NHL Betting Guide: Friday 1/13/23
If you don't like bad goalies, I've got bad news. Friday's three-game slate has six mediocre-to-poor netminders across the three games.
Variance should be up, and we can get down with a couple of 'dogs on this slate.
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.
Ducks +1.5 (-104) - 2 Stars
New Jersey's red-hot start has cooled considerably. Since December 1st, the Devils' 51.7% expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) is just 13th in the league. This is a squad that, overall, is second in that category, so we're largely still paying top-tier prices to back them -- and a -118 puckline tonight definitely qualifies.
Anaheim's offense has remained wholly unlucky in that same time span. They are scoring just 2.32 goals per 60 minutes, but they should be scoring 2.62 per 60 when looking at their expected goals (xGF) metric.
Most importantly of all, it's likely that the Devils will turn to backup netminder Mackenzie Blackwood against the lowly Ducks with a better Kings squad on deck tomorrow. Blackwood's -0.29 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) is a massive downgrade from Vitek Vanecek's mark of 6.76.
Even with Vanecek factored in as the guy getting the nod, our model still likes the Ducks to cover 59.7% of the time against these 51.0% implied odds. That value will only get better if it's Blackwood as I expect.
Sharks ML (+134) - 2 Stars
There's still value in fading Edmonton as they round out this three-game California trip.
The team is still without Stuart Skinner (12.31 GSAx), so Jack Campbell (-13.24 GSAx) should get the nod again. The aforementioned unlucky Ducks only dented Campbell for a goal, so his season-long struggles might not be front of mind for many entering this matchup with San Jose.
We expected the Sharks to be a bottom feeder this year after several season-opening losses to Nashville in the Czech Republic, but they've rallied. They're seventh in xGF% (53.5%) in the NHL since December 1st. That's a mark that trumps Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Vegas. They've been pretty stellar.
Usually, San Jose's goaltending spells their doom. However, James Reimer (-5.44 GSAx) is a relative advantage over Campbell, and I don't believe that's something most will account for given Optimus Reim's struggles for the bulk of the season.
Our model still thinks San Jose wins just 48.8% of the time here, but these odds imply just a 42.7% chance it happens. That's still a two-star wager.