Playing the Detroit Red Wings to be beaten was still a solid wagering strategy during the 2021 NHL regular season. However, expecting the Wings to be beaten badly was not a wise wager for bettors to be playing.
According to the betting website SportsBettingDime.com, the Wings and New York Rangers ended up tying this season for the NHL’s second-best record against the spread. The Wings and Rangers both showed a 36-20 mark against the spread. Just the New York Islanders (38-29) won more often for spread bettors.
Betting on the spread, also known as the puck line, is a popular play for hockey bettors. Sportsbooks start out by assigning teams a number, usually plus or minus 1.5. A +1.5 spread is indicating that the team is being given a goal and a half to start out the game. That means if they end up winning outright, or losing by less than two goals, a spread bet on that team would be a winner.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) June 8, 2021
Should a team be assigned a -1.5 spread, that indicates that they are the favorites and this are starting out with a 1.5-goal handicap. To win a spread bet on the favorite in hockey, they must post a margin of victory of two goals or greater.
The Wings played 22 one-goal games this season. They still have some work to do in terms of being a lucrative bet, however. The return on investment in Detroit spread bets was just 10.80 percent. The Rangers, who posted the identical ATS record as the Wings, brought a ROI of 24.52 percent.
The fact that the Wings still struggle to put the puck in the net also proved an asset to total bettors. The total is a projection of the number of goals both will be combining to score in a game. Let’s say for example that the total was 5.5 goals. Bettors choose to wager on the over or the under on that total.
In Detroit’s case, the total went under in 32 of 56 games this season. Detroit’s ROI on the under was an NHL-best 16.29 percent.