to use in handicapping a game. Factors such as offensive efficiency and schedule play similar roles in hockey as in other sports. If you don’t narrow your focus, you have far too much to figure out and learning becomes difficult.
Slowly build up your knowledge, starting from these potentially positive situations, and hockey might become a new weapon in your sports betting arsenal.
November 8, 2006