All posts by Alex Moretto

2019-20 NHL season betting review: Most profitable home teams

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Home-ice advantage is a term that's thrown around a lot in sports. While it's important to be aware of home/road splits when it comes to betting, they don't offer much of an edge, as oddsmakers generally factor them heavily into the lines.

Still, some teams did a much better job than others of defending home ice this season. If you had bet $100 on every home team this year, here are the profits that the most successful ones would have earned.

1. Philadelphia Flyers, +$1,272

No team came close to rivaling the Flyers' success at home this season. With a 25-10 straight up record, their 71.4% win percentage was the league's best. Oddsmakers never did quite adjust. Philadelphia had an average line of just -137 at Wells Fargo Center this season - 15th among home rinks - netting the $100 bettor a hefty $1,272 in profits.

2. Los Angeles Kings, +$674

Despite only having the league's 12th-best home record, the Kings rewarded their backers with a nice return, largely thanks to an average line of +112 at the Staples Center - only the Ottawa Senators (+124) and Detroit Red Wings (+165) had lower lines on home ice. What really bumped the Kings up this list, however, was rattling off six successive home wins before the season was suspended. Los Angeles earned the $100 bettor $780 in profits over that stretch, heading into it with a negative ROI on the campaign.

3. Vancouver Canucks, +$520

Home ice was kind to the Canucks this season, who sported a 22-13 SU record at Rogers Arena - only five teams had a better win percentage. Like the Flyers, oddsmakers didn't show Vancouver the respect they should have, as the Canucks sported an average line of -129 at home, which was 18th in the NHL.

4. Buffalo Sabres, +$392

The Sabres were solid at home but far from spectacular. Buffalo posted a 20-15 SU record at KeyBank Center, netting a profit thanks to its success as a home underdog. The Sabres were 10-8 as 'dogs this season, netting $397 in profit. As home favorites, however, they lost bettors $5.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins, +$361

Despite boasting the NHL's second-best home record this season, the Penguins place fifth on this list thanks to an average line of -175. Interestingly, the Pens sported the same SU record on home ice as the St. Louis Blues (23-12), who had a lower average line (-167). Pittsburgh still netted a marginally higher profit, as it picked its spots well.

Other teams to net a profit on home ice this season included the Blues (+$356), Senators (+$333), Columbus Blue Jackets (+$135), Tampa Bay Lightning (+$85), Winnipeg Jets (+$35), Minnesota Wild (+$17), and New York Rangers (+$7)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

2019-20 NHL season betting review: Most profitable underdogs

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Yesterday, we dove into the favorites that were most kind to bettors this season. Today, we'll break down the teams that were most profitable as underdogs.

Note: Profits listed for $100 bettor

1. New York Rangers, +$1,323

The season's most profitable 'dog resides in the Big Apple. The Rangers were underdogs an overwhelming 54 times, as oddsmakers never quite believed in them. The team found success as a home 'dog, turning a profit with an 11-11 record, but did most of its damage on the road. Away from Madison Square Garden, the Rangers went 17-15 as underdogs with an average line of +150, turning a profit of $1,009 for the $100 bettor. That was largely thanks to a run of eight successive victories between Jan. 16 and Feb. 27 (+$965).

2. Edmonton Oilers, +$1,268

The Oilers sit just behind the Rangers in terms of profit despite a better winning percentage (23-18, 56.1%). Inconsistency and unpredictability were a common theme for Edmonton this season, as the team would lose to an opponent like the Sabres one night and then beat the Bruins the next. Like the Rangers, the Oilers experienced most of their success as 'dogs on the road, where they posted a 19-14 record for a profit of +$1,237.

3. Colorado Avalanche, +$701

The Avalanche didn't have nearly as many opportunities as underdogs, but they enjoyed plenty of success when given those chances. Additionally, with an average line of +120, the Avs weren't priced particularly high when they were 'dogs, but they were efficient when their price climbed. As underdogs of +130 or longer, Colorado went 3-1, including a 6-2 victory in Tampa at +179.

4. Dallas Stars, +$659

With an underdog record of 13-10, Dallas comes in fourth on this list. The Stars were decent early in the season as 'dogs, posting a 6-6 record (+$148). After firing head coach Jim Montgomery, they improved their play in this spot, embarking on a 7-4 underdog run (+$511) to close out the season.

5. Washington Capitals, +$611

No team produced a better winning percentage as 'dogs than the Capitals, who posted a 9-4 record (69.2%) in this spot. However, low volume relegates them to fifth on this list. Washington started the season on a 7-1 run when priced as the underdog.

There were nine other teams that returned profits as 'dogs in 2019-20: the Predators (+$521), Jets (+$498), Blues (+$431), Canucks (+$194), Hurricanes (+$160), Lightning (+$133), Blue Jackets (+$131), Penguins (+$69), and Panthers (+$27)

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

2019-20 NHL season betting review: Most profitable favorites

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Everyone wants to hit on that lottery ticket, or be the one at the end of the night saying "I told you so" when that +240 underdog cashes.

But there's an art to picking favorites as well, and being able to identify which ones to back. Here are the favorites that most rewarded bettors during the 2019-20 regular season.

Note: Profits listed for $100 bettor

1. Philadelphia Flyers, +$1,136

When it comes to profitable favorites, the Flyers were in a league of their own this season. No team sported a better record or return on investment than Philadelphia, who were an astounding 23-8 (74.2%) when favored. The Flyers were an even more impressive 17-4 (81%) when laying at least -130. They were consistently profitable as home favorites, posting a 19-5 (+$1,105) record in that spot, compared to just 4-3 (+$31) on the road. They closed out the season on an 8-0 run as favorites.

2. Minnesota Wild, +$494

A surprising inclusion on this list, the Wild returned the second-highest profit as favorites this season. That being said, they were barely in the plus column entering the final week of February. However, Minnesota closed out the season on a 5-1 run as favorites to thrust it into second on this list, finishing the year with a 21-12 record when laying juice.

3. Boston Bruins, +$452

The Bruins were favored 61 times through 70 games this season and were the owners of the league's second-best win percentage as favorites, posting a 41-20 record. Still, with an average line of -182, betting $100 on the Bruins every time they were favored would have only netted a profit of $452. That's a long walk for a short drink of water.

4. Los Angeles Kings, +$220

It's probably safe to assume no one expected the Kings on this list. Los Angeles was favored 11 times this season and won seven of them, but that was enough for a small profit thanks to an average line of just -128. The Kings were 4-0 when laying at least -130.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins, +$200

It speaks to the volatility that comes with backing favorites consistently that the Penguins are so high on this list despite yielding the $100 bettor just $200 in profits over 49 games as a favorite, finishing with a 31-18 record. Road deficiencies prevented the Penguins from being higher on this list. They were just 8-7 (-$261) when favored away from home, compared to 23-11 (+$461) at PPG Paints Arena.

The St. Louis Blues (+$168), Chicago Blackhawks (+$130), Florida Panthers (+$114), and Winnipeg Jets (+$42) were the only other teams that returned a profit as favorites this season.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Stanley Cup odds: Reviewing our best, worst calls

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At a couple of points this season, I dove into the updated Stanley Cup odds and used analytics to suggest the best teams to buy low and sell high.

Depending on which advice you chose to follow, you either loved me or hated me up until the season was suspended. If you bet the Florida Panthers, you should probably stop reading now. Sorry.

The best

Nov. 28: Buy Vegas Golden Knights at 14-1

My thesis: "This is a Stanley Cup-caliber team that's playing much better than its record indicates. With a legitimate stud goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury and a deep roster in front of him, Vegas will go on a run anytime now. Once that happens, good luck finding 14-1 anywhere."

I scooped the Golden Knights up at 14-1 and never found a better price throughout the season. I was feeling great about this bet a couple of weeks ago when Vegas had won 11 of 13 games and was as short as 7-1 ... but we all know what happened next.

Dec. 4: Sell Winnipeg Jets at 20-1

My thesis: "You could do a lot better than Winnipeg at 20-1. The Jets have no business being priced alongside the likes of the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, or Philadelphia Flyers."

From Dec. 4 on, the Jets had a losing record and were on pace to narrowly miss the playoffs. They currently have 66-1 odds to win the Cup.

Nov. 28: Buy Colorado Avalanche at 16-1

My thesis: "You can expect a deep playoff run from this team, which began the season with 12-1 odds. Those odds will be a lot shorter come January, at the latest, so hop on at 16-1 while you still can."

The Avalanche certainly looked poised for a Cup run. They went 28-13-5 after this was written and had 8-1 odds when the season was suspended. Getting them at double that? Talk about good timing.

The worst

Nov. 28: Buy Florida Panthers at 25-1

My thesis: "Sergei Bobrovsky is too good of a goaltender for these issues to continue, and Joel Quenneville is a master behind the bench. The Panthers are loaded with talent at forward and they possess a strong top four in defense. All the ingredients for a Cup run are there."

This pick was worse than any of the above selections were good. Nothing I said about the Panthers was wrong, technically, but does it really matter? Bobrovsky's struggles absolutely continued, Quenneville couldn't iron out the issues, and despite the talent on the roster, this team just never became what I expected. If you're looking for stock, the Panthers are currently at 75-1. Good thing I bought low ...

Dec. 4: Sell St. Louis Blues at 10-1

My thesis: "St. Louis is certainly due for regression, but it's hard to doubt this team. If anything, the Blues are a prime example of advanced stats telling only part of the story. They have a deep roster, a great goalie, and perhaps an even better coach. Still, it would be naive to throw these stats out the window. This isn't to say bettors should back off the Blues entirely, but they should exercise caution, especially at such a short price."

Maybe this wasn't terrible? Of course, regression never even ventured into the state of Missouri. The Blues, currently at 9-1, kept rolling and looked primed for another run at the Cup. I deserve all the slander that comes my way for blatantly ignoring my instincts and backing off the defending champions because of a couple advanced stats.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL value bets: Reviewing our best, worst preseason predictions

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A day before the 2019-20 NHL season began, we gave out 12 fearless value bets for the campaign. It was essentially a "bold predictions" article.

Let's revisit all of those predictions, working our way from the worst of the bunch to the best.

Sharks to win the Stanley Cup (25-1)

Not only were the Sharks NOT going to win the Cup this season, but they were in pole position to finish last in the Western Conference.

Erik Karlsson to win the Norris (8-1)

A broken thumb cut Karlsson's season short, but he wasn't anywhere near the Norris conversation through 56 games.

Panthers to win the Eastern Conference (9-1)

Why do I get the feeling that while Sergei Bobrovsky struggled on the ice, his handicap drastically improved away from it?

Blues to miss the playoffs (5-2)

I led this section off by writing, "I have nothing but respect and admiration for Blues coach Craig Berube." I proceeded to bet against him. That was foolish.

John Gibson to win the Vezina (26-1)

Show this pick to the next person who tells you to bet on talent over opportunity. Gibson is one of the most talented goalies in the world, yet the Ducks made him look like Robert Esche.

Penguins to miss the playoffs (8-5)

I mean, it still could have happened, right? This is all Tristan Jarry's fault.

Coyotes to make the playoffs (6-5)

The Coyotes were on track for the playoffs before a trade for Taylor Hall curiously derailed their season. Something tells me Hall and Phil Kessel could be joining Bobrovsky on the PGA Tour soon.

Hurricanes to win the Metro Division (4-1)

The Hurricanes weren't on track to win the division, but if the season eventually resumes, I still think they're capable of big things.

Canucks to make the playoffs (9-5), Flames to miss the playoffs (2-1), Jets to miss the playoffs (10-13)

I think at least two of these bets would have cashed if the season wasn't suspended, but the point of this was to show I was higher on the Canucks and lower on the Flames and Jets than most, and I'm feeling pretty good about all of that right now.

Nathan MacKinnon to win the Hart (14-1)

MacKinnon was having an MVP-caliber season and was all the way down to +250 in the Hart Trophy odds. If not for Leon Draisaitl, he would have been a lock.

Devils to miss the playoffs (10-11), Islanders to miss the playoffs (1-1), Rangers to miss the playoffs (2-3)

The Islanders could still have thrown a wrench in this, but for the first time since 1965-66, it was looking like no New York-area team was going to make the playoffs.

Matthews to win the Rocket Richard (14-1)

Matthews had closed the gap behind David Pastrnak and Alex Ovechkin to just one goal, and given the recent pace, I think he would have claimed this honor over the final 12 games.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL Rocket Richard update: How did we do?

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On Dec. 10, David Pastrnak was atop the NHL leaderboard with 25 goals. He was on an unfathomable scoring pace and appeared untouchable in the Rocket Richard race.

Of course, that pace was unsustainable. We dove into the reasons why he wasn't worth backing at the time at 5-2, and who was most likely to catch him.

Let's take a look at how we did.

David Pastrnak (5-2)

At the time, Pastrnak had 12 power-play goals thanks to a 34.2% shooting percentage with the man advantage, which was double his 18% average from the previous three seasons. He was also aided by an unsustainable 16.7% shooting percentage at five-on-five. We noted that "it's too much to expect him to continue this rate of production," and that the likely regression would open the door for those chasing him.

Pastrnak's pace predictably slowed. After scoring 25 goals through his first 27 games, he managed 23 tallies over the next 43 contests. When the season was suspended, his five-on-five shooting percentage had dropped to 13.8%, and his power-play shooting percentage experienced an even bigger dip, dropping to 25.3%. The lead he had built on Alex Ovechkin had evaporated, while Auston Matthews had pulled to within one.

Connor McDavid (7-2)

McDavid missed seven games due to injury, effectively knocking him out of the Rocket Richard race. Of course, that's somewhat of a cop-out, as his scoring rates also decreased.

The biggest culprit to McDavid's decreasing goal rate was a downtick in power-play production. He had eight power-play goals through the first 25 games, one shy of his career best of nine. When the season was officially suspended, McDavid was sitting at 11 goals with the man advantage, having managed just three through his next 39 games. That's not going to cut it.

Alex Ovechkin (7-2)

On Dec. 10, Ovechkin was Pastrnak's closest competitor with 21 goals to the Boston Bruins sniper's 25. It didn't take a genius to predict Ovechkin would be near, or at, the top of the NHL goal leaderboard at the end of the season, with the Washington Capitals captain having won the award in six of the past seven seasons.

Ovi was on pace for 54 goals and, as we pointed out, just about all of his underlying numbers were on par with his career averages, with the exception of his five-on-five shooting percentage, which was a bit lower than his average from the previous three seasons. We concluded that it was realistic to expect his scoring pace to continue and for him to finish right around 54 goals, if not a tad higher, should his shooting percentage experience some positive regression.

Ovechkin was on pace for 57 goals when the season was suspended.

Auston Matthews (7-1)

When we checked in on the race in December, Matthews was trailing Pastrnak by seven goals, but we really liked his value at 7-1.

As per his team's direction, Matthews was shooting a lot more on the power play, but his shooting percentage with the man advantage was 3% below his career average of 18.4%. We noted that with some positive regression in that area, the Toronto Maple Leafs sniper could be in for a monster second half of the season, and given the Leafs' uptick in power-play production under Sheldon Keefe, it was likely to happen.

While Matthews' power-play production remained the same over the next three months - recording five power-play goals through the first 31 games and six through the next 39 - his five-on-five production catapulted to lofty heights. His even-strength goals per game jumped from 0.42 to 0.59 as he closed the gap on Pastrnak, but he didn't do so with an elevated shooting percentage. He simply shot the puck more. His 214 shots (3.1 per game) were a lot more than the 2.8 and 2.5 per game he managed in his previous two seasons.

Let that be a lesson to all the kids out there. Shoot the puck and good things will happen.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL to make, miss playoffs: Our best, worst preseason predictions

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Let's dive into our preseason article pointing out the best bets to make/miss the playoffs.

We can't break these down by the good and bad, as all four looked likely to come down to the final week of the season, so we are going pick by pick.

The picks

Winnipeg Jets: No playoffs (+150)

A run of four successive wins just before the season got suspended thrust the Jets back into the playoff mix, though they had the disadvantage of playing one more game than all the teams around them. If the season did end up being played out, I think the Jets would have ended up missing the playoffs.

My criticism of the team's depth down the middle turned out to be justified, as was my concern about their thin defensive corps, but was I ever wrong about Connor Hellebuyck. "Hellebuyck took a step back and resembled the goalie he was in 2017 more than he did the Vezina nominee we saw in 2018. Now, In three years as a starter, he's been average twice. Which season sounds like the outlier here?"

His 2018 season sure doesn't seem like an outlier now. He's been the best player on this team for stretches this season and without his exploits, the Jets would have already been well out of the playoff picture.

Carolina Hurricanes: Yes playoffs (-160)

Admittedly this would have turned out to be closer than I originally expected, but the Hurricanes were absolutely making the playoffs. After loading up at the deadline, Carolina was looking likelier to make a deep run than they were to miss out on the postseason altogether. Looking at the standings, the Hurricanes were an overwhelming favorite to claim the top wild-card spot.

"Carolina has an elite group of young forwards and should be a lock to make the playoffs this year. If sophomore Andrei Svechnikov takes the leap toward becoming the elite scorer he was expected to be when he was drafted, this team could be looking at a division title."

Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho both made the jump, but a lack of depth scoring is what held this team back. A lot more was expected out of Ryan Dzingel and Nino Niederreiter. I was also infatuated with the Canes' defensive depth, but injuries to Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce hurt their cause.

Calgary Flames: No playoffs (+180)

This prediction was probably the most questionable. With 79 points, the Flames were holding down third in the Pacific Division, but the Vancouver Canucks were just a point back with a game in hand. Finishing ahead of the Canucks was their best chance to make the playoffs, because their odds likely weren't great in a muddled wild-card race with the Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild each holding games in hand.

My main concern surrounded Calgary coming off a season in which almost all its top players set career highs in points. I expected regression, and regression I got. None of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, or Sean Monahan produced anywhere close to their 2018-19 totals and the Flames were in a desperate battle for a playoff spot because of it.

New York Rangers: No playoffs (-150)

Kudos to the Rangers for making this closer than I expected it to be. They were left for dead a month-and-a-half ago before going scorched earth on the rest of the league to pull into the wild-card race. The odds were still stacked against them, but they certainly weren't out of it.

My biggest issue with the Rangers was how all the hype surrounding them following a busy offseason had people overlooking the lack of depth on their roster. Depth scoring has proven to be a big issue for them, but the reason they're still in the mix is because Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad have quite remarkably been able to do it all on their own. At least I look good for saying "Zibanejad is excellent."

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL point totals: Our best, worst preseason predictions

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Before the NHL season began, we produced a pair of articles outlining what we felt were the best point total bets to make for the upcoming campaign.

Let's look back on those - three overvalued teams to fade and four undervalued teams to consider - and see how we did.

The good

Toronto Maple Leafs under 102.5

This one was never in doubt. The Maple Leafs slumped out of the gate under Mike Babcock and a midseason coaching change couldn't spark them. Questions about their depth and defense proved legitimate, as did pointing out that the team hadn't actually improved over the offseason. Barring an 11-0-1 finish, this was an easy under.

Washington Capitals over 97.5

"It would be shocking to see this team finish below 100 points."

The Capitals were at 90 points, meaning they needed just five wins from their remaining 13 games to hit triple-digits. They would have sailed over 100, let alone 97.5. Whoever set this total should give me their address so I can send a gift basket.

New Jersey Devils under 90.5

Everybody and their mother got on the Devils' bandwagon following a busy offseason, but I never quite could understand the hype. I doubted whether P.K. Subban and Wayne Simmonds would actually help this team much - they didn't - and cited Taylor Hall's expiring contract and Mackenzie Blackwood's resume in net as legitimate concerns. I wasn't wrong. Hall was shipped out after a miserable start and the Devils were on pace for a meager 80 points.

The bad

Anaheim Ducks over 81.5

This one was a bit unlucky. Injuries were a big issue for the Ducks, who used 36 different skaters through 71 games. The logic behind this pick made sense, though, and I stand by it: "(The Ducks were) a complete and utter disaster last season and finished with 80 points. ... They can't possibly be any worse this season." With enough injuries to key guys, it turned out they could be.

Chicago Blackhawks over 89.5

This was the worst call of them all. I really bought into the Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat duo up front, but it backfired in a colossal way. Neither came close to reaching their 2018-19 numbers. I also raved about adding Olli Maatta and Calvin de Haan to the Blackhawks' defense. Well, Maatta's been average at best and De Haan's been limited to 29 games. It's a blessing this future will be voided.

Minnesota Wild under 87.5

This one looked great until about a month ago. General manager Bill Guerin called the players out publicly and they answered the bell. The Wild won eight of 11 games before the season was suspended, putting them on pace to surpass this total after it looked like a pipe dream at the start of February.

The most frustrating part of this one is that I was right about Devan Dubnyk "turning back into the pumpkin he was in Edmonton"; what I didn't account for was Alex Stalock stepping in and picking up the slack.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Stanley Cup odds: Teams negatively impacted by the season suspension

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On Thursday, we looked at the teams that could benefit from the NHL season being suspended by getting their injured players back into the lineup should the season resume this summer.

While that could act as a silver lining for some teams, there are a number of others that would find this break detrimental to their Stanley Cup chances.

Top teams

Steve Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

There are a few avenues the league is exploring for a potential revamped playoff format, each of which presents issues that would negatively impact the top teams.

An expanded playoff format would increase the likelihood that a lower seed catches fire at the right time and goes on a run. Teams with a second chance can be very dangerous and they wouldn't be playing with the same sort of pressure on them that the top seeds - think the Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1) - would be burdened with.

Moving to a best-of-five playoff could create more volatility and leave a lot more room for variance. The better team will usually win out over the course of seven games, but shortening a series by two increases the possibility of a hot goalie stealing a series or a team being snakebit by bad puck luck.

Healthy teams

While the suspended season could benefit certain teams by allowing them to get their injured players back, as we mentioned Thursday, those clubs' already healthy opponents would, as a result, be negatively impacted, especially two teams in particular.

The Washington Capitals (12-1) would be hit the hardest, with their Metropolitan Division foes getting healthy. The Pittsburgh Penguins would welcome back Jake Guentzel, the Philadelphia Flyers could get Nolan Patrick into the lineup and would avoid being without James van Riemsdyk, while the Carolina Hurricanes - the Caps' potential first-round opponent in a standard 16-team playoff - would be gifted a healthy Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, and Sami Vatanen on the back end.

The Dallas Stars (18-1) would draw the short straw in the Western Conference. In an already loaded Central Division, they'd have to face the St. Louis Blues with Vladimir Tarasenko, and the Colorado Avalanche with a fully healthy roster for the first time since October.

Streaking teams

Zak Krill / National Hockey League / Getty

The suspension would offer a blank slate to teams if the season does resume. While the first 70 games would potentially determine playoff seeding, a three-month layoff could be a crippling blow to clubs that were really starting to find their game.

The Flyers (9-1) and Vegas Golden Knights (8-1) are two teams that could find this break detrimental. Philadelphia had won nine of 10 games before the season was suspended and looked like a lock to take over the Metropolitan Division's top spot, peaking at the right time.

Vegas had won 11 of 13 and were perched comfortably atop the Pacific Division, with the teams below them stumbling. The Knights were finally living up to their billing as clear favorites to come out of the division, but a fresh start negates all the momentum they had built up.

Fringe teams

Should the season resume at some point, one of the more prevalent suggestions is for the league to implement a standard 16-team playoff based on current standings, using points percentage as the tiebreaker, given not all teams have played the same amount of games.

If the NHL were to employ this logic, any futures ticket on the Columbus Blue Jackets (100-1) or Winnipeg Jets (50-1) would be a losing one. Despite currently sitting in wild-card spots, both teams would find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture based on points percentage. The Blue Jackets would miss out by .009%, and the Jets by .001%. Bless their souls if that winds up being the case.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

Copyright © 2020 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

How injuries could impact Stanley Cup odds

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With the NHL playoffs unlikely to begin before June, the landscape of the league could change significantly as injured players return.

Here are the teams that the suspended season could benefit the most, each of which might be worth buying now before odds shorten following the boost to their lineups.

Carolina Hurricanes (35-1)

Injuries on the blue line forced Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell to be aggressive prior to the trade deadline, acquiring Brady Skjei and Sami Vatanen to shore up the back end. The latter has been sidelined since the start of February due to a lower-body injury and hasn't made his Canes debut, but the layoff gives him lots of time to get healthy.

Potentially getting back defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Brett Pesce is more significant for Carolina. Both were expected to miss the remainder of the season with leg and shoulder injuries, respectively, but it's possible they'll return at full health should the playoffs not commence until June. That would give the Canes arguably the NHL's best top-six defensive options with Hamilton, Pesce, Vatanen, Skjei, Jaccob Slavin, Jake Gardiner, and Haydn Fleury.

Colorado Avalanche (7-1)

Long-term injuries weren't necessarily a concern for the Avalanche, but the team hasn't been healthy all season. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen were out before the season was suspended, and both can now fully recover. The same luxury will be afforded to Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert, who were each week-to-week.

The biggest upgrade though will come in goal, where Colorado had been without Philipp Grubauer since Feb. 15. The team remained hopeful he would be back before the end of the regular season, and the suspension removes any doubt.

Columbus Blue Jackets (100-1)

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The Blue Jackets would be a dangerous low seed if they're included in the playoffs when the season returns.

They were a shoo-in for the postseason to begin February before ankle injuries sidelined both Seth Jones and Oliver Bjorkstrand for 8-10 weeks. Jones leads this team on and off the ice, while Bjorkstrand notched a club-high 21 goals this season despite appearing in just 49 of the Blue Jackets' 70 games. Getting both back would be a massive boost for Columbus, which is 3-6-6 since Jones suffered his injury.

Philadelphia Flyers (9-1)

James van Riemsdyk broke his hand and faced a four-to-six week absence days before the season was suspended, which would have likely kept him out for the start of the playoffs.

The suspension also opens the door for Nolan Patrick to come back after missing all of the campaign so far with migraines. Patrick, the Flyers' second overall pick in 2017, had resumed skating and was hopeful of a late-season return.

Pittsburgh Penguins (14-1)

Charles LeClaire / USA Today Sports

The Penguins dropped eight of their last 11 games before the season was suspended, but they might be the biggest beneficiaries if the playoffs don't begin until June.

Jake Guentzel underwent shoulder surgery after suffering a gruesome injury on Dec. 30, and he was given a late-May return date, making a comeback possible if the Penguins made the Stanley Cup Final. Now he'll likely be available for the duration of the playoffs.

Coming off a 40-goal season and on pace for another in 2019-20 before getting hurt, Guentzel has registered 43 points in 41 career playoff games. The Penguins acquired Jason Zucker to replace him, but getting both into the lineup would be an incredible jolt for Pittsburgh and a concern for the rest of the Metropolitan Division.

St. Louis Blues (9-1)

The defending champions have been making due without Vladimir Tarasenko, who's been sidelined since Oct. 24 with a shoulder injury. General manager Doug Armstrong announced recently that Tarasenko could return in late April, but the three-time All-Star will now be fully ready when the playoffs start.

Tarasenko scored 11 goals over 26 playoff games while helping the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season.

Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1)

Steven Stamkos suffered a core injury on Feb. 25 that was expected to sideline him for six-to-eight weeks, putting the star forward on track to probably return during the first round of the playoffs. Getting him back earlier is a relief for the Lightning, who are likely feeling the pressure after being swept in the first round last season.

Victor Hedman had also been battling a lingering lower-body injury, but the suspension gives him the opportunity to get healthy before what Tampa is hoping will be a deep playoff run.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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