The 2019-20 NHL season was a long one — with a four month pause just before the playoffs — but it has finally come to a close. As the offseason continues and the league prepares for the 2020-21 season, we look through the notable betting trends of the recently concluded year to show you what DraftKings Sportsbook bettors were doing and how the DraftKings Sportsbook odds can help tell the story of this very unusual season.
Going all the way back to last offseason before 2019-20 began, the league had just wrapped up the 2019 Stanley Cup with the St. Louis Blues defeating the Boston Bruins. As the offseason progressed, a trend emerged as many playoff-bound teams started picking off key players from the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had just swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in an historic 8 seed over 1 seed rout. Artermi Panarin signed with the Rangers, Segei Bobrovsky signed with the Panthers, and Matt Duchene went to the Nashville Predators. Also seen below are the Dallas Stars, who were already trending upward at this point in 2019 and it held true throughout the 2019-20 season as they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
Tampa Bay Lightning
The Stars were among the best teams this past season, but ran into a powerhouse in the Lightning who were intent on avenging their short playoff stint from the year before. The Lightning closed the season strong and were dominant throughout the playoffs, but it actually was more of an up-and-down season than most people may remember. The Lightning struggled tremendously early on and their odds fluctuated greatly as a result.
Most Bet Teams
The Stanley Cup champion Lightning obviously did well for the bettors who stuck with them, but they actually weren’t even in the Top 3 in overall betting and were outside the Top 5 by betting handle. The Boston Bruins were number one in both categories and while they faltered against the Lightning in the playoffs, they still did pretty well for bettors with an impressive regular season. The Bruins finished 2019-20 with the best overall record and were the only team in the league to reach 100 points.
Most Profitable Games
Looking at the individual games that made DraftKings Sportsbook bettors the most money, it’s apparent that the New York Rangers were somewhat profitable even though they got swept in the Qualifying Round against the Carolina Hurricanes. Their January win over the Devils in a local rivalry game clearly helped a lot of people, and the two other games from February were during a streak in which the Rangers had started to play very strong hockey. The Rangers had just finished off a four-game winning streak prior to their February 21 game against the Hurricanes, and had won eight of their past nine prior to the February 27 game against the Montreal Canadiens. It was a disappointing end to the season for Rangers fans, but with a young roster and a first overall pick heading into next season, things are trending up for 2020-21.
Golden Knights vs. Canucks
Neither team ultimately advanced to the Stanley Cup, but one of the more compelling series in recent memory was the quarterfinal matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks. The Knights were substantial favorites before the series began, and overwhelming favorites after taking a three games to one lead, but the Canucks rallied back from the 3-1 deficit as 20 to 1 underdogs and nearly stole the series while getting severely outplayed. The Canucks had resorted to their backup goaltender Thatcher Demko, who stepped up to the challenge and stopped 90 out of 91 shots to keep the series alive in Games 5 and 6. The Canucks had moved their series line all the way down to +190 before Game 7, but couldn’t complete the comeback as the Knights advanced the Conference Finals.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.