NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 2/25/21

Jack Eichel has points in three of his last four games. Can he help the Sabres get past the Devils Thursday night?

Wednesday night was another exciting night in the Chel. Overtime, shutouts, comebacks -- we saw it all! Here's hoping we get more of the same with the 10 games that are on the docket for tonight.

Here are a couple of plays from our daily projections!

Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils

Sabres moneyline (-102): 2-Star Rating out of 5

If there's one thing the Buffalo Sabres can do, it's beat the New Jersey Devils. Three of the Sabres' six wins have come against the Devils, and they'll be looking to make it two straight when they face off on Thursday night.

From an advanced metrics perspective, Buffalo has outplayed four of their last five opponents. So far this season, we've seen the Sabres rely on improved defensive effort to limit chances against, and that's true over their last five games. In that span, they are limiting opponents to 20.6 scoring chances per game, 7.6 of which are coming from high-danger areas.

That could be trouble for the Devils, who are trending in the wrong direction in terms of production. Over their last four games, New Jersey has been limited to an average of 23.3 scoring chances and 7.0 high-danger chances. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in four straight games of an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0%.

These teams are trending in opposite directions, but it's the Devils who are favored tonight in Buffalo. Buffalo has had their number all season, and according to our projections, that trend is likely to continue with the Sabres owning a 58.2% chance of winning. That makes the underdog price tag even more appealing -- Sabres moneyline is a two-star play.

Florida Panthers vs. Dallas Stars

Over 5.5 (-110): 2-Star Rating out of 5

Thursday night's encounter between the Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars will be the second night of a back-to-back, and there are a few factors worth noting before puck drops.

First, the Panthers are finding their rhythm offensively. They are up to 10.8 high-danger chances per game over their last four after averaging only 8.5 over their first 15 games. Shots have skyrocketed, with the Panthers averaging 43.3 per game over that same four-game span. That has not yet translated to increased output, however, as they have overachieved relative to expected goals-for just once in that span.

After getting shutout last night, the Panthers' offense is due to erupt.

Another noteworthy factor is that both teams went with their primary goalie on the first night of the back-to-back, with Anton Khudobin and Chris Driedger starting. That leaves Sergei Bobrovsky and Jake Oettinger as the starters for tonight. Both goalies have had a tendency towards high-scoring games, with the Panthers going over in five of his nine starts, and the Stars going over in three of Oettinger's five.

Lastly, we have to consider these teams' schedules. This will be the Panthers seventh game in 11 nights. This will be the Stars third game in four nights after not playing for over a week. Don't be surprised if sloppy play leads to a few extra chances tonight.

Based on our projections, there's an advantage in taking the over 5.5 tonight. Considering some of the factors impacting these teams, I would tend to agree. We rate the over as a two-star play.