NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 2/2/21

Where can we find betting value in tonight's game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars? Do any other spots stand out?

We are being treated to another busy Tuesday night in the NHL. There are eight games sprinkled across the country, which means you can fill your whole night with hockey. Covering pucklines was a popular trend last night, with three of four favorites winning by two or more goals (one game closed at a pick'em).

Here are a few wagers for tonight's action!

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Dallas Stars

Over 5.5 (+135): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The huge news is Patrik Laine will be making his debut for the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight against the Dallas Stars. The Jackets made waves last month by acquiring Laine, and they will hope that he steps into the lineup and contributes immediately.

The Jackets haven't been as sound defensively this season and have some metrics that align with high-scoring games. Over their last six games, opponents are averaging 33.8 shots and 11.8 high-danger chances. Despite these metrics working against them, Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo haven't given up more than three goals in any of those games and have stopped 93.1% of shots faced. It's unlikely that these games will continue to stay under the total when the Jackets hemorrhage chances against.

The Stars' emphasis on defensive structure doesn't appear to be as sound as it was last season. Through six games, opponents are averaging 11.0 high-danger chances per game. The ice is tilted in their opponents' favor, with their opponents dominating possession in four of six games. Goals have been easy to come by for the Stars, however, with the team scoring three or more in four of six.

These once low-scoring teams are giving up a lot of chances recently and also finding ways to light the lamp. Two of the Jackets' three overs this season have come on home ice. Our projections like that trend to continue tonight against the Stars, with the over 5.5 (+135) rated as a 1-star play.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Ottawa Senators

Oilers moneyline (-240): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Oilers +1.5 (+114): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.5 (+110): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

One of the more reliable trends this NHL season has been NHL North Division teams beating up on the Ottawa Senators. The Sens are 1-7-1 through nine games and have been outscored by a 44-22 margin. It would be easy to point to Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg's save percentages and say that's the reason why the Sens are getting blown out of the water.

But the fact is that this is a team with serious defensive inefficiencies. They have given up double-digit high-danger chances in every one of their games and 30-plus scoring chances in five of nine. The Sens will continue to lose games unless they find a way to tighten things up defensively.

Through 11 games this season, we know what to expect from the Edmonton Oilers. They are a dynamic offensive team that gives up chances against thanks to overexerting themselves in the offensive zone. They have paid for those momentary lapses by giving up the lead in the third period on a few occasions, but they are thankfully up against a young Sens team that is still trying to figure things out.

Edmonton has been particularly efficient on home-ice this season, posting a positive expected goals-for percentage in five of seven games. The Sens' defensive inefficiencies will continue to be exploited by Connor McDavid and the rest of the Oilers' offense.

It looks like the Sens have fully embraced their retro look by throwing it back to the start of their franchise where they won 10 games a season. The Oilers should continue to thrive offensively, especially against an inferior Sens team that gives up too many chances and goals. That makes backing the Oilers on the moneyline a 2-star play and backing them on the puckline a 1-star play.

With Mikko Koskinen back in the net, the Oilers should give up fewer goals tonight, so it's also unlikely that they duplicate their eight-goal output from Sunday night. There's also an implied advantage in taking the under 6.5, which is rated as a 1-star play.