NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 3/15/23

Wednesday's NHL slate brings just four games, but the model is showing two multi-star recommendations that we'd like to turn into two winners.

Where can we find them?

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.

Colorado Avalanche at Toronto Maple Leafs

Under 6.5 (-108) - 2 Stars

Fading some of the premier stars in the game to score doesn't sound fun, but it might be the right call.

Colorado and Toronto are two solid defensive clubs behind the talent. Since February 1st, they have posted the 13th and 9th-fewest expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes, respectively, across the NHL.

Plus, despite names like Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews, we're not actually dealing with offenses performing at an elite level here. In that same period, the Avs and Leafs have respectively tallied the 16th and 12th-most expected goal scored (xGF) per 60. They're not scoring or creating chances like juggernauts.

The goaltending isn't the reason for this elevated total, either. In terms of goals saved above expectation (GSAx), both Toronto's Ilya Samsonov (13.94 GSAx) and Colorado's Alexandar Georgiev (10.76) are top-15 netminders in this sport this season.

With all of this substance beyond the sizzle, our model sees the under winning out 57.6% of the time. Against these 52.3% implied odds, fire away.

Buffalo Sabres at Washington Capitals

Capitals ML (-115) - 2 Stars

These two teams are firmly in the Eastern Conference's Wild Card mix, and tonight's game will go a long way to deciding it.

Really, these are two flawed teams, and you have to decide where you're willing to compromise. Like the model, I can ignore some of the Capitals' shortcomings for a key edge in this space.

Washington actually has the worst mark for xGA per 60 minutes since February 1st (4.07) in the league. They've put a ton of added pressure on their goalie, but the Sabres' skaters have done quite a bit of the same. They're sixth-worst (3.62) in that category.

Buffalo's offense has scored plenty more, but it might just be luck Washington hasn't had. In terms of xGF per 60 in that same period, the Caps (2.92) and Sabres (2.97) are nearly identical.

They're not identical -- or anywhere close -- in the crease. Even forced to backup Charlie Lindgren (1.12 GSAx) after Darcy Kuemper started last night, Washington has a pronounced edge with him facing Buffalo's Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (-6.35 GSAx).

That goaltending gap is mostly why our model believes Washington wins tonight 61.5% of the time. These odds imply just a 53.5% chance.