NHL Betting Trends 2023
November 16, 2023 by Bill Burniece
Fans and bettors had expectations going into the season, and in many cases, those expectations haven’t been realistic.
There are several teams that have fallen well short of expectations, but there are also some teams that have far exceeded them.
Fans and bettors have seen many of the favorites come out the gate slowly, while other teams without the same high odds have been dominant.
Six teams come to mind, in particular, who have leaped out the gate and exceeded expectations, even if, in some cases, those expectations were high.
Let’s look at the six squads that have shocked fans and bettors so far and driving the NHL betting trends and changing NHL odds.
1. Detroit Red Wings
On most betting sites, the Detroit Red Wings were not highly rated.
The Red Wings have been coming off several years of a rebuild.
They were looking to maybe work their way back into competitiveness this year, but their chances weren’t high.
However, the Red Wings have been incredible to start the year.
Led by Dylan Larkin and new addition Alex DeBrincat, who has been dominant in the early going despite some negative fan feedback, the Red Wings are an early-season darling.
They have had some of the best results of any offence in the league and will likely keep rolling.
2. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins had an all-time regular season last year, but their expectations were dampened this year.
Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci left, and there were a lot of doubters.
The Bruins weren’t ranked highly on most sportsbooks, and many thought there was even a chance that they’d fall out of the playoff picture.
That has not been the case.
Goaltending has still been an incredible position of strength, their defence is once again strong, and the offence has done more than enough. They have started the year with an 8-0-1 record at the time of writing.
They could be as good as ever.
3. Vancouver Canucks
Most people assumed that the Canucks would struggle their way through another disappointing season.
They’ve been a middle-of-the-pack squad for some time now, and there weren’t any major off-season additions that looked like they could push them over the edge.
However, the Canucks have surpassed the modest expectations fans and bookmakers had for them in the early going.
They are off to a 5-2-1 start through the early going.
Their coaching changes have been effective, and their star players like Quin Hughes and Elias Pettersson have shown out once again.
4. Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks were supposed to be in competition for the first overall pick.
That is where the team has been over the past few years.
Most sportsbooks had them listed as one of the worst teams in the league. However, the Ducks have actually looked competitive in the early phase of the season.
They have won five games and lost four and have been chippy.
They are led by rising star Mason McTavish.
While there are questions over whether they can sustain the growth they’ve shown, their start has been much better than most people saw coming.
Sportsbooks seem like they’ve really underestimated this squad, affecting NHL betting trends.
5. Vegas Golden Knights
Can you say that the defending champs weren’t expected to have a great start?
That seems ridiculous, but that was the case with Vegas.
Most people thought there might be a championship hangover, as they had survived a long and grueling Stanley Cup run.
While most figured they’d still be strong contenders this year, few saw their dynamic start coming.
The Vegas Golden Knights have been the best team in the league in the early phase of the season.
They are currently 9-0-1 and have a dominant goal differential that reflects their incredible record.
They should once again be one of the best teams in the league and a Cup contender.
6. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens had some of the last-place odds of succeeding this year.
They were not considered to be a realistic threat to make the playoffs.
However, in the early phase of the season, the Canadiens have been quite good.
They have earned their way to a 5-2-2 record and have received solid goaltending, which many thought would be a major problem for the team.
They have also received timely scoring from players like Cole Caufield and Sean Monahan.
While they are young and there is a lot of season left, the Canadiens have surpassed where most thought they would be.
NHL Betting Trends Conclusion
What makes betting on the NHL so difficult is the fact that any team can beat another other team on any given night.
NHL betting trends are only part of the equation.
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