NHL Betting Guide for January 14th

If you’re like me, then you slept a little easier last night after enjoying opening night of the NHL. Offenses showed no rust last night, with seven of ten teams eclipsing their respective team totals, and, as a result, three of five games easily surpassed their totals. It’s a trend worth keeping an eye on as these teams compete through a condensed schedule.

Here are a few plays worth considering on tonight’s docket!

New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders Spread, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Rangers -110, Islanders -110

Spread: Rangers +1.5 -300, Islanders -1.5 +250

Total: O5.5 -135

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Rangers +2600 | Islanders +2800

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

New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders News, Analysis, and Picks

The battle of New York rages on when the Rangers and Islanders kick-off their campaigns at Madison Square Gardens.

Semyon Varlamov gets the nod for the Islanders as they look to reverse their recent stretch of bad luck against their intracity rivals. The Islanders dropped three of four against the Rangers last season, going 1-2-1. But that’s not even the worst of their road problems. On the road last season, the Islanders had the second-fewest goals and shots, third-worst Corsi rating, and third-fewest scoring chances. This resulted in the seventh-worst expected goals-for in the NHL. Despite all these metrics working against the Islanders, they still managed to finish the season 15-14-4. The regression will come in the form of fewer road victories this season if the Islanders don’t improve those metrics.

Those uninspired metrics can be exploited by a young Rangers team rolling three skilled forward lines. Continuity will benefit the Rangers as they return most of their starters from last season. The biggest omission from last season is Henrik Lundqvist, who had fewer metrics working in his favor despite being a part of the organization’s fabric. That opens the door for Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev to establish themselves as legitimate NHL goaltenders. Shesterkin was dynamite in his limited action last season, displaying above-average metrics across the board. Shesterkin is the expected starter tonight. Given the Rangers’ track record of developing goaltenders, we should expect big things from both goalies this year.

In addition to their road metrics working against them, the Islanders don’t have the scoring depth to compete with Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and the rest of the Rangers’ squad. Expect the Rangers to walk away victorious from this one. If you feel particularly bold, Rangers +150 on the 60-minute line might be worth a wager; otherwise, feel comfortable taking them straight up on the moneyline at -110.

Every once in a while, a special player comes around and does special things when they step on the ice in the NHL. Alex Lafreniere has shown that he was deserving of the first overall selection by exceeding expectations at all levels. You can expect him to live up to the moment of his first NHL game. Lafreniere’s goal prop is .5, with the over at +390. Lafreniere will get powerplay time, as well as the benefit of last change to get him in favorable line match-ups, against the bottom line scrubs, or on icing plays where the opposition is gassed. These odds are set too high for a kid with immense skill and sky-high potential. Take the over .5 at +390.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks Spread, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Oilers -125, Canucks +105

Spread: Oilers -1.5 +220, Canucks +1.5 -270

Total: O6.5 +105

Odds to Win Stanley Cup: Oilers +2200 | Canucks +4000

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

Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks News, Analysis, and Picks

The Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks renew acquaintances after Vancouver dispatched the Oilers 5-3 last night. Both teams rolled with their starters in the net in the first game of the back-t0-back, which means that Mike Smith and Thatcher Demko are the probable starters for their respective clubs. 

The Oilers picked up exactly where they left off last year, which is an indictment of their five-on-five play and in no way a compliment. At five-on-five, Vancouver controlled possession, created more shots and more scoring chances than the home team. Where Edmonton held the advantage was in high-danger chances and special teams. The Oilers were unable to capitalize with the man-advantage going 0-4. That, along with another questionable performance from Koskinen, was the difference for the Canucks last night.

There are a couple of other trends worth noting ahead of puck drop. First, the Oilers fared extremely well on the second night of a back-to-back last season. Edmonton went 7-1-0, splitting the over/under at 4-4. Vancouver was much less successful, dropping six of 10 on the second night of a back-to-back, albeit one of those losses came in a shootout. Team defense was suspect in these games, with the Canucks giving up an average of 3.22 goals per game, helping games go over the total in five of nine.

The other trend worth noting is Demko’s success, or lack thereof, away from home last season. Demko went 4-7-1, with a 3.30 goals-against average and 90.5% save percentage away from Rogers Arena last year. When we factor in Vancouver’s limited defensive success on the second night of a back-to-back with concerns in the net, goals may be plentiful on Thursday night.

Based on the above, both Edmonton and the over are worth a hard look. It will be worth paying attention to over the course of the season, but I suspect that home-ice advantage will be a huge advantage in these back-to-back scenarios.  Edmonton -125 is the play.