NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 1/21/21

This week's overtime trend continued last night with two of the five games going to a shootout. With regulation draws normally priced in the +300 range, it may be time to hop on that bandwagon.

Here are plays from tonight's action!

Ottawa Senators vs Winnipeg Jets

Jets moneyline (-136): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

It was evident from the Ottawa Senators off-season that they were shifting from a "build for the future", to a "compete now" mentality. That change is reflected in their stats, as they've increased most of their scoring metrics compared to last year, but it looks like their inexperience is still costing them games.

Across all strengths, the Sens are averaging 27.7 scoring chances and 13.7 high-danger chances through three games. But the Sens are having trouble maintaining the lead in their games. They failed to hold on to the lead in both their losses and that was most evident on Tuesday night, when they blew a two-goal lead on two separate occasions against these same Winnipeg Jets. When we consider the Senators' defensive metrics, giving up 30.0 scoring chances and 12.0 high-danger chances, it's clear that there are still some holes in their defensive structure. It doesn't help that goalie, Matt Murray is having a hard time adapting to his new environment, as he's posted a 3.30 goals-against average stopping only 89.0% of shots.

Winnipeg has gotten off to a good start, winning two of their first three. What's been most impressive is that both wins have been come-from-behind victories, using second and third-period comebacks against the Flames and Sens, respectively. Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit have been brick walls, stopping 94.5% of shots to start the season. Winnipeg started Brossoit on Tuesday which means now the Sens get to try and solve Hellebuyck on the second of three straight contests.

Although the Senators will be more competitive this season, it appears that defensive inefficiencies and inexperience will continue to cost them games. Winnipeg is starting Hellebuyck which makes this an even taller order for the home side. Jets moneyline is a 1-star play, as per our projections.

New York Islanders vs New Jersey Devils

Devils moneyline (+142): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

After pummeling the New York Rangers in the first game of the season, the New York Islanders have fallen off a bit of a cliff, metric-wise. At five-on-five, the Islanders have posted Corsi ratings of 37.9% and 36.2% and expected goals-for percentages of 30.9% and 39.4%. What's most concerning is that they have only managed one goal in both games. Defensively the team is sound, but unless they plan on winning all their games 1-0, they'll need to figure out their offensive system.

The New Jersey Devils may be catching some teams off guard thanks to the early-season display that Jack Hughes and Mackenzie Blackwood are putting on. The sophomore center, Hughes, has recorded six points through his first three games while Blackwood is stopping 94.8 % of shots. What's even more impressive is that Blackwood is stopping 98.7% of shots at five-on-five.

Where the Devils are thriving is exactly where the Islanders are struggling, which suggests that it's a good spot to back the underdog. This aligns with our projections which rate the Devils moneyline as a 1-star play.