NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 10/12/22

Wednesday's main slate will hang a banner.

The defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Colorado Avalanche, will open at home against Chicago. Other key hopefuls this season like Carolina, Toronto, and Oilers will join them.

Where can we find value on the slate to bet, though?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals

Under 6.0 (-102) - 2 Stars

These teams used to have rock-solid goaltending situations. A bit of uncertainty has changed that.

Last year, we saw Linus Ullmark really struggle in the postseason (4.16 GAA), so the Bruins are turning to Jeremy Swayman in more of a full-time capacity this season. Swayman's 2021-22 campaign was up and down, but he finished with 6.21 goals saved above average (GSAA).

On the other side here, the Capitals plucked Darcy Kuemper away from the defending champion Avs. Kuemper was not only fourth in GSAA, but he was also fifth in goals saved above expectation (GSAx).

These are two solid goalies, and both of these teams were outside of the top-10 squads in expected goals last year. This total might be too high, and numberFire's model agrees.

It expects at least a push 63.2% of the time here. This bet is a no-brainer against these 50.5% implied odds.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens

Canadiens +1.5 (-110) - 2 Stars

If you want to bet on good teams using the puckline, this guide might not be for you all season. We bet bad teams here. Apologies!

If you're new to betting NHL, popular, great teams juice pucklines (i.e. -- 1.5-goal spreads) constantly. This is a great example; the Maple Leafs are expected to contend to make or win the Stanley Cup Finals this year, and the Canadiens are absolutely rebuilding.

As a result, bettors don't want to lay a -260 moneyline with Toronto, so they bet the spread. The problem? This is a phenomenal number to get Montreal thanks to 77% of bets on the Leafs juicing this to near even money.

Is Montreal going to win tonight? Probably not. However, numberFire's model gives them a 57.5% chance to keep it within a tally -- including overtime. Against these 52.5% implied odds, that's a two-star wager.

If you still don't believe me, numberFire's model also gives its most similar 20 games based on projected offensive and defensive efficiency. In the 20 most similar games to this one, the home 'dog (representing Montreal) covered a 1.5-goal spread 12 times.

Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche

Blackhawks +1.5 (+134) - 2 Stars
Over 6.5 (-124) - 2 Stars

With that explanation in mind, I present one of my favorite teams to bet against all of last year. It's also my favorite hockey team.

I'm from Denver, and Colorado was a public betting darling last year, lighting lamps at will on their road to a championship. However, they actually lost you money if you bet the puckline every game last year.

This season isn't likely to be the same for the Avs. First of all, they were only ninth in expected-goals-for percentage (xGF%), but they finished fourth in actual GF%. They were a bit lucky, for sure.

Also, they've lost their aforementioned top-five goalie Darcy Kuemper, replacing with former Rangers backup Alexandar Georgiev. I don't love it.

The Blackhawks are another team in a rebuild, and Petr Mrazek isn't great, but he can -- at worst -- just match the worse goaltending situation in the league last year.

Bottomline -- the juice on this line is insane. Our model expects Chicago to stay within a goal 49.5% of the time, but these odds imply it just a 42.7% chance it happens.

Especially considering the potentially shoddy goaltending on both sides, it's also easy to love the over. The model pegs that as 61.7% likely to be hit, so don't be scared of the hefty 55.4% implied odds here.