Top NHL Betting Picks for Thursday, October 13 (2021)

The 2021-22 NHL season has commenced, and Thursday brings us a nine-game slate. Below we’ll analyze two matchups that we’ll look to capitalize on.

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Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Montreal (-135) vs. Buffalo Sabres (+115)

There are many things I don’t understand in life. Like the current price of chicken wings, people that wear blazers with jeans to the bar, and the betting odds on this game.

I understand that Montreal played last night in Toronto; however, the Sabres project to be one of the worst teams in the league. The Canadiens are missing Carey Price, Shea Weber, and Mike Hoffman, but they have four solid lines and defense.

Let’s look at each team’s metrics from last season 5v5:

Numbers courtesy of Evolving-Hockey

  • CF%: MTL (54.31) BUF (45.17)
  • GF/60: MTL (2.33) BUF (1.86)
  • GA/60: MTL (2.26) BUF (2.96)
  • xGF%: MTL (52.97) BUF (45.05)

Montreal graded out far better last season in every facet compared to Buffalo. They may be missing a few pieces but acquiring Christian Dvorak and getting Jonathan Drouin back only makes this roster deeper.  Buffalo’s best player is Jeff Skinner? I guess? And their goalie tandem of Craig Anderson and n Tokarski is the worst in the league. Don’t overthink this one.

Pick: Montreal (-135) or better

New York Islanders (+105) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (-125)

These teams enter the year with high expectations after being eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the playoffs last season.

The Isles are the Metropolitan Division favorites at (+275), and the ‘Canes aren’t far behind at (+475). Both teams are built similarly with four solid lines, stout defense, and goaltending – with the edge going to the Isles in the crease.

Let’s look at each team’s metrics from last season 5v5:

  • CF%: NYI (49.35) CAR (54.96)
  • GF/60: NYI (2.4) CAR (2.3)
  • xGF%: NYI (53.94) CAR (53.93)
  • xGA/60: NYI (2.04) CAR (2.36)

Carolina held a significant edge in Corsi, but possession has always been their strength. Offensively, they graded out similarly, and I don’t foresee that changing. The Isles will hold a distinct advantage in the net as Ilya Sorokin was outstanding last season with a 5.9 GSAA. In the opposing crease, Freddie Andersen was far less effective with a -8.5 GSAA, which gives the Islanders the advantage in this one.

Pick: NY Islanders (+105) or better.

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