NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 2/22/23
To start the day, we had three multi-star recommendations for just three games on Wednesday. Unfortunately, since I discussed them on Covering the Spread, one line has moved and taken some value away, per numberFire's model.
I'll still start there. As a goaltending fanatic, I can't pass on this game.
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.
Winnipeg Jets at New York Islanders
Under 5.5 (-124) - 1 Star
I love FanDuel Sportsbook, but this is a number you can shop if available.
The Jets and Islanders should play a defensive-minded, low-scoring battle in Long Island tonight. After all, this game features the two best goaltenders analytically for the season.
Of course, that starts with New York's Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin's 40.69 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) leads the NHL by over 10. He should be the Vezina winner if not for the better team and story in Boston. However, his closest contemporary will be in the other crease.
Connor Hellebuyck is second in GSAx (29.16), but it also helps he's got the better defense in front of him. Since January 1st, the Jets are allowing the 16th-fewest expected goals (xGA) per 60 minutes, and the Isles are seventh from the bottom in that category.
Our model still expects the under to win out at this short number 58.2% of the time, and even these odds on FanDuel imply a wagerable 55.4% chance.
Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars
Under 6.0 (-110) - 3 Stars
On national television, this is my roundabout way of backing the Stars without laying a dreaded -1.5 puckline.
Chicago played a shootout thriller last night before the second leg of their back-to-back in Dallas tonight. On top of tired legs, this is a team posting the fewest expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 minutes since January 1st, and they've ceded the seventh-most xGA per 60, as well.
Dallas has allowed the third-fewest xGA per 60 minutes (2.70) in that same period, which only furthers the expectation of Chicago impotence before talking about the netminder. Jake Oettinger of the Stars is fifth in GSAx (25.65) himself.
Plus, it only helps the total that Jaxson Stauber will get the nod for the Blackhawks. Stauber (1.61 GSAx) has been far more effective than Petr Mrazek (-5.66 GSAx), which likely explains why Mrazek continues to start. That gives them the best chance to win the Conor Bedard sweepstakes.
Our model sees six goals or fewer in this game 66.1% of the time versus these 52.2% implied odds.
Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes +1.5 (-144) - 3 Stars
The Flames have lost five of their last seven, so I saw something I thought I'd never see in 2023 this morning. It was line movement toward the Arizona Coyotes.
The Yotes have quietly covered in nine straight games, dispelling any hearsay about goaltending not mattering when betting on NHL games. Arizona has the fifth-worst expected-goals-for rate (43.5 xGF%) since January 1st, but the magic has happened in the crease.
Karel Vejmelka (9.90 GSAx) has been a life preserver for them all year, but he's ceded the starting job for now to Connor Ingram. In just 20 appearances, Ingram is already 13th in GSAx (11.43). GSAx is a cumulative stat like WAR in baseball, so that's absurd value created in a short period of time.
Calgary has the exact opposite problem. They're third in xGF% since the calendar turned (58.3%), but Jacob Markstrom (-3.22 GSAx) has given good chunks of that work back on the scoresheet.
Our model expects the Yotes -- with Vejmelka projected in goal -- to cover 68.8% of the time against these 59.0% odds. That forecast likely only enhances with Ingram, so fire away on this now with the line having moved from -140 to -144 this morning.