NHL Early Look

by Ben Burns

A couple of weeks ago, I told you to "do your homework" for the upcoming NHL campaign. The season started Wednesday, with a bang. Hopefully, everyone has enjoyed an exciting first two days.

While it's never wise to over-react to a game or two, it's also important to "pay attention" to what's going on. So far, one thing which has stood out has been the scoring. Nine of the first 14 games have finished above the total. Those 14 games produced 91 combined goals, an average of exactly 6.5. 

What should we do with that information? Not much, yet. Keep watching though and if the high-scoring trend continues, there may be some opportunities. It's worth mentioning that all 14 of those O/U lines were 5.5, 6 or 6.5. Friday's card is also full of 6's and 6.5's. We have yet to see any sevens. 

While the oddsmakers can sometimes be a little slow to adjust to scoring trends, when they finally do so, sometimes they can go too far. As someone who typically plays more 'unders' than 'overs,' I'm hopeful that will be the case. Another few days of high-scoring games and the sevens will be quick to start popping up. Games that would have been 5.5 will move to six etc. If and when that time comes, I'll likely be looking to pick my spots with some 'unders.' 

This year's schedule will see a lot of teams playing each other in "back-to-back" situations. You may have already noticed. The Canucks and Oilers already faced each other twice. Vancouver won the first game and revenge-minded Edmonton came back to win the second. Tonight's card features four games where the teams will be playing each other for a second time: the Flyers/Penguins, Hawks/Lightning, Avs/Blues and the Capitals/Sabres. 

I'll be paying particularly close attention to these "revenge situations," while also keeping a close eye on league-wide scoring. I'll report back with my findings soon. Until then, good luck with the games! 

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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