NHL Betting Guide: Monday 4/5/21

The Golden Knights have won three straight games against the Blues. How should you approach the Knights and Blues encounter on Monday night?

It's the start of another busy week in the NHL. The NHL has scheduled seven games tonight and 49 more games between now and the end of the week. That's a lot of meaningful hockey as teams continue to jostle for playoff positioning.

Here are a few wagers from our daily projections!

St. Louis Blues vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Golden Knights Moneyline (-144): 2-Star Rating out of 5
Over 5.5 (-115): 1-Star Rating out of 5

There's a very clear divide between the elite teams of the NHL West Division and the rest. Unfortunately for the St. Louis Blues, they are on the wrong side of that elite line looking up at the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Blues' recent woes relate to subpar offensive production. St. Louis hasn't scored more than two goals in any of their last six contests and hasn't attempted more than 11 high-danger chances or 30 scoring chances in any of their games. They are averaging 23.3 scoring chances and 9.0 high-danger chances over that six-game sample.

Despite the concerning metrics, the Blues are only listed as modest +122 underdogs against a much better Golden Knights squad. Vegas has been somewhat less assertive recently but have still put up an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in four of their last five.

Vegas ranks fourth in Corsi percentage, fifth in shots percentage, and sixth in scoring chance percentage. The Blues' respective rankings are 18th, 14th, and 21st.

On a head-to-head basis, the Golden Knights have dominated the season series. Vegas has put up a cumulative 67.8% expected goals-for percentage through four games and has gone 3-0-1. It's also worth noting that all four games have had at least six goals.

We're using this spot to back the Knights and the over. Vegas is the superior team and the Blues are in a serious offensive drought. The Knights' advantage isn't yet reflected in the betting market, which means there's value in backing them to win. We rate Golden Knights moneyline and the over 5.5 as two- and one-star plays, as per our projections.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers

Oilers +1.5 (-230): 3-Star Rating out of 5
Oilers Moneyline (+118): 2-Star Rating out of 5
Over 6.5 (+112): 1-Star Rating out of 5

The Edmonton Oilers are heading back east after a one-game homestand to take on the Montreal Canadiens.

Two weeks ago, the Oilers were scheduled for a four-game road trip against the Habs and Toronto Maple Leafs. COVID-19 forced the postponement of those games, and the Oilers are now playing a re-jigged schedule, which now includes an additional postponement after their game against the Vancouver Canucks needed to be postponed.

The Oilers will likely benefit from the additional days off. The league continues to deal with condensed scheduling as they try to wrap up a 56-game schedule that was made worse with postponements throughout the season.

From an advanced perspective, the Oilers have been struggling recently. Over their last four games, the Oilers are averaging 16.5 scoring opportunities and 5.3 chances from high-danger areas. We're expecting the Oilers to benefit from the additional time off and come back with a bounce-back effort against the Canadiens. Edmonton averages 27.3 scoring chances and 11.6 high-danger opportunities and will get back up towards average over the coming games.

On the other side of the ice, the Habs have posted a PDO below 1.000 in four of their last six games. Goaltending has been the primary concern, as Carey Price has posted an 86.5% save percentage over his last four games, allowing 13 goals -- and that includes a shutout performance against these same Oilers from last week. Price struggled against the Ottawa Senators last time out, and it's unlikely that he's able to limit a dangerous Oilers team that is looking to regain their offensive rhythm.

Our projections have the Oilers as 53.1% favorites tonight and the betting market has them installed as underdogs. That leaves edges in backing them on the moneyline and puckline. The moneyline wager is a two-star play and the puckline wager is a three-star play. There's value in taking the over, as well. We rate it as a one-star play.