It’s hard to believe, but we’re already into the third month of the season, with most teams already playing over a quarter of their schedule. Some squads, like the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks, are better than we expected to be, and some are exactly who we thought they were, like the Toronto Maple Leafs and Arizona Coyotes. There’s still plenty of time for underachievers (ahem, Vancouver Canucks, and New York Islanders) to get their seasons right, but the time to start picking things up is now. Only four full months until playoff time!
These are a few of our favorite wagers from the betting board at FanDuel Sportsbook!
These teams are traveling in opposite directions on the advanced analytics tracks, setting the Vancouver Canucks up to run away with their meeting against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
The Sens have been utterly disappointing since returning from their COVID-19 hiatus. Ottawa is winless in all four games, but their poor metrics go further back than their return to action, posting a cumulative 38.4% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five over their past five. Ottawa has been outplayed in all five games and hasn’t attempted more than seven quality chances in any game.
That’s going to make it hard to compete with a Canucks team that is trending upward. Vancouver has outplayed four of their previous five opponents at five-on-five but only has one win during that span. We’ve recently seen tidier defensive efforts from the Nucks, limiting five of their past seven opponents to eight or fewer high-danger and 20 or fewer scoring chances. The improved defensive play is coming at the expense of offensive opportunities, as the Canucks have attempted eight or fewer quality chances in six straight games.
The betting market likes this game to go over the total, but we’re unsure where that offense is coming from. Neither team is operating efficiently in the attacking zone and has emphasized defense over their recent stretches. We like this one to stay under the total, with the Canucks prolonging the Sens misery.
The Picks: Canucks -125, Under 5.5 -108