NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 3/9/22
We're left with just two NHL games on Wednesday after an exciting, high-scoring 11-game slate last night. Even with two games, there are still implied betting advantages to be had as we reconcile our daily projections with the current lines available on both games.
These are the wagers we're looking at on Wednesday's slate!
Edmonton Oilers vs. Washington Capitals
Capitals +1.5 (-215): 2-Star Rating out of 5
The Washington Capitals compete on the second night of a back-to-back when they travel to take on the Edmonton Oilers. These teams are headed in opposite directions, with the Oilers entering tonight's contest on a three-game losing streak while the Caps have won three straight. Our projections indicate that the biggest advantage in tonight's game is backing the Capitals on the puckline.
Goal scoring remains a strength for the Capitals, who have recorded three or more goals in four straight games. That has elevated Washington to 188 goals through 58 games, the ninth-best mark in the league. It also gives them an advantage against an Oilers team that has struggled to prevent goals.
Oilers' goalies have posted below-average save percentages in three straight games, stopping just 86.7% of shots over that span. That has dropped Edmonton's team save percentage to 89.9% on the season, the ninth-worst in the NHL. There's been no reprieve for Mike Smith or Mikko Koskinen, as the Oilers have given up 10 or more high-danger chances at five-on-five in three of their past six.
Based on our algorithm, the Capitals should keep things close against the Oilers. The gap between these teams isn't as big as the betting market suggests, leaving an edge in backing Washington at +1.5. We rate it as a two-star play.
Vancouver Canucks vs. Montreal Canadiens
Under 6.5 (-118): 1-Star Rating out of 5
The Vancouver Canucks play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the only other matchup of the night. The Habs have looked good under new head coach Martin St. Louis, and they should lean into their defense to limit the Canucks offensive attack.
Montreal has seen a marked improvement in their defensive zone structure under St. Louis, and that's been evident over their recent sample. The Habs have limited six of their past eight opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five, with no team attempting more than 25 scoring opportunities. That improved play has positively impacted goals-against with only two opponents scoring more than two goals.
Canucks goaltending has faltered over their recent outings, but we're expecting big things from Thatcher Demko at home. Demko has been superb on home ice, stopping 93.2% of shots going 11-7-0 in 19 appearances. The American goalie is thriving since the All-Star break, going 8-1-0 while stopping 91.9% of shots overall.
The Habs' defense has elevated their play, which will be essential to limiting the Canucks attack. Similarly, Demko has been unbeatable at home and will be up to the task of limiting Montreal's offense. That should lead to a low-scoring game, which aligns with our projections. We rate the under 6.5 as a one-star play.