NHL Betting Guide: Monday 8/17/20
It was a low scoring weekend in the NHL, with seven of nine games staying below the total. Let's see if this trend continues, as teams contend with condensed scheduling, life in the bubble, and staying afloat in their respective series.
Here's what we're looking at today!
Under 5.5 (-140): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
The Arizona Coyotes are the NHL postseason's biggest outlier. They clawed their way back into this series after a much-needed win in Game 3. But the advanced metrics indicate that they need to get back to the defensive brand of hockey that they brought it Games 1 and 2.
Arizona was utterly dominated in Game 3. They gave up 39 scoring chances, 16 of which were of the high-danger variety, and 51 shots against while posting a 29.8% Corsi rating. Despite these gaudy numbers, they still managed to hang on to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. This was a steep departure from the 45.9% Corsi rating, 34.0 shots, 26.5 scoring chances, and 7.5 high-danger chances against, the Yotes averaged through the first two games of the series. In short, the Coyotes were lucky to limit the damage in Game 3 and walk away victorious.
Thanks should be directed to Darcy Kuemper, who stopped 96.1% of shots. It's the fourth time that Kuemper has posted a save percentage above 93.0% in the playoffs. When Kuemper's save percentage is above that key percentage, Arizona is 4-0. Arizona has dropped all three games when his save percentage falls below 93.0%.
Colorado has been snake bitten through the first two weeks of the postseason. Their team shooting percentage is down to 7.3% from their 10.5% mark through the regular season. Consequently, their goals per game are down and four of their six contests have stayed under the total.
Kuemper has been a big part of the reason why the Coyotes aren't getting blown out of the water and I don't expect that to change in Game 4. Arizona will need to embrace a more defensive brand of hockey to limit Colorado's chances. Even if Colorado maintains Game 3 type production, they still seem to be missing the finishing touches around the net.
Bruins -1.5 (+230): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (+125): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Tuukka Rask made headlines over the weekend by announcing his withdrawal from the NHL's Return to Play. Jaroslav Halak filled the role quite nicely in Game 3, helping the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 series lead. However, his 2020 stats to date have been uninspired. Halak has a cumulative 90.5% save percentage and allowed three or more goals in nine of his 18 games played. Other than a four-game span between January 31 to February 16, Halak has failed to hold his opponents to fewer than three goals in consecutive games.
Despite Halak's concerning stats, the Bruins are 10-3-1 in his 14 starts.
Game 3 was the first time this postseason that the Carolina Hurricanes were held to fewer than three goals. Worse than that, Carolina managed only 17 scoring chances and four high-danger chances in that game. Don't expect them to remain stymied, as they were averaging 29.0 scoring chances and 11.4 high-danger opportunities a game prior to that lackluster effort.
Boston is underachieving relative to their expected goals for, which implies that they should have some more puck luck around the net. The opposite is also true, with the Hurricanes overachieving relative to their expected goals against, which implies that they should start allowing more goals against.
The Bruins are better than what they've shown so far this postseason. They are due for some puck luck and offensive progression. As such, taking them to cover the puckline is a one-star play, as per our projections. If they do find their offensive touch, expect the game to go over the total as well, which is also listed as a one-star play.