The Cheat Sheet: December 4th, 2010

Updated: December 4, 2010 at 3:51 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.


as sim. Fv/Dg: This is the team’s record this season as a similar-sized favorite/underdog.

Circles: The circles indicate the strength of the play on the side relative to the other available plays on the day. A white circle indicates a highly recommendable play on the day, whereas a black circle indicates a highly not recommended play. Circles highlighted in green represent the most highly recommended plays on the day. Plays are recommended based on a team’s projected chances of winning, the line value in a team’s betting odds, and also the reliability and availability of statistics to support the recommendation (see ‘Stat Balance’).

Arrows: The arrows indicate whether the prediction favors a play on the Over or the Under. Upward arrows point to the Over, and downward arrows point to the Under. Horizontal arrows are neutral.

Score: Projected to be the most-likely score for the game.

shot%: This is the average of the team’s projected shot percentage and the opponent’s projected save percentage.

SOG: This is a gauge of how many shots on goal a team is projected to have. A checkmark indicates a more than average amount, an exclamation mark indicates an average amount, and an “X” indicates a below average amount.

PP: This is a gauge of how well the team’s PP is projected to do against the opponent’s PK. A checkmark indicates above average, an exclamation mark indicates average, and an “X” indicates below average. The amount of PP opportunities that the team is likely to receive is also factored in, so if the team’s opponent is discipline, then success on the PP will be projected to be less likely.

Stat Balance: This is used as a gauge of how reliable the statistics used in the prediction are. The system uses statistics from both teams’ records, but it is rarely perfectly balanced, due to differences in situational games played. The closer this number is to 1.00, the more balanced the stats are for this prediction.

Saturday’s Cheat Sheet: (goalies as of 3:00 PM ET)

An opinion or two:

– All right, first, I just have to announce that the next edition of the Cheat Sheet will be on Monday, not Sunday, as I turn in late on Saturdays and wake up early on Sundays for the NFL.

– Somehow, New Jersey has turned up as the top play for Saturday… Well, the computer at least acknowledges that more often than not, New Jersey will lose this game, but at +170 it simply comes down to how often. It’s projected here that New Jersey wins this game about 41% of the time, which equates to about a 10.7% profit in the long run. Reasons to fade Philly: their offense has disappeared, they might not get too many PP opportunities against a discipline Devils side, they don’t respond well off shutout losses, and oh yeah, they’re -200 on the moneyline. Of course, there are reasons not to bet New Jersey as well (i.e. they suck).

– I’m kind of on the fence about the Edmonton game. The thing is, should St. Louis really be a road favorite against anybody? Their road GAA is 3.56. This is a tough spot for the Oilers though, after sweeping Eastern Canada, and playing a lot of games in a short span. Tough call.

– My favorite play on the board might actually be Montreal. Ottawa rolled over for the Sharks on Thursday, but I expect the Habs to be much tougher.

– I think Pittsburgh might also be worth a look.

– This is a pretty tough betting board isn’t it?

– I just replaced Michal Neuvirth with Semyon Varlamov and now the computer calls for a shutout. That’s a bit whacky. At least the system finally highlighted a favorite though (note: Stat Balance for this game is very poor).