The Cheat Sheet: December 9th, 2010

Updated: December 9, 2010 at 3:49 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.


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.

Thursday’s Cheat Sheet: (goalies as of 2:00 PM ET)

An opinion or two:

– All right, for those of us who have been thinking about how bad the Senators have been lately, here is our chance to really cash in. Ottawa is opening up as a slight fave, which should equate to good value with their opponent. The Rangers, who lost to the Sens on Sunday, have also had 3 whole days to prepare for this revenge game.

– I’ve gotta confess that I’m a sucker for the medium-sized dogs (+100 to +140), but I’m too gutless to bet the big, ugly ones (+150 and beyond). Last night was another encouraging night though, with Nashville coming through, and Anaheim falling just short (by about 23 seconds). I’m gonna chicken out again today on FLA… One of these days though, one of these days… (I’ll bet one and probably get owned…)

– I remember betting Philly last season in a similar situation, as a road fave against the Leafs, as I just about broke my blood pressure monitor watching that game–not because my blood pressure was high, but because it was the nearest object that I could pick up and throw across the room in blind rage. Luckily, the monitor was not thrown, and it now stands as a reminder for me to be a little more cautious. So, maybe the Flyers do squash the Leafs this time (instead of losing 4-0), but there’s no reason to think that this is a “must-bet” at -150. I’d stay away, or perhaps even consider taking Toronto as a +130 home dog (would I?… well, I’ll consider considering it).   

– Just did a goalies update. NYI +210 is apparently not even worth a shot now with DiPietro in net. St Louis has moved up, to ‘green status’. Mathieu Garon has been good for the Blue Jackets this season, but even his numbers have been slipping amidst their recent slump.