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Market Report for Saturday, November 5th
Wins: 23 Losses: 21 Units Won: + 2.26 units ROI: 5.3 percent
I’m tracking all my plays on Betstamp: a third party bet tracking app. The bets reveal themselves after the games start. I keep my own personal records as well and they may differ slightly from Betstamp due to several factors, but for the most part, it should line up closely.
Saturday’s Bets: New York Islanders -130
All game lines via DraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM Sportsbook, but I will sometimes use the consensus odds from the VSiN NHL Odds page if it is a better price and widely available. All recommended bets will be accompanied by recommended stake size. All stats via Evolving Hockey and Natural Stat Trick.
New York Islanders (-125) at Detroit Red Wings (+105)
I considered the possibility that Semyon Varlamov could start Saturday’s game against the Red Wings, but the Islanders have a back-to-back coming up against the Flames and Rangers. Due to this scheduling note, I’m fairly confident that head coach Lane Lambert will choose to go with Ilya Sorokin more often than Varlamov in a situation like this despite the fact that Varlamov was in the 'starter's' crease at practice. There’s also a chance that the Islanders could be facing off against Alex Nedeljkovic, which adds upside to the bet. This is the first half of a back-to-back for Detroit, and given that the Rangers are on deck, I wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Derek Lalonde saved Ville Husso for that game. The Islanders have scored more than a goal (per 60 minutes) more than the Red Wings have at even strength so far this season. Detroit ranks among the bottom-10 teams in the league on offense, while the Islanders currently sit second behind the Boston Bruins. I’d be surprised if the Islanders finished as a top offensive team, but regardless of which goaltenders starts, they seem to be able to take advantage of weaker teams with bad goaltender. The ideal goaltending matchup for Islanders bettors is Sorokin versus Nedeljkovic, and I think there’s still a possibility that we’ll see just that. I'm betting about half as much as I would like to bet on this game because we don't have a confirmation from the team and my edge isn't as big with Varlamov in the net and that's still a possibility.
Note: Detroit is missing two of their top forwards, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jakub Vrana.
Update: Worst case scenario: Varlamov and Husso will start in goal. I don't regret my bet, but since the line has moved to -135 and -140 at a lot of sportsbooks, it doesn't really matter at this point (30 minutes before puck drop).
Bet: New York Islanders -130 Stake: 1.3 units to win 1 unit
Dallas Stars (+140) at Edmonton Oilers (-160)
Without goaltender Jake Oettinger, the Dallas Stars aren’t as well equipped to take on a team like the Oilers. Scott Wedgewood was able to get the job done against the Arizona Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings (who were playing tired) but neither of those teams have the offensive talent that the Oilers do. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are looking to run away with the scoring lead and the Oilers are scoring roughly four goals per game. Only two teams have scored more goals than Edmonton has so far this season. Dallas is right behind them, though, and that’s why my model doesn’t make the Oilers a bigger favorite. The Stars are still a well-structured team, and their underlying metrics are solid. Edmonton shouldn’t be priced any higher than -165.
Boston Bruins (+110) at Toronto Maple Leafs (-130)
I would love nothing more than to be able to bet the Boston Bruins in this spot, but they haven't announced their starting goaltender yet after calling up Keith Kinkaid to fill in for the injured Jeremy Swayman. There's a good chance that Linus Ullmark will start, but you have to be prepared for the possibility that head coach Jim Montgomery does something unorthodox. There's no word on whether forward David Krejci will play or not, but he is reportedly trending in the right direction and could suit up for the game. I'll finalize my projection when the team releases some information.
Note: Ilya Samsonov will start for the Maple Leafs. This is the first half of a back-to-back for Toronto.
Update: David Krejci will return to the Bruins' lineup on Saturday and it looks like Linus Ullmark will start in goal. Unfortunately, the game line has moved too much already and there's not enough value at +110 to justify a bet.
Florida Panthers (-135) at Los Angeles Kings (+115)
Los Angeles has lost one more game than they’ve won up to this point, and the team can’t seem to get on any sort of a role. They just finished up a three-game road trip in which they scored five goals in the first game and three combined in the next two. The Kings haven’t lost three games in a row yet this season, but the Florida Panthers are certainly going to put their ability to bounce back to the test, but we’re talking about a team that has just dropped games in Chicago, Philadelphia and Arizona. The Panthers narrowly defeated the Sharks in a shootout in San Jose on Thursday. Don’t get me wrong, they deserve to be the favorite, but the Kings have taken down the Lightning and Maple Leafs on home ice already this season, so why can’t do the same to the Panthers? Goaltending would be the obvious answer. The Kings aren’t getting enough from Jonathan Quick or Cal Petersen, and the Panthers are a dangerous team. They’re not all that much more dangerous than the Lightning or the Maple Leafs, though. And despite their strong underlying metrics, the Panthers look like an average team on the surface because they’ve been underperforming expected goals. They’re a tough team to figure out right now, and although they were on my radar at +130, I’m not really interested in betting them at +115. This is the fourth game in six days for the Kings.
Philadelphia Flyers (+160) at Ottawa Senators (-180)
Goaltender Cam Talbot will make his debut as a member of the Ottawa Senators on Saturday, and he’ll likely be facing off against Carter Hart, who has been one of, if not, the best goaltenders in the league this season. Hart is the main reason the Flyers have won as many games as they have. Ottawa isn’t good enough to be priced at -180, but the Flyers aren’t good enough to bet them at +160. A fair price for this game is around -155, according to my model. The Senators offense is a big reason why they will likely win the game, but who knows what kind of rust Talbot is going to have to shake off. I’d consider betting on Philadelphia at a bigger price, assuming Hart starts, but it’s not something I necessarily want to do.
Seattle Kraken (+165) at Pittsburgh Penguins (-185)
Sadly, it took an injury to starting goaltender Philipp Grubauer for the Kraken to put it all together on the ice. After losing four out of their first five games, the Kraken have won five of their last seven. One of those wins came against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have now lost six games in a row after winning four out of their first five. The big thing here, though, is: Will Jared McCann suit up for the Kraken, and will Jake Guentzel be in Pittsburgh’s lineup? Guentzel is arguably Pittsburgh’s most important player, and McCann is Seattle’s best forward on most nights. If neither player suits up, that’s fine by me. But obviously, it’ll be unfortunate if Guentzel plays, and McCann doesn’t. My model still rates Pittsburgh quite a bit higher than Seattle, but the gap isn’t as wide as it was. In fact, Seattle grades out slightly better than Pittsburgh in most categories right now and -165 would be a more appropriate line for the home side. Seattle would have been a decent bet at around +175, regardless of how the lineups shake out, but most shops are +165 and +170 and there’s not a whole lot of value there. If Guentzel is out, I will reconsider.
Update: Guentzel is on the ice for morning skate. If my opinion on this game changes, I will post another update.
Nashville Predators (+100) at Vancouver Canucks (-120)
Vancouver picked up a big win over the Anaheim Ducks at home on Thursday night, but the Juice was in the building. Former Canuck Kevin Bieksa was honored throughout the day and prior to the game, and that seemed to give the team a big boost, but they’ll have to manufacture their own energy on Saturday. They’ll also have to figure out a way to play defense. They scored eight goals against the Ducks, but they allowed five, and if they do that against the Predators, they’ll probably lose. Nashville’s starting goaltender, Juuse Saros, is rested, and he’s tough to beat when he’s at his best. My model prices the Canucks closer to -110, so I understand why the line moved toward the Predators, but I don’t think they were a good bet. I’m neutral on this game.
New Jersey Devils (+150) at Calgary Flames (-170)
New Jersey pulled off a miraculous upset on Thursday in Edmonton, scoring the tying goal and the winning goal just seven seconds apart. At that very same time, the Flames were losing their third home game in a row. Calgary hasn’t looked good as of late, and it’s disappointing. I had high hopes for the Flames this season, but they’ve looked average so far and that’s concerning. It doesn’t help that their defense corps is banged up, either. If I was grading the Flames on their performances, which I am, I would say that they’ve played very poorly in four out of their last six games. The Devils aren’t a team to take lightly, either. My model prices the Flames at around -175, but even if the line was to move in the Devils' direction and create some perceived value on the home team, I might hesitate to bet on them.
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