NHL Public Consensus

Malcolm Darnley

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

Just like NFL football, there is a component to NHL hockey that is physical, sometimes violent.

Hockey fans will always enjoy a solid, open-ice body check that stops an opponent in their tracks.

However, there is also no doubt that the NHL skill and talent level continues to grow and entertain us each year.

The stick-handling, shooting, passing and playmaking capabilities across the entire league have never been higher than it is today.

Betting on NHL hockey is a great experience because the game is a great product to watch.

Whether you are a longtime NHL bettor, or someone just learning the sport, the NHL Consensus page will help you make more informed decisions with all your NHL bets.

Let’s go!

What Are NHL Consensus Picks?

There are a couple of reasons why bettors are interested in checking out the consensus picks information when they are researching their potential NHL bets.

Specifically, we want to see the Bet Percentage (Bet %) and Handle Percentage (Handle %) for different types of NHL bets.

What Is NHL Bet Percentage?

If there were 1000 total bets placed on the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Arizona Coyotes moneyline, and 800 of those bets were on the Maple Leafs To Win, then we would say the Maple Leafs have a Moneyline Bet % of 80%.

Meaning, of all the moneylne bets made on the Toronto vs. Arizona game, 80% of those bets were on the Leafs.

What needs to be remembered about Bet % is that all bets are treated equally, regardless of their wager size. A $1 bet is equal to a $10,000 bet on the same outcome.

What Is NHL Handle Percentage?

The NHL Handle % will often be a similar number to the Bet %, but what they measure are two different things, each one equally important.

The Handle % is not interested in the total amount of bets made on one outcome, but only the total amount of dollars bet on that outcome.

It is very possible that one team could have more individual bets placed on them, but their opponent will have had more actual dollars bet on them.

Example Game: Toronto Maple Leafs vs.Arizona Coyotes

Once again, let’s use the Leafs vs. Coyotes moneyline as our example.

If there was a $10,000 bet on the Maple Leafs ML and a $5,000 bet on the Coyotes ML, then we would know the Handle Percentage for that specific moneyline wager was Leafs 66.66% and Coyotes 33.33%.

How To Read NHL Consensus Picks

Understanding what Bet % and Handle % are, and how they are different is the important first step.

We once have accomplished that, learning how to read the percentage breakdowns is easy.

BetMGM – NHL Futures – To Win Stanley Cup

Highest Bet Percentage

TeamBet %
Avalanche15.6%
Bruins9.7%
Maple Leafs7.5%

Our table above is pretty straight forward to read.

Of all the total futures bets placed to win the Stanley Cup, 15.6% of those tickets were on the Colorado Avalanche to win.

Highest Handle Percentage

TeamHandle %
Avalanche19.3%
Golden Knights11.4%
Rangers9.2%

When we lay out the Handle % on the same Stanley Cup futures bet, we can see how the Bet % and Handle % often differ.

Although there have been more overall bets placed on Toronto and Boston to win, the Handle % tells us there has been more money bet on Vegas and the New York Rangers to win.

How To Use NHL Consensus Picks For Betting

Identifying Sharp Money

The majority of us placing sports wagers are considered recreational bettors, even if we are all chasing that same profitability dream.

However, there is a small percentage of those betting sports who identify as sharp.

Sharp bettors are considered industry experts and normally are making a career from betting sports.

They typically have lots of technology to help them with their decision making strategies and a large amount of money invested in sports betting.

Sometimes, sharp money can be spotted by looking at the Bet % and Handle % of a game.

Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings

TeamsMoneylineBet %Handle %
MIN Wild+10565%40%
LA Kings-11535%60%

Whenever we see a large discrepancy between Bet % and Handle %, we need to be alert that could possibly signify sharp money in play.

Compared to the average recreational bettor, Sharps will wager significantly more money per bet.

In our table above, we can see that 65% of the total bets are on the Minnesota Wild to win.

We also see that 60% of the total money wagered is on the LA Kings to win outright.

Such a large discrepancy between Bet % and Handle % could tell us that the general public likes the Wild to win the game, but the Sharp money is backing the LA Kings.

Fade The Public Money

Another strategy that hinges on Bet % and Handle % data is betting against the General Public.

This strategy is more of a feel and instinct play and revolves around the theory that sportsbooks don’t lose money over time, therefore, the general public must not be “very good” at sports betting over the long term.

With this theory in mind, a bettor can take the opposite of whatever the general public believes is going to happen.

If 75% of the bets are on Tom Brady to beat the Cowboys, someone playing this strategy would be betting on Dallas.

Understanding NHL Consensus Picks Data

When we go searching for the NHL Consensus Picks data to help us with our betting decisions, it is important we grasp exactly what we are looking at.

TeamsOpening MLCurrentBet %Handle %
NY Rangers+108+12045%25%
Dallas Stars-107-12055%75%

Our table above is interesting because we can see a definite line move from when it opened to the current line.

We can also see there is a large discrepancy between the Bet % and the Handle %, possibly alerting us to some sharp action on the Dallas Stars.

In this situation, it is important to realize that although there is a lot of money currently bet on the Stars, it was probably not bet with the ML at -120.

The line opened up at -107 and has moved all the way to -120 currently.

Now, a bettor has to decide if they like the line at -120, or if they need to start shopping around to see if there are some sportsbooks who haven’t received action on Dallas and still have the ML closer to -107.

Always Shop Around

It’s valuable to identify the sharp money bets they are making.

However, sharp money is always playing the odds and not just betting on teams.

Because they like a team at -107 doesn’t mean they would make the same bet at -120.

The reality is, in order to win like the sharps, you have to be playing the same odds they are.

This means if you don’t get in early and lines have moved, you either have to walk away from the bet or shop around to find the right odds somewhere else.

Long-term sports betting is about taking advantage of opportunities and edges when they exist.

As a sports bettor, it’s important to realize that even the sharp money believes shopping around for your Best Odds is the single greatest advantage we have over the sportsbooks.

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About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.