NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 1/26/21

It's going to be a hot and cold type of week in the NHL this week. After only having one game yesterday, there are 13 today, two tomorrow, 14 Thursday and only one on Friday.

These are the wagers we're looking at tonight!

Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Capitals moneyline (+120): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Washington +1.5 (-250): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (+110): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

We all know Barry Trotz is a defensive-minded coach, but this is getting a little ridiculous. So far this season, he has the New York Islanders on-pace for the second-fewest goals at five-on-five, and the Isles have managed only five such goals through five games. The Islanders are also on the wrong side of possession and shots metrics, ranking second-last in Corsi rating and 24th in shots percentage.

The Washington Capitals have kept their head above water without Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Samsonov, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Caps have split two games, with both going to a shootout. Extra time has been a recurring theme for the Capitals, as they've needed overtime or a shootout in four straight games. Even without Ovi in the lineup, Washington continues to find the back of the net, scoring the third-most goals at five-on-five this season with 16. Not surprisingly, the Caps have been no strangers to high-scoring games, with five of their six games going over the total.

According to our projections, the Capitals shouldn't be underdogs tonight. They have a 55.4% chance of winning, which is in excess of the +120 moneyline. As such, taking Washington on the moneyline is a two-star play, the puckline is a three-star wager and the over is a two-star bet.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers

Jets moneyline (+102): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Winnipeg +1.5 (-275): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.5 (-120): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Winnipeg Jets staged a third-period comeback against the Edmonton Oilers last time out, only to relinquish the lead and lose in the final moments of the game. They'll look to avoid that same fate when these teams face off for the second time in three nights.

The biggest factor working in the Jets favor is that Connor Hellebuyck will be back between the pipes tonight. The Jets are 92-46-8 when Hellebuyck starts on home ice. But their scoring metrics are much better on home ice, as well. The Jets are averaging 30.3 scoring chances and 13.7 high-danger chances at home, compared to 25.7 and 8.0, respectively, on the road.

Edmonton's goaltending issues are well documented and unabated. Mikko Koskinen is giving up an average of 3.18 goals per game while stopping 90.7% of shots. He's been an all-or-nothing kind of goalie this season, stopping 94.2% of shots in three victories and only 88.0% of shots in four losses. The Oilers aren't doing Koskinen many favors, though, as they are giving up the second-most shots, third-most scoring chances, and sixth-most high-danger opportunities in the league.

Much like the Jets' home-ice metrics, our projections favor Winnipeg tonight. FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Jets installed as +102 'dogs on home ice. That leaves an advantage in taking the Jets on the moneyline, puckline, and the under 6.5, all of which are rated as two-star plays.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Florida Panthers

Blue Jackets moneyline (-122): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Blue Jackets 1.5 (+215): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (-110): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Florida Panthers will get a taste of real life after beating up on the hapless Chicago Blackhawks for two games. COVID has limited the Panthers' start to the season, as they've played only two games so far. The COVID concerns haven't related to the Panthers, though -- they just had the unfortunate distinction of being scheduled versus the Dallas Stars and Carolina Hurricanes.

After two games against the 'Hawks, the Panthers are skating around with a 1.061 PDO thanks to an inflated 15.2% shooting percentage. As expected, the Panthers' overachieved relative to expected goals-for by a big jump. Their wakeup call will come in the form of a much stingier Columbus Blue Jackets team that doesn't give up a ton of chances. They rank in the top half of the league in defensive metrics and have the 14th-ranked expected goals against at all strengths.

The Jackets have shown they can skate with the best of the league after splitting a two-game home set with the Tampa Bay Lightning, losing the first one 3-2 and handily winning the second contest.

Don't be surprised if the Jackets catch the Panthers off guard in this one. Playing more games at this point in the season is an advantage that the Jackets can wield, and they can best the Panthers with their scoring depth across their forward corps. numberFire's projections give the home side a bigger advantage than the betting market, making Jackets moneyline a two-star play, puckline a one-star bet and the over a one-star play.