Understanding Implied Probability in NHL Betting

In the world of NHL betting, understanding the concept of implied probability is crucial. It provides a clearer picture of the bookmaker’s expectations and can help bettors make more informed decisions. But what exactly is implied probability, and how does it relate to the odds provided by sportsbooks? Let’s dive in.

What is Implied Probability?

Implied probability represents the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring, as suggested by the odds set by bookmakers. In simpler terms, it’s the probability that a specific event (like a team winning a game) will happen according to the odds.

For example, if the Boston Bruins are given odds of -150 to win their next game, the implied probability can help us understand the percentage chance the bookmakers believe the Bruins have of winning.

Calculating Implied Probability

To determine the implied probability from American odds, follow these formulas:

  • For Positive Odds (underdogs): Implied Probability= 100/(American Odds+100)
  • For Negative Odds (favorites): Implied Probability=American Odds/(American Odds +100)

For instance, using the Bruins as an example with odds of -150:

Implied Probability = 150/150+100=0.6 This indicates a 60% chance (as per the bookmaker) that the Bruins will emerge victorious.


Why Implied Probability is Crucial in NHL Betting

  1. Value Identification: By understanding implied probability, bettors can identify value in the odds. If you believe the Bruins have a 65% chance of winning, but the bookmaker’s implied probability is 60%, there’s value in that bet.
  2. Comparing Probabilities: Bettors can compare their own estimations of an event occurring with the bookmaker’s implied probability. This can guide decisions on where to place bets.
  3. Understanding the Bookmaker’s Perspective: Implied probability offers insight into what the bookmakers are thinking. It shows how they’re weighing the chances of different outcomes.
  4. Risk Management: Knowing the implied probability can help bettors manage their risk. If a bet has a low implied probability but offers a high payout, a bettor might decide to take the risk, understanding it’s a long shot.

Implied Probability in NHL Context

The fast-paced nature of hockey, with its power plays, penalties, and last-minute goals, can make predicting outcomes challenging. However, implied probability gives bettors a statistical foundation to work from.

For instance, consider a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. If the Oilers are given odds of +200, the implied probability suggests they have a 33.33% chance of winning. If a bettor has been following the season closely and believes that due to certain team dynamics, injuries, or strategies, the Oilers have a better chance than what’s implied, they might decide to place a bet on the Oilers.

Implied probability is a powerful tool in the NHL bettor’s arsenal. It provides a clearer understanding of the odds and the expectations of bookmakers. By mastering this concept, bettors can make more informed decisions, identify value in bets, and increase their chances of successful outcomes. Whether you’re a seasoned NHL bettor or just starting out, always consider the implied probability before placing your bet.