Handicapping NHL Playoff Teams After an OT Loss

Handicapping NHL playoff teams is difficult enough. Doing so after an overtime loss can be an even bigger challenge. Playoff overtime rules are different than in the postseason. That has an effect on how bettors should look at the next game in a playoff series.

Key Points

– When handicapping NHL playoff teams after an OT loss, there are a number of things for bettors to consider.

– Don’t forget to gauge the public’s reaction to the overtime loss.

Understand the Rules

Veteran NHL bettors are aware of the importance of overtime in the NHL playoffs. The sudden death period has a five-minute time limit during the regular season. That changes come playoff time.

The playoff overtime period is a full 20 minutes and ends when one team scores. If the score is tied after one overtime period, the teams continue playing a second OT and so on until the game is decided.

The drama is intense, and it’s not unusual to see a battle that has gone into overtime become quite epic. The hockey team that loses in overtime will undoubtedly take it hard because the stakes are so high. 

Because of the lingering irritation and disappointment, handicappers are aware that losing teams occasionally play poorly in subsequent contests.  Winning teams typically maintain their confidence and momentum. 

Here are some items that should be taken into account when handicapping NHL playoff teams after they lose in overtime.


When Do They Play Again

When do they play again? The impact of a loss is likely to diminish the longer it is between games. When a team loses, it will hurt and be difficult. As time passes and teams begin to pay more attention to the broader picture, the impact of a loss subsides. 

In the NHL playoffs, teams usually play every other day. There may be times, due to TV commitments or other conflicts, where there are two days between games. The longer rest period can help a team that has lost the previous game in overtime.

Handicapping NHL Playoff Teams – Tied Up

Losses hurt, but if the hockey team believes they actually missed their chance, it may hurt more. Take the following example.

A team leads for most of the game. Late in the third period, the opponent ties the score. Then, the opponent scores late in the overtime period to win it. That type of loss stings. A team had what looked to be a win only to end up on the short end of an overtime loss.

That situation is different than the team that was behind all game and then got lucky and tied it in the third period. They end up losing, but they were planning on losing anyway after they had fallen behind early on. 

Those two situations produce different mindsets in the losing team. One is really down because it gave up a game it felt like the team should have won. The other shakes it off quickly because they lost a game they thought they were going to lose anyway.

A Significant Win?

When handicapping NHL playoff teams after an overtime loss, bettors should take a look at how significant the loss was. In the NHL playoffs, every victory counts, but some losses hurt more than others. 

Imagine a team being up 3-0 in its Stanley Cup series. They lose a game in overtime. That loss is nowhere near as significant as losing when the series is tied 2-2. When you factor in when a team plays again and how it lost, there is great significance in which game of a series the overtime loss happened. 

Handicapping NHL Playoff Teams & Adversity

The NHL regular season is long and grueling. Even the top teams have inevitably had difficult defeats throughout the course of the season. How do they respond in these types of situations?

Maybe they blew a considerable lead in a game and eventually lost in overtime. Perhaps a weaker team destroyed them, or they tried to come back from a deficit but failed. All of these situations give NHL handicappers valuable insight.

Teams that deal with adversity better than others are ones you might be able to back after an overtime loss. If they have dealt with difficult situations through the season, they are more likely to get through them in the postseason. 

The opposite is true also. Teams that don’t handle adversity well in the regular season are not likely to deal well with it in the playoffs.

The Betting Public’s Reaction

When a team wins an NHL playoff game, the general public will bet a certain way. Remember, the betting public likes to bet on favorites, teams with star players, and teams that have won recently.

In the case of an overtime loss, it’s worth checking the public’s reaction. They are likely to bet on the team that won the last game in overtime. The public believes this team will have significant momentum after having won. 

Keep in mind that the public’s reaction is something bettors should always pay attention to. Betting against the public has its advantages, but doing so blindly can lead to losses.

Smart NHL bettors may frequently identify scenarios when their opinion and the public’s reaction are not in harmony. These types of situations can lead bettors to find some serious value when handicapping NHL playoff teams after an overtime loss.