NHL Betting Guide for January 13th

The gauntlet that is the NHL 2021 season kicks off today! Teams will complete a 56 game schedule over the course of 116 days, meaning back-to-backs, three games in four nights, and six in nine will be a common theme. It will be an exhausting run from start to finish from a player’s perspective. But from a fan’s perspective, that means non-stop action from now and until May 8th. Here are a couple of plays from tonight’s slate.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers Spread, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Penguins +100, Flyers -120

Spread: Penguins +1.5 -290, Flyers -1.5 +240

Total: O6.5 +110

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Penguins +2000 | Flyers +1700

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers News, Analysis, and Picks

The Pens and Flyers have the honor of first puck drop this season. Carter Hart is the projected starter for the home side, and he’ll look to improve on a solid sophomore campaign and even more impressive 2020 post-season. Hart almost single-handily carried Philadelphia through the playoffs with a 92.6% save percentage and 2.23 goals-against average. That’s exactly what the Penguins have come to expect from the young goalie in their limited encounters. In three games (two starts), Hart has limited the Penguins to an average of 2.15 goals against on a 93.6% save percentage.

You might not expect it by looking up and down the Penguins roster, but they have some inspired defensive metrics. At five-on-five last season, the Pens allowed the sixth-fewest shots against, fourth-fewest scoring chances-against and fifth-fewest high-danger chances against. The Flyers also made a reputation for themselves by playing a defensive brand of hockey, registering the second-fewest shots, fifth-fewest scoring chances against, and eighth fewest high-danger chances-against. Both teams ranked near the bottom of the league in most offensive metrics. Evaluating these teams’ metrics suggests t opportunities and goals will be hard to come by, and defense will reign supreme. That makes under 6.5 the play in this one.

If goal scoring props are your bread and butter, consider Sidney Crosby, whose goal total is set at .5 with the over priced at +178. Crosby has recorded a goal in four of his last seven season openers and has scored 43 goals against the Flyers in his career, the most he’s scored against any team.

Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs Spread, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Canadiens +120, Maple Leafs -140

Spread: Canadiens +1.5 -230, Maple Leafs -1.5 +190

Total: O6.5 -110

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Canadiens +2600 | Maple Leafs +1200

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $1,000!

Montreal Canadians vs. Toronto Maple Leafs News, Analysis, and Picks

One of the most storied rivalries in the NHL takes center stage when the Habs invade Toronto to take on the Leafs. And the prospect of facing Carey Price 10 times this season might have the Leafs on ice. Price has lifted Montreal to victory in 26 of his 45 career games against the Leafs, losing 15 in regulation and four in overtime or a shootout.

But the Canadiens dominance isn’t limited to what Carey Price has accomplished against the Leafs. In three games last year, Toronto was outplayed by a substantial margin. At five-on-five, the Leafs compiled expected goals-for percentage of 36.2%, 43.4%, and 50.6%. Game scores were not any more impressive across all strengths, with the Leafs finishing below 50.0% expected goals-for in all three. Not surprisingly, Montreal swept the season series and have bested the Leafs in four straight.

These game scores weren’t even the worst of what we saw from the Leafs throughout last season. Toronto managed 12 games with five or fewer high-danger chances for and tended to run hot and cold all year. That inconsistency makes Toronto a bit of a wildcard in the shortened season.

The Habs also have their own demons to exercise. They failed to live up to their potential last season, substantially underachieving relative to their metrics. In reconciling where they were, finishing 24th in the standings, with what was expected, near the top of most relative metrics, we should anticipate meaningful progression from the Canadiens this year.

Five of the last six times these teams met, the game was decided by one goal — including going to overtime in four of those games. The last time the Leafs covered the puck line against the Habs was back in April 2018. Taking Montreal on the puck line might be the safe bet, but considering Montreal’s recent dominance, my wager will be on the Habs moneyline at +120.