NHL Betting Guide: Monday 3/20/23

In many respects, Pheonix Copley has been the Kings' most valuable player amidst their excellent 2022-23 campaign. Can he shut down the Flames in Los Angeles tonight?

Despite just five games being on the docket, our model is a massive fan of this slate.

With three-star recommendations on the board in several spots, which are the best to target?

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.

Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche

Blackhawks +1.5 (+140) - 3 Stars

Even as an Avalanche fan in Denver, it's easy to like the puckline here.

Colorado's offense is struggling a bit at present. Since February 1st, they've posted the 12th-fewest expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 minutes. That's why, despite earning points in 16 of 20 games during that period, Colorado is just 12-8 against the spread (ATS).

Through all of their warts, Chicago will also cover quite a few of these coming down the stretch if Alex Stalock continues playing as he has. Stalock's 7.11 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) is the 26th-best mark of 92 goalies to suit up this year, but Stalock has been limited to just 20 appearances.

The stat is cumulative, though. For context, Colorado's Alexandar Georgiev is 11th in that same category (13.16), but he's needed 50 appearances to compile that amount. Stalock has been excellent.

He's one of several reasons our model views the Blackhawks as 57.3% likely to cover tonight versus these 41.7% implied odds.

Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings

Kings ML (-113) - 3 Stars

When two of the best teams in the sport clash, it's usually smart to just take the better goalie -- especially if it's not close.

That's the case in Los Angeles tonight. The Kings host the Flames in a matchup between two of the best teams in hockey currently. Since February 1st, both clubs rank in the top six of xGF per 60 minutes, yet they also rank in the top four in expected goals allowed (xGA) per 60 minutes.

There's a reason the Kings are 12-2-3 in this stretch, and there's a reason Calgary has been limited to a 7-7-6 record during it. It's goaltending.

Pheonix Copley has been a life preserver to one of the sport's worst netminder situations entering the year. Jonathan Quick and Calvin Petersen started the year with two of the worst eight GSAx marks across the league, but Copley (7.48 GSAx) has been superb. On the other side, Calgary's Jacob Markstrom (0.00 GSAx) has not mirrored his Vezina finalist season from last year whatsoever.

Our model has the Kings as 64.9% likely to win against these 51.3% implied odds.