NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/12/21

Alex Iafallo has points in four of his last five games. Can the Kings rely on him to stay competitive against the Avs tonight?

There are only two days left in the NHL season with meaningful hockey games. The West Division is the last outstanding division to solidify playoff seeding, but otherwise, all the playoff matchups are set. We're looking at a couple live dogs in today's betting guide.

Here are the plays from our daily projections!

Colorado Avalanche vs. Los Angeles Kings

Kings +1.5 (+126): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

The Colorado Avalanche are in control of their own destiny in the West Division standings. They can assure themselves first place in the division and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs with two wins to end the season, but tonight's encounter with the Los Angeles Kings will be closer than the betting market implies.

The Kings have improved their efforts recently, outplaying three of their last five opponents. The foundation of the Kings' success has been strong defensive play, and that dates back further than their recent five-game spell. LA has limited their opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances across all strengths in 7 of their last 11 games. The Kings have also been effective at limiting scoring chances against, allowing 26 or fewer in 6 of those 11. Their improved defense has resulted in lower scoring games as they have stayed under the total in 8 of 11.

The Avalanche expected goals-for percentages are trending in the opposite direction. The Avs have been metrics darlings all season, but have put up game scores below 40.0% in two of their last four. They appear to be missing some assignments in the defensive end, as opponents have put up double-digit high-danger chances in three of their last five.

Goaltending has also been a bit of an issue, as the Avs' goalies have stopped fewer than 88.9% of shots in four of their last six games. All things considered, the Avs are falling apart at the wrong time of year.

These teams met last week and both games were decided by one goal. Based on our projections, we should expect a similar outcome tonight. It's not every day that you get plus-money on a +1.5 puckline wagers, we're making the most of this three-star wager tonight.

Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

Senators +1.5 (-162): 4-Star Rating Out of 5
Senators moneyline (+150): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

The Ottawa Senators can improve on their 8-2-1 record over their last 11 games when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in Ottawa. The Sens have been propelled by impressive output and we're expecting that to continue against the Leafs.

Ottawa's increased output comes on the back of increased production. The Sens have attempted 12 or more high-danger in four of their last six and are averaging 11.0 chances per game. Scoring chances are also up, as they have attempted 30 or more scoring chances in three of six. There's no surprise to see the Sens scoring 20 goals over their last six games while scoring on 13.2% of their shots.

Toronto is another elite team that has put forward some substandard efforts on the road to end the year. The Leafs have posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in four of their last seven road games, including consecutive games being outplayed by the Montreal Canadiens. Road games notwithstanding, the Leafs have seen decreased production metrics recently.

The Leafs have put up nine or fewer high-danger chances in four of their last six. Despite the decreased production, the Leafs have managed to put up above-average shooting percentages in seven of their last eight games overall. Shooting has skyrocketed to 13.2% over the eight game sample, which suggests that the Leafs are due for correction at the wrong time of year.

Our projections favor the Sens tonight, giving them a 52.1% chance of winning tonight. As a result there's an edge in backing the Sens to win, but the biggest advantage comes in backing them on the puckline, which we rate as a four-star play.