NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 10/28/21

Victor Olofsson leads a revamped Sabres squad. Can he help them to victory over the Ducks on Thursday night?

We are staring down a West Coast-friendly docket tonight, with five of the nine games scheduled for 10 pm ET or later. Underdogs hit in three of five last night, with three games needing overtime to determine a winner. We'll see if those profitable trends continue on Thursday's slate of games.

These are the wagers we're looking at from our daily projections!

Anaheim Ducks vs. Buffalo Sabres

Sabres +1.5 (-225): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Sabres Moneyline (+108): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Buffalo Sabres are off to a promising start, going 4-1-1 through their first six games. They get an ideal matchup against the ineffective Anaheim Ducks, as they embark on their first West Coast road trip since 2019.

These teams are positioned on the opposite end of the PDO spectrum. The Sabres have the seventh-ranked expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five, with a mark of 54.0%. The Ducks have the second-worst rating at 42.%.

The Sabres have tidied up their defensive zone coverage, allowing just 18.2 scoring and 9.3 high-danger chances per game. Yet, Buffalo has also improved their offensive efficiency, creating 23.5 scoring and 10.5 quality opportunities per game, out-chancing their opponents in four of six games.

The Ducks advanced metrics are much more concerning. Anaheim has been outplayed in five of seven games this season, recording more than seven high-danger chances in two games and giving up four or more goals in four straight games.

From an analytics perspective, the Sabres have a pronounced advantage, and that's reflected in our projections, which suggest that Buffalo should be favored in tonight's contest. That leaves an advantage in backing them on the puckline and moneyline as underdogs, which we rate as three- and two-star plays, respectively.

Minnesota Wild vs. Seattle Kraken

Kraken +1.5 (-260): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Kraken Moneyline (-102): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Seattle Kraken continue their four-game homestand tonight against the Minnesota Wild. The Kraken secured their first win on home ice in their last contest and look to win consecutive games for the first time in franchise history.

Seattle has used home ice to their advantage this season, posting the eighth-best expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five. Granted, it's a modest two-game sample, but the early returns are promising. The Kraken have out-chanced their opponents in scoring and high-danger chances in both games, allowing two quality chances in each game. The Kraken are also driving possession, posting a positive relative Corsi rating in both games, out-scoring their opponents 7-3 at five-on-five.

Those impressive defensive metrics will make it hard for the Wild to get any traction offensively. The Wild have attempted 9 or fewer high-danger chances and 22 or fewer scoring chances in three of their past five, but they have scored 12 goals over that span, 7 of which came from high-danger areas.

Minnesota's output puts them in the top half of the league, but their production metrics place them in the bottom half. They are due for regression as the metrics balance out.

This betting line has shifted in favor of the Kraken, but there remains value in backing the home side at an underdog price. Backing Seattle on the moneyline is a one-star play and backing them on the puckline is a two-star play, as per our projections.