SportsGrid NHL Model Picks for Saturday, January 13


Jan 13, 2024

Saturday is synonymous with hockey. It’s typically the busiest day of the week in the NHL, featuring a bevy of intriguing matchups. That leaves many in-roads for bettors looking for edges in the gambling market. 

To help players get a winning edge, we’re highlighting some of our favorite plays from the SportsGrid NHL Model.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings Moneyline (+132): 5-Star Rating

Things couldn’t be going worse for the Los Angeles Kings. The Pacific Division contenders have dropped seven in a row, albeit with four of those losses coming in an overtime or a shootout. Still, LA’s metrics are crumbling underneath them as they continue on their six-game Eastern Conference road trip. That leaves a substantive edge in backing the home side, Detroit Red Wings, in this one. 

The Kings have looked atrocious lately. LA has been outplayed in four of their past six, putting forth some of their worst efforts of the season. In three of their previous six outings, the Kings have put up an expected goals-for rating below 37.0%, contributing to an overall benchmark of 46.6%. Those dismal performances are unlikely to improve as they continue their extended road trip. 

When these teams met last week, Detroit outplayed the Kings at Arena, posting a 53.7% expected goals-for rating. With the added benefit of playing on home ice on Saturday, we’re expecting a similar effort from the Red Wings.

According to our projections, the Wings have a 61.7% chance of defeating LA on home ice. Compared to the +132 moneyline price, there’s a bettor-friendly edge in backing Detroit in this inter-conference showdown. We rate it as a five-star play.

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens Moneyline (+198): 5-Star Rating

The Edmonton Oilers’ 2-9-1 start to the season seems like a distant memory, especially in contrast to their current nine-game winning streak. However, their exceptional run could come to an end against a feisty Montreal Canadiens squad at the Bell Centre. 

After an extended hot streak, the Oilers are due for a cooling-off period. Connor McDavid and company have accumulated a 1.053 PDO over their last ten games, putting them well above average the 1.000 average. Their shooting and save percentages contribute to improved efficiency, but neither are within sustainable ranges. Their five-on-five shooting percentage has increased to 11.6%, while their team save percentage has jumped to 93.5%. For reference, the Oilers ended last year with respective averages of 9.1% and 91.4%, implying both are primed for regression.

The Habs have settled into a more conservative defensive standard. Montreal has held five of their past eight opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances, taking pressure off its goaltenders. They can lean into that structure against a road-weary Oilers squad on Saturday night. 

Edmonton is due for a letdown, and we’re betting that comes on the road against the Canadiens. We’re using this spot to back the Habs at +198 or better. 

New York Islanders vs. Nashville Predators
Predators Moneyline (-110): 5-Star Rating

The Nashville Predators are one of four teams competing on the second night of a back-to-back on Saturday. The Preds are fresh off a decisive 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars, representing their fourth win over their last six games. Scheduling may be a factor in Nashville’s diminished betting price, but that’s not scaring us off backing the superior home side against the New York Islanders. 

Their current analytics validates the Predators’ success. Nashville has outplayed five of their previous seven opponents, yielding an impressive 56.9% expected goals-for rating. Still, their actual goals-for rating of 48.3% over that stretch implies that the Preds are progression candidates over their coming games. 

The Islanders have enjoyed less analytics success over their recent sample. New York has been outplayed in all but one of their past five, resulting in an underwhelming 43.7% expected goals-for rating. Predictably, those performances have resulted in more goals against, with their last five opponents combining for 19 goals.

Don’t be deterred by the Predators scheduling. Nashville has been on a tear lately, outplaying some tough opponents over their recent stretch. A team like the Islanders won’t be able to keep pace with the Preds, leaving a significant edge in backing the hosts at a pick’em price.

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Thumbnail photo via Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports

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