Thursday, September 27, 2007

No Love From the Bookies

If you Google "NHL regular season points"+bet or similar, then amongst the results you should find some sites that post public odds for the point totals for the upcoming NHL season. And unless a star player has broken a leg while I was typing this, then they should be within a point of the list below.

Granted, it's just an opinion, but it's an opinion being backed up with cash, so it carries a bit of weight. Most fan reports out of Oilers training camp are optimistic, and even though that's always the case, this year it seems more credible. Hopefully the Oilers will surprise. They had better, it would kill me to see that arrogant fat bastard from Anaheim trudging up to the podium to select the second overall player.

In 03/04 the bookies pegged the Oilers for 94.5 points or thereabouts. Last year 88.5 was the preseason over/under. These lines are usually run with fairly low practical holds of 6.5%, so it's not like the "who will win the Stanley Cup?" futures, which are little more than indications of the market.


Blogger PDO said...

I'd be very happy to drop a c-note on the Ducks under and Oilers over each.

A quick look, and Vancouver Under, Colorado Over and Sabres Under all look nice....

9/27/2007 6:43 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

I think the Oilers are too low as well. Though it may be the good showing of the rookies warming me up on them, I don't know.

I think Phoenix is probably even worse than that.

Even though their division is terrible, Chicago looks brutal to me as well, I'll guess under for them.

And I'll take the Wings over 105.5, wing Nashville weaker they are going to have a crazy soft schedule.

9/27/2007 10:53 pm  
Blogger Black Dog said...

Interesting - I wonder, well I wonder a lot of things. I am not up on a lot of what is happening in other camps but looking at this I owuld say that some of this is driven by markets - for example I don't think either Toronto or Montreal are 90 point teams. Nashville is worse (and I think Detroit is a good bet for another big year as a result) but 83.5?

And I think the Hawks, BJS, Bruins and likely the Isles are all worse then the Oilers for starters. And that's even before camp started and it looks like a few of these kids may be able to play.

Guess we'll see - I haven't the foggiest clue about betting so I'll just shut up now.

9/28/2007 7:01 am  
Blogger Big T said...


The thing about a 90 point team is its not the same as a 90pt. a few years ago. Shoot-out wins have drastically changed the point totals of a decent team.

The Oilers are low there, should be near the top of the next group of five IMO. That implies about 85pts. Any obvious holes in that guess?


9/28/2007 9:02 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

The Leafs have beaten the odds at this in 4 of the past 5 years. Montreal in 2 of 5.

The hockeynumbers guy makes the Isles a 100 point team and the Oilers even worse than the bookies do (66 points I think). Nobody knows.

I think that the Oilers are better than Washington and Chicago for sure, probably Columbus too. But the NW Division is a bitch, I think they'll struggle to crack 80 points, but I hope I'm wrong.

9/28/2007 9:08 am  
Blogger Matt said...

Agree with your general comment re: the Wings' sked, but they did take 13/16 points vs. NSH last season -- there's really no room for improvement.

9/28/2007 11:18 am  
Blogger Dennis said...

Yes but Vic, EA Sports had the Oilers losing to SJ in the Conf Final, and no I'm not making this up, so we should be fine;)

Mtl's division is just fucking awful. Both the B's and Leaves have some major holes and Mtl was fringey last year, and that was with a kickass PP and the Bonk/Johnson tandem doing a good job with the tough route. Now, we've got their PP hammer and the Kotsop/Smoke duo replace Bonkson and though Higgins and Kommisarek are aging in a positive manner, Koivu isn't and Ryder still can't play against anyone.

What do we have in the NHL these days, three excellent divisions and three terrible ones? The NW is bonafide cutthroat as is the Pacific and the Atl has killer squads in the Pens and Rags and we never count out the devils.

Meanwhile, FEMA could've even further fuck up the Central, the northeast has more holes than a 50 year old fat guy's underwear and Canes division lost Dan Boyle so they're done as well.

Let's say we had a totally balanced sked and the NHL went back to the top 16 teams making it, do you think Vegas would even take bets for the top 12 finishers?

Things are decidely slanted, don't you think?

9/28/2007 12:00 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I think it's a good thing that it's slanted. The unbalanced schedule, plus the shootout, just makes it all the more random. Call it faux parity.

The NFL creates the same effect with their scheduling.

And I take your point on the Habs (should have taken them as an under :) ) but I think the Leafs will have a decent team if Sundin stays healthy and Toskala can stop some pucks. I think the B's are better than they showed last year too. Buffalo is weaker, but they still have a lot of guys that can play, and a good goalie. I just don't see the N.E. as being that weak.

The Central and the Southeast are brutal though, no argument there.

9/28/2007 5:28 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I know I'm in the clear minority, but I can't really get my head around that line of thinking.

If it was a coin flipping league, instead of hockey, and everyone had differently weighted coins ... then I think we'd agree that the total weighting of your opponents, over the season, that would be what mattered.

I mean you're bound to get lucky stretches and roll a string of heads at some point (hopefully against strong coins, otherwise it's wasted a bit). Those streaks come where they come.

So long as your record during the season on the whole, so long as that was fair for your coin (i.e. you were neither especially unlucky or unlucky with the number of heads you flipped and when you flipped them). Then for the next season, if the coin weightings of a couple of these opponents get worse ... you should be expected to do better. Even if you happened to have a stellar record against them in the previous coin flipping season.

Am I wrong?


Now we all know that some teams match up better against some teams, but I think it has a hell of a lot more to do with coincidence than the specifics of a match-up.

9/28/2007 5:58 pm  
Blogger HBomb said...

"Unders": Anaheim, Dallas, Toronto

"Overs": Detroit, Colorado, Edmonton

Guess at Edmonton's point total? I'll say 85 points. Slightly above .500, about 8 points out of the playoffs, probably 10th-11th place in the west.

9/29/2007 12:01 pm  
Blogger The Falconer said...

Vic: you mention the Leafs beating their over/under in the past...any chance you could post last year's pre-season over/under for all 30 teams if you have it sitting around somewhere. I'm curious to see who beat their odds. If not post it could you perhaps email my gmail account on my profile?

re: specific teams.
I'd take the under on PIT and NJD in the east and the over on BUF (Stafford was great in limited minutes and will help fill the void) in the East.

In the west the over for NAS (they will slip but that division is so bad at at the bottom they will still rack up points, I think Radulov will help replace much of Kariya's offense.)

9/29/2007 12:15 pm  
Blogger Dennis said...

Vic, the B's D is no great shakes as it is but Chara hurt his shoulder during a scrap in the pre-season and they're being very quiet about it all.

9/30/2007 2:31 pm  

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