NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 8/13/20

Jamie Benn and the Dallas Stars are hoping to avoid going down 2-0 in their series against the Calgary Flames. How should you bet Game 2?

I have no complaints, whatsoever, when it comes to the NHL's bubble hockey. Non-stop playoff action, starting early in the day and loaded with intensity. Just hook it to my veins. But I'm not sure the players feel the same way, having to retreat to their respective bunkers without the comforts of their homes or team dressing rooms. What we will soon find out, though, is which teams are best equipped to handle bubble life and the condensed scheduling.

Here's what we got today!

Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes

Bruins moneyline (-150): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes have the unenviable task of playing back-to-back playoff games after going to double-overtime yesterday.

For the first time this postseason, the Hurricanes were outmatched. Carolina was outpaced in possession, production, and output metrics. Even in offensive zone starts, Carolina wasn't able to generate the amount of offense that they typically do. And that's not a knock on the Hurricanes, but it just goes to show how good Boston is.

Expected goals for (xG) is a good metric to rely on. Effectively, it combines key offensive metrics to illustrate how many goals a team should score. In the Bruins case, they have outpaced three of their four opponents in terms of expected goals for. Yet they only have one win to show for it. Wins should start to come a little easier for the B's if they maintain their current production.

PDO, which is a summation of shooting and save percentages, is another indicator that favors the Bruins. Carolina currently ranks second in PDO among Eastern Conference Playoff teams at 1.045, above the hypothetical 1.000. This implies that regression is coming, as the Cans should see decreases to those percentages, bring their PDO down towards 1.000. Under the same parameters, Boston currently ranks last in PDO at 0.958. This implies that Boston should expect some progression towards the hypothetical average.

Results haven't gone Boston's way, despite the metrics working in their favor. Expect Boston's progression as they build some momentum off yesterday's win. Our projections give the Bruins a big 63.5% advantage ahead of tonight's game. On that basis, taking Boston on the moneyline is a one-star play.

Dallas Stars vs Calgary Flames

Under 5.5 (-160): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Dallas Stars have already lost home-ice advantage and can ill-afford to go down 2-0 against the Calgary Flames.

Tuesday's game was every bit the defensive battle that we expected it to be. These teams combined for 10 high-danger chances across all strengths throughout the entire game. That's three for the Stars and seven for the Flames. Scoring chances were equally scarce, with Calgary managing 23 of them and Dallas putzing their way to 13.

This defensive play has been the Stars' brand of hockey all season, and, for better or worse, I expect them to stick to it. Expect scoring chances to be limited and goals to be at a premium.

Granted, I'm not an encyclopedia of game scores, but I can't remember the last time all the goals scored in a game came on special teams. But that was the case on Tuesday. Both of the Stars' goals came with the man-advantage, while Calgary managed to go one-for-one on the powerplay. More troubling was the two shorthanded markers the Stars gave up on both of their powerplays.

Dallas should also be concerned that they have only managed four goals through four games at five-on-five.

I also outlined some reliable low-scoring trends ahead of Game 1, which continue to hold weight after Tuesday.

What this all means is that goal-scoring, particularly at five-on-five, is hard to come by. Under was the play in Game 1, and these teams have not given us any reason to believe that won't be the case again in Game 2. numberFire's algorithm projects a low-scoring game, making under 5.5 a one-star play.