NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 10/21/21

After tolerating a modest two-game slate last night, we are rewarded with a 10-game NHL schedule on Thursday night. According to our projections, there's an edge in every game on the docket. I've narrowed it down to our two favorite spots.

These are the top wagers from our game projections.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers

Coyotes +1.5 (-146): 4-Star Rating Out of 5

The Edmonton Oilers' season is off to a good start after three straight victories. However, their path to victory has become less certain with Mike Smith transferred to the injured reserve. That leaves Mikko Koskinen and youngster Stuart Skinner to man the crease in a back-to-back scenario. Koskinen gets the start on the first night against the Arizona Coyotes

Koskinen's metrics over the past two seasons have been less than optimal. The Finnish goalie ended last season with an 89.9% save percentage, -6.7 goals saved above average and a 79.7% even-strength high-danger save percentage. He will be tested against a Coyotes team that has been effective at generating offense this season.

The Coyotes have attempted 13 or more high-danger chances across all strengths in two of three games this year. That has tilted the ice in their favor, as they've posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in both games. They used home ice to their advantage against the St. Louis Blues last time out and will look to do the same tonight against the Oilers.

Thursday's contest will be the Oilers' first game as visitors this season, meaning the Coyotes will be in a position to line match to try to neutralize the Oilers' attack. Edmonton was much less effective on the road last campaign, getting outplayed at five-on-five in 17 of 28 road games and creating 10 or more high-danger chances in just six games.

The Oilers relied heavily on Smith last season, and they are in a less-than-ideal spot against the 'Yotes on the first night of a back-to-back for their first two road games of the season. Based on our projections, there's an advantage in backing the Coyotes to cover the puckline as home 'dogs. We rate it as a four-star play.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Vancouver Canucks

Canucks moneyline (+126): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The glory days of the Chicago Blackhawks are behind them. We've seen the 'Hawks work tirelessly to adapt their roster to be more competitive. Unfortunately, their advanced metrics so far this season don't show that their moves are paying off.

The Blackhawks have been one of the worst teams at five-on-five this season, posting the third-worst expected goals-for percentage at 40.5%. Chicago has been out-shot, out-possessed, and out-chanced in three of four games this year, giving up 15 goals at five-on-five across four games. They'll have their hands full with a Vancouver Canucks attack that is due for positive regression.

The Canucks have attempted 11 or more high-danger chances across all strengths in each of their four outings and have generated 34 or more shots in every game. Despite the offensive onslaught, the Canucks are scoring on just 5.9% of shots this season. Vancouver's loaded with young talent, and they continue to create a plethora of offensive opportunities. This team is due for an offensive outbreak, and that could come today against one of the worst defensive teams in the league.

Vancouver is +126 on the moneyline, which implies win odds of 44.2%. We give them a 46.7% chance to win. It's not a ton, but there is value in taking the Canucks to win outright.