NHL Betting Guide: Friday 4/1/22
A decently-sized seven games make up Friday's slate. Not a ton of value stands out, but a couple of road underdogs facing poor defenses might be worth a bet to win outright.
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings
Senators ML (+108) - 2 Stars
Senators +1.5 (-255) - 3 Stars
Two teams firmly outside the playoff mix will clash in Detroit, and our algorithm likes backing the Ottawa Senators to cover the 1.5-goal puckline and win outright.
The Senators were just 4-10-1 in March, but they do have some building blocks in their peripheral numbers. They were 16th in the NHL in expected goals last month (44.95), but as has been the case for years in Ottawa, the goaltending and defense lagged behind. They surrendered the eighth-most expected goals (47.69).
Detroit wasn't any better. In fact, they had fewer wins in March (3-8-3) and uglier peripherals. They posted the eighth-fewest expected goals (38.46) and joined Ottawa in the bottom-12 of the league in expected goals allowed (46.67).
The Sens' offense is clicking just a bit better than the Red Wings, and Ottawa has an extra day of rest on them. Three units on the puckline (+1.5) will probably be less of a sweat, but it also comes at a much steeper -255 price.
St. Louis Blues at Edmonton Oilers
Blues ML (+132) - 2 Stars
Blues +1.5 (-194) - 3 Stars
The St. Louis Blues match Ottawa's exact unit recommendations as the squad travels to Alberta this evening.
Look, there's no doubt the Oilers are playing better hockey. They're 8-3-0 in their last 11 games, but they haven't really solved the dilemma that's plagued them all season. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and company posted the second-most expected goals (56.57) in the NHL last month. They still surrendered the seventh-most expected goals (48.64), as well.
That type of all-offense style has left them susceptible to nightly upsets, and enter the road underdog here as a perfect matchup. The Blues earned a point in 9 of their 14 March contests, but it wasn't smooth sailing. They allowed the 14th-most expected goals (46.01) and posted the 9th-fewest expected goals (39.52).
All season, we've seen poor offensive squads head north to Edmonton and find their scoring touch. It all comes down to how the projected goalie, Ville Husso, can slow down Edmonton's star-studded attack. Husso is top-10 in goals saved above expectation this year, so he's as good a candidate as most to stand on his head.
With that in mind, the most valuable side, personally, would be the -194 puckline. It's not an absurd price to pay for a team getting to the extra period regularly in games they're dropping. For the bold, the +132 moneyline is sitting there with a decent return, too.