Welcome to the daily NHL betting market report, your source for comprehensive and dynamic hockey betting analysis. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date as I handicap the NHL each day.
Market Report for Friday, Oct. 28th
Recap: The Capitals loss brought an end to the winning streak.
Wins: 16 Losses: 12 Units Won: 3.44 units ROI: 11.8 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.
Today: Friday featured a six-pack of games. I have just one small bet so far.
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.
Anaheim Ducks (+ 220) at Vegas Golden Knights (-260)
Vegas has looked strong to start the year, and the Ducks haven't. The Golden Knights rank second in expected goals, the Ducks rank second last. There's a big gap between these two teams, and Vegas has a very high probability of winning the game, but the odds my model generated are not any higher than the consensus price. In other words, I can't justify laying down down a big bet on the favorite.
Boston Bruins (-155) at Columbus Blue Jackets (+ 135)
Brad Marchand returned to action and put up three points (two goals and an assist) on Thursday, just one day after head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters that he wouldn’t play. Now, the team is saying that Marchand won’t play the second half of the back-to-back on Friday in Columbus. It’s hard to take his words at face value, but it’s not like I have any other choice. We know David Krejci will stay back, though, after leaving Thursday’s game with an injury. That’s a big loss for the Bruins. Fortunately, Linus Ullmark has been great this season, and he’ll start against the Blue Jackets. Boston should obviously be a favorite in this game, but between playing tired and playing hurt, it would be tough to justify betting on them at -155. Especially now that Columbus has Patrick Laine back in the fold.
Note: Elvis Merzlikins will start for Columbus.
New York Islanders (+ 165) at Carolina Hurricanes (-185)
This is the first half of a back-to-back for both teams. Carolina will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Saturday, while the Islanders will host the Colorado Avalanche. This makes the game tough to handicap. The starting goaltenders could be any two of the four goaltenders on the rosters. At the current price, there would be value betting on Carolina if the starters are Frederik Andersen and Semyon Varlamov, but I don’t think it’s worth gambling on.
Colorado Avalanche (-140) at New Jersey Devils (+ 120)
Colorado is playing the first game of a back-to-back on Friday. The Avalanche will travel to Long Island to take on the Islanders on Saturday. It isn’t clear which goaltender will start for the Avalanche against New Jersey, and there’s almost as much uncertainty as to who the Devils will turn to. The game line has trended toward New Jersey, as the Avalanche are now listed at -135 and -130, but there hasn’t been any buy back and at this point, I think it’s safe to wait and see what the lineups look like and then decide whether there’s a bet to be made here. The Devils are a trendy team, and I can understand why someone would want to ride them right now, but if I do end up placing a bet on this game, it will be on the road team.
Update: There was some hidden upside to betting the Devils' I guess, as Val Nichushkin, Colorado's burgeoning star forward, WILL NOT play on Friday at New Jersey. Of course, the market was already sharply on the Devils to begin with, and now most shops have the road team sitting at -120. I'll likely sit this one out unless, but I could talk myself into buying low on a depleted Avalanche lineup if the odds continue to trend toward the Devils. I will update the report if that ends up being the case.
Pittsburgh Penguins (-165) at Vancouver Canucks (+ 145)
Vancouver won its first game of the season on Thursday in Seattle, but it came at a cost, as forward J.T. Miller blocked a shot to preserve the victory and had to be helped off the ice. It’s unclear whether Miller will be available on Friday, but the Canucks are going to be shorthanded regardless. Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes are both out due to injury, and the blue line is looking rough. Shot attempts were 65-33 in favor of Seattle on Thursday, so that game was arguably the Canucks’ worst performance of the year. It’s funny how hockey works.
The Penguins are missing a couple of important players, but none moves the needle more than Jake Guentzel, who has been out for a week after being hit by a teammate’s shot in the ear. Guentzel practiced for the first time on Thursday, but he did so in a non-contact sweater. Head coach Mike Sullivan originally said that Guentzel would play on this road trip, so if he doesn’t play on Friday, his last chance will be in Seattle on Saturday. This is the first half of a back-to-back for the Penguins.
If Guentzel plays, Pittsburgh should be priced somewhere around -190 if Guentzel plays for the Penguins and Miller doesn’t play for the Canucks. There’s a chance that Guentzel remains out and Miller’s injury isn’t as bad as it looked, but I’m willing to gamble on that possibility and place a partial wager on the Penguins to win the game.
Notes: Spencer Martin is expected to start in goal. I’m guessing Casey DeSmith will get the start for the Penguins.
Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins -165 Stake: 0.825 units to win 0.5 units
Winnipeg Jets (-155) at Arizona Coyotes (+ 135)
The Jets are playing their second game in as many nights after taking down the Kings in Los Angeles on Thursday, and backup goaltender David Rittich is expected to start on Friday. My model suggests the market has priced this game accurately as the odds it come up with line up with where sportsbooks have the game.
Note: This is the first game at Mullet Arena. It’s a 5,000-seat multi-sport complex at the University of Arizona where the Sun Devils play. Reports suggest that the playing service is quite different than what NHL players are used to. The boards are lively, and the ice is fast. It’s apparently easier to control the elements inside the building because it’s so much smaller than other NHL rinks and it’s going to be interesting to observe how this might impact scoring rates.
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2021-22 Betting Season Recap:
NHL Betting Guide (Futures): plus-25.9 units
Reg Season (Sides and Totals): plus-6.22 units
Player Props: minus-15.33 units
Playoffs (Sides and Totals): minus-14.43 units
Thoughts: I tried to do too much last season (The Propagator is one example) because it was the first time that I was going to be producing content at large scale. I was worried that my typical betting habits would be seen as too selective and therefore not enough for the average VSiN subscriber. I was wrong.
Going forward: I am back to focusing on what has worked for me all along: Making long term forecasts for futures markets and handicapping all 1,312 regular season games.