NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 10/20/22

If you enjoy scoring, today might not be your favorite hockey day of the year.

The top-five bets in our model are all unders across the league, so we're fading an early burst of scoring throughout the league. This season, 56.6% of games have hit the over so far, but we know that usually regresses closer to 50.0%.

Where are some of the best spots today? I'll show you.

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.

Los Angeles Kings at Pittsburgh Penguins

Under 6.5 (+100) - 3 Stars

For years, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and the Penguins have been tasked with outscoring their foes due to shoddy goaltending and defense. That might finally be changing.

The Pens have allowed the sixth-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes (2.60 xGA) in hockey this season. At 0.77 goals saved above expected (GSAx), Tristan Jarry has opened the season strongly.

The concern for the under here is absolutely Los Angeles, a team allowing the 13th-most expected goals per 60 minutes. They've allowed at least three goals in every game.

Still, numberFire's model believes in Jarry and the Penguins holding down the fort. It expects them to win 61.8% of the time, and it expects this total to fall short of seven goals 61.8% of the time. Against the 50.0% implied odds here, that's a no-brainer.

New Jersey Devils at New York Islanders

Under 6.5 (-128) - 3 Stars

If I can get Ilya Sorokin at home, I'll take the "under" far more often than I won't.

Sorokin has followed up his breakout campaign by posting the third-best GSAx (4.46) in the NHL so far. The benefit of a guy like Sorokin? You can cede the ninth-most xGA per 60 minutes (3.48) and live to tell about it.

New Jersey is off to a hot start offensively, but they'll obviously be challenged by the New York netminder.

Curiously, these were two of the worst offenses a year ago in xGF, and they've now made a seismic leap. Oddsmakers aren't buying it given the -128 juice on these odds, and numberFire's model still likes the under here.

Against the 56.1% implied odds at that number, our model still believes the under hits here 65.6% of the time. That's another outstanding play.

Carolina Hurricanes at Edmonton Oilers

Under 6.5 (+108) - 3 Stars

As someone who generally fades the public with unders, I love the Carolina Hurricanes.

The defensive stalwarts have cashed the under in all three games so far, and that won't change if their current metrics match the preseason expectation that they are the best defensive team in hockey.

Carolina has posted a league-best 2.18 xGA, and Frederik Andersen has supported them with the sixth-best GSAx (3.30), as well. They've been virtually impenetrable to start the year.

That'll get -- by far -- its toughest test on Thursday. Connor McDavid and the Oilers are unsurprisingly eighth in the NHL in xGF per 60 minutes (3.72).

I'm with our model and still sticking with the Canes. Our projections forecast this game to fall south of seven tallies 59.1% of the time. That's another sweet bet against the plus money odds (48.1% implied) you can find at FanDuel Sportsbook.