When betting on the NHL, it can sometimes be hard to find value in a group that is either heavily preferred or is a major underdog on the moneyline. Luckily for us, most sportsbooks give us a puckline, that’s precisely the same idea as a point spread in sport such as football and basketball. The difference, obviously, is that dents from hockey are considerably lower and the spread is almost always set at 1.5. This implies that in order to cash a spread bet, a favorite must win by an underdog shouldn’t lose by more than one.
Each week I will update every team’s puckline records and gains as we progress throughout the 2016-17 season. Below is an analysis of some of the best puckline tendencies in the NHL and a table comprising each team’s puckline record.
Here is one team to target and a single group to fade during the last week of playwith. Team into TargetToronto Maple Leafs: Although not the most profitable puckline team from the league, the Maple Leafs have among the best spread records in the league with 43 puckline victories. They have five games to play this week and they will need to win nearly every one to ensure a spot in the playoffs.
The games on their docket seem tough on the surface as they’ll watch the Capitals, Lightning, Penguins and Blue Jackets but with all but one of these teams clinching a postseason berth, the Leafs will probably face a reasonable share of copy goaltending down the stretch.
Additionally, you’re going to be getting more than enough value in those games when the Leafs are deemed the favorite because the people will still bet on the big-market teams that have won annually.
Team to FadePittsburgh Penguins: It has been well over a week since the Penguins got a puckline triumph and I’m expecting they complete the regular season without another one. They will be playing some desperate teams and they’re a banged-up squad.
At this point, it is unlikely they catch the Caps and their matchup with the Blue Jackets is all but secured in. They’d probably want to finish in second and get home-ice benefit for the first round but with Kris Letang still on the shelf, that might not be a possibility.
Note: This article was published on Monday, April 3, and will be updated every week during the regular season.

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