NHL Betting Guide: Saturday 3/6/21

Sixth minutes wasn't enough time for most games to get sorted out last night, with four of the six contests needing overtime or a shootout. With 12 games slated for today, the "60-minute Tie" wager is a trend worth keeping an eye on.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections.

Dallas Stars vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Stars moneyline (-144): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (+122): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Dallas Stars are due for a few good bounces tonight when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets at the American Airlines Center. Dallas comes in losers of four in a row and is in the middle of a six-game home stand.

Advanced metrics suggest that the Stars have been the dominant team in three of those four losses. They put up an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% and have been efficient defensively. Over that four-game span, opponents are averaging 22.8 scoring chances and 8.8 opportunities from high-danger areas.

It's been the Stars' offense that is letting them down. Dallas has four goals over their four-game losing streak and was blanked twice. Dallas started off the season hot, scoring on 15.5% of their shots through their first eight games. That number has dropped to 5.4% over their last 10, which suggests that they've swung too far in the opposite direction.

In reviewing the Blue Jackets' advanced metrics, there are some troubling trends. They have managed single-digit high-danger attempts in six of their last eight, out-chancing their opponents in four of those games. Columbus has been out-possessed and out-shot in six of eight, which has resulted in a negative expected-goals for ratio.

When these teams played Thursday night, it was the Stars who outplayed the Blue Jackets, but the Jackets walked away victorious. Based on our projections, we should expect the Stars to win tonight. Dallas has a 63.9% chance of winning, which exceeds the betting market, which has the Stars are priced as modest -144 favorites. That makes the Stars' moneyline a two-star wager, per our model.

The Stars are due for some positive regression offensively, which could lead to a high-scoring game. That aligns with our projections, which rates the over (5.5) as a one-star play.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Canucks moneyline (+176): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.5 (-108): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

For the second time in two weeks, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be the early Hockey Night in Canada game while playing a Western team. This week, it's the Vancouver Canucks who get an earlier-than-usual start when they host the Leafs.

The Canucks were finally able to reverse a trend against the Leafs the last time out. Toronto put up a 1.076 PDO in their eight games leading up to their Thursday night encounter. But against Vancouver, they posted a PDO below 1.000 for just the second time over their last nine games.

Toronto's offensive metrics are starting a downward trend. After putting up 10 or more high-danger chances in six of seven games, they have managed nine or fewer in three of their last seven. That trends is especially noticeable on the road, where they have single-digit high-danger attempts in four of their last seven.

Possession has been of particular concern for the Maple Leafs, who have been out-possessed in nine of their last 10 road games. Consequently, they have been out-shot in eight of those 10 games. It's hard to win when you're spending more of your time trying to get the puck than actually having it.

Vancouver has had a rough start to the season but has started to turn the corner thanks to improved goaltending. Thatcher Demko has put up an above-average save percentage in four of his last five starts and has emerged as the Canucks primary goalie. Another strong performance from him would go a long way toward helping the Canucks secure victory.

Relying on our algorithm, there's an advantage in backing the Canucks tonight. The betting market has overstated the Leafs' chances, creating value in backing the Canucks, which we rate as a two-star play. There's also a minor advantage in backing the under 6.5, which is a one-star play.