NHL Betting: Will Max Pacioretty Win in Return to Montreal?
Tom Sczerbowski, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Max Pacioretty
Betting odds: Vancouver Canucks at Buffalo Sabres
- Canucks moneyline: +145
- Sabres moneyline: -165
- Over/Under: 6 (-105/-115)
- Puck drop: 1 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NHL odds and track your bets
Two surprising teams meet in Buffalo this afternoon and there’s a good bit of value on the underdog.
Buffalo is the better team and their stats reflect that. They have a Corsi For % (CF%) above 50% and produce more expected goals per 60 minutes than they allow. You can’t say either of those things about the first-place Canucks, but they are getting results despite some suspect underlying metrics.
While Buffalo is the better team, these odds are off. At -165 the odds suggest the Sabres have a 62.3% chance of winning while the Canucks’ implied probability is 40.8%. Home-ice advantage accounts for ~3% in the NHL so if you adjust, that would make the Sabres a -145 favorite on neutral ice against Vancouver.
That number is off and I think the Canucks are worth playing down to +140.
The Bet: Vancouver Canucks +145
Betting odds: Vegas Golden Knights at Montreal Canadiens
- Golden Knights moneyline: -110
- Canadiens moneyline: -110
- Over/Under: 5.5 (-115/-105)
- Puck drop: 7 p.m. ET
Everything checks out for the Vegas Golden Knights except for their record. They have the third-highest CF% in the NHL, they control 55.5% of the high-danger scoring chances at 5v5 and they generate 2.61 expected goals for per 60 minutes while allowing just 2.0 xGA/60.
All of those numbers suggest that Vegas is a top-5 team, so what gives? The Knights are falling victim to a low PDO (save percentage + shooting percentage at 5v5) this season. The Knights boast an .896 SV% and 5.65 shooting %, giving them a 95.3 PDO (100 is league average). That number should inch closer to 100 as the season wears on.
The Canadiens are off to a good start and their stats portfolio isn’t bad at all. They have the fifth-best CF% in the NHL, generate more high-danger chances than they allow and have generated 5.26 more xGs than they have allowed this season.
This game is pretty close, but the Canadiens are rolling with Antti Niemi in goal and that tilts the game in favor of the Knights. Vegas averages the third-most shot attempts per 60 and fifth-most xG/60, so it’s not an ideal matchup for the 59th-ranked goalie in the NHL according to Corsica.
With Niemi in goal for the Habs, the value is with Vegas who should start seeing some pucks go in the net soon.
The Bet: Vegas Golden Knights -110