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Handicapping Extended NHL Road Trips

Learn how to handicap extended NHL road trips.

Key Points

Ė Learning to handicap long NHL road trips is not easy.

Ė There are a few key factors to look at in handicapping lengthy NHL road trips.

Handicapping Extended NHL Road Trips

There are times during the NHL regular season when teams must leave their home arena and embark on a long road trip. Some are not by luck of the schedule either.

For example, each November the Canadian Rodeo championships are held in Edmonton. The Oilers are forced to exit the city and play on the road for an extended period of time. The circus kicks the Chicago Blackhawks out of the United Center.

Other times, a four- to six-game road trip is simply built into the NHL schedule. Even in the best of circumstances, playing on the road in the NHL is difficult. Having to play numerous consecutive road games can be particularly exhausting. A lengthy road trip, such as six or more games, can either drive a team off course or help them bond and improve their teamwork.

It is obviously advantageous for handicappers to be able to predict which outcome is more likely. Here are six questions to ask when handicapping NHL road trips. Knowing the answers can help you make money betting on sports.

How Does a Team Perform on NHL Road Trips?

This is a logical place to start. While some teams perform admirably on the road, others simply aren't as strong as they are at home.

Looking back on a team's performance on the road is a particularly effective place to start your evaluation. Itís uncommon for a long road trip to cause a team to perform better than they typically do.

Bettors should also take a broader view than just a teamís road record. Take a look at their statistics when they travel. Pay attention to the power play and penalty kill percentages. Some teams may play better offensively or defensively when playing away from home. Bettors can find all of these stats and more at A1Player, an online wagering portal.

Whatever it is, bettors should learn how teams play when they are on NHL road trips.

Recent Performance Before the Trip

Itís worth looking at how a team fared right before they went on the road. There is a tendency to place too much emphasis on a teamís pre-trip performance. Still, it is worth an evaluation.

Again, bettors should look at things that directly affect the outcome of a game. Goalie performance is a big one. Find areas where a team has been statistically consistent and use that data to predict how a team will do on extended NHL road trips.

Itís also worth noting the recent performances of several of a teamís key players. That takes us to the next category.

The NFL playoffs are coming soon. Here is how professional bettors approach NFL playoff betting.

A Teamís Overall Condition

This could refer to a number of things, but to begin it is important to watch the injury reports. Handicapping NHL road trips becomes even more difficult when teams are evenly matched. If the road team has key players injured, that can help bettors as they look to place their bets.

A teamís overall condition can also refer to their current state of play. Are they playing with passion? Or are they just going through the motions?

Some teams will tire of losing and take on a defeatist mentality. The talent may be there, but a team with an overall bad attitude isnít likely to win a lot of games.


Opponents on NHL Road Trips

Bettors have to pay attention to the teams that the road team is playing. Letís say you have a West Coast team that must play Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, both New York teams, and New Jersey as part of a five-game road trip.

First, itís difficult traveling from coast to coast and dealing with the time change. Travel itself is rough on the body. Imagine then if three or four of the opponents are among the best teams in the NHL. Playing on the road is hard enough. Playing on the road against great teams is even harder.

Likewise, a team might get lucky and play three or four inferior opponents on the road. Itís also possible that their four- or five-game road trip takes place over the course of 10 to 12 days. Teams can rest up some before taking to the ice again.

Bettors can get lucky too when they invest in a quality sportsbook with thousands of markets and all the bells and whistles.

Sometimes, NHL road trips arenít all that bad when the travel is short and the rest is long. Chicago is only a little over five hours from Detroit, which is only 4.5 hours from Toronto. With a day or two off in between games, that road trip becomes much more manageable.

Between Games

Bettors should find out whether a team will be going home in between games. Take the Blackhawks who start a five-game road swing in Detroit. They go to Toronto, but then have four days off before having to travel to Pittsburgh. Will they go home first?

If they do, that will have an impact on Chicagoís play at Pittsburgh. Going home makes the road trip not seem as long. It becomes more bearable for the players. Itís a morale thing and should be noted.

Bettors should learn all they can about how teams handle NHL road trips if they want to use that information to help them win more bets on hockey games.

Public Reaction

Bettors know one of todayís top betting trends. Itís actually been a trend forever. The betting public often overreacts to certain situations. Long NHL road trips are one of those situations. The public will always anticipate the worst, especially if a team hasnít been playing well.

This can give the smart NHL bettor an advantage. If he finds a team that wonít perform as poorly as the public believes, there is a great opportunity to find value in that game. Pay attention to how the public views games that are part of long NHL road trips.

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