Saturday, October 29, 2011

Serious about hockey playoff pools?

So why pool? Ultimately the decision to "Pool" for most people is based on entertainment and the love of the game. But should it really end here? For the ultimate sports enthusiast or gambler, much much more should come into play when picking your team. If you fall into one of the categories below, then this article is for you.

1. You usually end up at the bottom of your pool.

2. You think you know what you are doing but still don't seem to win.

3. You draft all the "right" players or players that you want, and are surprised to lose to another inferior team.

4. You draft with your heart and not your head.

Let me repeat...


To win in any hockey pool, there are two fundamental principles that I suggest you keep an eye on.

1. Are you getting an overlay on a team?

2. Are you drafting with a (points per game) X (games) attitude?

Are you getting an OVERLAY?

If you are drafting a team. Lets say that you suspect that the Detroit Red Wings will win it all this year. Then the only reason to go into a pool and draft Detroit players is if you are getting better odds than what "Vegas" is offering on the team.

Yes it is that simple.

Lets say that there are ten teams drafting in your pool and you think that you can get most of the Detroit players. You are basically being offered 10 to 1 on your wager. But hang on, thats only if first place takes it all. Now for our purposes thats probably a fair assessment as if there were two or even three places, you are getting odds to finish second or third as well. Thats enough compensation.

Now lets suppose that you think Buffalo will win it all this year and you go out and draft Vanek, Pomminville, Stafford, etc. etc. You are getting the same 10-1 but in the meantime, you could take your $50 bucks and put it on Buffalo in Las Vegas and be getting 40-1....a huge overlay compared to your draft.

The next time you are in a draft, find an overlay. This years overlays would be (I'm guessing but I'm sure I'm close)...

Detroit, Vancouver, Washington and Philly. (All tied or winning their current series also!)

Are you drafting with a (points per game) X (games) attitude?

There is no point drafting players that are going to the cup final if they aren't going to get points on they way there. There's also going to be many players that will only play one series but get more points than a players taken in you pool that make the cup final (And play 22-24 games). This year I took Shea Weber in the 9th round because I thought they would play 6-7 games and I took his average for the season (50 points in 78 games) and guessed that I would get somewhere between 4-5 points out of that player.

Doing the same thing with players like Stamkos and St.Louis this year, I figured that they might play 2 series. Therefore, 2 series averaging 6 games is 12 games total. 12 games by either players league average should yield me around 12-15 points. 12-15 points in most years is a top thirty player. So even though I thought that Tampa Bay would only play 2 series, they still become 3rd and 4th round players in most drafts (We had a nine team draft so I got both players in the 3rd and 4th round).

My team has (my predictions)

D. Sedin 20-26 points

Perry 12-15 points

St. Louis 12-16 points

Stamkos 11-15 points

Samulsson 11-15 points

Bieksa 8-10 points

Arnott 8-10 points

Horquist 5-6 points

Weber 4-5 points

Shane Doan 4-5 points

For a total of 95-123 (Good enough to finish in the top three of a ten person pool)

Trying to build a team this way can bring outstanding results and surprise many of the poolies in your draft. While they take the 12th guy down on the best team, you take the best guy on the worst team and get more points.

Remember, the most important thing...DON'T DRAFT WITH YOU HEART!....your heart will be in it when your team is winning and your players are scoring.

Good luck!

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