NHL Betting Guide: Monday 2/1/21

Casey DeSmith continues to eke out wins for the Penguins. Will the Rangers find a way to come out victorious tonight?

Unders were trending for the most part of last week before it was revenge of the overs. Saturday and Sunday saw 12 of 20 games go over the total, including some by a pretty convincing margin. There's a steady diet of hockey this week, so stay tuned to our betting guides!

Here's what we're looking at.

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Rangers moneyline (-102): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Rangers +1.5 (-290): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

The Pittsburgh Penguins appear to be giving Tristan Jarry some time to figure things out, and they will be riding the hot-handed Casey DeSmith. DeSmith is 3-0-0 and will be starting in consecutive games for the second time already this season. Although the outcomes have been favorable, there are some concerns regarding DeSmith's play. He has stopped only 87.5% of shots faced and has allowed 11 goals through three starts with all three wins coming in the overtime period. DeSmith has been rescued by some efficient offensive performances this season and his metrics are hardly compatible with a 3-0-0 goalie.

Puck luck is hard to quantify but the New York Rangers are a prime example of a team on the wrong side of it. The Rangers have posted inspired metrics this season, as evidenced by their positive expected goals-for ratio in five of eight games this season, but only have two wins to show for it. Shooting and save percentages are both off of averages and should improve over the coming games, making the Rangers prime progression candidates.

The betting market has started to move in the Rangers' favor, and rightfully so. Our projections give the Blueshirts a 65.2% chance of winning, which is significantly higher than the implied probability of 50.5%. That makes the Rangers' moneyline a 3-star play and the +1.5 puckline a 4-star play.

Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins

Capitals moneyline (+132): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Capitals +1.5 (-220): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Washington Capitals are one of two teams without a regulation loss this season (with the Florida Panthers being the other one). Tonight will be the final game of a six-game homestand in which they have gone 4-0-1.

Saturday night was Alex Ovechkin's first game back following his quarantine absence and he showed no signs of rust scoring the overtime winner. In his absence, the Caps continued to roll offensively and ranked first in the league in goals per game. Expect the offense to continue to roll now that Ovi's back in the lineup.

The Boston Bruins' season has been a rollercoaster ride, especially at five-on-five. In three games, they have combined for nine goals at five-on-five, and in the remaining five games they have one goal total. In examining their game scores, it looks like lack of output correlates with decreased production. The Bruins have managed 4 or fewer high-danger opportunities in four games and 18 or fewer scoring chances in five of eight games.

In reviewing these teams' metrics, the Caps are flying-high offensively while the Bruins have struggled to put together solid five-on-five performances. That leaves an advantage in taking the underdog home side, which is reflected in our projections. The Capitals' moneyline and puckline are 1-star plays.