NHL Betting Guide for May 4th

It was quite the night in the NHL last night, with nine of the 14 games making their way over their respective totals. We’re down to five games tonight, all five of which are second nights of back-to-backs, which means goaltender usage is key.

Here are the wagers we’re looking at from FanDuel Sportsbook!

New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins, Moneyline, Total, and Odds

Moneyline: Devils +190, Bruins -230

Spread: Devils +1.5 (-142), Bruins -1.5 (+118)

Total: o5.5 -112

Odds to Stanley Cup: Devils N/A|Bruins +1300

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

New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins News, Analysis, and Picks

Tuukka Rask and Mackenzie Blackwood were the goalies of record in last night’s contest, which means we’ll likely be treated to a showdown between Jeremy Swayman and Aaron Dell tonight.

Swayman is off to a great start in his career, going 6-2-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and 94.2% save percentage. Although inspiring, those metrics are unsustainable. Swayman ranks 12th in the NHL in goals saved above average, despite playing in only eight games. He’s sandwiched between Chris Driedger, who has played 22 games, and Robin Lehner, who has played 16. That’s a lot of goals saved above average in a short amount of time, which should be expected to go down before it goes back up.

One of the keys to Swayman’s success is the number of quality chances he’s facing. Swayman has faced 67 high-danger chances across all strengths in his eight starts, or about 8.4 chances per game. Only once in eight games has an opponent attempted more than 28 scoring chances, with Swayman facing an average of 22.9 per game.

Swayman appears to thrive with volume, which isn’t the New Jersey Devils’ strength. When facing 23 or fewer shots in a game, Swayman stops 89.2% of shots; when he faces more than 23, his save percentage jumps to 96.2%. The Devils haven’t attempted more than 21 shots in any of their last three games.

The Boston Bruins have struggled so far this season on the second night of a back-to-back, going 3-5-0. Their metrics are equally lousy, as they give up an average of 27.8 scoring chances and 12.4 high-danger opportunities, both of which are significant departures from their normal ranges.

We’re approaching this game from two angles. First, Swayman is due for regression, and Dell was never that good, to begin with, suggesting that we should get more than 5.5 goals. Second, the B’s have been bad on the second night of back-to-backs this season, reflected in their decreased moneyline price. We’re going back to the Devils on this one, with hopes of a different outcome. Don’t be surprised if it takes overtime to get there.

The Bets: Over 5.5 -112, Devils +190, 60-Minute Tie +350

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

Moneyline: Canucks +166, Oilers -198

Spread: Canucks +1.5 (-156), Oilers -1.5 (+130)

Total: o6.5 +104

Odds to Stanley Cup: Canucks +25000|Oilers +2000

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

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

The Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers played their goaltending cards, according to analytics. Both backups started last night, meaning we’re getting primary goalies Mike Smith and Thatcher Demko tonight as the Canucks look to avenge their 5-3 defeat from last night.

The Canucks are struggling offensively. They have not attempted more than 24 scoring opportunities or 10 high-danger chances at five-on-five over their last nine games. During that span, they are averaging a meager 18.4 scoring chances, 5.8 of which are coming from high-danger areas. Somehow, they have scored 15 goals over that span, despite the ineffective offensive production.

It appears as though the Oilers have evolved into a more defensive-minded club ahead of the playoffs. They have seen a substantial decrease in the amount of offense they generate, dropping to 6.6 chances from high-danger areas and 18.0 scoring opportunities per game at five-on-five. This has impacted their output as the Oilers have scored one goal or fewer at five-on-five in 10 of those 16 games.

These teams’ offensive metrics align with a low-scoring game. Smith ranks sixth in the league in goals saved above average, and Demko has a 92.1% save percentage on home ice this season. We’re expecting these goalies to be better than their counterparts from the night before and keep this one under the total.

The Bet: Under 6.5 -128