bestodds logo

NHL Player Points Total


Sadonna Price

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

  • Caesars logo
    Bet $1,000 Back As Bonus Bet If Your Bet Losses
    Claim Now21+ to wager. Please Gamble Responsibly. Gambling problem? Call or Text 1-800-GAMBLER, 877-8-HOPENY or text HOPENY (467369) (NY), 800-327-5050 (MA), 800-NEXT-STEP (AZ), 800-522-4700 (KS, NV), 800-BETS-OFF (IA), 800-270-7117(MI), 877-718-5543 (NC).

When the Colorado Avalanche lifted the Stanley Cup over their heads and took it for a victory lap last June, it marked the 28th consecutive year a US-based franchise has won hockey’s ultimate prize.

Not since the Montreal Canadiens way back in 1993 has a Canadien franchise won Lord Stanley’s Mug.

Maybe more upsetting for diehard Canadian puckheads is that hockey-mad states Florida and California combined to win six Stanley Cups during that time.

Canadian teams have celebrated as many Stanley Cup wins as Mexico over the last 28 seasons, and that cannot sit well with America’s friendly neighbors to the North.

Today, we make betting on NHL players and their regular season total points even easier than beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.

Buckets on.

It’s time for puck drop.

NHL Player Prop Analysis Made Easy

Most of us are not computer programmers, nor are we familiar with creating complicated algorithms based on excessive amounts of hockey data.

But if you are reading this now, you have the ability to prep for your NHL prop bets, and it’s really not that hard.

Our table above consists of five excellent NHL resources copied and pasted into a spreadsheet.

What jumps out right away is the variance in projections when researching multiple opinions.

All five sources above predict Connor McDavid will lead the NHL in scoring this year.

However, the range of projections for McDavid is a difference of 28 points.

Those 28 points represent 23% of his total points from last year, which is a very big number.

So how can we start to make sense of all this player data we have compiled?

Sometimes Just Average Is Our Goal

All of our experts provide insights and analysis to justify their final totals.

Yet as a bettor, things can get complicated when we see that Nathan MacKinnon has a variance of 36.9 points between his lowest and highest projections.

One common strategy is combining all your data points for each player and coming up with their overall average.

This overall group average eliminates leaning on any one particular source too strongly. Accurately predicting the total points for 200+ NHL players is not easy.

Any expert is going to get some wrong.

Combining all five sources to find their overall average gives us strength in numbers, especially when dealing with opinions we trust.

But is there more we can do?

Next Level Analysis

If you scroll up to our five expert opinions and their projections for this year, you will notice that The Athletic and Hashtag Hockey are much more optimistic than our other three sources.

Being the curious people we are, Data_Josh and I wanted to see how this optimism had treated them in years past.

The information above is beneficial because it provides us with the 2021 Player Projections (courtesy of The Athletic) and actual 2021 player points.

The Athletic was very good at projecting Auston Matthews, Kirill Kaprizov, and Jonathan Huberdeau.

However, they were overly optimistic about Kucherov, MacKinnon, Draisaitl, McDavid, Panarin, and others.

All those red squares in our table above tell us that when The Athletic was wrong last year, they guessed too much instead of too little.

In the case of Kucherov and MacKinnon, we can see that each of them missed a significant amount of games due to injury.

How Do Sportsbooks Compare?

Eventually, we will have to take all of our projections and compare them to the odds offered by the sportsbooks.

The above table highlights a couple of interesting points for bettors to consider.

The first thing that might jump out is there is far less variance within the sportsbooks compared to our industry experts.

Because sportsbooks offer thousands of betting options each day, they often outsource some of that odds-making to other companies. This can lead to competing ‘books having similar odds.

Another important data point we should notice is that the average total set by the sportsbooks is far less than what our industry experts projected.

To understand why this is, we can use some of the previous work by Connor Allen of during the NFL pre-season.

Fantasy vs. Reality

This past July, while preparing for the upcoming NFL season, Connor Allen did a lot of interesting work detailing why he has been successful betting season-long NFL player props.

All 6 categories I tracked had a higher hit rate on unders than overs. I didn’t expect them to be THIS lopsided, though…

If you blindly bet every single under, you would have won more than 68 units while hitting 66.6% of your bets💰.”

– Connor Allen, (July 5th, 2022)

Connor goes on to help explain why the unders have cashed more often than overs historically, and the reasoning makes a lot of sense.

Players get hurt and miss games.

When developing models to accurately predict a player’s performance, it is far easier to determine how many points a player will achieve than if that player will suffer a high ankle sprain and miss six weeks of action.

Our table above illustrates that sportsbooks must factor injuries into their projections, whereas industry experts often don’t spend a lot of time trying to predict total games played.

Over the last couple of years, savvy bettors in all sports have realized that factoring injuries into player projections are difficult.

Especially injuries that can last weeks or months.

Multiple reports suggest that historically if we had been blindly betting unders for season-long player props, we could have made a lot of money.

Sportsbooks have been forced to adapt and recognize that injuries are an unfortunate by-product of professional sports and must be factored into the equation.

In our research for this article, the over/under totals were 14% less than the point totals projected by our industry experts.

This is how operators try to defend against blindly betting unders for season-long player prop bets.

Knowing this information helps us make better decisions when comparing our projections to the totals being offered in the market.

Shop Around

Spending time in the data science lab and coming up with our own projections is obviously going to help us with our season-long prop betting strategy.

However, the single greatest advantage a sports bettor has is their ability to shop around for the odds that work best for your projections.

The defending Stanley Cup Champions are once again expected by most to be the best team during the 2022 regular season.

However, for those of us who want to bet on Colorado running it back in 2022, we can find them at 110.5 points with FanDuel or 115.5 points with BetRivers.

Those five points represent almost three regular-season wins and could be a huge difference-maker for a bettor.

Shopping around for your Best Odds, in combination with time spent in the data science lab is your best strategy when it comes to beating the ‘books.

NHL Data Resources

Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic is an industry legend and if you are into betting on the NHL, you will want to follow The Dom, if you aren’t already.

​Connor Allen is as good as it gets when it comes to NFL player prop betting. Some of his research and strategies for the NFL can be translated into strategies for NHL prop betting as well.

Daily Faceoff, NHL Trade Rumors, and Hashtag Hockey made building our player projections spreadsheet super easy.

​ needs no introduction to hockey fans.


About the author

For almost two decades, Sadonna has remained at the forefront of the gambling industry in the US and abroad, covering the latest news and legal update...

[Read full bio]