Home ice advantage in the NHL is thought to be one of the most important advantages in all of sport, with a loud arena combining with a team’s own nuances to create interesting atmospheres that make it difficult for opponents to compete in. But for sports bettors, just how important is home ice advantage? The answer to that question is a little nuanced, but for the most part the NHL is a league where the perception of home ice doesn’t always mesh with the reality. A look at the statistics can help illuminate the effectiveness of home ice advantage in professional hockey.In the NHL, it might be harder to win at home at a high rate than it is in the majority of major sports leagues. But there are more teams that finish each season with records above .500 at home than there are in most sports.
In each of the last two seasons, just five teams have finished the year with records below .500 through the regular season. However, it is less likely to see a team finish the year with a spectacular home record despite that consistently solid home record across the league.
Over the same two year period, only seven teams combined finished the year with less than 10 losses at home over the course of those seasons. This means that there were a vast majority of teams in the NHL that had winning records at home for the season that lost 10 or more games at home. With a large number of teams with winning home records, bettors have to remember that home wins in the NHL are still far from a guarantee.
As is the case with most NHL betting opportunities, understanding when to wager on a team is imperative. The NHL is a league where injuries are a huge part of the game due to the physical nature of the sport. And if a key player is not at 100% due to one of those injuries, that could easily outweigh any of the advantages that a team might have from playing at home.
Additionally, teams frequently switch goaltenders throughout the season to make sure that their goalies are fresh for the games that matter later in the season. Keeping an eye on which goalie will be playing in each game is vital no matter which team is at home, as a backup netminder could be more susceptible to letting goals in than a starter.
And, it should go without saying, but understanding how teams perform on the road against home teams could reveal opportune times to bet on home squads in the NHL. If a team is near the bottom of the league on the road, a bettor could get the home team at odds that are still somewhat favorable given the occasionally random nature of hockey. At the very least, having knowledge of home and road splits for each team is a good idea to take advantage of opportunities that may arise and where a good sportsbook can help. Just like the following sites.
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