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All game lines via VSiN NHL Odds Page
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Market Report Recap for Tuesday, Dec. 28th
Taking an early stance on the Los Angeles Kings (+ 130) appeared to be the smart move, as Robin Lehner and Mark Stone were unable to play, and the line closed around + 115, but it didn’t matter because the score was never that close. Vegas pulled ahead in the first period and won the game 6-3.
47-45, -1.12 units, -1.3 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
107-101, -6.15 units, -2.48 percent ROI, Avg. Odds -108
Market Report for Wednesday, Dec. 29th
More games have been postponed, but there are still seven games to handicap. However, it’s tough to have confidence right now, given that just about every team has been impacted by the virus. My model is typically in line with the betting market, which means I’ll be looking to fade steam if the situation calls for it. In other words, I think the game lines are priced appropriately and if there’s a big move in one direction or another, I will look to make a move. Markets are built on overconfidence, and I’m going to try and capitalize on that and obtain some positive expected value.
Let’s look at things from a betting perspective:
New Jersey Devils (-130) at Buffalo Sabres (+ 110)
Alex Tuch is set to make his debut for the Sabres, as is rookie Peyton Krebs, but Buffalo will be without Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens and several other players, due to COVID. Buffalo played in some close games prior to the break, and a lot of that had to do with the play of goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who is sporting a .939 save percentage. It’s unclear whether he is the real deal or not, but if he continues to churn out strong performances, I will start to buy in. As of right now, Luukkonen scares the hell out of me, because he’s probably playing over his head, but the coin has no memory, and if his confidence continues to build, maybe the Sabres have a player on their hands.
New Jersey comes into this game having lost six in a row, and they only have three wins in their last 18 games. Nico Hischier and MacKenzie Blackwood will likely return to the lineup on Wednesday, though, and the Devils should be priced as a small favorite. With that said, both teams are bad, and I’m closer to betting on the home dog than I am the road favorite. I likely won’t end up taking a position on the Sabres, but I’ll consider it if the odds get out of hand. By my estimation, the Devils should be priced around -120, which means the Sabres are priced fairly at + 120.
Notes: Blackwood and Luukkonen are expected to start in goal for their respective teams.
New York Rangers (+ 155) at Florida Panthers (-175)
Igor Shesterkin is expected to make his return to the Rangers’ crease on Wednesday, which makes this an intriguing matchup. However, Jonathan Huberdeau cleared COVID protocol and was on the ice for practice this morning, and both he and Aleksander Barkov are expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. The market moved to -175 in favor of the Panthers because of this news, but according to my model, the home team should be priced somewhere around -155.
Ryan Lindgren is out for the Rangers, but Artemi Panarin is expected to make his return to the lineup. I took a position on the road team at + 163, and that’s where I draw the line. I won’t recommend bettors take the dog at + 155 (the current consensus line) but at + 160 or better, I would suggest making a small wager. The Panthers will likely win the game, but with Shesterkin between the pipes, I feel comfortable with my position.
Notes: Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal for Florida.
Nashville Predators (+ 130) at Washington Capitals (-150)
Washington is capable of being a force in the league. This is a team with a high ceiling, but injuries and illness have been weighing them down. The Capitals aren’t in the clear yet, either, as T.J. Oshie and several other players, including goaltender Vitek Vanecek, are in COVID protocol. There is some good news, though, as forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson are expected to return to the lineup. They’ll face a Nashville team that’s won seven games in a row and 10 of their last 13. Matt Duchene, Ryan Johansen and Mikhail Granlund are expected to return to the lineup, but Roman Josi will not play after entering COVID protocol, and that’s a big loss for the team. Juuse Saros is expected to start in goal, which gives the Predators a chance, but the Capitals should be priced somewhere between -145 and -170 depending on what the lineups look like. I’ll circle back to this game later in the day when I finalize my price and decide whether to take a position or not.
Updates: Juuse Saros will start in goal for the Predators. Matt Duchene, Mikhail Granlund and Ryan Johansen will return to the Nashville lineup. On the Washington side, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson are expected to play. According to my model, the Capitals should be priced at -163.
Washington Capitals -150 (half size)
Edmonton Oilers (+ 115) at St. Louis Blues (-135)
Earlier this morning, a bettor had a brief opportunity (maybe 10-15 minutes) to take the Oilers at + 125 or better, and according to my model, that was a good bet. The price snapped back quickly, though, and now the line is + 115 at most shops. The Oilers are shorthanded, but Zach Hyman and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are expected to return to the lineup, and Jesse Puljujarvi could be activated from the COVID list. Mike Smith could also make his return to the Edmonton crease after a lengthily absence.
The Blues should be the favorite, according to my model, as Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas and David Perron will all be back in the lineup, but the price should be around -115, not -135. Jordan Binnington is expected to start in goal for the Blues, but Charlie Lindgren is also available. Brayden Schenn is not expected to play, as he is still working his way back from an injury.
Philadelphia Flyers (+ 115) at Seattle Kraken (-135)
Yanni Gourde will return to the Seattle lineup on Tuesday, but the team is probably going to be down three defenders, as Vince Dunn, Adam Larsson and Jamie Oleksiak are all on the COVID list. However, the Flyers are missing some key players as well, as Carter Hart and Sean Couturier are both in COVID protocol. Ryan Ellis is also out with an injury. According to my model, there’s nothing egregious about how the moneyline is priced, as -130 (in favor of Seattle) is a fair price. However, I will have some interest in the total if Seattle’s blue line is in a state of disarray. I’ll circle back to this game when I have a better idea of what the lineups will look like.
Vancouver Canucks (-110) at Anaheim Ducks (-110)
The big news here is that Anaheim forward Trevor Zegras will not play after being placed into COVID protocol. This is a big loss for the team as Zegras is arguably their best forward, and the power play relies heavily on his talent. It’s also unclear whether forward Adam Henrique will be back in the lineup or not, but I have priced the game as if he won’t. Maybe my model rates the Ducks too highly, but I am sitting with a fair price of -108 in favor of the home team. The Canucks are hot, and they may continue to win games, as their upcoming schedule isn’t all that tough, but I don’t think my model is missing anything. Luck plays a big role in determining results of games, and since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach, the Canucks’ underlying numbers haven’t been impressive. They’ve played well at times, but I’d argue that they’ve been very fortunate. Their opponents have been getting the better of the shots and the scoring chances, and if they continue to play this way, their luck will eventually run out.
Washington Capitals -150 (half size)