NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 12/9/21

Patrice Bergeron was the lone goal-scorer for the Bruins in a 2-1 defeat last night. Can he help the Bruins knock off the Oilers tonight?

We're staring down a full slate of NHL action tonight, as we prepare for 10 games spread across the continent. There are a few teams dealing with back-to-back scenarios tonight, and their chances of success will be impacted by goaltending usage. Another busy weekend of hockey action is just around the corner, and Thursday night's schedule is a taste of what to expect over the coming days as we head into a 24-game schedule from Friday to Sunday.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins

Bruins (+104): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Boston Bruins are coming off a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks last night, but they remain undervalued in the betting market. Boston has been one of the best teams analytically this season, but has not translated that to on-ice success consistently. They remain progression candidates against an Edmonton Oilers team that is heading in the opposite direction.

Boston continues to outplay their opponents on a nightly basis but has had no luck winnings games. The Bruins have posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in five straight games, with a cumulative 63.4% rating over that span. However, the Bruins have been unable to capitalize on their chances, recording just four goals at five-on-five over that span, and seeing their shooting percentage drop to a league-worst 5.6%. Boston should see their output metrics work their way back up towards average over their coming games.

The opposite is true with the Oilers right now. Edmonton's offense runs through Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, which has helped them to the league's top-rated powerplay, scoring on an unsustainable 32.0% of powerplays. The Oilers wouldn't be in the same position without the extra space for McDavid and Draisaitl. The Oilers have the 14th-ranked expected goals-for percentage at five-on-five, sitting a few ticks below 50.0% at 49.8%. Recent history is also not on the Oilers' side; they've posted an expected goals-for percentage below 42.1% in three of their past five.

Based on our projections, the Bruins should be favored, with a 50.1% chance of winning tonight's contest. That leaves an edge in backing the B's as plus-money underdogs, which we rate as a 1-star play.

Seattle Kraken vs. Winnipeg Jets

Under 6.0 (-108): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Kraken +1.5 (-265): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Seattle Kraken are trending upwards. They've gone 3-1-1 over their past five games. They can use that momentum to help them remain competitive against the Winnipeg Jets in what should be a low scoring game.

Seattle has relied on solid defensive zone coverage to limit their opponents this season. The Kraken have limited their opponents to 19.2 scoring and 7.6 high-danger chances per game at five-on-five. However, they've been let down by goaltending. Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger have combined for the worst five-on-five save percentage in the league and allowed 68 goals -- substantially more than their 42.9 expected goals-against.

Those metrics should improve against a Jets team that has failed to live up to expectations on the road this season. Winnipeg has scored more than one goal at five-on-five just once over their past six road games, and they've attempted more than nine high-danger chances just once.

These teams limited offensive metrics should contribute to a low-scoring game. In a tightly contested battle, there's value in taking the Kraken on the puckline as well. The under and Kraken +1.5 are rated as two-star and one-star plays, respectively, per our projections.