NHL Betting Guide: Monday 1/23/23
Monday's NHL week begins with just four games, but three of them have multi-star recommendations from our model.
It's a short slate? Tell that to someone else. We've got money to make.
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All ratings are out of five stars. All NHL betting odds and totals come from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Rangers ML (-142) - 2 Stars
Goaltending is the overall theme of the slate for us, and this game is the absolute definition of that.
Florida and New York couldn't be closer on paper. In fact, their skaters' work is exactly tied with an expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) of 53.0%. These are two tremendous hockey clubs that could rematch in the Eastern Conference Finals.
The lone separation point is in the crease, and it's a massive one. Last year's Vezina Trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin, is up to his usual tricks, logging the eighth-best goals saved above expectation (GSAx) in the NHL this season (13.49).
On the other side, the oft-maligned Sergei Bobrovsky (-2.98 GSAx) is having what would be considered another disappointing campaign.
That's the key reason why our model thinks New York wins 64.0% of the time tonight. Against these 58.7% implied odds, there's still value here -- but act quickly. This line is moving the Rags' way quickly.
Islanders +1.5 (-130) - 3 Stars
Islanders ML (+190) - 2 Stars
If goaltending is today's theme, we need to bring our best. How about the best?
Ilya Sorokin has been the best goaltender in the NHL this season, posting a league-best mark of 31.11 GSAx. No one else is over 25.00.
He's carried a mediocre Islanders squad that's scored the 12th-fewest expected goals and allowed the 5th-most expected goals themselves. For all intents and purposes, this team would be rivaling Arizona with shoddy goaltending, and he's delivered anything but that.
Goalie play is the potential fuel to a potential upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs -- and they've suffered a few this year. The Leafs are 8-16 against the spread (ATS) this year. Clearly, they're a touch overvalued most nights on home ice, and Sorokin can definitely blank Toronto's lethal offense (eighth in xGF per 60 minutes).
Our model believes the Isles cover a one-goal spread 67.5% of the time versus these 56.5% implied odds. That'll be my primary wager here, but I'll sprinkle the moneyline, too.
Stars ML (-176) - 3 Stars
I mentioned with Sorokin that no other goaltender holds a GSAx over 25.00 at this moment. Jake Oettinger is close.
The Sabres' offense has run a bit hot throughout the entire first half of the season. Buffalo leads the league in goals per 60 minutes (3.77), but their xGF per 60 minutes mark (3.30) is just tied for 10th with Boston. An offense can be both good and lucky.
In fact, the Stars, clocking in ninth at 3.34 xGF per 60 minutes, should be outscoring Buffalo, but they're scoring a very normal 3.42 goals per 60.
In addition to pending offensive regression, Oettinger is just a lot better than Eric Comrie (-7.77 GSAx). It's as wide as a goaltending gap gets in the sport.
If it's starting to feel like Dallas -- on home ice -- feels like a great bet tonight, our model concurs. It thinks they win 71.9% of the time tonight against these 63.8% implied odds. I'll have two units on this guy.