NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 2/24/22

Kirill Kaprizov was held pointless for the first time in five games the last time out. Can he get back on the scoresheet and help the Wild get past the Leafs on Thursday night?

Hockey fans have eight games to look forward to on tonight's docket, with an equal split between East and West Coast contests. As usual, we're highlighting some of our perceived betting edges as we break down a pair of contests from tonight's slate.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild

Wild +1.5 (-194): 4-Star Rating out of 5
Wild Moneyline (+118): 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be hoping to pump the breaks on their three-game losing streak when they host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. The problem is that their metrics support further regression is coming because several key indicators suggest the Leafs' performances are lacking.

The Leafs' recent efforts have been lackluster, as they've been outplayed in three of their past five games. Their limited offensive production is impacting their competitiveness, and they've been held to 8 or fewer high-danger and 25 or fewer scoring chances in four of those five. That downturn was inevitable after the Leafs overachieved offensively for an extended period. Toronto is going to have to get their metrics working in their favor again before good results start to follow.

Conversely, the Wild are trending in a positive direction over their recent stretch. Minnesota has posted above-average expected goals-for ratings in four of their past six games thanks to a solid defensive structure. The Wild have limited four of their opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances and three opponents to 19 or fewer scoring chances. That imposing defense will have no problems limiting the Leafs' struggling attack.

Based on our projections, the wrong team is favored in this inter-conference battle. That has dragged the price on the Wild down but not close to where it should be. On that basis, we rate the Wild puckline and moneyline wagers as four- and two-star wagers, respectively.

Seattle Kraken vs. Boston Bruins

Kraken +1.5 (-142): 3-Star Rating out of 5

We've keyed in on another inter-conference matchup as the Boston Bruins embark on a six-game western road trip, starting tonight against the Seattle Kraken. The Bruins are coming off a big upset over the Colorado Avalanche, setting tonight's game up as a bit of a flat spot.

Overall, Boston's efforts have been hit or miss over their recent sample. The Bruins have been outplayed in three of their past six; however, their improved efforts are harder to come by on the road. Boston has posted expected goals-for ratings below 50.0% in five of their past eight as the visitors, scoring more than two goals at five-on-five just once over that span. They are unlikely to shake that trend against a Kraken squad that has been proficient on home ice.

The Kraken employ a defense-first system as the hosts, holding their opponents to eight or fewer high-danger chances in 8 of their previous 12 outings. Seattle has used that to their advantage over the past few games, posting game scores above 50.0% in three of their past five. The Kraken have secured just one win over that span, but their decreased PDO implies that they are progression candidates over their coming games.

Seattle is going through the typical growth phase of a young franchise, but our projections imply that there's an advantage in backing them tonight. They should at least be able to keep things close against a Bruins team that struggles on the road. Backing the Kraken on the puckline is rated as a three-star play.