NHL playoffs - Stanley Cup Grand Salami prop bet

snooptodd

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I rarely watch the NHL in the regular season (unless I've got a bet with Chicken Rob on the Grand Salami), but absolutely love the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It's easily my favorite postseason in all of sports.

I recently wrote a top-10 Stanley Cup Playoffs bets column, but was disappointed to see how few that sportsbooks really offer. One glaring one that was missing was a Stanley Cup Grand Salami (total goals in the playoffs).

I did a quick tally to try to figure out about where that number should be ... here's my results.

There will be at least 60 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year with a maximum of 105 games. If the average series length is 5.5 games, and the average over/under for those games is 5.25 goals, the Grand Salami for the tournament should be set 433.

Then I looked at last year's results; there were 520 goals scored, which is WAY more than I thought there would be. Of course, there were 93 games last year, with a whopping seven 7-game series (average series length was 6.2 games), so that made a huge difference. The average number of goals per game was 5.6, which was a bit higher than I expected, but not a huge difference.

Where do you think the line should be set? And yes, this is something I might be interested in making a small ($20-$50) wager on.
 

Chicken Rob

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First In for the bet. I love the grand salami.

As for the line, I think the average series length times the average goals per game is the correct line as far a a simple model goes. Adjusting based on last year seems to be a mistake to me, since last year was not typical.

Do we know the average series length and points per playoff game for, say, the last 5-7 years?
 

Quicksilver-75

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Just looking at the first round...I would say the scoring will be way down with a lot of 1-0, 2-0 games. The goaltending seems to be outstanding this year. The amount of young (inexperienced) talent may also play into a lack of scoring. Teams on the whole, with a few exceptions like the Winnipeg Jets are fairly disciplined further reducing power plays and thus scoring. Looking at the matchups primarily in the West I would expect a ton of tentative play. I would look into the match ups where penalties/PK% for each team could ultimately determine the series. If I had to guess I would say most series wont end in 5 or less. I think 6 will be the norm and with my expectations on scoring being down I would wager under the 450 mark.

But hey...what the F do I know...After Christmas I had the Leafs pegged for a top 3 finish in the conference.....But if you start a pool here on total goals scored I would be happy to bet $20 on >450
 

snooptodd

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First In for the bet. I love the grand salami.

As for the line, I think the average series length times the average goals per game is the correct line as far a a simple model goes. Adjusting based on last year seems to be a mistake to me, since last year was not typical.

Do we know the average series length and points per playoff game for, say, the last 5-7 years?

Went back and looked at the previous six years. Here's what I found.

2014
Games: 93 (avg series 6.2 games)
Goals: 520
Goals/game: 5.59

2013
Games: 86 (avg series 5.73 games)
Goals: 431
Goals/game: 5.01

2012
Games: 86 (avg series 5.73 games)
Goals: 416
Goals/game: 4.88

2011
Games: 89 (avg series 5.93 games)
Goals: 499
Goals/game: 5.61

2010
Games: 89 (avg series 5.93 games)
Goals: 540
Goals/game: 6.07

2009
Games: 87 (avg series 5.8 games)
Goals: 477
Goals/game: 5.48

6-year historical average
Games: 88.33 (avg series 5.89 games)
Goals: 480.5
Goals/game: 5.44

CONCLUSIONS
Looks like scoring had been trending lower the last couple of years, but got back to about (recent) historical averages last year. (This math was done quickly, adding up total goals in each series in my head then adding the results on a calculator, so there could have been some unintentional errors; if so let me know and I'm happy to amend.)

450 looks a bit too low for a line, I think 475 is probably better. Because I'll likely be watching a fair number of the games, and like the idea of rooting for more games (and goals) rather than less, I'd rather take the over. Chicken, you want under 475.5?
 

bergs

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Went back and looked at the previous six years. Here's what I found.

2014
Games: 93 (avg series 6.2 games)
Goals: 520
Goals/game: 5.59

2013
Games: 86 (avg series 5.73 games)
Goals: 431
Goals/game: 5.01

2012
Games: 86 (avg series 5.73 games)
Goals: 416
Goals/game: 4.88

2011
Games: 89 (avg series 5.93 games)
Goals: 499
Goals/game: 5.61

2010
Games: 89 (avg series 5.93 games)
Goals: 540
Goals/game: 6.07

2009
Games: 87 (avg series 5.8 games)
Goals: 477
Goals/game: 5.48

6-year historical average
Games: 88.33 (avg series 5.89 games)
Goals: 480.5
Goals/game: 5.44

CONCLUSIONS
Looks like scoring had been trending lower the last couple of years, but got back to about (recent) historical averages last year. (This math was done quickly, adding up total goals in each series in my head then adding the results on a calculator, so there could have been some unintentional errors; if so let me know and I'm happy to amend.)

450 looks a bit too low for a line, I think 475 is probably better. Because I'll likely be watching a fair number of the games, and like the idea of rooting for more games (and goals) rather than less, I'd rather take the over. Chicken, you want under 475.5?

If we throw out the high and the low, it averages at 481.5. Gimme that line and I'll take the under for a Hundo.
 

snooptodd

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If we throw out the high and the low, it averages at 481.5. Gimme that line and I'll take the under for a Hundo.

I was going to try to argue you down to 477 and have you counter with 480 before we finally settled in the middle at 478.5 ... you want to skip those first two steps and make it 478.5?

Will take over 478.5 for up to $100; Chicken has rights for half if he wants it.
 

snooptodd

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Eight games, 42 goals so far. Just about what we were expecting. It starts getting interesting tonight and teams look to extend series leads or get even. Go Ottawa, Washington, Nashville and Vancouver!
 

bergs

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Am I in this for $60? Sounds good if so, your call Snoop. I love me some undah if it's 481.5.
 

snooptodd

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Am I in this for $60? Sounds good if so, your call Snoop. I love me some undah if it's 481.5.

How about this? Under 475.5 (my original line), I owe you $60. Over 481.5, you owe me $60. 476 through 481 is a push. Sound good?
 

snooptodd

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12 games, 67 goals. Good night for me as there were there were 25 goals in four games, and three of four teams tied their series.

Bergs, if you have until 3 p.m. (faceoff time for the first two games today) to take the offer above. Otherwise I'll just keep it to Chicken and guinness. There will probably be about 90 games, plus/minus 3-4, so we're already about 1/8th of the way through.
 

snooptodd

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20 games, 106 goals. The 2-1 Montreal win (giving them a 3-0 series lead over Ottawa) really hurt me. I would have preferred a 1-0 Ottawa win in that one. That's the only 3-0 series, however, and 6-of-8 series are 1-1 or 2-1. I really need a Winnipeg win tonight.
 

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I'm just seeing this now - happy to take the $60, your call Snoop - let me know anytime before games start tomorrow (haven't looked at tonight's results yet).
 

snooptodd

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Gotta pass at this point, playoffs are close to 25% done in terms of total games. And two first round series sitting at 3-0 isn't boding well for the over.
 

bergs

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Gotta pass at this point, playoffs are close to 25% done in terms of total games. And two first round series sitting at 3-0 isn't boding well for the over.

Werd. Sorry I didn't check this previously. I liked your idea with the dead spot in between our 2 numbers.
 

snooptodd

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Total sits at 158 by my count in 31 games. Goals per game is down a half goal a game this year to 5.1, which bodes well for the under, as does Anaheim's 4-game sweep over Winnipeg. Would have loved that series -- the highest scoring of the first round so far -- to go 7. Ottawa helped to over cause with a win last night to extend that series, but seriously ... 1-0?
 

snooptodd

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Up to 198 through 38 games. Half of the first-round series are over, Caps/Islanders are going to game seven, the rest sit at 3-2. I could use some more Game 7s here, or at least more Game 6 clinchers like Calgary/Vancouver (7-4!).

But considering there are going to be a total of 15 series, we're through four, and there are a maximum of seven more games in four others, the under's looking pretty solid right now.
 

guinness

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Up to 198 through 38 games. Half of the first-round series are over, Caps/Islanders are going to game seven, the rest sit at 3-2. I could use some more Game 7s here, or at least more Game 6 clinchers like Calgary/Vancouver (7-4!).

But considering there are going to be a total of 15 series, we're through four, and there are a maximum of seven more games in four others, the under's looking pretty solid right now.

Yeah you got some serious point'ages yesterday. When Chicago was tied 3-3 in the first period I was thinking that game alone could tip in your favor. Wow.
 

Chicken Rob

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I am at a rare moment in time where I'm swamped with work. Even if I win it will be a hollow victory. I'm not even enjoying the sweat.

At least you'll have the satisfaction knowing that, even if you lose.
 

snooptodd

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I am at a rare moment in time where I'm swamped with work. Even if I win it will be a hollow victory. I'm not even enjoying the sweat.

At least you'll have the satisfaction knowing that, even if you lose.

The reality of this bet is that most of the sweat is in the first two rounds. If it gets to the finals at 420 or lower (which is looking pretty likely), then the bet is effectively over. Sitting at 205 with just two or three games left in the first round. Montreal's clincher was bad for three reasons.

1) Final score was just 2-0
2) Ended the series in 6 games instead of 7
3) Casey Price is still in the playoffs

Price was out of his head against the Sens in multiple games. Hard to score on a hot goalie.

However, the empty netter with 0.3 seconds left gave me some consolation. If the total ends up being 479, I'll be pointing at that one and laughing.
 

snooptodd

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I did a quick recalculation -- I may have missed some games in previous posts; here's the first round results.

Series (games) - Goals
MON/OTT (6) - 24
TB/DET (7) - 32
NYR/PIT (5) - 19
WAS/NYI (7) - 31
STL/MIN (6) - 31
NAS/CHI (6) - 40
ANA/WIN (4) - 25
VAN/CAL (6) - 36

First round total goals - 238
Average series length - 5.75 games
Goals per game - 5.17

We're almost exactly halfway to the over/under line of 478.5, but 8 series are complete and there are only 7 series remaining.

The NYR/PIT series really hurt me, and I wish the Nashville/Chicago series had gone 7 games, as they averaged nearly 6.67 gpg in that one.

So the under is still in pretty good shape, but there's still a bit of a sweat in this one. Hoping for 25-26 games in round 2, and I could use a few more games like the Calgary/Vancouver game 6 (7-4), too.
 

snooptodd

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Conference semifinals didn't go my way ...

First Round Series (games) - Goals
MON/OTT (6) - 24
TB/DET (7) - 32
NYR/PIT (5) - 19
WAS/NYI (7) - 31
STL/MIN (6) - 31
NAS/CHI (6) - 40
ANA/WIN (4) - 25
VAN/CAL (6) - 36

First round total goals - 238
Average series length - 5.75 games
Goals per game - 5.17


Conference Semifinals (games) - Goals
TB/MON (6) - 30
WAS/NYR (7) - 25
CHI/MIN (4) - 20
ANA/CAL (5) - 28

Conference Semifinals total goals - 103
Average series length - 5.5 games
Goals per game - 4.68


Total goals through Conference Semifinals - 341
Average series length - 5.67 games
Goals per game - 5.01

The Rangers are frigging killing me. Just 3.67 GPG in their contests. A Caps in in that series would have been a HUGE help to me, needed to get Lundqvist out of the playoffs.

Just three series left, even if all three series go 7 games, I'll need an average of 6.57 GPG to get there.

UNCLE!
 

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Thanks for the writeup. Yes, 6.57 is probably not going to happen lol. I wonder if any NYR game line will reach 4 for the over/under. They stand out as the only series that hit 4.5 while the rest are 5 or 5.5. Lots of 2 goals FTW.
 
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