Thursday brings us a solid seven-game slate to work with a wide variety of elite matchups and a couple of potential shootouts on the schedule. As of writing, the biggest favorite is the New York Islanders, who are -215 home favorites against the Vancouver Canucks today. This game will mark the first time Bo Horvat takes on his old team since being traded. There are a couple of very close matchups between elite teams today as well. The Colorado Avalanche are +105 road underdogs against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Vegas Golden Knights are +105 underdogs against the Wild, in Minnesota. As of now, the most popular Puck Line bet in terms of percentage of handle and bets is the Golden Knights.
Seattle Kraken at New Jersey Devils
Kraken Moneyline +135
The Kraken head out East to take on the Devils today, in a matchup between two strong offenses and two conference leaders. The Kraken got taken by surprise in their last matchup, losing 4-0 to the Islanders. They enter this game healthier than the Devils and should be in the mood for a quick bounce back after their last outing. The Kraken have been great on the road this season and are now 7-2 in their last nine road games and 8-2 in their last 10 games versus Eastern Conference opponents. New Jersey is also potentially dealing with an injury to Jack Hughes who left practice early yesterday and is now considered day-to-day.
Hughes being out or at less than 100% is a pretty huge deal. His status is important to watch as if he does get ruled out, this line will likely move closer to the +100 mark. Considering the solid trends with Seattle on the road (and against the East) — and the potential for a line move on any Hughes news — jumping on the Kraken at +135 as an underdog early today is well warranted.
Islanders Puck Line (-1.5) +120
The Islanders are a very public bet. They have gone 4-0 in their last four games and are playing a Canucks team who has gone 3-13 in its last 14 games. The Bo Horvat narrative is also a driving factor in the popularity of the Isles tonight as he’ll be taking on his old team for the first time since being traded. However, while the public may be pushing this line down for a variety of reasons, there are more than just narratives to like in this one. The Islanders are a solid team backed by elite, Vezina-level goaltending in Ilya Sorokin, who has posted back-to-back shutouts and is the confirmed starter for tonight. The Isles have also been great at beating weak opponents the last few seasons and are 47-20 against teams who carry a win percentage of .400 or less.
The Islanders’ addition of Horvat will be a boon for their power play, as the center has 11 power play goals and will be up against a Canucks team who ranks dead last in penalty-kill efficiency by over five percent. Vancouver is in play-out-the-string mode while the trending Isles are fighting for a playoff spot. The Puck Line is a public bet, but at +120 still looks like the play given all the factors in New York’s favor.
Mathew Barzal to score a goal +190
Keeping with the Islanders’ narrative, there’s no harm in doubling down and getting some exposure to goal bets for their forwards today — in what could be a blowout. While the aforementioned Bo Horvat has had his goal prop bet down to +110 there are still some very good odds available on some of the other Islanders’ top-six forwards. Matthew Barzal is still part of the Isles PP1 unit and will be on the ice with Horvat during man advantages. He’s already scored a goal with Horvat in the lineup and has dominated Vancouver in his career, posting goals against them in each of his last two games. At +190, the bigger odds that he benefits from Horvat’s presence with a goal — in a game where the Canucks will likely be preoccupied with limiting their former teammates scoring — is worth taking on.
Leon Draisaitl over 1.5 points +130
Draisaitl has gone over this total in four of his last seven games. Against the Flyers, he’s put up multiple points in three of his last five games. From a probability standpoint, the recent trends and history are in our favor here as the +130 odds imply that we need just a 44% hit rate to make this bet work. Draisaitl has been hitting the over at a much faster rate over the short term and has also dominated a weak Flyers team over the last few seasons. The Oilers as a team are in a terrific spot to keep scoring (12 goals in their last two games) as the Flyers rank fifth last in terms of high-danger scoring chances allowed this season. Draisaitl at +130 for over 1.5 points makes sense to target for another high-output game.
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