NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 2/28/23
Tuesday's 10-game slate is so jam-packed that today's guide is leaving out other quality bets. I'd have easily taken Chicago's spread last night with only five games to choose from.
Which three lines stood above the rest?
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.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators
Predators ML (+128) - 2 Stars
Our model thinks the Predators pull the upset at home tonight.
Since January 1st, these teams are fairly similar offensively minded clubs with their skaters. Pittsburgh is scoring the third-most expected goals (xGF) per 60 minutes (3.72), and Nashville is 11th in that same category (3.37).
On defense, it's been a struggle. It's why I'll pass on the recommendation from my robotic friend to pair this with the under. The Penguins and Predators are tied for ceding the sixth-most expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes in that same timeframe (3.35).
The edge for Nashville comes from the crease. Juuse Saros finds himself in Vezina consideration again, holding the third-best rate of goals saved above expectation (27.82 GSAx) in the NHL. Tristan Jarry (6.16 GSAx) has been solid in his own right, but he lags quite a bit behind Saros.
numberFire is assigning a 51.2% chance that the Predators win tonight against these 43.9% implied odds.
Seattle Kraken at St. Louis Blues
Over 6.0 (-122) - 2 Stars
We don't play a ton of overs -- the casual bettor's favorite endeavor -- but this one still stood out to me.
We should probably be assigning 6.5-goal totals to the Blues until further notice. Since January 1st, they've ceded the fifth-most xGA per 60 minutes (3.51). That would be poor on its own, but combined with the roller coaster of Jordan Binnington (-1.19 GSAx), it's no surprise that 33 of St. Louis' 56 decided totals have been overs.
The visiting Kraken have been better defensively, posting the 10th-fewest xGA per 60 minutes in that same time period (2.96). However, their goaltending has also been sporadic with Martin Jones (-2.11 GSAx) not at his best.
Our model actually believes the Blues win this game 55.7% of the time, but nothing I can see analytically would support them being the better squad tonight. For me, the over is a better way to attack St. Louis' potential offensive competence with their usual defensive ineptitude.
numberFire sees at least six goals being scored in this contest 66.3% of the time. There's value despite the 55.0% implied odds.
Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets
Jets ML (-137) - 2 Stars
This is my favorite bet of the day. I'd give it five stars. The price on Winnipeg -- at home and rested -- doesn't match their superiority in every category.
On offense, the Jets (3.41 xGF per 60 minutes) are scoring more than the Kings (3.17) since January 1st. On defense, it's the same story. Winnipeg (3.08 xGA per 60) is allowing fewer expected goals than Los Angeles (3.11).
However, where these two teams really start to separate is in goal. Connor Hellebuyck is one of the better netminders in the league, sporting the fourth-highest GSAx mark (26.49). While Pheonix Copley (4.42 GSAx) has saved the Kings' season with competent play, he's not been on Hellebuyck's level.
Our model has Winnipeg as 64.7% likely to win this game, but this -137 moneyline implies just a 57.8% chance. In this case, the price is more than acceptable.