NHL Betting Guide: Monday 4/19/21

Mark Stone has eight points in his last four games. Will he help the Golden Knights get past the Sharks tonight?

We have another exciting week of hockey to look forward to. There are eight games on the schedule and some of the division playoff races are starting to heat up. All eight Central Division teams are in action tonight, six of which are vying for the four playoff spots, which means we might be treated to some early playoff intensity.

Here are a couple of plays from our daily projections!

Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks

Golden Knights Moneyline (-255): 3-Star Rating out of 5

You might not believe it, but last night the Anaheim Ducks ended the Vegas Golden Knights' run of nine straight games of outplaying their opponents. Tonight marks the Golden Knights' sixth game in nine nights, but their chances of winning will be made easier by getting to take on a San Jose Sharks team that has been trending in the wrong direction over their recent sample of games.

The Sharks have been outplayed at five-on-five in three of their last five games and three straight across all strengths. San Jose's offense was producing above-average for eight straight games, averaging 15.4 high-danger chances per game across all strengths. Consequently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction over their last three games, as they are averaging 6.3 such opportunities per game. There is no way the Sharks can outscore the Knights if they are attempting six high-danger opportunities tonight.

Offense comes naturally for the Knights. Vegas averages the third-most high-danger and scoring chances per game across all strengths. Those metrics have ballooned over the Knights' recent sample, putting them at risk for regression. It's unlikely that Vegas falters against the Sharks, though, as San Jose allows the seventh-most scoring chances and fifth-most high-danger opportunities.

Vegas has lost three of their last five on home ice despite outplaying their opponents in four of those games. Based on our projections, we should expect the Golden Knights to work towards correcting that trend against the Sharks. Vegas has a 78.7% chance of winning, which is well above their implied probability of 71.8% in the betting market. It is on that basis that the Golden Knights moneyline wager is rated as a three-star play.

Dallas Stars vs. Detroit Red Wings

Stars Moneyline (-255): 1-Star Rating out of 5

The Dallas Stars have some impressive metrics working in their favor ahead of the clash with the Detroit Red Wings. We're expecting them to get the better of the Red Wings in this Central Division matchup.

The Stars have been on a successful four-game run in which they have outplayed their opponent across all strengths. Dallas' expected goals-for percentage is above 50.0% in five straight and six of their last seven when we consider their play at five-on-five. Despite this dominance, the Stars are below their expected win total and have only four wins over that span. Expect more wins to follow with sustained play from the Stars.

Goaltending has been critical to the Stars' success over the last couple of seasons, and thankfully, Jake Oettinger and Anton Khudobin are picking things up ahead of the Stars' playoff push. Stars goalies have combined to allow two or fewer goals in five of their last seven games. Their cumulative save percentage is 92.7% over their seven-game sample and is only marginally above their 91.2% season-long save percentage. Goaltending needs to remain at this level to keep the Stars competitive.

Scoring has been the Red Wings' Achilles heel for most of the season, and we should expect today to be no different. The Wings have the worst shooting percentage in the league at 8.0% and are tied for the fewest goals per game in the league. Detroit's production metrics dip as the visitors, which means chances will be at a premium against the defensive-minded Stars, compounding their goal-scoring issues.

Based on our projections, there's an implied advantage in backing the Stars to win tonight. We rate it as a one-star play.