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PuckLuck Primer 12/8/23: What To Do During A Rough Patch

Throughout the season all you've really heard from us is how hot we've been. We started the season winning eight straight Pick of the Days. We were over 60% on the puckline up to the middle of November. I made some adjustments to the model on November 14th and we immediately went on an absolute week-long heater that was the most profitable in site history.

Then there's December, where betting with confidence has not yielded the results we grew accustomed to this season. For newcomers, this could be off-putting. For experienced bettors, you probably knew some regression was coming. For me? Well, it's a weight I don't like to carry in the short-term but know it's a long game.

There's ways to evaluate things through an analytic lens that really point us the direction we're headed here. Like when evaluating an NHL team to see if they're really good or not, there's underlying numbers that tell us if we've simply been unlucky or if something has to change.

Let's take yesterday's Pick of the Day, for instance. Columbus receiving a goal and a half looked very strong as the Blue Jackets dominated play in the second period and established a 2-1 lead on a sick Adam Fantilli goal about halfway through the game. The carrying of play continued for about four more minutes and Columbus increased their win probability to 67% per Evolving-Hockey.

That's win probability for Columbus moneyline - not puckline - have you. If you watched the game, you know what comes next. The Islanders exploded for three goals in five minutes and went into the second intermission up two. Fantilli scored again early in the third period to give us hope again, before the Blue Jackets conceded another three goals in six minutes in the period to render the game a blowout.

The statistical breakdown of the game shows different, however. Shots were nearly even, Columbus dominated shot attempts 72 to 57, and expected goal differential was only -0.16 despite the defensive lapses rendered in the second and third periods.

The conclusion? The +1.5 puckline was a good play, based on the value and the game beneath the surface.

Similar conclusions can be drawn throughout the week on games lost in overtime and shootouts, and some horrific goalie luck. Everything shouts stick to the process, so that is what I'll be doing. Stretches like this happen multiple times throughout the year, and the model always comes out on top.

In the meantime, I'll be focusing on combating any stressful and anxious energy with other things I love doing, because betting is not the controlling factor in life. Let's be sure to maintain a healthy balance and make sure we're betting to have fun and enjoy the ups and downs of the game of hockey. The positive vibes heading into the weekend will carry us through.

And with that, let's get into the edges with today's three-game slate:

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