NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/2/21

The busy week continues with eight games on the docket tonight. It's an eastern-friendly schedule with five of the eight games starting at 7 pm EST, with the latest game (Dallas Stars vs. Tampa Bay Lightning) starting at 8:30 pm EST. Keep an eye on goaltending usage as teams' schedules start to condense.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Nashville Predators vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Hurricanes moneyline (-132): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (-118): 1-Star Rating Out of 5 -118

The Carolina Hurricanes are metrics darlings. Through 21 games the Canes rank second in Corsi percentage, third in scoring chance percentage, and fifth in high-danger chance percentage. Their 1.006 PDO suggests that they achieved this sustainable balance to long-term success.

Although the Nashville Predators have relative metrics above 50.0%, their biggest undoing this season has been their goaltending. Juuse Saros and Pekka Rinne have combined for the 25th worst save percentage in the league, dragging the Preds' PDO down with it.

That hot-and-cold dichotomy has been evident all season, as the goalies alternate between above-average and terrible performances. They come into this one having posted an above-average clip in consecutive games for just the second time this season. So far Saros and Rinne have failed to post three consecutive above-average starts at any point this season.

The Canes played their analytics cards properly by saving James Reimer for the second night of a back-to-back. Reimer has been involved in some high-scoring contests this season, and Carolina's offense has stepped up in his starts. Ten of 12 Reimer starts have had at least six goals scored, and the Canes average 4.2 goals in those starts.

Carolina is the better team, and according to our projections, they have a 63.5% chance of winning tonight. That leaves an advantage in backing them on the moneyline, which is rated as a two-star play. Our algorithm also projects that Reimer's high-scoring trend continues, rating the over 5.5 as a one-star play.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

Senators +1.5 (-113): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

Claude Julien was sent packing last week after the Montreal Canadiens couldn't get out of a tailspin. In the two games since the firing, things aren't looking any better. The Habs posted one of their worst gamescores of the season in Dominique Ducharme's first game as bench boss and followed that up with a 2-1 loss, although their advanced metrics did take a step forward.

The Habs come into tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators with just one win in their last eight games. In that span, they've posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% on just two occasions and recorded a -12 goal differential.

Montreal has only one win in four games against the basement-dwelling Senators, and from an advanced perspective, they were outplayed in three of those four games.

On the other hand, the Sens have been burning past opponents. Ottawa has posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in four of five and have out-chanced their opponents in high-danger chances by a cumulative 55 to 33 margin.

Based on our projections, there's an advantage in taking the Senators outright in this game as the Sens moneyline is rating as a one-star play. But the most distinct advantage lies in backing them on the puckline. This offers some insurance that if the Sens can't win, they should at least be able to keep it close. Sens +1.5 at a short price is the wager to make, and we rate it as a two-star play.