NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 2/9/23
In a roundabout way, we're supporting three home teams tonight. We've got two sides and just want an orange one to survive the onslaught.
When peering at Thursday's seven-game docket, which value spots stand out?
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.
Seattle Kraken at New Jersey Devils
Devils ML (-152) - 3 Stars
By record, these are two of the better teams in hockey. I think that's the underlying reason for this number. In actuality, there's a contender and a pretender here.
New Jersey's 33-13-4 record is supported by stellar play in the expected categories. Even well after when others and I expected them to slow down, they haven't. Since January 1st, they've got the third-best expected-goals-for rate in the NHL (54.6 xGF%).
I can truly say Seattle isn't even within the margin for error. They're 20th in xGF% (50.2%) since January 1st, and it's not like they make up for it with stellar goaltending play.
That'll be an arrow in the Devs' category tonight, too. Vitek Vanecek (12.74 goals saved above expectation) has been significantly better than Martin Jones (-0.33 GSAx) all year.
It's pretty crazy that, rested and at home, this small amount of juice is all I have to pay for the outright. numberFire's model expects New Jersey to win tonight 68.6% of the time, but these odds imply just a 60.4% chance it happens.
Edmonton Oilers at Philadelphia Flyers
Under 6.5 (+114) - 2 Stars
I'm pretty confident in this under wager regardless of who gets the start for Edmonton here.
The Flyers aren't the team I'm scared will burst it. They've posted the fourth-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF) in the NHL since January 1st (2.68), continuing a multi-year stretch of terrible offense. Of course, Stuart Skinner (12.78 GSAx) has been strong for the Oilers all year, but Jack Campbell is also on quite a tear recently. His -11.33 GSAx will only rise in time with this level of play.
Of course, it's the lethal Oilers offense (3.51 xGF per 60 since January 1st) that we're concerned about. However, getting peppered with shots won't be anything new for Carter Hart, who ranks seventh in the NHL in GSAx (15.32) during his breakout campaign despite facing the fourth-most Corsi this season.
As mentioned in the intro, it'll be up to Hart to stop the onslaught, but our model likes this elevated number. It expects fewer than seven goals 54.5% of the time versus these 46.7% implied odds. This line is also moving quickly toward 7.0, and it's a better wager there.
Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning ML (-122) - 2 Stars
The defending champions just can't seem to get out of neutral.
In addition to Tuesday's deflating loss in Pittsburgh, the Avalanche also lost at home to the lowly Anaheim Ducks last week, and the peripherals aren't indicating a team to buy low. Colorado actually has the 12th-worst xGF% (50.0%) in the NHL since January 1st.
Now, it's not like the Lightning are representing last year's Stanley Cup Finals matchup with excellence, either. Tampa's 51.3 xGF% in that same time frame is just the 12th-best in the league, but that is substantially better.
Plus, I'd call the goaltending matchup here a wash on equal rest. Andrei Vasilevskiy (14.73 GSAx) has performed better than Alexandar Georgiev (9.57) for the whole year, but I am a bit concerned about Vasilevskiy's seven-goal blowup on Monday.
It appears the Bolts have a slight advantage everywhere, and this one is on their home ice. It's why our model expects Tampa Bay to win this one 60.7% of the time versus these 55.0% implied odds.