Ducks vs. Bruins Betting Odds, Picks: Is Anaheim’s Early Success a Mirage?

Ducks vs. Bruins Betting Odds, Picks: Is Anaheim’s Early Success a Mirage? article feature image

Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today Sports. Pictured:

Anaheim Ducks at Boston Bruins Betting Odds

  • Ducks odds: +165
  • Bruins odds: -195
  • Over/Under: 5.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET

The “new manager bounce” is a term often used in soccer to describe a team that surges after a coaching change.

It seems like the Anaheim Ducks are experiencing one under new head coach Dallas Eakins.

After years of posting decent results despite terrible Expected Goal (xG) rates under Randy Carlyle, Anaheim’s peripheral numbers caught up with them last season. The Ducks finished third-to-last in the Western Conference and parted ways with Carlyle in the middle of the season.

Carlyle likely would have been without a job earlier, but he had the benefit of having the league’s best goaltender on his roster. There are goalies you hate to bet on (I could go on for ages about Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk), and then there’s John Gibson — a shining light in dark and stormy waters.

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The Ducks did their best make the 26-year-old netminder’s life miserable, as Gibson’s .901 save percentage (xSV%) was one of the lowest marks in the NHL.

Chart via

Despite the ridiculous workload, Gibson still managed to post a +28.6 Goals Saved Above Average at all situations (per Corsica), the best mark in the NHL.

Easing the burden on Gibson would go a long way in helping the Ducks bounce back after their 80-point season and so far, so good.

Chart via

The Ducks haven’t surrendered more than two goals in a game this season, and it’s not solely because of their goaltending. Anaheim is allowing just 7.24 High-Danger Scoring Chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 through its first five games, 11th-best in the NHL.

Eakins seems to be having a positive impact on a team that was desperate for good coaching, but the goaltending remains the story in Anaheim as Gibson leads the NHL with a +4.2 Goals Saved Above Average.

The Bruins are off and running again this season, winning four of their first five games, but the B’s have not dominated games the way they did last season.

Through its first five games, Boston’s xG% is just north of 50%. That’s a decent mark, but the Bruins are allowing more high-danger opportunities than they are producing at 5-on-5. Boston is playing well out of the gates, but the B’s aren’t dominating like they did last spring.

The Bruins will likely finish the season as one of the league’s best teams, but this isn’t about the long haul, it’s about one game. Even though this is a bet you lose more often than you win, I think the Ducks have to be considered at these odds.

These odds (when converted to implied probability) suggest that Boston wins this game 66.7% of the time. That also means that when you adjust for home-ice advantage (approximately 5%), Boston would be a -174 favorite on neutral ice. Boston is the better team by a good bit, but I think that’s a little too high.

The Bruins are an elite team playing at home, but Gibson always gives Anaheim a puncher’s chance and with the early form the Ducks are in, there’s enough value in this number — I’d play it down to +160 — to take a shot on the underdog.

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