The most underrated teams in the NHL: December edition

No matter what point you’re at during an NHL season, you’ll tend to hear plenty of opinions regarding which teams are overrated or underrated.

Analytics are useful in sussing this stuff out – eye tests less so. One reason I like to look at sports betting markets for this kind of thing is that, to a certain extent, they are quantifying fans and bookmakers’ opinions of teams’ abilities. Lines move around as teams go through ups and downs or sustain injuries, and you can start to get a sense of which teams have under or over-performed relative to those opinions. team ROI is a measure of how overrated or underrated an NHL team is relative to market expectations. Using sportsbook lines and theoretical betting units of $100, team ROI shows the average per-game return for each squad. Teams that have a negative number are underperforming, teams that have a positive number are exceeding expectations, and teams floating around the $0 mark are about where we thought they’d be.

Some of these are going to make sense and others are going to seem counter-intuitive, because we’re talking about some really good teams here. The point isn’t to determine which teams met high expectations, however, it’s to determine where teams are based on relative expectations. OK? So let’s get to the five most underrated teams.

No. 5: New York Rangers

new york rangers logo


TEAM ROI $21.42

No. 4: Winnipeg Jets


TEAM ROI $21.53

No. 3: Washington Capitals

washington capitals logo

TEAM ROI $28.20

No. 2: Colorado Avalanche

colorado avalanche logo

TEAM ROI $29.45

No. 1: New York Islanders

new york islanders logo


TEAM ROI $34.41

The Rest

Anaheim Ducks-$28.59
Arizona Coyotes$12.19
Boston Bruins-$7.40
Buffalo Sabres-$2.60
Calgary Flames-$0.94
Carolina Hurricanes$5.06
Chicago Blackhawks-$15.94
Colorado Avalanche$29.45
Columbus Blue Jackets-$13.56
Dallas Stars$2.83
Detroit Red Wings-$34.51
Edmonton Oilers$4.42
Florida Panthers-$8.58
Los Angeles Kings-$6.92
Minnesota Wild-$8.60
Montreal Canadiens-$11.42
Nashville Predators-$30.76
New Jersey Devils-$38.25
New York Islanders$34.41
New York Rangers$21.42
Ottawa Senators-$4.23
Philadelphia Flyers$5.68
Pittsburgh Penguins$5.26
San Jose Sharks-$18.78
St. Louis Blues$11.46
Tampa Bay Lightning-$24.69
Toronto Maple Leafs-$15.63
Vancouver Canucks-$11.66
Vegas Golden Knights-$20.92
Washington Capitals$28.20
Winnipeg Jets$21.53

(Photo of Mathew Barzal by Michael Miller, licence)

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