NHL Betting Guide: Friday 5/14/21

It's a bittersweet time of year. The NHL playoffs are scheduled to get underway tomorrow when the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals have the honor of kicking off the 2021 postseason, but today's one-game schedule is a sign of things to come as the NHL plays towards a conclusion of its 2021 season. There is still a couple of favorable betting spots, even with only one game scheduled.

Here are the plays from our daily projections!

Winnipeg Jets vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Jets moneyline (+138): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Jets +1.5 (-200): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Winnipeg Jets were sliding in the wrong direction, but they may have halted their slide just in time for playoffs.

Winnipeg has just two wins over their last 11 games and had been outplayed in seven of nine games. During that span, the Jets were being badly out-chanced, posting a cumulative high-danger chances percentage of 39.9% after creating more high-danger scoring opportunities than just two of their opponents. Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit had stopped more than 89.2% of shots in just one of those nine games.

The Jets appear to have turned a corner, outplaying each of their last two opponents across all strengths. Winnipeg has out-possessed, out-shot and out-chanced their foes in scoring chances in each of those games. More importantly, Hellebuyck and Brossoit posted save percentages above 90.3% in each of those games, with Hellebuyck shutting out the Vancouver Canucks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had some concerning road metrics over their recent sample of games. Across all strengths, the Leafs have posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in three straight road contests and four of their last six. Production metrics have decreased, with the Leafs attempting below average high-danger chances in three of six, resulting in decreased shooting percentages in three of six, as well.

For Toronto, there's not much left to play for. They have locked up first in the North Division and assured themselves home-ice advantage through the first two rounds of the postseason. We shouldn't be surprised if they employ a similar strategy to what we saw the Boston Bruins do and sit their starters today.

Based on our projections, the market has moved too far in favor of the Leafs, creating value in backing the home Jets. As a result, taking the Jets to win is rated as a one-star play and taking them to cover the +1.5 puckline is a two-star bet.