NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/4/22

Every game is important come NHL Playoff time, but none more so than the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild, who both lost on home ice in Game 1, making tonight's contests so much more meaningful. Heading on the road down 0-2 in the series is a seemingly insurmountable deficit; however, according to our projections, both teams face an uphill battle in their respective series tonight.

We're highlighting a few noteworthy plays from our daily projections!

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Boston Bruins

Under 5.5 (-110): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Hurricanes moneyline (-120): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

Game 1 between the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins was a chess match, as teams exchanged scoring opportunities. The Canes prevailed with a convincing 5-1 victory and they project as the top option again tonight in what should be a low-scoring affair.

Both teams ended the regular season with elite defensive zone metrics. The B's allowed the fewest shots, scoring, and high-danger chances at five-on-five, with the Canes coming in at fourth in shots and scoring opportunities, albeit further down at 14th in quality chances. Still, Carolina was the best at preventing scoring, ending the year with the fewest goals against.

Carolina does have a more pronounced advantage offensively. The Hurricanes ended the season top 10 in goals, scoring, and high-danger chances, with the Bruins barely finishing in the top half of the league in each category. Their limited offensive upside was on full display in the series opener, with Boston scoring just one goal on 36 shots and 15 high-danger chances.

Defensively these teams are very comparable, playing shutdown systems. However, the Canes have been more proficient offensively, as evidenced by their 5-1 victory in Game 1, giving them the advantage again in Game 2. According to our projections, backing the Hurricanes on the moneyline is rated as a 1-star play, with the under rated as a 3-star wager.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

Under 6.5 (-118): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

Considering their limited playoff success over the past few years, Monday's 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Kings wasn't the start the Edmonton Oilers were hoping for in this year's edition. We've seen improved defensive efforts from the Oil since Jay Woodcroft came to town, and we're expecting them to tighten things up defensively in a virtual must-win Game 2.

Mike Smith's puck handling blunder was the difference late in the game, but the Oilers will be looking to insulate their veteran netminder tonight. Edmonton decreased their chances against under Woodcroft, allowing an average of 8.4 quality opportunities per game. Look for them to get back to that structure as they limit the Kings' attack.

Granted, LA tallied four goals on Monday night, which appears to be the exception and not the rule. The Kings finished the regular season with the worse shooting percentage in the NHL, recording the ninth-fewest goals. Improved defensive play from the Oilers should facilitate regression towards the mean for the Kings, who have overachieved offensively over their recent sample.

The Oilers need to control the tempo in tonight's contest if they hope to head back to LA level in the series. Based on our projections, there's a substantive edge in backing this to be a low-scoring game, aligning with expected improvement from Edmonton. We rate under 6.5 as a 3-star play.