No matter what point you’re at during an NHL season, you’ll tend to hear plenty of opinions regarding which are the most overrated NHL teams.
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.
HockeyMarkets.com 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 bad teams here. The point isn’t to determine which teams met low expectations, however, it’s to determine where teams are based on relative expectations. OK? So let’s get to the five most overrated teams.
No. 3: Anaheim Ducks
As the season has rolled on, the Ducks have continued to slide down our value ranking. While the offence was always going to be a problem, it’s the drop off in John Gibson’s game that likely accounts for most of Anaheim’s deviation from market expectations. A career .919 guy, he’s currently sporting a .905 save percentage and -3.37 goals saved above average (GSAA). Last season his GSAA was 12+. TEAM ROI: -$29.55
No. 2: Nashville Predators
The Preds simply don’t want want to move out of the basement here. When I started tracking things earlier this season, they were dead last. Although they’ve had some signs of life here and there, they haven’t gone on any kind of decent run like the other highter-tier teams I earlier identified – the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning – quite yet. Losing Ryan Ellis won’t help, and the goalies still haven’t found any consitency, though a Juuse Saros shutout in their last game was nice to see. TEAM ROI: -$30.02
No. 1: Detroit Red Wings
The worst team in the NHL? Overrated? I know, I know. But they’re literally so bad that they trail the second-to-last place Senators by a full 12 points – and we have like half a season to go here! Despite getting the most generous betting lines in the league all season long, the Red Wings are by far the most unprofitable team. Just perfect tank execution. TEAM ROI: $34.48
(Photo of Jimmy Howard by Ken Lund, licence)
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