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Market Report Recap for Wednesday, Jan. 5th
The only bet that I recommended on Wednesday was Auston Matthews Over 3.5 Shots (-150) and he finished with three. It was the 11th time that he finished a game with at least nine shot attempts, and just the second time he did not register at least four shots when doing so. In other words, it was an unlucky result.
58-46, + 5.43 units, 5.5 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
107-105, -12.25 units, -4.83 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
Market Report for Thursday, Jan. 6th
There are 11 games on Thursday.
Let’s look at things from a betting perspective:
Pittsburgh Penguins (-230) at Philadelphia Flyers (+ 195)
The Penguins played picked up a win over the Blues on Wednesday, and now they head to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Thursday. Philadelphia will likely be without six regulars, including Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny due to COVID, and Sean Couturier is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury. Ryan Ellis and Derick Brassard are also still out with injuries. The Flyers already grade out as one of the worst teams in the league, ranking 25th in shot attempt percentage, and they will almost certainly get outplayed by the Penguins, who rank as a top-five team in shot attempt percentage.
There’s a small chance that Evgeni Malkin will make his season debut, but I’m not going to bank on that. Tristan Jarry is expected to start in goal for the Penguins, and according to my model, they should be priced around -220. I was able to lay -185 and -190, but I didn’t get as much as I would have liked to get down on the bet before the price moved.
San Jose Sharks (-125) at Buffalo Sabres (+ 105)
The Sharks really shouldn’t be priced this high against anybody other than the Arizona Coyotes but taking the Sabres at + 105 isn’t a value bet. In the Sharks last ten games, they’ve only had a positive expected goal differential three times, while the Sabres have been playing in a lot of close games and have similar underlying numbers as of late. It’s unclear who the starting goaltenders will be, but if it’s James Reimer versus Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, the Sharks should be priced around -105.
Notes: Alex Tuch looks like he’ll be a great fit in Buffalo, but he’s been placed in COVID protocol. Logan Couture (COVID) and Erik Karlsson (injury) are not expected to suit up for San Jose.
Columbus Blue Jackets (+ 120) at New Jersey Devils (-140)
Both teams are missing key players due to COVID, but Nico Hischier could be back with the Devils in time for the game. If that’s the case, my model estimates that the Devils will win the game approximately 57.5 percent of the time, which converts to a fair line of -135. Dougie Hamilton is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a broken jaw, and Pavel Zacha and Yegor Sharangovich are still out.
On the other side of the ice, the Blue Jackets will not have Zach Werenski, Alex Texier or goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. Jake Bean is on track to play, but with Joonas Korpisalo expected to start in goal, I don’t like the Blue Jackets chances. However, if the line continues to climb, I will consider taking the dog, but I’ll want to be sure that I’m getting the best of it.
Minnesota Wild (+ 150) at Boston Bruins (-170)
The Wild are missing Cam Talbot, Jared Spurgeon and Joel Eriksson Ek due to injuries, and Jordan Greenway is in COVID protocol. Kaapo Kakhonen will start in goal for the Wild. Minnesota has lost five games in a row, but they’ve been off since January 1st. The Bruins have played three games since coming back from the break, and they’ll be looking for their fourth win in a row on Thursday. Jeremy Swayman will start in goal for the Bruins. According to my model, Boston should be priced around -170, which means it doesn’t look like I’ll end up with a position on either side.
Notes: Marco Rossi and Matthew Boldy, the Wild’s best prospects, will make their NHL debuts on Thursday.
Updates: Charlie McAvoy will not play. That pushes the Bruins line down to around -155.
Calgary Flames (+ 125) at Tampa Bay Lightning (-145)
I thought there was a chance that Daniel Vladar would get the start in Florida, because you never know with a head coach like Darryl Sutter, but the Flames are now faced with a back-to-back situation, and he probably doesn’t have a choice. Calgary will play Tampa Bay on Thursday before Carolina on Friday, and Jacob Markstrom is coming off another bad game and would be playing on short rest. Vladar, on the other hand, hasn’t played in a month, and that’s a concern. Andrei Vasilevskiy will almost certainly get the start for the Lightning, but he will also be tested, as both teams score more than three goals on a per 60-minute basis and play at a high pace. I believe the game is priced as if the backup is going to start, with the Lightning listed as a -145 favorite, but you can already see some shops moving the number in Tampa Bay’s direction.
Notes: Nikita Kucherov is nearing a return and looks to be practicing with Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat this morning. That could mean that he’s ready to return, but I’ll wait for the team to confirm that.
Update: Nikita Kucherov will return to the Lightning lineup on Thursday. I have increased my stake on the total (Over 6) to a full unit, but I don't think there's any value in laying the favorite at -175. Steven Stamkos will be a game-time decision but it sounds like the plan is for him to play.
Over 6 + 100
Florida Panthers (-135) at Dallas Stars (+ 115)
This will be the first game for the Stars since December 20th and they better be in game shape, because this is not going to be an easy outing. The Panthers are arguably the best team in the league, while the Stars, despite stretches of dominance, are somewhat of a middling club. But they are the home team, though, and that counts for something. According to my model, the Panthers should be priced around -135. They don’t have Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart or Mason Marchment in the lineup, but Sergei Bobrovsky will likely be the starting goaltender, as Spencer Knight is in COVID protocol.
Notes: Jake Oettinger is expected to start in goal for the Stars.
Update: It looks like Braden Holtby is going to start in goal, therefore, I now think the Panthers should be priced around -145, therefore, I am laying -135 or better on the Panthers to win a half unit.
Florida Panthers -135 (half size)
Winnipeg Jets (+ 190) at Colorado Avalanche (-220)
This is obviously a tough spot for any team, and the Jets are no different, but I certainly wouldn’t be laying -220 on the Avalanche if Connor Hellebuyck is going to start in goal. According to my model, the Avalanche should be priced around -200, since the Jets are without Blake Wheeler.
Chicago Blackhawks (-155) at Arizona Coyotes (+ 135)
I don't have a lot of interest in this game, which is why I skipped over it earlier this morning. The Blackhawks should be priced around -145, according to my model, as even though they're a below-average team, there's miles and miles of you know what separating the Coyotes from the rest of the league.
New York Rangers (+ 130) at Vegas Golden Knights (-150)
Artemi Panarin is not on the road with the Rangers, but I don’t know if Mark Stone and Robin Lehner will be back in the lineup on Thursday and that makes this game hard to price. Igor Shesterkin will likely start in goal for the Rangers, which helps a little bit, but still tough, nonetheless. According to my model, the Golden Knights should be priced somewhere between -130 and -160, depending on what the lineup looks like. It seems unlikely that I will see value on the Rangers, since they are priced at + 130 now, but I might consider laying the favorite if Stone and Lehner are back in, and the line hasn’t moved.
Detroit Red Wings (+ 120) at Anaheim Ducks (-140)
The Ducks come into this game missing Ryan Getzlaf, Adam Henrique, Josh Mahura and a few depth players, but more importantly, Trevor Zegras is still testing positive for COVID and will not be in the lineup on Thursday. The Red Wings are a bad team, though, and the Ducks should be priced as the favorite on home ice. The Red Wings have scored approximately 45 percent of the goals this season, and rank 25th by expected goals percentage according to Evolving Hockey. My model prices the Ducks around -120.
Nashville Predators (-135) at Los Angeles Kings (+ 115)
Nashville is in a weird place, as I don't often find value betting on them, or against them. In other words, I think the market does a good job pricing their games. However, I think we're getting to the point where the market is showing them a little too much love. Sure, Alex Iafallo is out for the Kings, and the Predators are the superior team, but the Kings' odds have climbed north of + 120 at some shops, and I'm starting to get interested. I don't like the idea of betting against the Predators, but since Los Angeles has had four days off, and the Predators are on short rest, I don't think it's a terrible spot to do so. I only want to take the dog if I am sure I'm going to get the best of it, though, and if I miss out, I won't be heartbroken. If the consensus price reaches + 125 or 130, later in the day, I might bite.
Calgary Flames – Tampa Bay Lightning Over 6 + 100
Florida Panthers -130 (half size)