With the new NHL regular season coming up I recently had an idea pop up in my head. What if you picked one team that you thought would be terrible all season and bet that they would lose for every single game? Say for every one of their 82 games you bet $10 the other team would win. How would you do?

I’m striving for simplicity in this venture which explains the parts of my idea. Sticking with one team, always betting to lose, and always betting $10 removes any additional effort. It’s like when you just dump money into a mutual fund and don’t think about it. You leave it to the fund manager to reallocate the fund’s resources as required.

Let’s take last season’s results as example. The Toronto Maple Leafs were the worst team in the league with a record of 29 wins, 42 losses, and 11 OT/shootout losses. Assuming that OT/shootout losses count as a regular loss, you’d win 53 out of 82 bets. At first glance, that seems pretty good. The issue is you’d lose 29 bets and be out $290 from those bets. From the 53 times that you did win, would your earnings be at least $290? That’s difficult to tell because the odds for every game are different. Also, when you’re betting on a loser to lose, the bookies usually don’t give you great odds. If I had to guess, betting on the favourite would net you about $6-7 every time on a $10 wager. In that case, you could recoup the lost $290 and profit about $100 over the course of a season. Perhaps a lot of work for just $100.

Hard to say if I’d go through with this. A friend says I should track this with a spreadsheet for the first couple months of the season to see what my theoretical results would be. Maybe that’s the safer bet.

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