NHL Betting Guide: Monday 3/28/22
We are coming down the home stretch of the regular season, and we’ve got five more games on Monday to sink our teeth into.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Seattle Kraken vs Los Angeles Kings
Under 6 goals (-122) 1-Star Rating Out of 5
We've got a battle in the Pacific Division tonight between the Seattle Kraken and the Los Angeles Kings. This matchup probably doesn't excite the average hockey fan -- and for good reason. A boring game is what we want so the under can hit.
The season has not gone as planned for Seattle. Some people thought they could contend in the Pacific with it being arguably the weakest division, but they just haven't been able to compete. Why people thought they could be competitive has shown up in the advanced stats, though. They rank in the top five in shot attempts against, scoring chances against, and high-danger chances against on a per 60-minute basis (via Natural Stat Trick). It hasn't always led to the best results, but at least the Kraken have a solid defensive structure.
The Kings have surprised some people with how well they have been playing after a few years of missing the playoffs. They look set to finish in one of the three playoff spots in the Pacific. Despite a different coach and lots of different players, they play similarly to the Kings' teams that won Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. They allow the second-fewest shot attempts per 60 minutes and the fewest shots on goal per 60.
Both of these teams struggle offensively. While the Kings create a good amount of chances, they are dead last in shooting percentage. They are the biggest underperformers of expected goals in the league, scoring 0.44 goals fewer than expected per 60 minutes. Seattle ranks as the fourth-worst team in expected goals and actual goals, as they've struggled on offense all season.
These teams played on Saturday, and it finished 4-2, with a late consolation goal for the Kraken. That was with the Kings' goalie being Cal Petersen, who has been much worse than Jonathan Quick this season. Assuming they go back to Quick tonight, that should help the under hit.
All the signs in this game point to the under, and our model likes it, as well. If the Kraken can get decent goaltending, we should be able to cash this ticket.
Buffalo Sabres vs Chicago Blackhawks
Over 6 (-104) 1-Star Rating Out of 5
The Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks are both going nowhere this season, and there isn't much reason to tune into this game. So we might as well put some money down on there being a bunch of goals.
The Sabres are coming off a 5-4 overtime loss last night. They are actually a respectable 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. Last night was the fifth time in March that they've scored at least four goals. If they can do that again today, we're more than halfway to hitting this over. The top line has been impressive, with Tage Thompson and Jeff Skinner each having 27 goals on the season, and Alex Tuch scoring 26 points in 34 games since he joined the lineup.
The story for the Blackhawks is pretty similar, but they've got their offense clicking even more. They've been able to score 3.61 goals per 60 minutes in the month of March. The line of Dylan Strome, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat has been on fire. Debrincat and Strome each have 15 points in their past 10 games, while Kane has produced a massive 22 points in his last 10.
Both teams will be trotting out a below-average goaltender. Kevin Lankinen has taken over as Chicago's starter since the trade deadline and been brutal all season. He's allowed 14.43 goals above expected in just 19 games. The Sabres will likely play Dustin Tokarski, who has mostly been a career minor-leaguer and is below league average in most categories.
These teams both have forwards who can score and very questionable goaltending. They also might loosen the screws on playing tight defensively, seeing how neither team can make the playoffs. The over in this game makes a ton of sense, and this one could be a fun sweat if we get the goals we are expecting.