NHL Betting: Do the Red Wings Have A Hope Against the Leafs?
Raj Mehta, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Andreas Athanasiou
There are a lot of big prices on the board in the NHL tonight and a few spots presenting some value, including a big underdog that’s facing one of the league’s best teams.
All odds current as of 2 p.m. ET via The Action Network App
NHL value plays: 25-21, + 11.88 units
Colorado Avalanche (-110) at Florida Panthers (-110)
The Colorado Avalanche are once again exceeding expectations. The Avs are sitting in second place in the Central Division, ahead of the Winnipeg Jets and just two points off Nashville’s pace. As well as Colorado has been playing — it is 7-1-2 in its last 10 games — there are some reasons to believe Jared Bednar’s team will come down to earth.
The Avalance are below the break-even mark in expected goal % and Corsi Rating (CF%) and don’t generate many high-danger scoring chances. What Colorado does pretty is well is suppress scoring opportunities, but the Avs aren’t world-beaters in that category either.
Under the hood, there are a lot of similarities between these teams. The only reason the Panthers are further down the table is that they rank in the bottom 10 in both save percentage and shooting percentage at even strength.
On home ice, the Panthers should be favored in this game and I think there’s value on Florida at -120 or longer.
The Bet: Florida Panthers -110
Detroit Red Wings (+260) at Toronto Maple Leafs (-320)
Alrighty. The Toronto Maple Leafs are lightyears better than the Detroit Red Wings, they are in an advantageous rest situation (Detroit is playing its fourth game in six days), they are home and William Nylander is making his long-awaited debut after holding out until Dec. 1.
There’s not much Detroit does well, but they do have a chance in this game. The Maple Leafs’ defense leaves a lot to be desired and the Buds give up 60.4 shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5v5. They will also be starting their No. 2 goalie, Garret Sparks, against the Wings. Sparks is the 45th-ranked goalie according to Corsica, though he’s been decent in his limited role this season.
In goal for Detroit will likely be Jonathan Bernier. Bernier is not fun to bet on because he’s not very good, but goaltending is fickle and we’ll be praying he stands on his head against his former team. It’s not to be expected — but weirder things have happened.
These odds suggest the Maple Leafs have better than a 70% chance of winning on Thursday night — their implied probability after removing the vigorish is 73.4%. I think that’s pretty lofty and even though it’s a bet you lose most of the time, I’d suggest playing (and then praying) Detroit at +240.
The Bet: Detroit Red Wings +260