We’re right at the midway point of the NHL hockey season with most teams having played 42 or so games. Great time to review which teams have been the most profitable–and least profitable–for hockey betting enthusiasts. Yesterday, we looked at the three teams that have put the most money into NHL betting bankrolls. Today, we’re going to look at the three biggest money burning teams in the NHL.
To lose a lot in a moneyline based sport like baseball or hockey the key component is that a team needs to be overvalued relative to their performance. Usually (but not always as we’ll see in a moment) the team that loses the most money isn’t the team that loses the most games. It’s pretty obvious when a team is bad and they’re priced accordingly. Teams that are pretty good but underachieving are usually the biggest money burners.
The exception to the above concept? Teams that are monumentally bad. The 2019 Detroit Tigers fit that description in Major League Baseball. So does the team currently at the top of the money burning hit parade in the NHL. Ironically, they’re also in Detroit….
DETROIT RED WINGS -15.4 UNITS
The 2019-2020 Detroit Red Wings might have trouble being competitive in the American Hockey League. It’s a shocking collapse for a team that has enjoyed a high level of success for the past couple of decades. The problem with the Wings is that they were never hesitant to mortgage their future to keep their superstars in the fold during their glory years. Now they’re paying a huge price. They’ve got to clear the books of high priced longterm deals before they can even think about rebuilding.
In the meantime, they’re downright awful. They currently check in with a 10-29-3 record good for 23 points. That’s 13 fewer points than the second worst team in the NHL, the New Jersey Devils. There are signs of life in New Jersey and the Devils have actually gone 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. There are no signs of life in Detroit. The Wings are 6-14-1 at home and 4-15-2 on the road. They’re dead last in the NHL in scoring offense with just 2.14 goals per game. Making their inability to score all the worse is their inability to keep their opponent from scoring. They also rank dead last in the league in scoring defense giving up 3.81 goals per game. That gives them a per game differential of -1.67 with no other NHL team having a differential worse than New Jersey’s -0.88.
It might be a small consolation that they’re marginally better on special teams than they are 5 on 5. They’re still not any good, but at least they’re not the worst power play and penalty kill team in the league. The Wings have the #30 penalty kill in the league at 73% just ahead of Winnipeg at 71.7%. The Detroit power play connects at a 15.3% clip which is #26 in the league. The Wings aren’t going to get better this year and even though this is obvious they’re still so bad that it’s hard for the oddsmakers to accurately valuate them.
NASHVILLE PREDATORS -11.6 UNITS
MONTREAL CANADIENS -10.8 UNITS
There’s a lot of similarity between the Habs and the Preds so we’ll hit ’em both at the same time. Both are maddeningly erratic teams that can look like a Stanley Cup contender one night and a lottery team the next night. Both teams have been known for defense and goaltending in recent years but both are bottom ten in team defense this season. Their salvation is their ability to score goals but that just makes their performance all the more erratic.
These teams are too talented to collapse completely and there’s a chance they can pull it together in the second half of the season. There’s also a chance that their erratic form will continue.