Cheat Sheet: December 1st, 2010

Updated: December 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm by Jeff Tay

If you’re looking over the NHL betting board and want an unbiased second opinion, then scroll on down to the Cheat Sheet. A very busy computer crunched a bunch of numbers from this season and the last to produce an analytical summary of the day’s available bets. Do the numbers match with your opinions, or do they throw your predictions for a loop?

Scroll down to find out.

Wednesday’s Cheat Sheet: (goalies updated as of 2:30PM ET)

An opinion or two:

Looks like we have some pretty competitive games again on Wednesday, as implied by the betting odds and by the strength of the teams. One quick note on something that was omitted in the INDEX: a green “3” would be slightly better than a yellow “3” in the predicted score column. Think of the green “3” as a 3.25, and a yellow “3” as maybe a 2.75.

– Remember when Boston was up 3-games-to-none on Philadelphia in the playoffs, and then the wheels came off? Well, this is their first crack at revenge/redemption. I don’t have an official stat, but as far as I’ve noticed, the playoff revenge angle has actually been fairly successful in recent memory. It never hurts to have a little extra motivation, and it also doesn’t hurt to catch a team that’s on a bit of a cold spell. I kind of like Boston in this spot.

– Has anyone noticed that Washington is just 5-6 straight up on the road? All right, so St. Louis has come crashing back down to Earth after a hot start, but it seems like they’ve played about a hundred road games in the last two weeks, and so, their home record is still 8-2. All I’m saying is that Washington -130 is no snap bet. If it was Washington -110 then I would have clicked it while I was still explaining the green and yellow 3’s. As of right now, I’m just not betting this game.

– Oh yeah, and it’s also a playoff rematch of Jaroslav Halak vs. the Caps. This one could get interesting one way or another (either he gets shelled because the Caps still hold a grudge, or he single-handedly shuts them down again).

– All right, Vancouver is obviously a better team than Calgary right now (see NHL standings), but the moment that the Canucks were publicly anointed as “Stanley Cup favorites” was the moment that many of us should have appended “play-against team” in brackets right next to that title. Three consequences have come as a result of all the hype surrounding Vancouver this season. 1) They have become overvalued by the betting public, causing them to be huge favorites in every home game, and slight favorites in almost every road game. 2) Other teams have seen the headline in the newspaper, and have been given extra motivation to hand the Canucks a beatdown every time they play them. 3) The Canucks themselves have seen the headline in the newspaper, and have become less motivated to work hard during the regular season. To this 3rd point, I would also like to append “especially on the road”. Vancouver is just 4-4 as a road favorite this season, and 4-6 on the road overall. I think that Calgary comes to the rink motivated for this game. Whether or not that’s enough to overcome the disparity in depth and talent, is yet to be seen, but I prefer my money to be on a team that’s undoubtedly there to compete.

– All right, maybe I’m being a bit harsh on the Canucks, but their play on the road has clearly been a step behind their play at home this season. They tend to trail in most of their road games, and their shot% goes from 12% at home to just 8% away from home. They are scary-good at home–I know–but I’m just not sold on them as a good road team yet.

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