NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 2/11/21

Four postponements couldn't stop the NHL from a busy Thursday night, as 10 games remain on the schedule. Unders have been hitting at an unsustainable 64.5% rate over the last 31 games, and we should start to see that trend correct itself.

Here are our algorithm-based plays for three games.

Florida Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Panthers moneyline (+140): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Panthers +1.5 (-198): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (-125): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning are headed toward an implosion. Over the last six games, they have accumulated a 1.090 PDO, bringing their season-long average up to 1.053, second-highest in the NHL. They may have hit their crescendo in their most recent game against the Nashville Predators, when they scored on 20.0% of shots and had a save percentage of 97.0% for a 1.170 PDO.

The Bolts haven't been particularly dominant through that six-game sample, either. Their range for scoring chances was 20 to 33, and high-danger chances was 7 to 14, with their averages at 24.8 and 9.8, respectively. Expect regression.

People are starting to take notice of the Florida Panthers, who sit second the NHL's Eastern Division, only three points back of the aforementioned Lightning. Florida plays a tidy defensive system as they have limited opponents to eight or fewer high-danger chances in 9 of their 10 games. Scoring chances have been equally hard to come by with only one opponent gaining more than 27 such attempts. That defensive structure will be crucial to limiting the Bolts' scoring arsenal.

The Panthers have been home since February 1, and this will be their fifth game of a six-game homestand. They will benefit from that time at home and should be able to take advantage of a Lightning team that is playing their third road game in four nights. That edge is reflected in our projections as we rate the Panthers moneyline and puckline as one-star plays.

Dallas Stars vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Stars moneyline (+112): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Stars +1.5 (-230): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

Thursday night appears to be a good bounce-back spot for the Dallas Stars. Dallas has dropped three straight despite outplaying their opponents in two of those three games. Possession and production metrics have been in the Stars' favor over their last four games, but output has plummeted to five goals over their past three thanks to a 5.3% shooting percentage. The Stars have likely been in a correction phase after overachieving offensively early this season.

The Carolina Hurricanes are well-traveled over the last two weeks. They played two road games against the Chicago Blackhawks followed by two against the Columbus Blue Jackets and have split both series. This will be the fifth straight road game for the Canes, and they've played only 3 of their first 10 games at home.

James Reimer has stepped into the starting role since Petr Mrazek went down with a thumb injury. Early returns are not promising, as the usual complementary tendy is stopping only 86.8% of shots since Mrazek's injury and has allowed at least three goals in all four starts.

These teams met at the end of January, and it was the Canes who used home-ice to their advantage in beating the Stars in both games. The home-ice trend should continue, as the Stars can use line matching to neutralize the Hurricanes and take advantage of an inefficient Reimer. Stars to win as home 'dogs is a two-star play, and backing them on the puckline is a four-star play, per our algorithm.

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

Kings moneyline (+108): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Kings +1.5 (-275): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

It appears that the San Jose Sharks are overachieving relative to their metrics. San Jose sits at .500 through 11 games thanks to a 5-5-1 record. But, according to the advanced metrics, they have outplayed their opponents in only three of those contests, so they are winning more often than they should. Four of their five wins have come in the shootout, which hardly seems like a sustainable way of winning games.

Inconsistency is probably the best word to describe the start to the Los Angeles Kings' season. They have shown their chops by skating with some of the best teams in the league and outplaying them, but they have mixed in subpar performances against some of the worst teams in the league. If they can sort out consistency, this team could make a push up the standings.

Due to local COVID-19 guidelines, the Sharks have been forced to play their first 12 games on the road. That is a lot of travel without the advantage of home ice. This will be the Sharks final road game before their home opener, so don't be surprised if they're looking past the Kings, with eyes set on returning home.

San Jose hasn't posted positive expected goals-for percentage in consecutive games all season. But they remain favorites against a Kings squad that can create chances offensively and is looking for more consistency. Based on our projections, which give the Kings a 61.1% chance of winning, LA is the right side to be on. Kings moneyline is a three-star play and Kings +1.5 is a four-star play.