NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Senators vs. Kraken (March 9)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Senators vs. Kraken (March 9) article feature image

Photo by Chris Tanouye/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images. Pictured: Claude Giroux (left) and Mads Sogaard (right) of the Ottawa Senators, who take on the Seattle Kraken on Thursday, March 9 and are our best bet for the game.

Senators vs. Kraken Odds

Senators Odds+120
Kraken Odds-145
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Playoff races are heating up, and two teams with postseason aspirations take to the ice for an inter-conference battle on Thursday night. The Seattle Kraken sit just two points ahead of the first wild card team in the Western Conference. Conversely, the Ottawa Senators are on the outside looking in, needing five points to catch the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Desperation could be a factor, but the Sens have several other advantages working in their favor against the Kraken.

Here are the NHL Odds, Preview and Prediction for Senators vs. Kraken on March 9.

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Ottawa Senators Betting Preview

Things couldn't have gone worse for the Senators on Monday. The playoff hopefuls were on the road for a meeting with the lowly Chicago Blackhawks, entering the contest as steep favorites. Nevertheless, the Sens were steamrolled by an AHL-caliber lineup, dropping a 5-0 decision and getting outplayed from start to finish. Still, that was their first ineffective outing since February 24, setting tonight's non-conference matchup as an ideal bounce-back spot.

Analytically, the Senators have been rolling. Prior to their most recent loss, Ottawa had outplayed its opponents in five straight. More impressively, they put together a cumulative 61.6% expected goals-for rating across that stretch.  Their success is premised on controlling the play on both ends of the ice,  a trend they should continue against the Kraken.

Over the five-game sample, the Sens had out-chanced their opponents 52-31 in high-danger chances and 114-87 in scoring opportunities. Ottawa's defensive play has been particularly noteworthy, as they held all but one of those five opponents to less than eight quality opportunities. That trend extends further back, as the Sens have held teams to eight or fewer in seven of their last nine.

Look for the Sens to lean into that defensive structure as they continue their climb up the standings.

Seattle Kraken Betting Preview

Seattle has enjoyed some tremendous results over its current stretch. The NHL's newest franchise has five straight wins coming into Thursday's battle against the Sens, but some cracks are starting to develop in their underlying metrics. Further, a condensed schedule with travel could impact their competitiveness at Climate Pledge Arena.

This will be Seattle's fifth game since last Thursday. Since then, the Kraken have taken on teams in the Atlantic, Metropolitan, and Central Divisions before returning home. That scheduling could impact their on-ice product, as two of their last three opponents have exceeded 10 high-danger chances.  Extending the looking glass back further reveals an even more concerning trend, as nine of their previous 12 opponents have eclipsed double digits, for an average of 10.7.

Limited offensive production is compounding the Kraken's defensive issues. Seattle has attempted nine or fewer quality chances in seven of 12 while out-chancing their opponents just twice over that span. Somehow, their output has increased despite the limited scoring opportunities, posting above-average shooting percentages in seven of 12 contests.

Their offensive success is contraindicated in their metrics, making the Kraken regression candidates over their coming games.

Senators vs. Kraken Pick

The Senators have been trending positively over their recent sample. Although the Kraken have enjoyed similar success, we're seeing concerning trends on both ends of the ice. Seattle is getting outplayed in the attacking and defending zones, overcoming those deficiencies with wins in five straight.

We expect the Sens to come out firing on all cylinders after Monday's disappointing showing against the Hawks. Considering the Kraken's current form, they won't offer much resistance.

There's value in backing the underdogs in this one.

Pick: Senators +120

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