The Ottawa Senators’ playoff hopes were officially snuffed out last week. A brutal four-game losing streak ended their chances to capture the final Eastern Wild Card spot. In this edition of the Sens Weekly Betting Roundup, we’ll reflect on how they performed from a betting perspective and provide tips on the final week of the NHL season.
While the Sens have just one game remaining on their schedule, we’ll shift into playoff betting next week.
Ottawa Senators Betting Result for Last Week
- Spread Record (Puck Line): 1-2
- Moneyline Record: 1-2
- Over/Under Record: 2-1
Last week we talked about betting the over being a smart bet for the remainder of the Sens season. With so many question marks in goal, it’s not surprising that they were able to go over in two of their three games. We expect that to be the case again in their final game on Thursday against a Buffalo team that also had their playoff hopes dashed.
The most interesting trend is that the Sens have won their last two games. Those games followed a blowout loss to Florida that ended their chances for a wildcard. With the pressure of the wildcard chance gone, the team seems to be playing some of their best hockey in weeks.
Per Game Averages & Trends From This Week
- Goals scored: 3.7
- Goals allowed: 4.7
- Shots: 42.0
- Shots allowed: 30.3
- Faceoffs Percentage: 52.0%
- Power play: 14.2%
- Penalty Kill: 56.3%
There is a lot to take from this, and most of it is frustrating. Averaging 42 shots while only scoring 3.7 goals is terrible. They struggled to get shots off against Carolina but had 58 in their 2-7 loss to the Panthers. That was a must-win game, but the Senators couldn’t figure out how to turn those shots into goals.
It’s also hard to look at those special teams’ numbers. That was one of their biggest strengths throughout the season, but it disappeared when they needed it most. The penalty kill was especially poor, allowing the Lighting and Panthers to covert over half of their attempts.
How To Bet the Final Week of the NHL Season
While many teams will have nothing to play for this week, there will still be plenty of opportunities to win some money. The end of any regular season can be chaotic from a betting perspective and requires a different strategy. Bookmakers will struggle to set lines because of this, meaning you can find value if you spend time on research before betting.
Here are a few factors to help improve your odds over the season’s final week.
Records of the teams involved
This is the most obvious one, but it’s also the most important. Before placing any NHL bets this week, check the records and standings for both teams. Are the teams locked into a playoff spot, competing for the wildcard, or focused on next season? Answering that question can help you determine if the team will rest their stars or focus on developing young players.
Focus on the recent performance of both teams.
Once you know where each team stands, focus on their performance over the last two weeks. While season stats are helpful for most of the regular season, strategies change as teams jockey for playoff or draft positions. Some teams will adjust their style or strategy, while others may be buckling under pressure. The Sens are a great example, as their special teams broke and sent them spiraling into a four-game losing streak.
Avoid placing bets too early.
Changes will happen quickly this week as teams lock in their playoff spots. Aside from researching the teams, spend time checking who they are competing with for playoff or draft positions. Plenty of games this week could change both pictures, and a loss or win by a rival could alter how the team you are betting on plays. Knowing all of the possible scenarios can significantly improve your chances of winning your bets this week.
Stick to teams that have something to play for
Your best chance to win this week will be betting on teams with something to play for. Some playoff spots are still up for grabs, meaning those teams will be in playoff mode. For example, Carolina is desperately trying to fend off New Jersey, so expect them to put forward a considerable effort against a Detroit team focused on next season. Betting on teams that are out of the chase can still have value, but predicting how they will play is much more difficult.
Watch the race for last place.
With Connor Bedard expected to be a franchise-changing player, the bottom four teams will have plenty of motivation to drop their final games this week. The Blackhawks and Blue Jackets are tied for last with 56 points, making their games interesting to bet on this week. While we wouldn’t dare suggest a team would intentionally lose, the temptation of Bedard could lead to some younger and unproven players seeing more ice time.
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Always Bet Responsibly
Every week we will mention the importance of betting responsibly. While this new age of legal sports betting has millions of new players entering the industry, it is essential to remember that it can be dangerous. Betting without a budget or strategy can lead to painful and expensive losses. This will only make sports betting stressful and leave you with a sense of dread when placing bets.
If you are experiencing those kinds of feelings, it is a sign you may need help. The resources supporting problem gambling have also grown with the increased sports betting demand. Most major sportsbooks even offer safe play options that will help you limit your bet amount.
If you aren’t ready to seek help, focus on creating a money management plan. Determine how much you can afford to lose, how to handle winnings, and when to walk away. This will protect your bankroll and lead to a much more enjoyable experience.