NHL Betting Guide: Saturday 2/6/21

The NHL postponing four games has put a damper on the schedule tonight as there are only six games, two of which are matinees. But that isn't stopping us from finding value on the betting board at .

Here's what we're looking at on the light schedule!

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks

Canucks moneyline (+172): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Canucks +1.5 (-148): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

Vancouver Canucks fans hope that Thursday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was rock bottom. At least from a defensive perspective, things probably can't get much worse.

Thatcher Demko allowed seven goals on 37 shots, which marked the third consecutive game in which Canucks' goalies stopped 85.0% of shots or fewer. The team's defensive structure is doing the goalies no favors, though. The Nucks rank last in shots against, scoring chances against, and high-danger chances against. One of the more telling stats is that they have given up 30 or more shots in 13 of their 14 games. So we can't put all the blame on Demko and Braden Holtby for their 26th-ranked save percentage.

The team's defensive inefficiencies could be related to their all-out offensive attack. Vancouver is among the league's best in creating chances and has been equally impressive in finishing, scoring on 11.1% of their shots.

Toronto did well to limit the Canucks on Thursday night, but it seems unlikely that they will duplicate that success. Vancouver managed only five high-danger chances, which was just the second time this season that the Leafs have allowed fewer than 11 such opportunities. The Leafs also limited the Canucks to 15 scoring chances, which is their low-mark on the season.

Saturday should be a good bounce-back spot for the Canucks. Toronto won't weather the offensive storm in consecutive games, and Vancouver is due for some defensive progression. That aligns with our projections, which rates the Canucks moneyline as a two-star play. Similarly, there's a short price on the puckline, making it a four-star play.

Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks

Over 5.5 (+100): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Anaheim Ducks finally found the back of the net last night, scoring more than three goals for the first time this season. They went into the third period with the lead against the San Jose Sharks, but they blew it by allowing two goals in the first 2:06 of the third, forcing the game over the total, before they eventually lost in a shootout. In reviewing some key metrics, we should expect more of the same on the second night of the back-to-back.

The most obvious thing working against the Ducks is that they started John Gibson on the first night of the back-to-back. That means Ryan Miller will likely be the starter tonight. Miller has had declining stats over the last four years, and in limited time this season, he has been ineffective, stopping only 89.3% of shots.

The other concern is that the Ducks are giving up a lot of chances. Their opponents are averaging 31.2 scoring chances and 12.9 high-danger chances, which places Anaheim among the worst teams in the NHL.

Goaltending has a big question mark for the Sharks this season. The tandem of Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk have combined for the fourth-worst save percentage in the NHL, stopping 88.1% of shots. They made it easy on the Ducks last night by allowing five goals on 37 shots, which sadly brought their season-long save percentage up.

There are some noteworthy high-scoring trends in tonight's games. Goaltending should be ineffective, and chances will likely be easy to come by. That makes over 5.5 an appealing wager, particularly at plus-money. We rate it as a one-star play.