The Cheat Sheet: December 8th, 2010

Updated: December 8, 2010 at 2:10 am 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. The numbers are color-scaled red-purple-indigo-blue, with red being the highest and blue being the lowest.

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.

Wednesday’s Cheat Sheet: (goalies as of 2:00 AM ET)

An opinion or two:

– So far, it’s been rare to see the system actually highlight a betting favorite as a top play, so this is worth investigating. What I’m seeing in the database is that this has been somewhat of a motivational soft-spot for the Sharks this season. More often than not, San Jose has followed some of their best performances this season with some of their worst, and more recently, they have followed their last 4 wins with subsequent losses. Philadelphia is seen as the more motivated team here, as they welcome a marquee opponent into their rink.

– Anaheim is getting credit to win this game in Vancouver 44% of the time, making them a good bet for value. The Ducks will be a bit fatigued, but Curtis McElhinney has been good, and Anaheim has been known to give the Canucks a bit of trouble in head-to-head matchups.

– Underdogs in the NHL have done quite well in the NHL lately (in terms of profitability), so it’s probably not a bad idea right now to approach betting with an ‘underdog-first’ mentality.