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Round One Betting Preview

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NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As some of you may have heard, the Oilers will play the Winnipeg Jets in the best-of-seven series that begins tomorrow. For some, the games themselves will provide enough excitement, but, for others, like people who have competed in the X Games or whatnot, a little extra action may appeal to you.

The Lines:

Game 1 Moneyline: Oilers (1.64), Jets (2.35)

Implied probability: Oilers (59%), Jets (41%)

To win series: Oilers (1.57), Jets (2.55)

Implied Probability: Oilers (62%), Jets (38%)

Public Forecast Projections:

My Model Game 1: Oilers (58%), Jets (42%)

My Model Series Outcome: Oilers (67%), Jets (33%) Game 1: Oilers (61%), Jets (39%) Series Outcome: Oilers (70%), Jets (30%)

Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic Series Outcome: Oilers (54%), Jets (36%)


It’s interesting to me that Bet 365 has the Oilers at 59% to win game one, but only 62% to win the series. The only reasonable explanation for that (outside of a price that’s moved to protect liability), is that they are factoring in home-ice advantage. My assumption throughout the year has been that home-ice is virtually non-existent in the North Division, due to the absence of fans.

I’m also glad to see that MoneyPuck’s game and series probabilities both look similar to mine, which would indicate a lack of accounting (intentionally) for home-ice.

However, I’m less excited about the fact that Dom’s model seems lower on the Oilers than MoneyPuck or my model is. His model was the best of the public forecasting models throughout the regular season.

Still, the gambling industry remains the gold standard for hockey modelling, so it’s encouraging to be as close to them as I am for game lines. But, considering the discrepancies between the game and series lines, I would offer this suggestion:

If the above information (or or preconceived feelings) have convinced you to bet on the Oilers, I would urge you to do so on the series outright rather than the game lines, as there’s more relative value there.

However, if you are convinced that the Jets are the team to bet on (perhaps to hedge your happiness a bit, as an Oilers fan), the best route to go would be to place small bets on individual games, as there’s more relative value there than there is on the series.

Forecasting the other series (or the remainder of the series when applicable):

Toronto vs Montreal: Leafs (69%), Habs (31%)

Colorado (currently up 1-0) vs St. Louis: Avs (96%), Blues (4%)

Vegas (currently down 0-1) vs. Minnesota: Golden Knights (52%), Wild (48%)

Tampa Bay (currently up 1-0) vs Florida: Lightning (69%), Panthers (31%)

Carolina (currently up 1-0) vs Nashville: Hurricanes (88%), Predators (12%)

Boston (currently tied 1-1) vs Washington: Bruins (56%), Capitals (44%)

New York Islanders (currently up 1-0) vs Pittsburgh: Isles (73%), Pens (27%)

Best of luck, folks!