NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 12/1/22
We were a late Toronto empty-netter from two perfect days in a row, but we'll take that same one-goal cushion with another terrible team in tonight's nightcap.
But first, which moneylines (or totals) should we back on Thursday's 11-game slate? I'll show ya.
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.
Blues ML (+116) - 2 Stars
As sure as I am that the model is too high on the Blues, they're also not going to lose at home forever.
Right now, it's got St. Louis at sixth in our power ranks, but they're a mediocre 22nd in expected-goals-for percentage (47.7 xGF%). It's a historical model, as well, so it's not all about this season. Jordan Binnington has also posted -1.10 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) in net, so he's not exactly carrying the team, either.
I have a Stanley Cup future on Carolina on the other side, so you don't have to assume I'm too low on them. They're third in xGF% (56.7%), but the keynote to remember is they're still without Frederik Andersen. They've been far more vulnerable with Antti Raanta (-0.15 GSAx) in goal.
The Canes are currently on a six-game road trip, which should lead to hiccups at some point. Perhaps it's tonight against the rested Blues, who are 54.6% likely to win tonight, per our model. I'm not favoring St. Louis at these odds, but I still do like this contrarian wager with only 31% of bets and 37% of the handle on the home side. At the very least, we're getting good value on this number.
Capitals ML (+100) - 2 Stars
The Seattle Kraken have to chill -- and they will.
Seattle is the talk of the hockey world, seeming to be an instant contender overnight as last year's expansion franchise. Given they were a strong defensive team last year, the Kraken's offense is what sparked their arrival, but it's been very fortunate.
They're third in the NHL in goals scored per 60 minutes (3.78), but they're ninth from the bottom in expected goals per 60 minutes (2.93). That sort of split just doesn't last for an entire season, and I feel supremely confident saying that given how they've outperformed expectations thus far.
On the other side of this one, Washington is due for positive regression. Their current GF% (47.9%) lags a bit behind their 48.2 xGF%. Plus, Darcy Kuemper (8.05 GSAx; sixth in the NHL) is the right man to potentially cool down this scorching Seattle offense.
I'm far more confident in Washington than in St. Louis tonight, and so is our model. It's giving the Caps a 57.1% chance to win this one outright, ignoring Seattle's real-world scoring for what they deserve on paper. Against these 50.0% implied odds, fire away.
Coyotes +1.5 (-118) - 2 Stars
The Los Angeles Kings just don't deserve a short favored puckline (-104) against anyone. They're too vulnerable in terms of goaltending regardless if they turn to Jonathan Quick (-4.41 GSAx) or Calvin Petersen (-10.12 GSAx).
There's no doubt the Coyotes are the worst team in the NHL. They've posted a laughable 2.25 xGF per 60 minutes and 38.4 xGF% -- both of which are comfortably last in the league. It's still an NHL hockey team targeting one of two scuffling goaltenders.
Plus, they'll have their star player in goal. Karel Vejmelka is one of the best 'tenders in hockey right now, sporting the fourth-best GSAx (10.43) in the league. He's the difference given the Kings' skaters (51.8 xGF%) should get the best of Arizona's.
Against these 54.1% implied odds, our model is giving a 58.5% chance that the Yotes cover this one-goal spread. Because Arizona stinks, this line should also move in Los Angeles' direction throughout Thursday afternoon, creating more value on this side.