Overtime Insurance: How Much Promo Value Is There In NHL, NBA Playoffs?

Written By Derek Helling on June 9, 2021

Michiganders have had a chance this NBA and NHL postseason to take advantage of BetMGM Sportsbook‘s overtime insurance sports betting promo.

But those who have bet on NHL games would have gotten a lot more value out of that deal than those who used the same incentive to bet on the NBA. However, that is a large part of the NHL’s design.

As both postseasons motor on, bettors should expect to see the disparity normalize. At the same time, that means the best opportunity to use the promo for betting on the NHL in Michigan might already have passed.

What BetMGM’s overtime insurance promo is all about

Essentially, this concept is an incentive to place a moneyline bet on NBA and NHL playoff games. The promo is still available for MI bettors in both sports. You can use it as many times as you like.

Here’s how it works:

  • Log into or sign up for a new account on BetMGM’s app/website
  • Deposit funds if necessary (if this is your first time, make sure to take advantage of BetMGM’s welcome offers)
  • Navigate to the promotions section
  • Opt into either the NBA or NHL Playoff Overtime Insurance promo, or both
  • Place a moneyline wager on any NBA and/or NHL team in any postseason game
  • If the team you staked loses in overtime as opposed to regulation, BetMGM will credit your account with free bets according to how much you wagered, up to $20

So, for example, had you staked $20 on the Portland Trail Blazers to defeat the Denver Nuggets back on June 1 with this promo, you would have gotten a $20 free bet. That was just one of several opportunities to use this deal already.

How many overtime games have been played already?

In the NBA playoffs this year, that Denver-Portland game was one of just three NBA playoff games that have gone to overtime through Tuesday night. That’s if you count the play-in games, too, of course. The other two were Golden State-Memphis on May 21 and Miami-Milwaukee the following day.

On the NHL side, it’s been a horse of a color so different that even Crayola probably doesn’t have a name for this color yet. A gobsmacking 22 NHL playoff games so far this season have merited at least one overtime session. In fact, that’s a whopping 34.4% of the 64 postseason tilts played through Tuesday night.

There’s reason to expect that rate to decline as the NHL playoffs sojourn on, however. If familiarity has bred extra time, then distance should become the parent of shorter contests.

NHL Overtime Is Tasty Playoff Recipe

A good explanation for the abundance of NHL overtime games so far has been that the teams playing each other in the respective series know each other well. The NHL’s unique scheduling format for this past regular season consisted of teams only playing intra-division games.

Plus, the nature of how goals are tallied in hockey also lends two teams to be deadlocked after regulation with a much higher likelihood than basketball does. That’s simple logic.

The postseason’s first two rounds keep with the NHL’s divisional theme, though, as the top four teams in each division effectively have their own tournaments. As the schedule moves onto the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final, teams that haven’t played each other at all this season will match up.

It’s quite possible that arrangement could lead to fewer OT games. However, as this is a unique scheduling format for the NHL, it’s difficult to know just how it will play out. There’s just no relevant historical data to look at.

Does that mean there’s no point in using this BetMGM overtime insurance promo for sports betting anymore? That’s a simple question to answer, if you look at it from a responsible gambling perspective.

It rarely makes sense to chase promos

This overtime insurance promo is just another sports betting incentive to create action. Sportsbooks roll them out frequently to entice new customers and as an effort to keep current customers active. Is it time to shelve this particular deal?

The bottom line: If you are already planning to place a moneyline wager on a team in an NBA or NHL playoff game because your handicapping says it’s a good bet — and you like the odds on that market at BetMGM as well as, if not more than, the odds on other Michigan sports betting apps — then why not? It doesn’t cost you a cent to opt into the promo.

If the team you staked does lose in overtime, at least you’ll get some site credit for your trouble.

However, it’s rarely wise to make a bet you aren’t confident about just to go after an overtime promotion. Real cash and site credit aren’t the same things. You have to bet through site credits at least once before you can withdraw any of those funds.

There have been lots of NBA and NHL playoff games in which to use this promo in so far. There’s no guarantee those opportunities will continue, though. If you’re going to place a moneyline wager on BetMGM on such a game, anyway, there’s little reason not to take advantage of this insurance.

Just make sure overtime itself isn’t your prime reason why.

Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Chicago, IL. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law. Recently, he has written about the expanded gambling industry in Michigan, including online sports betting, online casinos, and the cornerstone land-based casino market.

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