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Market Report Recap for Thursday, Dec. 30th
Early Bets: The Flames trailed early in the game, however, not only did they come back and defeat the Kraken, but they also covered the puck line after a wild finish in which the teams combined for five goals in the final five minutes. Great closing line value on this one. I bet the Flames on the moneyline at -145 all the way to around -160, and the game closed around -190, which was too high, according to my model. Prior to puck drop, there was a good opportunity to take the other side and guarantee a profit, but I felt strongly about my position and stood firm on it. Happy to get both wins.
Late Adds: About 30 minutes prior to puck drop, I learned that David Rittich would start for the Predators. It was something that I was certain would happen, but I didn’t want to make a bet until the team confirmed it. Once it was announced, I bet over 5.5 goals at -120 and updated the report. The teams combined for five goals in the first two periods, but for a while, it seemed as if there might not be another goal. However, then the Blue Jackets tied it up and it went over the total.
51-45, + 1.68 units, 1.8 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
107-101, -6.15 units, -2.48 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
Market Report for Friday, Dec. 30th
Happy New Year’s Eve.
I’m hoping to get the Propagator in order, but simulations take time and when lineups are constantly changing due to the virus, it’s hard to maintain the integrity of the model. For now, there are four games to handicap, and bet on.
Let’s look at things from a betting perspective:
Edmonton Oilers (-155) at New Jersey Devils (+ 135)
New Jersey is a below-average team that has some good qualities, that make you want to like them, but they just don’t do enough of the little things right. They have the fourth ranked penalty kill in the NHL, and when you watch it live, you can see why. They also have some elite offensive talents, most notably Jack Hughes, and that gives them the ability to take over a game on a couple of touches. However, the consistency just isn’t there. I mean, just look at their record.
The Oilers seemed to be trending in the right direction heading into the break, but lately they look like a team that can only handle the weaker teams. Fortunately, the Devils are just that, but from a betting perspective, I can’t get behind laying -155 on the Oilers here. They will probably win the game, but according to my model, the Oilers should be priced shorter than that. There’s no value in taking the dog.
Anaheim Ducks (+ 165) at Vegas Golden Knights (-185)
Max Pacioretty is out indefinitely after undergoing successful wrist surgery, and Mark Stone and Robin Lehner did not practice on Thursday. It’s unclear how long Stone and Lehner will be out, but it sounds like both players are doubtful, but there might be game-time decisions to be made. Vegas has been rolling, and although they might be alright in the short term, they need Stone and Lehner back to be at their best. Fortunately, for the Golden Knights, the Ducks are banged up due to injury and illness. Trevor Zegras and Max Comtois are in COVID protocol, while Adam Henrique, Josh Mahura and Cam Fowler are out with injuries.
Update: John Gibson and Laurent Brossoit will start in goal for their respective teams. Cam Fowler is out for the Ducks, as is Trevor Zegras and the other players that I mentioned earlier. However, Mark Stone is out as well. I took a small position on the Ducks at + 170 or better.
Anaheim Ducks + 170 (half size)
New York Rangers (+ 115) at Tampa Bay Lightning (-135)
The NHL recently updated their COVID protocol to enable players to come back after five days of isolation, assuming all test results are negative. That means there’s a chance that some of the Lightning players that are currently in COVID protocol will be eligible to return to the lineup on Friday. Obviously, Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has been in isolation for six days now, is the player that most bettors should be concerned about. The Rangers opened at + 125 on Friday morning but have since moved to + 115. I’d agree with that move if I was certain Tampa Bay’s lineup would be the same as the one Florida spanked on Thursday, but with Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Vasilevskiy all waiting in the wings, there’s a chance that we’ll see a much better effort from the Lightning when they host the Rangers. Check back later in the day for an update.
Update: Igor Shesterkin will start in goal for the Rangers
Washington Capitals (-155) at Detroit Red Wings (+ 135)
When I look at the NHL standings, the Red Wings are the clear pretender. They’ve went 11-3-2 at home and because of that, they’re in the playoff picture. Detroit has played Washington twice already this season. They lost the most recent game at home by a score of 2-0 but won the previous game in a shootout 3-2. However, they were badly outplayed in both meetings. The Capitals owned a 60 percent share of the expected goals in each game, according to Evolving Hockey.
My model estimates that Washington will win the game approximately 63 percent of the time, which means they should be carrying a price tag of -170. Now that the Capitals have Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov back in the fold, I feel very comfortable laying the favorite against a Detroit team that’s getting far too much respect from oddsmakers in their first game after the break.
Washington Capitals -155
Washington Capitals -155
Anaheim Ducks + 170 (half size)