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NHL All-Star - Lesson 03 - Game Predictions and Skater Selection

Las Vegas has an impact in how one chooses their forwards, or it at least should have an impact. Would you really choose a player on a team that has +425 odds? Let’s be honest. Most people probably would not think about it, but maybe…

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas has an impact in how one chooses their forwards, or it at least should have an impact. Would you really choose a player on a team that has +425 odds? Let’s be honest. Most people probably would not think about it, but maybe they should.

Vegas Insider is an easy place to get your NHL odds all in one place. They generally offer the over/under and the money lines for every game that night and sometimes the early odds for the next night’s action. Though it is not necessarily for betting lines, covers.com offers a supplement PDF file for hockey that covers numbers and a snapshot of the last five games.

If you use both, you are going to be miles ahead of the game. For the sake of our premise, we will consider a few betting lines. The lines will give you an idea of which teams to choose and/or pick on. Think of this as a nightly primer.

Hierarchy of Favorites

How do we ascertain our favorites on a given night? Here is a handy cheat sheet to use:

-100 to -140 – Even to weak favorite

-140 to -170 – Lukewarm favorite

-170 to -200 – Good favorite

-200 to -300 – Very good favorite

-300 and above – Hot locks!

Generally, teams that are in the -170 to -300 range are very good teams going against very bad teams. Teams that are favored by this much will have skaters that should be targeted, as they are the safest picks on the board. Mostly, skaters on these heavily favored teams should be targeted in your cash game lineups.

As a rule of thumb, when looking at Vegas lines, selecting skaters from the most heavily favored teams can be a solid way to shore up your lineup. The higher the Vegas line, the heavier the favorite.

Once You Have Your Favorites

When you really get down to it, looking at Vegas lines is not overly complicated. It should be used as a quick and easy way to get a sense of which teams are in favorable positions on a given night. Every so often, I do recommend checking back prior to contest start time for one very important reason. Vegas lines change. Injuries and team adjustments can lead to line movements. When matchups swing quickly, there is nothing else to do but adapt and evolve.

Think of it this way, if I can get my hands on a high event hockey game because one side is such a lopsided favorite, then I do it. This is how daily fantasy works. The goal is to find the best players by different means. Using the Vegas odds and money lines is a great place to find which players/teams are in a good position for that night’s slate of games. Vegas is rarely off on their lines, so you can use their lines with confidence when reviewing upcoming games.