NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 4/14/22

There are some crucial matchups on tonight's 12-game slate that will impact position in the standings as teams compete for important points in the standings. Favorites have dominated this week winning 12 of the 18 matchups, but we like that trend to reverse tonight.

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

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Anaheim Ducks

Ducks +1.5 (+110): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Ducks moneyline (+290): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

Back-to-back Stanley Cup runs could be leaving the Tampa Bay Lightning short on energy to end the season. The Bolts have put forth some lackluster efforts over their recent sample, dropping them to five losses over their past six games. The betting market is overestimating their chances on Thursday night, per our numbers, leaving an edge in backing the Anaheim Ducks.

Just once over their past six games have the Lightning posted an expected goals-for rating above 50.0%, with a cumulative 45.0% rating over that stretch. Tampa's getting outplayed on both ends of the ice, attempting more than eight high-danger chances just twice over the six-game sample while getting out-chanced in five of six. The Bolts are stuck in a funk right now, and there's no sign of breaking out.

The Ducks have dialed up the offensive intensity over their recent stretch, attempting 10 or more high-danger chances in three of their past five games and six of 10 overall. They're in a good position to continue that upward trend against a Lightning squad that has given up 12 or more such chances in three of their last six.

Based on our projections, the Lightning have only a 65.4% chance of winning this game, which is substantially lower than the 78.9% implied probability that comes with their -375 moneyline price. That leaves advantages in backing Anaheim on the moneyline and puckline, which we rate as two- and three-star plays, respectively.

Buffalo Sabres vs. St. Louis Blues

Sabres moneyline (+164): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

You wouldn't know it by looking at their position in the standings, but the St. Louis Blues are not a strong analytics team. There is a massive shift between their expected and actual outcomes, implying that they are regression candidates. That trend has been plainly illustrated over their recent sample, but we're anticipating it boiling over against the Buffalo Sabres tonight.

The Blues have the ninth-best points percentage this season, which is contraindicated in their 25th-ranked expected goals-for percentage of 47.0%. That has shifted the Blues' PDO to a league-high 1.025, indicating that they are operating above sustainable levels.

We've seen that play out over their recent sample, with St. Louis posting below-average expected goals-for ratings in three of their past four but still finding a way to win all four games. The Blues can't continue to get outplayed and win games.

Buffalo is coming off a momentum-building win against the Toronto Maple Leafs and has the benefit of home-ice advantage.The Sabres have a respectable 14-17-6 record at home, with five of those wins coming over their past eight games.

We're taking a stance on the Sabres, as they look to knock the Blues off their shaky perch. Backing Buffalo to win is rated as a one-star play, per our projections.