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 Monday, Oct. 17th
Recap: Vancouver was my biggest bet of the day on Saturday, at -125 up to -135. They caught a lot of steam, too, and closed anywhere between -160 and -170 depending on where you looked. So, of course they blew a 2-0 lead to the Philadelphia Flyers. Luckily, the other three bets (Blues, Kings and Flames) cashed.
Wins: 8 Losses: 5 Units Won: plus-0.91 units ROI: 7.1 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: It’s not often that the NHL schedules nine games on a Monday, but I’m certainly not complaining after an entire Sunday without hockey. I mean, the season started on Tuesday, did we really need a day off? If there’s one thing that the NHL is good at, it’s getting in their own way and/or stopping momentum in its tracks.
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.
Los Angeles (-125) at Detroit Red Wings (plus-105)
The Kings were my biggest winner on Saturday. Los Angeles led 3-0 early but the Wild hung around, and the game was 6-6 late in the third period. The Kings eventually scored the go-ahead goal. It was a sweat, to say the least. Detroit will likely start Ville Husso on Monday, which will attract some bettors to their side, I’m sure, but not me. I’m on the Kings at -130 or better, given that my model prices the game around -145. Detroit was one of the worst teams on offense and defense last season, and while I do believe they’ve improved quite a bit, they’re still a bad hockey team and Los Angeles is icing the best roster they have in years. This is the first half of a back-to-back for L.A. but given my perceived edge, I don't really care who the Kings start in goal.
Update: Red Wings' forward Tyler Bertuzzi is expected to miss the game. Bertuzzi finished second on the team in points and goals last season. You hate to see a player injured, but the Red Wings' loss is the Kings' bettors gain. The odds are on the move, but thanks to this news, there is even more value betting on L.A. and I would recommend doing so up to around -140, but shop around. Some books are extremely slow to react to this kind of news because they don't take enough sharp action.
Update No. 2: Red Wings' forward Jakub Vrana will miss Monday's game due to personal reasons. Ville Husso and Jonathan Quick are expected to start in goal for their respective teams.
Bet: Los Angeles Kings -125 Stake: 1.25 units to win 1 unit
Arizona Coyotes (plus-400) at Toronto Maple Leafs (-500)
Toronto plays down to weaker opponents, but I’m always relieved when my model is neutral. Betting against the Maple Leafs isn’t fun, and betting on them in these spots is agonizing. No bet.
Update: With Matt Murray injured, it looks like the Maple Leafs are going to turn to third-string goaltender Erik Kallgren on Monday. Nothing has been confirmed, though.
Pittsburgh Penguins (-240) at Montreal Canadiens (plus-210)
Pittsburgh has outscored opponents 12-4 over the first two games. Mind you, they played the Arizona Coyotes and then took on a tired Tampa Bay Lightning team, sans Andrei Vasilevskiy. But the Montreal Canadiens, who are playing their third game in four days, are going to suffer a similar fate on Monday. The Canadiens have potential to be a scrappy underdog this season, but their defense has looked worse off than I expected due to some injuries. The Penguins will likely roll over this team, but -240 is not an attractive price. No bet.
Update: Backup goaltender Samuel Montembeault will start for the Canadiens on Monday. He's a big drag on a team that can't really afford to be dragged down any further.
Anaheim Ducks (plus-190) at New York Rangers (-220)
This is the first half of a back-to-back for Anaheim. The Ducks will visit New Jersey to play the Devils on Tuesday. I’m expecting John Gibson and Igor Shesterkin to be the starting goaltenders in this matchup, but nothing is confirmed. It doesn’t look like I’ll have a bet either way. Anaheim isn’t a good team, but -220 isn’t a good price, especially with some extra uncertainty surrounding which goaltenders will get play. No bet.
Florida Panthers -130) at Boston Bruins (plus-110)
Both Boston and Florida have looked good to start the season, but the Bruins seem to have a little more oomph than usual. That’s a bit of a surprise given that they’re without Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and – most recently – Jake DeBrusk. Young players have stepped up, though, and the Bruins are looking like they might be deeper than they have been in a few years.
As for Monday, my model suggests Boston is a good bet at plus-115, regardless of which goaltender head coach Jim Montgomery decides to start. The Bruins head to Ottawa to play the Senators on Tuesday, which means Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark are very likely going to play one game each. The Panthers could go with Sergei Bobrovsky or Spencer Knight, but according to my model, backing the Bruins at plus-115 is a good bet either way.
Bet: Boston Bruins plus-115 Stake: 1 unit to win 1.15 units
Vancouver Canucks (plus-115) at Washington Capitals (-135)
Squandering multi-goal leads in each of the first two games is no way to start a road trip, much less a season, but the Canucks (0-2) have done just that. The Capitals (0-2) haven’t had much luck, either, but they’re probably holding their heads a little higher than their opponents coming out of the weekend. The Canucks will play three games in four nights before returning home, with Monday’s game in Washington being the first half of a back-to-back.
Like the Capitals, the team that the Canucks will play in the second half, the Columbus Blue Jackets, is in the Eastern Conference, but they’re a far weaker team. There’s a good chance that Boudreau will opt to start Demko on Monday and Thursday as the Canucks are set to finish the trip against a Western Conference opponent, the Minnesota Wild.
Thatcher Demko played 44 games between Dec. 5th and April 23rd, and sometimes even played back-to-back games. But, more importantly, new head coach Bruce Boudreau almost always (seven out of nine times) started Demko in the first half of the back-to-back. I think that will be the case on Monday, because Tuesday’s game in Columbus is a good spot for Spencer Martin to get in on the action. There might be a little bit of value on Washington right now, but I’m not sure how the market will react when the Canucks announce the starting goaltender.
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Update: Capitals' forward Evgeny Kuznetzov will be a game-time decision. He's a difference maker, so that changes things quite a bit. Thatcher Demko is expected to start.
Colorado Avalanche (-115) at Minnesota Wild (-105)
Marc-Andre Fleury has allowed 11 goals in two games. He might be toast guys. I’m a huge Fleury fan. He was the goaltender for my hometown Canadian Hockey League team. But I’m going to be fading him regularly. I’d love to be able to back the Avalanche in this spot, too, but my model is in line with the market at around a pick ‘em (assuming Pavel Francouz and Marc-Andre Fleury start) and that means there’s no value bet to be made. We’ll see what happens, though.
Update: Backup goaltender Filip Gustavsson will make his debut for the Wild on Monday and forward Mats Zuccarello will be a game-time decision. Unfortunately, the market has reacted. And that means I probably won't be betting on Colorado to win the game, because if he's such an important player for the Wild and I want confirmation from the team before I react, too.
Winnipeg Jets (plus-120) at Dallas Stars (-140)
I’m willing to bet that the Dallas Stars’ hot start is due in large part to the fact that they played a team, the Nashville Predators, that had just travelled around the world and back to start the regular season, but I’m not willing to do so at plus-120. I will bet Winnipeg if their odds of winning the game worsen.
Update: Nothing has happened to the Jets' lineup that would warrant such a big move toward the Stars, but the Jets can be found at plus-125 and better. I'm only tracking it at plus-125 here because that's the best that's available at DraftKings, BetMGM and the VSiN NHL odds page. You should shop around, because plus-130 is widely available. One book even has plus-137.
Bet: Winnipeg Jets plus-125 Stake: 0.5 units to win 0.625 units
Carolina Hurricanes (-165) at Seattle Kraken (plus-145)
Nothing to report on this game at the current time. My model is very close to market, and therefore, I don’t have any interest in this game from a betting perspective. The Hurricanes are the type of team that would’ve went into Seattle last season and came out with a victory nine times out of 10, and while the Kraken’s goaltending might still be horrendous, they do look like an improved hockey team. There's a little bit of value on the road team, but not enough to justify a bet.