NBA and NHL Regular Season Final Weeks Betting Strategies

As we approach the end of the NBA and NHL seasons, you have to adjust your betting style to fit the needs of the teams. There are a couple of common ways that I will look to play the final weeks of the season that have been profitable in years past. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies that I have used for betting the end of the NBA and NHL seasons.

Check the Standings

I know this seems obvious, but it’s amazing to me how many people overlook the extra or lack of motivation that can go into these final weeks. There is a subset of teams that have very little to play for at this point in the season, and it’s not just teams at the bottom. It is also teams that are locked into their position.


Much like we see players rest in the final week of the NFL, you get some funky lineups in the NHL and NBA during the home stretch. We’ve already seen teams like Golden State rest key players since they have all but locked up the play-in game and want to make sure they are healthy. Keep an eye on the prospective lineups and projecting when players will sit can get you ahead of the number.

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In the NHL, teams like the Dallas Stars, who have been rolling as of late, now have the division all but locked up and know they will be the #1 seed in the West. While you will not see as many changes in the lineup from a game-to-game perspective, you will see goalies starting to sit games that they would not usually sit.

Strategy changes for teams who are trying to make the playoffs as well. We’ve seen NHL teams pull their goalie in tie games in the third period and overtime over the last week. That’s unheard of at any other point in the season, but due to the current playoff race they are involved in, the extra point means much more now than it did a month ago.

Look to the Unders

When you have matchups between two teams that are in a tight race for the playoffs, I am generally going to look to play Unders. You see totals dip in the playoffs in both sports, but in the last few weeks of the regular season, you do not see the same adjustment.

I disagree with this. Some of these games are de facto playoff games, in a way, and the intensity, especially on the defensive side, will get ramped up in those situations. You can take advantage of this in the NHL, especially where teams will play a much less aggressive offensive style, specifically early in games, to make sure that they have an opportunity to accrue points.

First-period Unders, one of my favorite bets late in the season, can be very easy to pick out when you have teams that are competing for playoff spots. The adjustment in styles and intensity heavily favors the Under, and you do not have to worry about the later stages in the game when you will see teams go for broke on the offensive end of the ice when they are trailing.