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. 24th
Recap: I did not find a bet I liked on Sunday.
Wins: 13 Losses: 11 Units Won: 1.09 units ROI: 4.6 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: A six-pack of games: Two divisional matchups, two marquee matchups and the continuation of what might be the most interesting storyline in the NHL: The implosion of the Vancouver Canucks.
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.
Washington Capitals (+ 105) at New Jersey Devils (-125)
New Jersey ranks first in the NHL in expected goals, and while I don’t want to take anything away from what is clearly a speedy, talented team, I do think it’s important to list the five teams that they’ve played so far this season:
Philadelphia, Detroit, Anaheim, New York (Islanders) and San Jose.
I’m not dismissing what the Devils have done, but they were gifted a weak schedule to start, and I’ve seen this movie many times before. In fact, New Jersey ranked fourth in expected goals after four games in 2021-22 fell to 28th by the 10-game mark. Things don’t always pan out that way. Sometimes teams stick. But my model considers Washington to be the superior team.
At first blush, I thought I read the game line backwards, but nope, the Devils are a -125 favorite on Monday in their first real test of the season. Washington hasn’t looked great this season, but they started with two tough games against the Bruins and Maple Leafs and have won three out of four against teams that pack a lot more offensive punch than the teams New Jersey has played.
Prior to the start of the regular season, I predicted that the Washington Capitals would be the second-best team in the Metropolitan Division, and my model relies heavily on those predictions at this point in the season. Things aren’t trending in the right direction, and it's reason to question things, but there isn’t enough data available from this season to back me off just yet.
Important update: Capitals' backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren will make his second start of the season. I knew this was a possibility but with a big edge on Capitals, I had to gamble and fire early. I still think the Capitals are a fine bet, but I wouldn't suggest making as big of a wager as before. Lindgren only played a handful of games last season in St. Louis, but he played great. Hopefully he can earn his first win of the season on Monday.
Bet: Washington Capitals + 105 Stake: 2 units to win 2.10 units
Note: This is the first half of a back-to-back for New Jersey. The Devils play in Detroit on Tuesday.
Dallas Stars (-110) at Ottawa Senators (-110)
This is the least interesting game of the bunch, both from a betting perspective, and otherwise. My model prices the Senators as a small home favorite, which lands within the straddle. No bet.
Note: Dallas will play the Bruins on Tuesday in Boston.
St. Louis Blues (-115) at Winnipeg Jets (-105)
Monday’s divisional matchup against the Blues will be the Jets’ fourth game in six days. Winnipeg is 2-3 straight up to start the season and beating the Blues isn’t going to be easy. The Jets offense has misfired on several occasions now, scoring two or fewer goals in three out of five games. The Blues have only played three games so far this season, and they’ve won all of them. Their first two games were sort of freebies, but Saturday’s shutout win over the Edmonton Oilers was impressive. St. Louis was one of the best teams on offense last season and so far, so good for goaltender Jordan Binnington.
Jets’ starter Connor Hellebuyck is the better goaltender, but the Blues are a stronger team overall. Especially now that forward Nikolaj Ehlers is out for an unknown period. My model suggests this game is a coinflip, as the difference of strength between the two teams is almost enough to wash out the Jets’ home ice advantage. St. Louis would be the favorite on neutral ice, but they aren’t here. In fact, neither team should be considered a favorite to win this game. Flip a coin, and your estimate of the true odds will resemble the 50-50 split that my model generated.
Pittsburgh Penguins (EVEN) at Edmonton Oilers (-120)
Pittsburgh is scoring almost five goals per 60 minutes at even strength. Their offensive attack won’t be as potent if Guentzel misses the game, but they still look to be in better shape than the Oilers. Edmonton’s offense, which includes the best player in the world and one of the best goal scorers, has produced just 1.43 goals per 60 minutes at even strength in their first five games. Only the Arizona Coyotes have scored even strength goals at a lower rate than the Oilers. There’s likely a correction coming for both teams. The Penguins can’t possibly score goals at that rate all season, and the Oilers are bound to revert to their high-scoring ways.
This game, which is the first half of a back-to-back, will be the toughest test of the season for the Penguins. Crosby and Co. have had it relatively easy so far, superstars, like Connor McDavid, tend to bring their best when playing against their own kind. But I can’t justify betting either team, regardless of Guentzel’s status.
Note: Pittsburgh will play in Calgary on Tuesday.
Toronto Maple Leafs (-115) at Vegas Golden Knights (-105)
Of course, Las Vegas doesn’t need any help creating a fun atmosphere, but I imagine they’ll get some unwanted help from travelling fans on Monday. Assuming Ilya Samsonov and Logan Thompson are the starting goaltenders, my model estimates that Toronto should be a small favorite. But if I’m going by my gut: Vegas has looked strong over their first six games, ranking just outside the top-five in expected goals, and they’ve been great defensively. Toronto’s even strength numbers leave a lot to be desired. The Maple Leafs have scored under 50 percent of the even strength goals so far. Their peripherals are strong, but not as strong as Vegas’ year to date.
Note: Vegas will travel to San Jose to play the Sharks on Tuesday.
Carolina Hurricanes (-155) at Vancouver Canucks (+ 135)
Vancouver (0-6 straight up) is in a state of disarray, which gives the Carolina Hurricanes a good opportunity to bounce back after suffering back-to-back losses in Alberta. Now, I’m not looking past the Canucks, but if this team had a pulse, they would’ve showed some life in Saturday’s home opener instead of losing 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres.
Update: I was waiting for the line to move toward Vancouver and it has. There were some obvious signs of market manipulation overnight. My model estimates that the Hurricanes should be priced closer to -160, and the consensus price on VSiN.com is -140. The Hurricanes are a good bet.
Bet: Carolina Hurricanes -140 Stake: 1.4 units to win 1 unit
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.