NHL Betting Guide: Saturday 3/27/21

Welcome to the Saturday edition of the NHL Betting Guide. There are 11 games scheduled for today, four of which are afternoon contests, which leaves us with a seven-game main slate. As is the case this season, we have two all-Canadian matchups on a Saturday, both of which present value to bettors.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Edmonton Oilers

Oilers +1.5 (-182): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Oilers moneyline (+140): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

It was a nice week off for the Edmonton Oilers after having their three-game set against the Montreal Canadiens called off, but it's back to business tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It looks like the Leafs got into playoff mode early this season. Toronto has dropped six of their last nine against some of the worst teams in the division. Those losses have come against the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators, and to a lesser extent the Winnipeg Jets.

The Leafs can't pin their inefficiencies on one thing -- it's been a bad combination of ineffective offense and suspect goaltending. Over the last nine games, the Leafs have put up a .954 PDO, but their season average remains at 1.017, which suggests that we haven't seen how low this team can go.

Edmonton was trending in the opposite direction prior to their layoff. The Oilers have won seven of nine, out-shooting their opponents in six of those games and out-chancing them in scoring opportunities in seven of them.

Mike Smith has stabilized the Oilers' crease, bringing up their save percentage to 90.8% on the season. Improved goaltending and offensive output have helped the Oilers establish a 1.047 PDO over their last nine and bring up their PDO to 1.017 this season.

These teams are trending in opposite directions, and we're taking a position on the team that is pointing up. There's an implied advantage in backing the Oilers on the moneyline and puckline, per our projections. Oilers on the moneyline is rated as a two-star play and backing them at +1.5 is a three-star wager.

Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets

Jets moneyline (+108): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Jets +1.5 (-275): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

We are going back to the well on the second night of a back-to-back, as the Winnipeg Jets look to take both games against the Calgary Flames.

Calgary has struggled mightily this season. They have the 24th-ranked PDO thanks to an offense that can't buy a goal and inconsistent goaltending that has established the 22nd-ranked save percentage.

Not even a coaching change could help the Flames get on track. In fact, it made things worse. The honeymoon phase has worn off, and the Flames have reverted to their concerning metrics. After posting expected goals-for percentages above 60.0% in Darryl Sutter's first three games, the Flames have gone on to be outplayed in five of seven, with a cumulative expected goals-for percentage of 44.3%.

Winnipeg is getting things done on both ends of the ice right now. The Jets have managed 12 or more high-danger chances in five of their last eight, which is leading to increased output. The Jets have scored at least four goals in four of eight and are averaging 3.3 during that span. That coincides with better goaltending metrics as Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit have combined for a 93.4% save percentage over their last six.

According to our projections, there is an advantage in backing the Jets again tonight. Winnipeg has a 59.7% chance of winning but are once again are priced as plus-money underdogs. Taking the Jets on the moneyline and puckline are both rated as three-star plays.