Free football picks, free basketball, baseball, sports picks
Bet at Wagerweb
Home | Members | Signup | Preferred Sportsbooks | Free Sports Picks | Free Football Picks | Free Basketball Picks | Free Baseball Picks

How Bettors Should Evaluate NHL Goalies for Betting

Learn how bettors should evaluate NHL goalies.

Key Points

– Bettors should evaluate NHL goalies before betting on a game.

– One statistic is better than any other to evaluate NHL goalies.

How Bettors Should Evaluate NHL Goalies

The single most crucial element of any hockey game is the goalie. They play a similar role in a game's outcome like starting pitchers do in baseball.

A good goalie can save a team from a bad game, but a bad game can ruin a team's offensive play. Goalies are crucial to a team, so it stands to reason that handicappers value them as well. In fact, there is a good chance that a handicapper who is skilled at assessing goalies and predicting their performance will turn a profit.

The following five elements should be taken into account when you evaluate NHL goalies.



Can you (and his team) depend on this goalie? If a goalie is good enough to make an NHL roster, then you know that he has talent. If everything goes right, he is capable of earning shutouts in NHL games.

What is really impressive in the NHL is the ability of a goalie to consistently perform well in the best hockey league in the world. The best goalies in the NHL are consistent. They can be counted on to hold teams scoreless or give up one or two goals. What’s also impressive are the advantages of using online betting sites to wager on hockey.

Goalies that are not consistent are usually not reliable. They may have an outstanding performance once every so often. Those great games are followed by several not-so-good ones.

Always lean towards the reliable goalie when looking for an NHL team to back. Just because a guy had a bad game every once in a while doesn’t make him a risk. When you evaluate NHL goalies, look for the guys that are reliable.

Save Percentage vs. Goals Against Average

Goals against average (GAA) is the most frequently used statistic to evaluate NHL goalies. Like ERA in baseball and quarterback rating in football, it is a flawed statistic.

If an NHL team is a very good defensive team, the goalie will face fewer shots. His GAA will be low, but that doesn’t really reflect how good the goaltender really is. Even average NHL goalies can have relatively low GAA numbers if they play on a strong defensive team.

The better statistic to use to evaluate NHL goalies is save percentage. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. Save percentage reveals how many shots a goalie stopped in relation to the number that he faced. This takes the other players on the ice out of the equation. Using goals against numbers allows bettors to focus on just goalie play.

Evaluate NHL Goalies - Recent Form

A goaltender is a position where a player's recent play is more significant than their overall reputation. The problem for hockey bettors is that the reputation will frequently lure bettors in. This means that it may be possible to discover profitable opportunities if a player's recent performance differs noticeably from what the public has come to expect from the goalie.

There are numerous examples of NHL goaltenders getting hot at just the right time. It can happen the other way too. Goalies get into slumps where they just can’t stop anything. This is one of the problems with early season NHL betting. There just isn’t enough recent form to go on.

The Defense in Front of Him

A goalie's ability to perform well is undoubtedly impacted by the presence of the defensive support in front of him. When opposing players are left unchecked in front of a goalie or when power plays are able to take off at will, goalies are frequently powerless.

The quality of the defense in front of the goalie, their current performance, their health, and the kinds of teams they do well against should all be considered.

A surprising number of teams don't perform as well in front of a backup goalie as they do for a starter, so you should also consider that as well.

Evaluate NHL Goalies - Number of Games

One thing to look at when you evaluate NHL goalies is the number of games they play. Some goalies would gladly play 70 games a year because they perform best when they have a very demanding workload.

They don't mind playing back-to-back games, and as the playoffs get closer, they appear to get stronger. Other goalies need their rest and begin to show their weaknesses if they are overused too often.

Finding out how a goalie manages action and whether they are receiving enough or too much is crucial. If a goalie doesn't quickly shake off the rust and play at a high level whether they played two days or two weeks ago, too much rest can also be a concern. Some goaltenders need more rest and some don’t.

If you’re looking for a betting advantage, consider using free handicappers picks. They can help you win more bets if used correctly.