NHL Playoff Over/Under Trends After Rounds One and Two

by Hollywood Sports

Once again, I want to return to assessing totals trends in the Stanley Cup playoffs. One of the data items I track is Over/Under results for each NHL game. I have found that there are certain games in a playoff series that are more likely to go Over the Total and other games in a series that is likely to finish Under the Total. Following these trends helps to inform my decisions regarding when to invest in a Total — and when to avoid investing in a Total I was leaning towards. These are not rules; it would be foolish to just zombie auto-bet the Over just because Game Threes in a playoff series have tended to be higher-scoring affairs. Data mining empirical trends like that — and then relying on them — is a good way to lose a bankroll. Instead, this data provides just another piece of evidence to consider when evaluating the case to play an Over, an Under, or to pass on the Totals situation. 

Game Ones had four Overs and four Unders in Round One of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In the second round, there was one Over and were three Unders in Game One. That leaves the running total for the 2022 NHL playoffs with five Overs and seven Unders. Last postseason, Game Ones had seven Overs and eight Unders. The grand total for Game Ones in the last two playoff seasons is now 12 Overs and 15 Unders.  

Game Twos had four Overs and four Unders in the first round this postseason. There was then one Over and three Unders in the second round. That leaves the running totals for the 2022 postseason at five Overs and Seven Unders. In last year’s playoffs, there were four Overs and 11 Unders in Game Two. The grand total for Game Twos in the last two years in the postseason is nine Overs and 18 Unders. 

Game Threes had six Overs and two unders in Round One of the playoffs this year. In Round Two, there was one Over and three Unders in Game Threes. The running numbers in the 2022 playoffs for Game Threes at seven Overs and five Unders. The Over was 9-5-1 in last year’s 15 Game Threes. The grand total for Game Threes in the last two postseasons is 16 Overs, 10 Unders, and one push.

Game Fours had five Overs and three Unders in Round one of this year’s playoffs. In Round Two, there were two Overs and two Unders this postseason. There have been seven Overs and five Unders in Game Four in these playoffs. Last year, the Over was 6-7-2 in Game Fours. For the last two playoffs, there have now been 13 Overs, 12 Unders, and one push. 

Game Fives had five Overs, one Under, and one push in the opening round of the playoffs this season. In Round Two, there were two Overs and one Under. Games Fives have seen seven Overs, two Unders, and one push in 2022. Last year, the Over was 4-9-1 in the 14 Game Fives that were played. Overall, there have been 11 Overs, 11 Unders, and one push in the last two playoffs for Game Fives. 

Game Sixes had five Overs and two Unders in Round One this postseason. In Round Two, there was one Over and one Under. So far this postseason, there have been six Overs and three Unders in Game Sixes. Last year, the Over was 4-3-2 in Game Sixes. In the last two playoffs, there have been 10 Overs, six Unders, and two pushes. 

Game Sevens had one Over, three Unders, and one push in the playoffs this season. The lone Game Seven in the second round went Over the Total. For 2022, there have been two Game Seven Overs, three Game Seven Unders, and one push. There was one Game Seven Over last postseason and two Game Seven Unders. Over the last two playoffs, there have been three Overs in Game Seven, five Game Seven Unders, and one push.

This data over a couple of surprises. The Game Two and Game Three numbers continue to be of note. The sample sizes are small, so there is not much to conclude from just the first round. But this information continues to fine-tune the data I have been collecting. And trends may change over time. 

Perhaps this data would offer more value if the closing number is separated from the game number in the series, although that will make the sample sizes even smaller. By the semifinals of the NHL playoffs last year, both series were seeing consistent totals of 5s. A year later, there have been 44 playoff games in the first two rounds where the oddsmakers had the total set at 6.5. In Round One, there were 17 Overs and 13 Unders in the 30 games with the total at 6.5. In Round Two, there were seven Overs and seven Unders in the 14 games with the total at 6.5. That leaves the Over with a 24-20 mark in the 44 playoff games this year with a total of 6.5.

I will keep looking at these trends in the second round of the playoffs. Assessing this data is just another tool in the toolbox.

Best of luck — Frank.

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

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