In the past couple of weeks, it feels like everything that goes into overtime flips the other way. Yesterday's game in Dallas was no exception.
That just means we're due for regression on these tight, unlucky losses at some point. Will it be today?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Canadiens +1.5 (+124) - 3 Stars
Canadiens ML (+300) - 2 Stars
If you bet the NHL to simply just experience some good vibes and enjoy the game, this isn't one of those bets. It's a value bet all the way.
That being said, there's reason to believe Boston slows down approaching the playoffs. The Bruins' expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) is just 55.8%, which doesn't even lead the league. Yet, on the ice so far, 65.3% of tallies have been in their direction. They're eight percentage points above Dallas (57.3%) and everyone else at a rate that's almost assured for regression.
Montreal's "fortunate" goals-for rate doesn't mean nearly as much. 41.4% of goals have been in their direction, but only 40.7% should have. That small gap means one thing: they're just bad.
This is all about the value behind these lines. Our model believes Montreal keeps it within a score 57.9% of the time. These odds imply just a 44.6% chance. It also believes they win 33.3% of the time versus these 25.0% implied odds. It's not likely; it's just more likely than books are saying.
Sabres ML (+114) - 2 Stars
After Buffalo emerged in overtime last night over our Stars bet, I didn't expect to be on their train one day later, but this is a massive overreaction to rest.
While the Sabres have shared similar good fortunes to Boston, they're still undervalued in this spot. Even just looking at expected metrics, Buffalo's 50.2 xGF% is still well above the lowly St. Louis Blues (46.0%).
Early in the season, our model was high on a St. Louis bounce back, but they've once again plummeted to the bottom on the back of their offense. Buffalo's 58.5 Corsi For per 60 minutes (16th in the NHL) just dwarfs the Blues squad that can't generate chances. Their 50.8 Corsi For per 60 is the third-worst in the league.
Plus, the good news about having a bad goaltending situation is that it's not a huge drop on a back-to-back. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen gets the call for Buffalo tonight, and he's actually posted more goals saved above expectation (-0.39 GSAx) than Blues' netminder Jordan Binnington (-5.10 GSAx).
Our model still believes the Sabres win 54.7% of the time tonight as an underdog. This is my favorite bet of the day.
Under 6.0 (-115) - 2 Stars
This game lived up to its low-scoring hype during a 2-1 clash in Winnipeg last month. We'll go right back to the under in the rematch.
Any time we can watch the best goaltenders in the sport square off, we should enjoy the opportunity. With equal rest, that's what is on deck in Nashville tonight.
These two clubs sport former Vezina Trophy finalists, and the Jets' Connor Hellebuyck has even won it. His 2022-23 campaign has been a strong case for another. Hellebuyck has posted 21.88 GSAx this season, and only four netminders in the league have eclipsed that mark so far.
Incredibly, 33 of Winnipeg's 48 games have fallen at or below their projected total. This is a team that plays at a slow pace, and Hellebuyck doesn't let in cheap ones. With confidence, we can take the under in this contest again.
Our model sees six or fewer goals in this one 65.7% of the time. Even factoring in a potential push, that's a value bet at these 53.5% implied odds.