Today's NHL Betting Guide: Can the Canucks take advantage of a road-weary Panthers squad?

by

We are kicking off the weekend with a nine-game Friday night slate. Puck drops on the action at 7 pm ET and rolls on through the weekend, with games picking back up on Saturday at 1 pm ET. Favorites steamrolled through Thursday night’s slate, with eight of nine chalk picks walking away victorious. It’s a trend worth monitoring, as favorites are 19-for-28 since Monday.

These are the wagers we’re looking at from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Florida Panthers vs. Vancouver Canucks Moneyline, Total and Odds

Moneyline: Panthers -164|Canucks +136

Spread: Panthers -1.5 (+152)|Canucks +1.5 (-188)

Total:  6.5 Over -134|Under +110

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.

Florida Panthers vs. Vancouver Canucks News, Analysis, and Picks

The Vancouver Canucks return to Rogers Arena for their first home game since December 14 as they dealt with postponements relating to COVID-19. They’re in a good position against a Florida Panthers squad playing the second game of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights.

The Panthers’ 6-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers last night looks a lot different through the advanced metrics lens. Florida posted a 40.7% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five while also giving up a ton of opportunities across all strengths. The Panthers gave up 30 scoring chances and 14 quality opportunities, which was the second consecutive game that their opponents attempted 30 or more scoring opportunities and at least 11 high-danger chances.

The Canucks have been on an absolute tear since their coaching change, going 10-3-1 since Bruce Boudreau took over. Vancouver’s offensive metrics have improved substantially, with the team attempting at least ten quality chances across all strengths in 11 of 13 games and 31 or more scoring chances in seven of 13. That offense will have to operate efficiently to offset the loss of Thatcher Demko, who entered the league’s COVID-19 protocol on Thursday.

Florida is flying too close to the sun, posting a 1.073 PDO since returning to action at the end of last month. The Canucks have been a different club under Boudreau’s tutelage and should be ready to take advantage of an overworked Panthers squad. We’re siding with the home team tonight.

The Pick: Canucks +136

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Moneyline, Total and Odds

 Moneyline: Penguins -184|Blue Jackets +152

Spread: Penguins -1.5 (+138)|Blue Jackets +1.5 (-170)

Total: 6.5 Over -114|Under -106

Odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook. Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets News, Analysis, and Picks

The Columbus Blue Jackets improved to .500 thanks to last night’s 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. That was their third victory over their past five games, despite the advanced metrics continuing to work against them. They’ll face an even stiffer test from the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, who continue to outplay their opponents and collect wins.

Pittsburgh is on an outstanding 14-2-0 stretch, thanks to some exceptional offensive production. The Pens have attempted at least 11 high-danger chances across all strengths in 10 of those 16 contests. They’ve been even more efficient over their past five outings, averaging 13.8 quality opportunities per game, going north of 11 in four of five. Those metrics are an excellent indicator to support sustained production from the Penguins, who have scored four or more goals in six of nine.

Those offensive metrics will make it hard for the Blue Jackets to keep pace. Columbus has hit double-digit high-danger chances just once over their past nine outings, averaging only 8.8 quality chances per game across all strengths over that span. What’s been more disappointing is that the Jackets have out-chanced their opponents just once over their past 12 games, which is contributing to an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in eight of 12.

The Penguins recently got Evgeni Malkin back, which has helped them elevate their scoring metrics over their recent sample. Columbus has shown an inability to compete offensively this season and tends to break down defensively. Pittsburgh’s undervalued on the opening line and worth a play.

The Picks: Penguins -184

All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.

Sign up for Fanduel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk-free for up to $1,000.

Picked For You