5 Quick College Hockey Betting Tips
College hockey has risen in popularity in recent years, thanks in part to the fact that more people can watch these games on TV or stream them online. While the NHL and other professional ice hockey leagues and tournaments around the world have always dominated the attention of fans everywhere, college hockey is starting to climb up that ladder of popularity as well.
Just like other levels of the game, there are a lot of great betting opportunities on college hockey, as more and more sportsbooks are starting to offer consistent lines on some of the biggest college hockey games and events. It's not just the Frozen Four anymore, either.
If you're new to the sport or to betting on it we recommend you to check out our guide on how to bet on college hockey first.
Once you have your bases covered feel free to follow some of these college hockey betting tips below to help you get started on the right skate.
Factor in Home Ice Advantage
Home ice advantage is obviously a factor in every level of ice hockey -- whether it's on the collegiate or professional level. In college hockey, though, home ice advantage is even more prominent. There are some very rowdy crowds in college hockey, just like there are in the NHL as well.
However, one of the main differences is that the players on the ice aren't used to this type of crowd, for the most part. While there are certainly some young stars at the NHL level, all of the players in college hockey are between 18 and 22 years old. Not all of them are NHL-level talent, either.
This means that college teams often perform much worse on the road than they do at home. This is something that you can definitely factor into your analysis when you're betting on college hockey. This doesn’t mean that all college hockey teams will lose when they play on the road. It does mean, though, that even some of the best teams won't perform up to their normal level on the road than they do at home. You could take advantage of this fact when you're betting on the sport.
Consider the Rivalry
There are some really intense rivalries in college hockey, and this is something that you should also take into consideration when you're betting on it. Certain teams and players will simply "get up" for games against certain teams in a way that they don't against other teams.
So, a great college hockey betting tip is to research these rivalries and see how they might affect the outcome of a game. When players play with more passion in a certain game, different things can happen on the ice. For example, the extra energy that they bring to the game could lead to more goals -- both because they're playing faster and because this could lead to more mistakes.
This is something you might be able to take advantage of when betting on the total goals line. Sometimes, this extra energy can actually be a detriment to these young, inexperienced players when it comes to breakdowns in defensive responsibility. And when that happens, it's likely that more goals will be scored than might normally be.
You also might be able to take advantage of good odds on underdogs that are playing in rivalry games. Sometimes, inferior teams play up to another level when they're playing their rival, giving you a great opportunity to cash in on advantageous odds either on the moneyline or the puck line.
Check the Health of Players
Health is a huge factor in betting, no matter what sport and what level of the competition. In college hockey, the importance is even more pronounced. That's because most college hockey teams aren't nearly as deep as teams in the NHL. For example, even if a major player on an NHL team is injured and not playing, there are likely suitable replacements for him. In other words, a single injury may not have a dramatic effect on an NHL team for just one particular game.
This is not necessarily the case for college hockey teams. Because collegiate teams don't have the same depth and overall talent up and down the roster like NHL rosters do, an injury or two to some of the main players on the team could completely change the outcome of a single game.
When you're checking the injury report, don't just look at who is not playing due to injury. Also check to see if any players are going to be on the ice but might be slowed down due to a nagging injury they're dealing with.
This information could help you gain an edge when you're betting on college hockey that you wouldn’t be able to get if you didn’t dive deep into the information that's available to you.
Look at the Overall Talent
Lastly, make sure you analyze the overall talent of the college hockey teams that are involved in the games you are going to bet on. This is especially true at the beginning of each season. With the end of each season comes the potential for some huge roster turnover. When players graduate from college -- or decide to move onto the professional ranks early -- that could leave a rather big hole or holes on the roster. So, even some of the best teams historically might have to make huge adjustments at the beginning of the season with the roster turnover.
It may take a while for the new players to gel working together on the ice, which could lead to some stumbles early on. So, it's very important that you analyze this overall talent that a college hockey team has, as well as the experience they have playing with each other.
Talent alone won't be enough to carry a college hockey team to glory each and every time they step on the ice. It's also important that they have experience playing together as a group. Teams with more experience can often overcome longshot odds, while teams that don't may struggle in this regard.