NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 4/15/21

Sidney Crosby and the Penguins are running hot over their recent sample. Can they make it nine wins in their last 11 games against the Flyers tonight?

Favorites won four of six last night, making it seven of 11 over the last couple of nights. It's a nine-game slate in the NHL tonight, which means there's plenty of wagering action to be had. We're focusing on two intra-state matchups in today's betting guide.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Penguins Moneyline (-174): 3-Star Rating out of 5
Over 6.5 (-110): 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Battle of Pennsylvania rages on Thursday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have taken three of the five head-to-head matchups this season, but we're backing the Pens in tonight's encounter.

The Penguins come into tonight's contest well-rested. They have had three days off after returning from a six-game road trip. Home ice has been a huge benefit to the Penguins this year. Their three regulation losses are tied for the second-fewest in the league, and their 16 wins are tied for the third-most. Pittsburgh has won four straight on home ice outscoring their opponents by a cumulative 17-6 margin.

Philadelphia has had a much less successful run. The Flyers have dropped five of seven games this month, albeit two of those losses came in a shootout. Goaltending continues to let the Flyers down, as Carter Hart and Brian Elliott have allowed three or more goals in 11 of their last 15 starts.

At five-on-five, the Pens have been the more dominant team in the season series, posting an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in three of five, with one game finishing right on 50.0%. Cumulatively, the Pens have posted a 52.7% expected goals-for percentage against the Flyers this season.

Pittsburgh has been dominant on home ice this season, and the Flyers goaltenders have struggled mightily all season. We're backing the Penguins on the moneyline and the over 6.5, which are rated as three- and two-star plays, respectively, as per our projections.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers

Lightning Moneyline (-158): 1-Star Rating out of 5

The Florida Panthers come into tonight's contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning having lost three of their last four. In analyzing their recent game scores, it appears that they are on track to drop four of their last five.

Florida has put up some concerning metrics at five-on-five over their recent sample. Eight of the Panthers' last 10 expected goals-for percentages have been below 50.0%, although they have seven wins during that span. The three losses they have suffered have come over their last four games, which indicates that the Panthers are in the middle of a correction phase after outplaying their metrics for an extended period.

The Bolts are coming off a humbling 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Nashville Predators, and their metrics this season support that they will respond accordingly. Tampa is 6-1-1 after a multi-goal loss this season, putting up an average of 3.6 goals per game scoring four or more in five of those eight contests.

Tonight will be the Lightning's first home game in 10 days, and they'll be happy to be home. At five-on-five, Tampa has put up an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in six of their last eight, with a cumulative percentage of 55.9% over those eight games. The Panthers have a 44.8% expected goals-for percentage over their last three.

We should expect a bounce-back effort from the Bolts tonight and for the Panthers' recent woes to continue. Based on our projections, there's an edge in backing the Lightning on the moneyline tonight. We rate it as a three-star play.