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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is



New Puck Daddy: On playoff traditions, like bleaching the life out of your hair when you’re playing minor/junior hockey

New The Hockey News: Yesterday’s piece didn’t run until today, so here – on the mystery of the disappearing goal scorer

New USA Today: Final power rankings and predictions


It’s playoff time, and it’s time to turn my wealth of hockey knowledge into actual cash.

As a hockey writer or whatever the hell it is you want to call me, I make bold statements and act like I’m certain about how things are going to play out.  So this, year, I’m going to prove that I know what I’m talking about.

I just put $50 into my Bodog (gambling site) account, and I’m going to turn it into $500 before the playoffs end in June (rich!).  I’m not going to make some crazy bet that’s unlikely to happen, I’m going to slowly but surely build the numbers up with bets I truly like…..then when that doesn’t work, I’ll probably take some big flyer shot-in-the-dark type bets to get to the end goal.

Here are the five bets I’ve made on the first round that are going to turn my $50 into ….wait, what? $86.22?  Hmm.  May have to get more aggressive next round.  Ah well, increments.  You can check out Bodog here.


Bet one: Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes will play MORE than 5.5 games

If this series were to end in four or five games, I’d be shocked.  The Red Wings are the Red Wings, of course, but well-coached teams rarely get swept, and the Coyotes are as well coached as anyone.  They’ll adjust and run their smother defense enough to give themselves hope late in the series.

Wager: $10 to profit $5.71 ($15.71)


Bet two: Jordan Staal will tally more than 3.5 points

I like this bet a lot, mostly because I believe this is going to be a long series, and if the Penguins have any hope (which if it’s a long series, they obviously will have), it’s going to be because Staal contributed offensively.  I actually wish I had bet more on this, especially with no Crosby/Malkin in the lineup, and the general success of players like Staal in the post-season (ie. Johan Franzen).

Wager: $10 to profit $8.70 ($18.70) – I badly regret not betting more on this.


Bet three: The Montreal Canadiens will lose in the first round

I did predictions for a number of places, and I’m pretty sure I had this series ending in either four or five games in Boston’s favour in every one.  They’re deep, intimidating, and have great goaltending.  Not a knock on Montreal (okay, a small one), but I just don’t think they can hang with the big boys this year. (Apparently, Bodog agrees)

Wager: $10 to profit $4.55 ($14.55) – piddly, but it’s something.


Bet four: Of the eight 5 through 8 seeds, LESS than 2.5 will advance

Upsets, upsets everywhere, our NHL analyst friends always say.  They’re guaranteed.  For USA Today’s final Power Rankings and predictions (go read that!), it was one of the questions they wanted us to answer: who’s your upset pick?  I had no clue who to say.

I think this will be the year when the top teams simply play like top teams and prevail – I picked both five seeds to win their series, so there’s two.  I’ll probably be wrong on one of those, and maybe there’ll be one more upset to balance it out, but I just can’t see three underdogs getting it done this year.

Part of the reason I took this bet: the over was heavily favoured, odds-wise, so I can actually make a couple bucks by being right here.

Wager: $10 to profit $12 ($22.00)


Bet five: Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins will play MORE than 5.5 games

This one is pretty self-explanatory, as I mentioned in the Staal bet before.  Two evenly matched teams with great coaches (note that both series I picked to go deep have fantastic coaching), and I can see with one being a real war.

Wager: $10 to profit $5.26 ($15.26)

Total wager: $50

To profit: $36.22 (and end with $86.22)


The math doesn’t add up – win $36 over four rounds and you’re well short of $450 profit – but you need some chips to play with before you can start making the big bets.  House money, as they say.

If you choose to gamble along with my better strategy over the playoffs….don’t.  I will inevitably lose this money, but it’s fun having random weird things to cheer for.

Here goes nothin‘ fifty bucks!


5 Responses to “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”
  1. Liviu Bird says:

    The one thing people don’t seem to be accounting for is if Luongo falls apart again this year, I don’t think Vigneault will hesitate to give Schneider a go. I realize the playoffs are a whole different animal, but I think he’ll do well if he’s called upon. Or maybe I’m crazy.

  2. Jonas says:

    NIce bets, I’ll be interested to follow those, I always find “social” experiments such as these to be fascinating. You want me to increase your odds? I’ll just wager opposite of you and that will SURELY cause you to win all bets, because that’s the way mine works. Vegas ain’t my friend baby! ROFL!

  3. Karen From Rochester says:

    was the clip they ran on PTI the final four game the other night that UMD won? Because I watched the end of that game (had to finish the Sabres game first) and all the guys on the team (except the one who scored the game winner, oddly enought) had that awful orange “bad dye job” hair. It would be just like PTI to run something like that. And sorry, I’m not going to join you in the bets : O ) Being an engineer ruins this kind of thing for me, because I know the odds work in my disfavor. It’s why I have never in my life purchase a lotter ticket : O )

  4. Jono says:

    Wrong, Justin. Assuming you invest and win similarly, you’re making an extra percentage of $ invested.
    In this case, you’re winning an additional 72%. (Which totals 1.72 times the bets). So –

    Round 0: $50

    Round 1: 50 x 1.72 = 86

    Round 2: 86 x 1.72 = 148

    Round 3: 148 x 1.72 = 254

    End of Round 4: 254 x 1.72 = $437 total.

    Take a few bets with better odds, pick well, and you can certainly come out on top. Good luck!

  5. Sandwiches1123 says:

    I’m glad you didn’t bet on Nashville beating Anaheim. Here is why Anaheim will win the series:
    West coast team with home-ice advantage vs Central team used to shorter road trips. When Nashville goes on a road trip to west coast teams they would do it in a course of 3 or 4 teams in 6 to 8 nights. Nashville is not going to do well with the additional travel, especially starting in Anaheim. I know the stats are actually leaning Nashville’s way a little, but I don’t trust the stats on this one.

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