NHL Betting Guide: Monday 10/18/21

The NHL's newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. How should we approach that game from a betting perspective?

Most NHL teams have played a few games to this point, so we have an idea of how things might shake out this season. Monday we have four matchups, so let’s see where there is value in the betting market.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Seattle Kraken vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Kraken Moneyline (+116) 4-Star Rating out of 5
Kraken +1.5 (-210) 5-Star Rating out of 5

A theme in the betting market so far this season has been the Seattle Kraken being underrated. It’s been difficult for all prognosticators to nail down exactly how good they are. The early returns offer some clues into how we should bet them.

The Kraken clearly aren’t an expansion team like we saw in the 90s. They have NHL talent across the lineup at all positions. They have mostly played a defensive brand of hockey, especially when trying to protect a lead in the third periods of their second and third games. They are top 10 for the young season in shots against per 60 minutes and high-danger chances per 60 at full strength, according to Natural Stat Trick. The offense has been a bit lacking so far, but that could see a boost on Monday.

Seattle is away against the Philadelphia Flyers in this game. Philly has only played one game so far, which was a shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks were able to produce 3.18 expected goals against a revamped Flyers defensive group. Carter Hart continued his struggles from last season, as he allowed four goals in the second period. Seattle has faced three very good goalies in Robin Lehner, Juuse Saros, and Elvis Merzlikins, so they will welcome facing a goalie who has been leaky over the past year.

Our model likes the Kraken to win the game outright, so getting +116 makes it a great bet. If you're feeling a bit uneasy about the unknown nature of the Kraken and the new NHL season in general, you can take the puck line +1.5 for Seattle, as all three of their games have been decided by one goal. Either way, we should take advantage of the bookmakers' uncertainty in how to make Kraken lines and back them in this game tonight.

St. Louis Blues vs. Arizona Coyotes

Over 5.5 (-110) 2-Star Rating out of 5

The St. Louis Blues and the Arizona Coyotes famously played seven games in a row against each other last season in the crazy, division-only schedule impacted by COVID. They'll go at it again tonight, and we could see some goals in this game.

The Blues are not the same lockdown defensive team they were when they won the Stanley Cup in 2018-19. They allowed the ninth-most expected goals last season, as the loss of Alex Pietrangelo on the blueline was not easy to deal with.

The good news is the offense picked up, and with additions of Brandon Saad, Pavel Buchnevich, and James Neal up front, they have three solid scoring lines. In their only game this season, they scored five goals against the Colorado Avalanche, who were one of the best defensive teams in the league last year.

Things aren't pretty for the Coyotes, both on and off the ice. They got blown out in their season opener 8-2, but they had 77 shot attempts and created 3.33 expected goals in that game, so they had some chances to put up goals. The likes of Phil Kessel, Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun can put the puck in the net and especially on the power play.

Speaking of power plays, we are in the early part of the season where refs tend to focus more on calling something emphasized in the offseason. This year it was cross-checking, and it has resulted in an increase in power plays so far to start the season. This, in theory, should result in more goals per game in the league.

The Blues are going up against Carter Hutton, who has been a below-average goalie for three straight seasons. That means they could put up most of this total by themselves. 5.5 is a low total in today's NHL, especially at this time of the season in which we tend to see more goals. There's solid value on the over, so that would be the play to make in this game.