Over the course of a long season, teams will tend to run hot and cold, but in the long-run, most will probably end up where they should be. Therefore, for the sake of betting profits, the following spreadsheet was created to filter out the overachievers from the underachievers, the overrated consensus contenders from the underrated upset specialists, and ultimately, the teams that will empty your piggy bank from the teams that will fill it with shiny new coins. Using simple calculations from statistics gathered this season, the following results were produced.
This is the word on the sheet: October 21st, 2010.
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Biggest Overachieving Teams (calculated by comparing team win-loss records against how well they are playing statistically):
#1 – Dallas Stars
They’ve allowed over 36 shots per game to their opponents, while only averaging 23 per game themselves, but somehow, they’ve emerged from their first 6 games with a 5-1 record. Don’t expect them to maintain their .833 winning percentage for long though. Dallas should fall back to the pack sooner rather than later (have you seen their PP and PK numbers?).
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Most Overrated Teams (calculated by comparing how well teams are playing statistically against their betting odds):
#1 – New York Rangers
The New York Rangers have landed this unfavorable early-season distinction due to their 3 losses so far as favorites. During these 3 losses, the Rangers were outscored 8-13, and outshot by an average of 5 shots per game. Ironically though, the Rangers have won both their games as dogs this year. If they keep that up, then they won’t hold this title for long.
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Biggest Underachieving Teams:
#1 – Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres might not rank amongst the top contenders for the Stanley Cup this season, but they are certainly a lot better than what their 2-5 record would suggest. With that being said though, Buffalo has an incredibly tough schedule coming up, and so, their record might not look any better when we revisit this ranking list in the near future. Look for this team to finish close to .500 though.
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Most Underrated Teams:
#1 – Boston Bruins
The Bruins probably won’t be so underrated anymore after just sweeping a home-and-home 2-game set against the Caps, but so far, they’ve been a fantastic play-on team. Not only have Bruins backers not had to pay much juice this season, but they’ve also been treated to 4 consecutive no-sweat winners. Boston has been ‘easy money’ so far, but look out for the betting public to hop aboard really soon.
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The Entire List (ranked by average of ‘Underachieving’ and ‘Underrated’ percentages):
#1 Team to Bet: Florida Panthers
Frustrated Florida backers are still waiting for the results to materialize, but these guys really aren’t a bad team at all (really). The Panthers are stingy when it comes to conceding goals, as they are a hardworking group that plays with a lot of discipline (just 2 PPs against per game so far). The best part about betting them though, is the fact that they are so under the radar. You will rarely ever see the Panthers laying more than -130, and on most nights you’ll be able to catch them as underdogs, as they catch unsuspecting opponents and the betting public by surprise.
#1 Team to Fade: Chicago Blackhawks
Although they’re hot right now, the defending Stanley Cup champions probably won’t end up putting a lot of money in the pockets of their backers, given that those backers will have to lay a significant amount of juice with them almost every night. Furthermore, the Blackhawks have not been particularly impressive in their 8 games so far, having had almost every one of those games go all the way down to the wire. This team could easily be 3-5 right now instead of 5-3, and it doesn’t appear that they will be able to match their 52 wins from a season ago.
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Given how early in the season it is, this list is bound to change in a hurry. We’ll revisit it soon, to see how it develops.