NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 5/11/22
We are ten days into the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and only one team has been knocked out of the running. Moreover, only one team is at risk of getting sent home after Wednesday's slate, with the New York Rangers trying to stave off elimination against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The other two games feature teams trying to stake themselves to 3-2 series leads, with both series entering tonight tied at two games apiece.
We're running through some of our favorite plays from our daily projections!
Rangers ML (-130): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 6 (+100): 5-Star Rating Out of 5
The aforementioned Rangers are in a must-win scenario when they host the Penguins tonight, and according to our projections, it's a favorable spot to back the home side. New York has been outmatched in the early part of this series, setting Game 5 as a bounce-back spot for the Broadway Blueshirts.
Defense will be a priority for the Rangers as they look to contain a Pens' attack running rampant. The Rangers ended the regular season by allowing 23.6 scoring and 9.6 high-danger chances per game at five-on-five. Those metrics have skyrocketed to 38.5 and 19.5, respectively, in this series. Game 1 required overtime, but even when adjusted to 60 minutes, their metrics are substantially above expected. Tighter defensive coverage will not only help them win but also help keep this one under.
Igor Shesterkin's metrics are also out of whack. Shesterkin ended the season with some of the best metrics throughout the season, putting him at the forefront of the Vezina conversation. However, the Russian netminder has stopped just 77.8% over his past two outings, getting pulled in both contests. Shesterkin is better than we've seen him be, and he should be insulated at home with a better defensive effort in front of him.
The price has dropped substantially on the Rangers since the start of the series. The Rangers entered Game 1 as -150 favorites, dropping to -130 for tonight's Metropolitan Division battle. That price drop leaves an edge in backing New York as they look to force a Game 6. The under is the highest rated play at five stars, and backing the Rangers is rated as a one-star play, per our projections.
Under 5.5 (-128): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
We should have seen this coming from a mile away. Two of the pre-eminent defensive teams in the NHL are tied at 2-2 in their series as the Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames head back to Alberta. Goals have been at a premium, and we're not anticipating anything different in Game 5, with the under the highest-rated play in this matchup.
Neither team is giving up many chances through the first four games of the series, leading to three of the four games staying under the total. We've seen an even tighter standard employer in Calgary with a combined three goals through the opening two games. The limited amount of chances validates that a similar performance should be expected on Wednesday.
There was a combined 16 high-danger chances at five-on-five through the first two contests with just 20 scoring chances in Game 1 and 31 in Game 2. The stakes are even higher tonight with the series down to a best of three, so that should force both teams back into their defensive shells as they look to avoid giving up chances instead of creating them.
Even with chances flowing more organically in Dallas, those games still stayed under the total. Now that the Flames are back at home, the Stars will have to adapt to their tight-checking style. The end result should be a low-scoring game, with chances and goals being hard to come by. We rate the under as a two-star play, per our projections.