NHL Betting Guide: Saturday 4/10/21

Elton John hit the hammer on the head when he said that "Saturday night's alright," and with 10 games on the schedule, tonight's going to be better than alright. There are two afternoon contests before we get into the eight-game evening slate.

Here are a few of the top bets, per our daily projections.

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers

Oilers moneyline (-116): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Oilers +1.5 (+205): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6.5 (-138): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

Surely the Calgary Flames were hoping for better returns when they hired Darryl Sutter. But things appear to be worse than ever.

There's typically a boost to a team's metrics following a coaching change, and the Flames were no exception when they hired Sutter. Calgary posted four consecutive games with an expected goals-for percentage above 61.4%. However, since then, the Flames have outplayed their opponent in just five of 12 games.

Sutter's typically staunch defensive system isn't allowing Flames offensive players like Sean Monahan and John Gaudreau to thrive. Monahan and Gaudreau each have just six points since the coaching change. They're hardly at fault, though, as the team's high-danger chances are down to 6.5 per game at five-on-five over the last 12 contests. Scoring chances are also down to 19.6 over the 12-game sample.

The Edmonton Oilers' scoring metrics have also decreased over their recent games. Edmonton is managing a mind-boggling 4.3 high-danger scoring chances over their last seven games. They have taken a substantial deviation from season norms and should start progressing offensively.

Both teams have some staggeringly bad offensive numbers, which align with a low-scoring clash, and that's exactly what our projections anticipate. That makes the under 6.5 a one-star play.

Overall Edmonton is the better team, and the biggest difference between the sides is the output metrics. At five-on-five, the Oilers score on 9.1% of shots, and the Flames score on 7.7% of shots. Edmonton is priced as short road favorites (-138 moneyline) despite having a 66.2% chance of winning, according to our model, which comes out to a -196 moneyline. That makes taking the Oilers on the moneyline a three-star play and betting them to cover -1.5 a two-star wager.

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

Over 5.5 (-110): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild get together for the second night of a back-to-back. St. Louis cruised to a 9-1 victory last night, and it's looking like a good spot for another over on Saturday night.

Last night was the first time in six games that the Blues allowed fewer than 10 high-danger chances and 20 scoring opportunities, limiting the Wild to 4 and 16, respectively. Concerning defensive metrics is a season-long trend for the Blues. Over the course of the campaign, opponents are averaging 26.7 scoring opportunities and 11.2 chances from high-danger areas against the Blues. We're expecting more free-flowing offense from the Wild tonight.

The Blues also have some impressive offensive metrics over their recent sample. St. Louis has attempted at least 10 chances from high-danger chances in five of their last eight games and is averaging 10.0 per game over that span, bringing their season-long average up to 8.6. The Blues have underachieved with output, though. Before last night, St. Louis was scoring on only 4.3% of their shots over the seven previous games. Increased output is coming.

The Wild have gone over the total on the second night of back-to-backs in three of five games this season. The Blues have gone over in five of eight in the same split. Both teams should expect increased output tonight, which would result in a high-scoring game. That aligns with our projections, and we rate the over 5.5 as a one-star bet.