NHL Betting Guide: Friday 11/4/22

A vast majority of bettors are riding the Avalanche's puckline tonight. Should we join them or back the visiting Blue Jackets?

Friday's two-game slate also has the opportunity to do two of my favorite things.

We faded the Avalanche spread to great success last year, and we've taken unders in Hurricanes games all season. If it ain't broke...

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.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Colorado Avalanche

Blue Jackets +1.5 (-110) - 1 Star

The Avs are just overvalued at the moment. They shouldn't have a -110 puckline against anyone.

The defending champs are just 24th in expected-goals-for percentage (46.6 xGF%) this season. It's shockingly been on the heels of an offense that's posted the eighth-fewest expected goals per 60 (2.72 xGF). Alexandar Georgiev has been better than expected on that end, posting the 18th-most goals saved above expectation so far (2.72 GSAx).

Those offensive concerns give the Blue Jackets a shot in this space. They've allowed 4.55 goals per 60 minutes (second-most in the NHL), but they've only been expected to give up 3.64 per 60 minutes. So, what gives? Well, Elvis Merzlikins sports the third-fewest GSAx (-7.37) in hockey so far. He's been awful.

We're getting peak value on this line since 87% of the public -- shocker -- are lining up with the Avs -1.5 here.

It's unnerving to get behind a keeper as bad as Merzlikins, but there's value in taking a 52.5% implied puckline against Colorado at the moment. Our model thinks Columbus covers 53.5% of the time.

Buffalo Sabres at Carolina Hurricanes

Under 6.5 (-112) - 2 Stars

Alas, we already knew the biggest bet of the day looking at the schedule.

The Hurricanes have gone under their projected goal total in 6 of their 10 contests, which is a stunning stat considering half of the totals were at or below 6.0. They're a phenomenal defensive hockey team, posting the second-fewest xGA per 60 minutes (2.49) in the NHL.

However, it's borderline shocking that Buffalo joins them in the top 10. They've allowed the 10th-fewest xGA per 60 (2.96).

This isn't a slam dunk, though. Both teams are turning to backup goalies in this one. Antti Raanta (0.37 GSAx) has been fine for the Canes, but Eric Comrie (-2.00) has struggled a bit for the Sabres. It's why this line is a bit higher than you'd usually see between two top-10 defensive squads.

Still, this is our model's best bet by a mile on this tiny two-game slate. It's giving the under a 61.0% chance to hit in this space against these 52.7% implied odds. It's good for a two-star (or two-unit) wager to cap the week with old reliable.