NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/7/23
If you like better unders, this slate is for you. Empty-net analytical revolution be damned, our model is recommending six unders on Tuesday.
These are the multi-star recommendations.
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.
Vegas Golden Knights at Florida Panthers
Under 6.5 (+106) - 3 Stars
Don't look now, but the Panthers have cashed four straight unders. Consider Miami covered in two feet of snow.
Since February 1st, Florida is ceding the sixth-most expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes (3.54), and they're scoring the most expected goals (xGF) per 60 minutes (4.36). That massive number and its impending regression to a normalized value are likely why they've gone a bit cold recently.
The visiting Golden Knights play with a very different style. They're scoring the 14th-fewest xGF per 60 minutes, and they're allowing the 13th-fewest. They're much more of a defense-oriented club, but this total still implies a 56.5% chance we see at least seven goals tonight.
I'm bearish about that. The goaltending here is also really solid between Vegas' Adin Hill (5.41 goals saved above expectation) and Florida's Sergei Bobrovsky (8.60 GSAx). Bobrovsky's largely been responsible for these recent low-scoring affairs, surging into the top 20 in GSAx across the league.
Our model is expected fewer than seven goals in this tilt 59.0% of the time. Against these 48.5% implied odds, you've stumbled upon numberFire's best bet of the day.
Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils
Under 6.5 (-112) - 2 Stars
Believe it or not, these star-laden clubs are Stanley Cup contenders because of their defense.
Respectively, the Devils and Maple Leafs are allowing the fewest and fifth-fewest xGA per 60 minutes in the NHL since February 1st. Their expected goals-for rates (xGF%) are so high because New Jersey and Toronto are also scoring the 4th and 11th-most expected goals per 60 themselves in that period.
Plus, both goaltenders have been huge positives all season. Toronto's Ilya Samsonov (12.96 GSAx) is why I'd favor the Leafs to win, but Vitek Vanecek (6.58 GSAx) hasn't been too shabby, either.
When they clash, there's slight juice to the under at 6.5, and it might be the right call despite 68% of bets and 78% of the money on the over.
Overall, numberFire sees the under winning out 58.6% of the time against these 52.7% implied odds. While this one doesn't come with as much conviction, we can't complain about a value wager in the can't-miss game of Tuesday's slate.
Philadelphia Flyers at Tampa Bay Lightning
Under 6.0 (-104) - 2 Stars
The Philadelphia Flyers are a defensive juggernaut recently.
As a club that's sat in the bottom five of xGA per 60 minutes for years, it's a pretty noted change when they've posted the 11th-fewest xGA per 60 minutes since February 1st. All year, Carter Hart (12.22 GSAx) has been doing the heavy lifting all season, but he's had defensive support recently, leading to an under in three of the last five.
Analytically, Tampa Bay is actually the worrisome side here. That's probably good news for the under considering they're the two-time reigning East champs, and they're not awful defensive at 3.27 xGA per 60 minutes in that same period. It's only the 13th-worst mark in the league, closing in on the middle of the pack.
Plus, Andrei Vasilevskiy usually makes the defensive metrics irrelevant for the Bolts, and he's held to his unusually high standard in 2022-23, amassing the seventh-best GSAx in hockey (20.30). They're truly never the side to worry about with an under.
I actually feel the best about an extremely low-scoring tilt here of the three games, but that's reflected in the 6.0-goal total. Our model sees this wager hitting 50.0% of the time and pushing 10.8% of the time. Against these 50.4% implied odds, we've got positive expected value in this contest.