NHL Betting Guide: Friday 3/3/23
All week, to a little bit of hair-pulling, we've targeted the Jets, Oilers, and Coyotes. To anyone who is tired of watching them despite the modest success, I'm sorry about today's wagers, too.
Value is value.
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 Edmonton Oilers
Under 6.5 (+104) - 2 Stars
There's risk involved here considering Edmonton has posted at least four goals themselves in seven of eight games.
Ranking fourth in expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 minutes since January 1st (3.56), I won't dispute the Oilers' offensive excellence. The counterpoint for an under wager is because they're also an excellent defense, ceding the third-fewest expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 (2.69) in that same time frame.
Winnipeg is much more in the middle of the road. They've scored the 10th-most xGF per 60 since the calendar turned (3.40), but they've also been less capable defensively as skaters, allowing the 17th-most expected goals per 60 (3.09) in that period.
The Jets put their heavy lifting defensively on one guy. Connor Hellebuyck has largely responded, amassing the fourth-most goals saved above expectation (25.90 GSAx) in the NHL this year. Edmonton's Stuart Skinner has a top-15 mark (11.48 GSAx) himself.
Overall, numberFire's model sees the under winning out a majority of the time (56.5%), but these odds imply just a 49.0% chance it happens.
Carolina Hurricanes at Arizona Coyotes
Coyotes +1.5 (+114) - 3 Stars
This feels like two of my children fighting.
I've got a Stanley Cup futures bet on Carolina, who have still led the league in the rate of expected goals for (57.8 xGF%) since January 1st -- and largely the whole season. As we've found out recently, the Coyotes can upset anyone, though.
Despite a late shorthanded goal Wednesday in Dallas to lose that puckline, Arizona has covered 9 of their last 12 contests. So many teams have fallen to the bottom of the NHL that Arizona, largely outmanned by all to begin the year, has just the fifth-worst xGF% (43.0%) in the league since the start of 2023.
Our model and I place a heavy emphasis on goaltending, though. That's where the Coyotes shine.
On three days of rest, Arizona will likely start Karel Vejmelka (9.65 GSAx), who has thoroughly outperformed Carolina's Frederik Andersen (-0.35 GSAx). Andersen was second in GSAx last year, but he's just not been able to recapture that same form at any point in 2022-23. It's my concern with Carolina in the playoffs.
Overall, with an edge in goal, our model expects Arizona to cover a one-goal margin 59.8% of the time tonight. These 46.7% implied odds aren't close to that expectation.