NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 2/16/23
Thursday's eight-game slate has plenty of projected mismatches, but three still stand out from a value perspective.
How should we bet these lopsided spreads and moneylines?
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.
New Jersey Devils at St. Louis Blues
Devils ML (-150) - 2 Stars
Laying this juice on a road moneyline isn't comfortable, but this is as lopsided of a game as any other on this slate with 2.5-goal spreads.
The Devils are among the league's elite and deserve to be. They're fourth in expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) at 54.3% for the year. Plus, Vitek Vanecek has overcome a slow start to climb his way into the top 10 of the NHL in goals saved above expectation (13.51 GSAx).
St. Louis couldn't be further on the other end of the spectrum. They've got the seventh-worst xGF% in hockey (45.6%), and Jordan Binnington, while brash and confident, hasn't lived up to his Stanley Cup Finals performance from years ago when the Blues captured the cup.
He's posted an ugly -7.17 GSAx this year, which is the 10th-worst mark of goalies with multiple appearances.
Our model thinks the Devils win this one 64.1% of the time against these 60.0% implied odds. There's still value at this number.
Detroit Red Wings at Calgary Flames
Red Wings +1.5 (-120) - 4 Stars
Red Wings ML (+215) - 3 Stars
On a short drive from Edmonton to Calgary, our model believes the Red Wings keep rolling tonight.
Despite Detroit's warts, they're a solid defensive hockey club. Since January 1st, they've tallied the fourth-fewest expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes (2.78). The issue has been scoring; they're second to last in expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 in this time.
Of course, this won't be an easy task. The Flames have allowed the fewest expected goals per 60 minutes in that same period (2.69), and their offense has been much better (3.38 xGF per 60 minutes).
Any good path to an upset starts through the goaltender, though. Ask Tampa Bay after last night's 1-0 loss in Arizona. Entering this one, don't discount Detroit's backup Magnus Hellberg (0.83 GSAx) matched up with Jacob Markstrom (-1.83 GSAx). Markstrom has struggled this year despite his name value.
Our model sees the Red Wings as 70.9% likely to cover the spread against these 54.5% implied odds. It also sees them as 46.9% likely to win outright versus these 31.7% implied odds. The puckline is a better bet, but the moneyline could result in a handsome reward for the daring.
Philadelphia Flyers at Seattle Kraken
Flyers +1.5 (-158) - 3 Stars
Flyers ML (+160) - 2 Stars
If you're an upstart Seattle Kraken fan, I am genuinely sorry.
Any time they're on the slate, it does seem like I pick on them. The jersey isn't the reason why. Seattle is just due for plenty of regression, touting the league's 5th-highest actual goals-for rate (56.5%) with just its 18th-best xGF% (50.8%) since the start of the year.
Today is no different as they're a smidge inflated over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. When you look at that same period since the calendar turned, Philadelphia is just behind the Kraken in xGF% (49.9%), which many might have forecasted this year. It'd have just been far lower in the standings.
The real reason I love this potential upset is the goaltending matchup. Carter Hart has been a stud all season, ranking seventh in the entire league in GSAx (18.21). He'd have been an All-Star if not for the strength of his division. Martin Jones (-1.51 GSAx) would just take a clean sheet or two at this stage.
Philadelphia is 69.9% likely to cover the spread, per our model, against these 61.2% implied odds. It also projects the Flyers win 45.8% of the time versus these 38.5% implied moneyline odds.