Every number tells a story in the sports betting space.
So when two sportsbooks opened their goal totals at 6.5 for Wednesday night’s battle between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals, there was clearly a rhyme and reason.
The average total or “Over-Under” in the NHL odds world is 5.5 or 6. You’ll occasionally see a 5 or 6.5 depending on the teams. If the Anaheim Ducks are playing the Los Angeles Kings, there’s a solid chance you’ll see a 5. When the Edmonton Oilers face the Toronto Maple Leafs, odds are good the total will be 6.5.
Bruins’ totals generally open and close at 5.5 in the betting market. In 19 B’s games this season, 16 totals closed at 5.5 and three closed at 5. Not a single one has closed 6 or higher, so it’s pretty interesting that the books skipped over the 6 and opened at 6.5.
Currently, the market is sitting at 6u-115 after an early wave on Under 6.5.
“It’s easier to make adjustments on totals,” Rampart Casino race and sports director Duane Colucci told NESN on Sunday. “It’s easier than the moneylines, because we can see that the structure isn’t the same. The Bruins’ defense is a work in progress with them being down a few defensemen and they still have that offensive firepower.”
NHL odds wizards appear to be bracing for an avalanche of goals Wednesday night, which makes sense. The Bruins are still without Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller on the blue line, while the Caps consistently find themselves in high-scoring affairs. They’re built to play on the attack which often leads to problems in their own end.
And speaking of firepower, it looks like David Krejci and Matt Grzelcyk could both play on Causeway Street. Krejci helps create a formidable second line with Nick Ritchie and Jake DeBrusk and Grzelcyk’s presence only helps the Bruins’ already strong power-play unit.
I love to play “Over” when I believe that both teams will be able to generate good scoring chances.
In two meetings this year, Boston and Washington combined to score seven and eight goals with the B’s pumping 75 shots on net against goalie Vitek Vanecek. Also, the Caps have already cashed 13 “Overs” in 21 games this season. The only team with more “Overs” is Vancouver with 14 (in 25 games).
This total is notably high for a Bruins game, but bookmakers definitely know what they’re doing. I’ll bite the bait and root for plenty of offense all night long.
WSH-BOS Over 6 goals (-105)
RECORD: (21-11, +8.8)