NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/9/21

It's a nine-game slate in the NHL tonight and after a West coast-friendly Monday night, seven of the nine games start at 7 pm EST tonight, with no games starting after 8:30 pm EST.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators

Hurricanes moneyline (-210): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (-134): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

For as dominant as they are, the Carolina Hurricanes don't get a lot of attention. The 'Canes sit second in the Central Division, one point behind the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning. But the advanced metrics paint an even rosier picture.

Carolina ranks second in Corsi percentage at 53.6%, second in scoring chance percentage, fifth in high-danger chance percentage -- all of which culminates in the seventh-ranked expected goals-for percentage. That dominance has been evident on home-ice, where those metrics are all comparatively better and the Canes have an 8-1-1 record.

This season has been a challenging year for the Nashville Predators, with very few things going in their direction. Goaltending metrics appear to be sinking the Preds, and the offense has lost some efficiency. They've also contended with injuries to some key pieces.

Juuse Saros and Pekka Rinne have combined for the 29th-ranked save percentage, despite seeing the 12th-fewest scoring chances and 10th-fewest high-danger chances. Both goalies are carrying a negative goals-saved above average and below-average save percentages.

The Preds rank 20th in the league in expected goals-for, thanks to their 30th-ranked shooting percentage and production metrics that rank them in the bottom half of the league.

Tonight will be the Preds' third game over the last four nights -- in their third different barn. Nashville is also dealing with injuries to Saros, Matt Duchene and Ryan Ellis, who are all on the IR. That's a tough spot to be in against a Hurricanes team that is rolling, particularly on home ice.

Based on our projections, the Canes are the right side to be on. They have a 74.1% chance of winning, according to our model, which is in excess of the -210 moneyline price. There's also an advantage in taking the over 5.5, as both teams have some reliable over trends working in their favor. The Preds have at least six goals in four straight games, and the Canes have seen at least six goals in seven of 10 home games. We rate the over 5.5 and Canes moneyline wagers as two-star plays.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Red Wings moneyline (+285): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

There is no diminishing the Tampa Bay Lightning's accomplishments -- defending Cup champs, best goal differential in the league, and among the best squads from an advanced perspective. But there are cracks in the Lightning's armor that suggest they may fall on hard times, starting with their PDO.

The Bolts have the league's highest combined shooting and save percentages at 1.047. Their shooting percentage (11.9%) and save percentage (92.8%) are both the best in the league and are unlikely to remain as inflated as they are now. Andrei Vasilevskiy and Curtis McElhinney have posted save percentages below 90.0% in consecutive games for just the second time this season, which could be an indicator of things to come.

Tampa's shooting percentage is also starting to decrease. The Lightning have posted a below-average shooting percentage in three of their last four overall.

The Detroit Red Wings are due for a bounce-back effort tonight. Detroit has dropped three straight after winning three of four. They outplayed the Hurricanes in their most recent outing by posting an expected goals-for percentage of 52.5% but dropped a 5-2 decision.

The Wings have also out-possessed their opponents in two of their last three games and posted 28 or more scoring chances and double-digit high-danger attempts in three of their last five.

Travel will also be impacting Tampa's chances tonight. This will be the Lightning's fifth game in eight nights, all of which have come on the road (against three different opponents). The Wings will be rested as this will be their first game in five nights.

You have to be choosy about when to back the Red Wings, but Tuesday night is one of those spots. The Wings have a mind-numbing +285 moneyline price against a team that is in a bad spot after extended playing time and travel. There's value in backing the Red Wings, which we rate as a one-star play, per our projections.