Do most NHL games go over or under?

Updated: 3047 Ice Hockey

The question on everyone's lips is, Do most NHL games go over or under for the total goals markets? We will be breaking down the statistics and finding the definitive answer in this blog.

Do most NHL games go over or under?
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

Do most NHL games go over or under?

For each game, the NHL sportsbooks will set a line for the number of goals in a match, this tends to range from a little as 5 to as high as 7.5, and it's up to the punters to wager on under or over the set line.

The lines can be set to a half whole number, 5, 6, or 7 which means if that number is the number of total goals then the bet results in a 'Push' where you get your stake back.

The majority of the time you will find it's set to half, for example, in this blog we will be using a line set at 5.5 meaning five or less and under is the winner, and six or more and over is the winner, this way there is always an outcome and no Push.

The question is, Do most NHL games go over or under this set line? The answer is by a very small margin most games go over this line based on the last five seasons and we will look at this in more detail in this blog.

The market is a favorite on the NHL Picks page with the handicappers looking for some value away from the Moneyline market.

Before we get into this blog, we have other NHL strategy blogs which may also be of interest:

Statistics by Season

The 2022-23 season saw the largest percentage of games go over in the past five seasons with 59.76% of the games hitting over 5.5 goals and 40.24% going under the line.

From a total of 5,845 games over the last five seasons, 3,264 of those have gone over 5.5 goals whilst the remaining 2,581 have gone under which is a difference of 683 games.

Goals Scored - Totals & Averages

Below are the average number of goals scored by both the home and away teams during each season as well as the match average. Last year was a bumper year for goals, the average was well above normal with 6.36 goals on average per game. The past two seasons are the only seasons from the last five where the road teams averaged more than three goals per game.

The average number of goals for the hosting team does not differ a great deal with a low of 3.07 and a high of 3.27 and the road team usually averages just under three goals per game. Four of the last five seasons have seen matches average more than six goals per game.


NHL - Most Successful Under Teams

Below are the only four teams who over the last five seasons have seen at least half of their games go under 5.5 goals.

  • Dallas Stars - 209-162 (56.33%)
  • New York Islanders - 203-167 (54.86%)
  • Boston Bruins - 189-183 (50.81%)
  • Carolina Hurricanes - 185-185 (50%)

NHL - Most Successful Over Teams

The majority of teams see a higher percentage of their games go over 5.5 goals than under, eight of those have an over percentage of 60% or more as you can see below.

These are the sort of statistics that the best NHL handicappers look for when deciding on a wager.

  • Florida Panthers - 251-120 (67.65%)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - 234-138 (62.9%)
  • Washington Capitals - 230-141 (61.99%)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - 228-144 (61.29%)
  • Seattle Kraken - 100-64 (60.98%)
  • Chicago Blackhawks - 226-146 (60.75%)
  • Edmonton Oilers - 226-147 (60.59%)
  • Buffalo Sabres - 223-148 (60.11%)

NHL - Team Averages

Below is a table which details every team over the last five seasons, the average number of goals they have scored, the average number of goals they have given up and the average number of goals in each game they have featured in.

The table is ordered by the highest average number of match goals down to the least average number of match goals.

Team MP GF (Ave) GA (Ave) MG (Ave)
Florida Panthers 371 3.55 3.18 6.73
Toronto Maple Leafs 372 3.51 2.96 6.47
Edmonton Oilers 373 3.36 3.10 6.47
Washington Capitals 371 3.34 3.06 6.40
Tampa Bay Lightning 372 3.55 2.83 6.38
Seattle Kraken 164 3.08 3.30 6.38
Buffalo Sabres 371 2.93 3.44 6.37
Chicago Blackhawks 372 2.87 3.46 6.33
Ottawa Senators 373 2.89 3.41 6.30

*Statistics only include regular season games, the home team is the official team listed as hosting and betexplorer used for results/odds which are used in the figures for seasons from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

Author Information

Andrew Powell manages our hockey analysis articles, meticulously updating the data for our hockey content on OLBG

Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy also possesses a keen interest in American sports with a particular affinity for the NFL and the NHL. He follows the Pittsburgh Penguins, emphasizing his broad palette for diversified sporting events.

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