NHL Betting Guide: Tuesday 3/21/23

A team playing better than expected and a huge drop to the opponent's backup goalie has created one of the largest value gaps in numberFire's model all year.

Where is that line, and which others should we target tonight?

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.

Florida Panthers at Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers +1.5 (-152) - 5 Stars
Flyers ML (+150) - 3 Stars

Despite the gap in name value here, our model likes the Flyers to win today at home.

Offense has been the issue in Philadelphia, posting the second-fewest expected goals scored (xGF) per 60 minutes in the league since February 1st (2.50). Surprisingly, they've ceded the 13th-fewest expected goals allowed (xGA) in that same period (2.99), so they are a modest candidate to slow down the prolific Florida offense.

The Panthers' profile is the opposite. They're tallying the most xGF per 60 (4.13), but their defense leaves a bit to be desired (3.12 xGA per 60).

Goaltending is where the most value in this game comes from, though. On normal rest, Carter Hart will man the crease for the Flyers, and he's posted 11.32 goals saved above expectation (GSAx) this year. That's the 14th-best mark in the league, and Sergei Bobrovsky (7.37 GSAx) would be a decent match on the other side, but he started last night in Detroit. Alex Lyon (-1.43 GSAx) has had a tougher go.

Our model believes the Flyers cover the spread 76.9% of the time (versus 60.6% implied) and win the game 54.3% of the time (versus 40.0% implied). This is one of its strongest recommendations all year.

Nashville Predators at Buffalo Sabres

Under 6.5 (+100) - 2 Stars

This game is a great example of price over reputation.

Buffalo and Nashville have put crooked numbers on board at times this year, but by and large, they're not elite, top-shelf offenses. Since February 1st, they've actually posted the 8th and 14th-fewest xGF per 60 minutes in the NHL.

That's important considering both struggle defensively (bottom 10 in xGA per 60). However, the goaltending differential in terms of expected scoring output is massive here. This looks like a potential shootout if you ignore the netminders.

Juuse Saros is no surprise. He's second in the NHL in GSAx (34.35) and remains the one hurdle to any Nashville over. However, the Sabres have gotten a lift from 41-year-old Craig Anderson (9.26 GSAx), and he's expected to start tonight as the Sabres lean on their best guy in the midst of a playoff push.

Our model sees this one as 54.8% likely to fall short of seven goals, but these odds imply just a 50.0% chance.

Seattle Kraken at Dallas Stars

Stars ML (-162) - 3 Stars

I've laid this twice this month. It cashed both times with a +4 goal differential. The number is similar. Sometimes, sports betting doesn't feel hard, but it is. This is no "lock" if you understand probability.

The Dallas Stars are still vastly superior to the Seattle Kraken in a game both teams could use. Since February 1st, Dallas is 7th in xGF per 60 minutes (3.46), and Seattle is 17th (3.06) in that category. On defense, the Stars allow just 2.72 xGA per 60 minutes, and the Kraken (2.82) lag behind a bit in that capacity.

The goaltending also isn't close. Seattle has yet to face Dallas' backup, drawing Jake Oettinger (18.11 GSAx) in all three meetings this month without a back-to-back situation. Oettinger is a top-10 goaltender, and whichever of Philipp Grubauer (6.13 GSAx) or Martin Jones (-9.70 GSAx) gets the nod can't quite match that level.

Our model expects Dallas to win this game a hefty 72.3% of the time, but these odds imply just a 61.8% chance. There's value here despite the juice.