NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 1/26/23
Wednesday's short slate brought two winners, but for a nine-game slate, the board is actually pretty quiet.
Nothing leaps right off the page, but we can still take a few fliers -- or, in some cases, games involving the actual Flyers.
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.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals
Capitals ML (-118) - 2 Stars
Even though it'd have been shocking to see this line in October, It's been a story of two seasons for the Washington Capitals.
Since December 15th, the Caps have caught fire. Their 53.3% expected-goals-for rate (xGF%) is seventh-best in hockey during that period. Meanwhile, the Penguins have cooled from a warmer start to just a 50.1 xGF% in that same period, which is 18th.
They're playing better recently, and that's the key difference between these clubs. There isn't much of one in goal between Tristan Jarry's 9.21 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) and Darcy Kuemper's at 9.47.
Rested and on home ice, our model thinks Washington takes this game 61.4% of the time versus these 54.1% implied odds.
Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild
Under 6.0 (-110) - 3 Stars
This is the model's best bet of the day.
I never took Minnesota overly seriously as a Stanley Cup contender, but I might have to start. They might finally be willing to pull Marc-Andre Fleury (-3.43 GSAx) out of the lead role after another disappointing effort in Tampa on Tuesday. Filip Gustavsson has been much better. In just 19 appearances, he's amassed an 8.80 GSAx. That's 17th in the NHL overall.
As for the visiting Flyers, the venerable Carter Hart (10.39 GSAx) has been doing his best to keep the 20-21-8 squad afloat. They've been a bit better in front of him lately, posting just the 13th-most expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes since December 15th (3.19). Hey, when you've been consistently in the bottom five for years, that's not too shabby.
The pace here should also be just average. The Wild are 13th in Corsi For since that December 15th cutoff, and the Flyers are a pedestrian 21st.
With two solid netminders, the model believes we see six goals or fewer here 67.1% of the time. Even factoring in a potential push, that's still a three-star wager against these standard 52.5% implied odds.
New Jersey Devils at Nashville Predators
Under 6.0 (-112) - 2 Stars
With slightly better goaltending, I prefer this total to the prior one, but numberFire is aptly paying respect to New Jersey's league-best offense.
The Devils lead the NHL with 3.61 xGF per 60 minutes. That's never fun to take an under, but 13 of Nashville's 22 home games have fallen short of their projected total for a reason. They rally around their star at Bridgestone Arena.
Juuse Saros is that. He's second in the NHL at 27.42 GSAx, clocking in just behind New York's Ilya Sorokin. The former Vezina Trophy finalist has been sensational.
On the other side here, Vitek Vanecek has rebounded from a slow start to grab hold of this job. He's back to 11th in the league in GSAx (10.72) and sports a tremendous 2.08 GAA and .931 save percentage in January.
While 52% of tickets are on this under, 66% of the handle also is. Sharps have made a play on the netminders in this one, and our model sees six or fewer tallies in it 64.0% of the time. Against the 52.7% implied odds here, fire away.