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Betting on Hockey: Ron Raymond Previews 2008 NHL Season and More

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Montreal Canadiens
Sep 30 2008 - 10:15pm

Attention all hockey fans! Hockey season is coming up October 4th and (your not so hockey literate) Yours Truly - Jenny Woo - had an opportunity to get a few pointers from a guy many of you who plan on betting on Hockey might know.

Ron Raymond has given his insight to Gambling911.com as it relates to the CFL, NFL and now - you are in for a real treat - the NHL, where he is considered a true expert. After reading this interview with the cute Canadian hockey player, check out his website at phoenixsports.com and see if he can help you with your sports handicapping.

And if you want to start betting on hockey over the Internet, be sure to join Sports Interaction, the first online gambling website based in Canada and offering a 15 percent signup bonus to Gambling911.com readers through October 15, 2008.

Raymond is considered one of the leading Hockey (NHL) handicappers on the Internet today.

Jenny: How did you become started handicapping NHL games?

Ron: I always tell my American friends this analogy; you know how you guys love football and how passionate you get on Sundays, that's the same energy and passion Canadians have for hockey. How crazy? The NHL trade deadline is now a 12 hr TV show on our 2 sports network "TSN and Sportsnet". So, hockey is in our blood and I've been doing hockey pools since high school and in 1996, Ryan Austin of the Sportsbar gave me my first break in this industry by allowing me to handicap hockey on his old website, sportsbar.com. It was so crazy back in those days; I use to get the Vegas Whales calling me at 6am in the morning to see if my picks were ready. It was nuts, but I was having great year in picking hockey in those days. Even the late Bobby Bryde would call me and we would talk hours exchanging stats and tips. Bobby Bryde was one of the most underrated hockey handicappers in our industry and his "cupcakes" picks will go down as classics.

Jenny: Are you a hockey player yourself? You seem to have all your teeth if you are.

Ron: I've played hockey my whole life and yes, I still play 3 times a week in the winter and twice a week during the summer. When you hit 40, it's a great way to keep the LBS down. ;) In fact, one of our teams is called "ATS" for ATS Database and people keeping asking me if we are a "break company" So, there's still more branding to do in this area. Plus, my good friend Mickey at Bookmaker.com is sponsoring one of my teams this winter, so here's a plug for them. Not like they need it eh? LOL

Jenny: Tell us how successful you have been handicapping the sport.

Ron: Ask anybody who went front a small operation to a large operation, their handicapping took a pardon my French; "sh*t kicking". When I was capping in '96, my record was ridiculous. In Fact Dave Arico and Donald Hepworth of Bigguy.com could tell you I was one of the top hockey handicappers back then, but once the PST took off, all of my time and energy went into other fields that took away from my handicapping, but that's the down side of being a small fish in this big pond. As for my handicapping NHL hockey, I would say I'm still making a profit, but nowhere near what I use to do back in the day. Plus, let's face it, parity is now in the NHL, so the sport is getting tougher and tougher to make a dent in the bankroll.

Jenny: What do you look for when handicapping NHL?

Ron: Like any other sharp handicapper, Value and injuries. The home teams are winning at a smaller success rate now, since the 2004 NHL Lockout, home teams were covering at a 57% winning rate in 2005, 55% in 2006 and 54% in 2007. As you can see, parity makes it a real crap shoot to bet on the home teams nowadays and you should never be laying more than -140 or less when betting on NHL faves. Injuries play a huge role now in the NHL, as I like to look for injuries in the 2nd and 3rd line of teams, as secondary scoring is what makes you win hockey games. Everybody knows the starting goalie and the top players, but nobody knows the role players and the secondary scorers on teams.

Jenny: What are the advantages to betting on hockey and do you see more

People wagering on the sport since you started online?

Ron: One of the best kept secrets in betting hockey is the puck line, the road dog line especially. Last year, the road underdog covered 66% of the puck line, so if you bet the road dog puck line (+1.5) with another play, you could have made a killing. The reason why you needed to have parlayed it, because the +1.5 line comes with a high money line total like -180 to -220 etc...To be honest, since the new UIEGA laws passed in 2006, every Sportsbook has seen a decline in betting, not just hockey, but hockey is the least favorite sport to bet on in North America. The problem is not that the NHL is boring; it's competing with the NBA on the same night during the same season. People in the USA love to watch College and Pro basketball, while Canadians love to watch junior hockey and NHL hockey.

Jenny: One of the complaints that people have about betting on hockey has to do with the lines and what they represent. Some Gambling911.com readers don't necessarily understand either. Can you give a dummy like me a crash course on how each line is written and what a specific number represents?

Ron: Before the lockout, we had a lot of ties, so the books use to put a puck line and a money line on each game. Since they took the ties away form the game; it's like betting on baseball now.

Here's an example on a line.

Montreal PK -140

Florida PK +120

Over 5.5 -110

Under 5.5 -110

Montreal is favored; when you see a minus in front of a money line, that means that team is favored. In this case, this means you would need to lay $140 dollars to win $100. As for Florida, they are the underdog, this means you would need to lay $100 to win $120 if they win.

For the o/u, when you see 5.5 -110 for the over; that means if the game finishes 4-2, that equals 6, so the OVER ticket is the winner. The -110 line means you would need to lay down $110 to win $100.

For the UNDER 5.5 -110; this means if the game finishes 3-2, combined goals is 5. The under supporters would win this bet. Again, for this example, you would have laid down $110 to win $100.

For the Money line, it's the same as baseball, if you have Montreal -1.5 +135, this means Montreal has to win by 2 goals. If you see Florida +1.5, that means they could win the game straight up or just lose by 1 goal.

Jenny: Gambling911.com is going to be delving heavily into the hockey betting arena for the first time this year. Give us your forecast for which teams will enjoy success. A surprise team or two? Best Canadian team? Who is going all the way?

Ron: In the eastern conference, I believe this is the year the Montreal Canadiens go far into the playoffs. Plus, I expect the Washington Capitals to get further into the second or maybe the 3rd round of the playoffs if they can get good goaltending by Jose Theodore. In the Western conference, I'm big on the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. Don't get me wrong, Detroit is the top dog in the West, but fatigue will catch up like it has for every other Stanley Cup champions of the past 10 years. Going back to back is very tough to do now in this parity era of sports. I like the fact the Stars got Richards at the trade deadline last season and look for Avery to give them more grit.

Jenny: Who will be disappointing a lot of fans this season?

Ron: Sorry to tell you Jenny, but your Florida Panthers are going to suck and suck big time this season! They have no identity on this team, when Stephen Weiss is your first line center, you have problems. I see them being last in the league. I don't like what the NY Islanders have done in the off season, when I look at their second and their line scoring, I don't see Dough Weight or Mike Sillinger getting more than 12 goals this season. In order to make the playoffs, you need for your second line players to score 20 or more goals and I don't see it from this Islanders line up. I think the Coyotes will be a disappointment again this season, as I think the other bottom feeders will be a bit better then Gretzky's boys. Those are 3 teams who will not make the playoffs this season.

Jenny: I attended my first and only professional hockey game a couple of years ago. The Pittsburgh Penguins were here playing the Florida Panthers in which the Panthers won. I haven't really kept up with hockey since then. Do you think the Panthers could be a promising team?

Ron: Let me put it this way, the Miami dolphins will have a better season then the Panthers and the Dolphins won 1 game last year. LOL

Jenny: What are your predictions on the Florida Panthers this season?

Ron: The panthers finished 3rd in the "south-leased" division last season, I see them finishing 5th with 76 points this season.

Jenny: Who are your favorite hockey players right now? Who is your favorite all time?

Ron: I'm not a fan of flashy players who guys who like to dance after a goal or salute the crowd with a kiss, I love players who grind and have heart and my favorite player right now in the NHL is Jerome Iginla of the Calgary Flames. Jerome can score, fight and hit and that's the envy of every NHL GM's in the league. My favorite player of all time is Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur. Growing up in Ottawa Canada and since I'm from a French Canadian background, Guy Lafleur was very popular in our area. But everybody loved Wayne, because he had class and was a great player.

Jenny: Our editor puts your pic up on the website next to your articles. I love a hot blonde. Married? If so, does your wife read Gambling911.com?

Ron: LOL.....Eh, I've seen a picture of your tongue, that thing scares the shit out me. You're like the female GENE SIMMONS....LOL...Yes, married, but she doesn't even read Phoenixsports.com, so post away. LOL....

Jenny: Is it true that you are afraid of flying? What if you were given the opportunity to have dinner with your favorite hockey star....in Los Angeles. You are in Canada. Would you fly then?

Ron: Nope, I'm not afraid of flying; I use to be in the Canadian military and flew all over the place. I've decline a few invitation to the islands because I'm a one man show and don't like to travel solo on business, as I prefer to travel with a team or a business partner. Going on business alone sucks and that's another pitfall of being a one man show. But yeah, I would accept any invitation or fly anywhere, I have no problems flying. Hell, even got my passport this year. LOL....

Jenny: I'm asking everyone this, even Canadians.....McCain or Obama? And how closely are you following the race? Here's the question that might get you in trouble with your wife: Do you feel Sarah Palin is hot?

Ron: Yeah, I follow politics, but not to the point where Rush Limbaugh is hanging on my wall. I heard from friends that McCain loves to poker and is a Great War veteran, but I'm a liberal lefty and would like to see a change of environment in Washington and see Obama get in. Hell, as long as they are "online gaming friendly", I don't care who gets in. Heck, if Ross Perrot could get us regulated, I would fly a poster of him on my wall. LOL.....Of course I think Sarah Palin is hot! Is it just me, or does she's not have that naughty librarian look?

Jenny: What are your favorite websites for gambling and sports betting information? I would assume that Gambling911.com is one of them. Right??

Ron: Yes, gambling911 is one of my top gaming portals for sure! In fact, I think Chris (Costigan) is one of the best and most underrated assets in this industry. In my view and keep in mind, I've been in this industry since 1996, I believe one of the main reasons the shrink became popular in this industry is because Chris AKA "Sting" brought an interest and industry news for "offshore gawkers" to the RX that no other site would even touch with a 10 foot pole.

I think the posters at Major Wager are some of the most informed posters in the industry, especially a poster named "juice". I use ATS Database for all my sports betting information and I do the rounds in other forums out of a force of habit. To be honest, I wish I could stop reading forums, it's like reading the national enquire and when your done reading it's like; "shit, can I get that hour of my life back".

This was fun, thanks Jenny!

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Remember to check out Ron Raymond's picks at phoenixsports.com

And if you want to start betting on hockey over the Internet, be sure to join Sports Interaction, the first online gambling website based in Canada and offering a 15 percent signup bonus to Gambling911.com readers through October 15, 2008.

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