NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/23/21

The NHL had to postpone a North Division game last night for the first time all season. Two Montreal Canadiens players tested positive for COVID-19, which put their game against the Edmonton Oilers on hold. The Boston Bruins' game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night was previously postponed, leaving bettors with five NHL games on tonight's slate.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Florida Panthers

Blackhawks moneyline (+138): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

Not many people expected it, but the Chicago Blackhawks are sitting in a playoff spot past the season's halfway mark. Their grip on the fourth spot in the Central is tenuous, and they'll be hoping to put some distance between themselves and the Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Nashville Predators. Tonight is a good spot to wager on that to happen.

As is typically the case, the Blackhawks have had better outcomes on home ice this season. The 'Hawks are 7-4-2 playing at the United Center and have the highest percentage of home games remaining in their division; 62.5% of the Hawks' remaining games will come in their friendly confines.

Chicago has been increasing offensive production over their recent sample. Scoring chances and high-danger opportunities are above season-long averages. Still, output remains deflated as Chicago is scoring on just 6.9% of their shots, which is below their season average of 9.9%. We should expect the 'Hawks to have an easier time finding the back of the net over the coming games.

That could be trouble for the Florida Panthers, who are giving up more opportunities than usual. Opponents have had 10 or more high-danger chances in three of the Panthers' last five games, which has resulted in an increase in high-danger goals against for the Panthers.

Chicago is increasing production and is due for increased output, and the Panthers are giving up more quality chances. Our projections imply that there's value in backing the Blackhawks on the moneyline. Blackhawks +138 is a one-star play.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Colorado Avalanche

Coyotes moneyline (+215): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Coyotes +1.5 (-130): 5-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 5.5 (-104): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

Tuesday night's encounter between the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes is the second night of a back-to-back for these teams. Colorado got the better of the Coyotes on the first night, but our projections suggest value in backing the Desert Dogs tonight.

Both teams elected to go with their primary goalies in the first clash. Philipp Grubauer out-dueled Antti Raanta yesterday, leaving Adin Hill and Jonas Johansson to limit the damage tonight. Neither goalie has been spectacular this season, but Johansson has been of particular concern.

Johanson has -4.9 goals saved above average through only seven games. His 88.4% save percentage ranks 71st in the league, and his goals against average of 3.84 puts him 75th among all goalies in the NHL. Things could get sloppy on the second night of a back-to-back, and Johansson doesn't have the pedigree to help the Avs win this one.

Last night was the first time in four games that the Coyotes were outplayed. They posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% as they were out-shot, out-possessed, and out-chanced by the Avs. Arizona was trending in the right direction before last night's game, and they should be able to hit the ice with a bounce-back effort tonight.

Despite the improved effort, the Coyotes have been on a slide recently. Their PDO over their last six games is .952, which has brought their season-long average down to .998. With improved efforts that are already reflected in their game scores, the Yotes should start to progress and see their PDO start to work its way back up.

The market has overreacted to the Avs, leaving a big edge on the Coyotes tonight. Our model sees plenty of value in this game. Coyotes moneyline is rated as a three-star play, backing Arizona on the puckline is a five-star play and taking the over is a two-star play.