NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 12/2/21

We've got a 10-game NHL slate to look forward to tonight, after a high-scoring Wednesday night in the league. Five of the six games last night easily surpassed their respective totals, with an average of 8.1 goals per game across all six contests. Home teams used last change to their advantage, winning five of the six matchups with only the Ottawa Senators failing to notch a victory. There's no slowing down as we dig into a pair of games from tonight's docket.

These are a few wagers from our daily projections!

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. St. Louis Blues

Lightning moneyline (-160): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Tampa Bay Lightning and St. Louis Blues complete the second game of a home-and-home series on Thursday night in Tampa. The Lightning blew a three-goal lead on Tuesday night but will have an easier time notching skating away with this one on home ice.

Making the Bolts' chances of success even higher, the Blues are without their primary goalie Jordan Binnington who was placed in COVID-19 protocols. That means that Ville Husso will get his fifth start of the season. Husso will face an onslaught from the Lightning, who have been outstanding on home ice this season.

Tampa Bay has scored at least 3 goals in six straight home games, attempting 11 or more high-danger chances in five of six and 31 or more scoring chances in three of six. More importantly, the Bolts have out-chanced their opponents in quality chances in all six games, contributing to an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in five of six.

That could be disastrous for the Blues, who have allowed 3 or more goals in six of their past seven road games and 12 or more high-danger chances in nine of 11 road games this year. These defensive issues will be compounded without Binnington between the pipes.

The Blues posted a 42.4% expected goals-for rating on Tuesday but still stole the two points. We're expecting a different outcome as the Lightning have the benefit of home-ice advantage while playing against the Blues' backup tendy. Lightning moneyline is a 2-star play, per our projections.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Ottawa Senators

Senators +1.5 (+108): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Senators moneyline (+280): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

It's not every day you get plus-money on an underdog puckline wager, but that's exactly what you'll see if you're looking at the Senators versus Carolina Hurricanes line tonight. There is a gap between these teams but not as big as the betting line implies.

The Sens offensive metrics have improved over their recent stretch, with the team attempting 26 or more scoring chances and 29 or more shots in three of their past four games; however, those performances have been wasted on subpar goaltending.

Sens' goalies have allowed 31 goals over their previous six outings while stopping just 85.5% of shots. That stretch has dropped the Sens' team save percentage to the second-worst mark in the league, and their PDO to the worst rating in the NHL. We expect that the Sens metrics have bottomed out, setting them up to progress over their coming outings.

That progression could come against a Hurricanes team that is in the midst of a correction phase. After spending most of the season near the top of the PDO rankings, the Canes' save percentage is starting to correct and work back down towards average. Canes' goalies have allowed three or more goals in three straight games, stopping just 83.1% of shots over that phase. Consequently, their PDO has fallen to eighth in the league and is at risk of falling further as they remain above average.

The implied probability of the Sens moneyline wager of 26.3% is below their projected 31.1% chance of winning. As such, there are edges in backing them on the puckline and moneyline, which we rate as 2- and 1-star plays, respectively.