NHL Odds: Wild Betting Movement On Bruins-Islanders Goal Total

I'll zig when everybody else zags on the total

by

The betting markets never sleep.

Unlike the stock market, which closes every afternoon and doesn’t open for business on weekends, the betting markets are a 24/7/365 rollercoaster. Lines open hours or days before a given game and bettors all over the world bet until the game starts.

And oh, do they bet.

Coming off a 7-3 Sunday shellacking of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Boston Bruins meet the New York Islanders Thursday night on Long Island. The B’s are a small road favorite at -130, but I want to talk totals.

The combined goal total opened at 5o-20 around lunch time on Wednesday. That means you have to lay $120 to win $100 on the “Over,” or bet 100 to win $100 on the “Under.”

Turns out, 5o-20 was the lowest opening total for any Bruins game all season. The average hockey total usually opens 5.5 with -115 or -120 juice one way, then money in the market dictates where the market closes by gametime.

By the time I woke up early Thursday morning, the total was already starting to move to 5.5u-30. So bookmakers added a half goal (5 to 5.5) and they’re now making it extremely expensive for you to bet the “Under.”

See what they did there?

This is likely because the betting public is attracted to the “Over” because of recency bias. The B’s just scored seven times against the Flyers at Lake Tahoe and there were 10 combined goals. Now you only have to get six to cash your ticket? Weeeeeee.

Every game and every situation is different. The Isles are one of the most physical, stay-at-home teams in the entire league. They’re going to do their best to minimize mistakes and play a responsible game for 200 feet. This isn’t the Flyers or the Washington Capitals.

New York goalie Semyon Varlamov (8-4-2, 2.06 GAA) is also playing Vezina Trophy-level hockey right now. In two meetings against Boston this season, he’s stopped 55 of 57 shots. The Isles are also one of the best “Under” teams in the entire league at 12-5-1.

You think they want any part of a track meet?

I’m a little nervous about the Bruins’ building injuries on the blue line, but I also believe in the organizational depth and development of defensemen. That Jaro Halak (4-1-1, 1.66 GAA) is pretty legit, too. I love his chances against an Isles lineup that doesn’t have much firepower.

This game has all the makings of a 2-1 or 3-1 final.

Please don’t drink all that juice at 5.5u-130 or -135. That’s bad money management as it’s extremely tough enough to beat -110 in this racket, let alone -130 or -135. Find a 5u+115 in the market or search around for an alternative total.

BOS-NYI Under 5 goals (+115)

RECORD: (21-10, +9.8)

Predict the Game returns to NESN on Thursday night. Our first question goes live at 6:30 p.m. ET on “Bruins Face-Off Live” and throughout the night, you’ll see predictive hockey questions to answer on our broadcast. The participant who scores the most points during the B’s-Islanders game will win a $500 prize.

Head over to NESN.com/PredictTheGame to create your account now.

It’s free to play and free to win!

Thumbnail photo via Dennis Schneidler/USA TODAY Sports Images

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