NHL Betting Guide: Wednesday 4/21/21

Vegas skated past San Jose in overtime last time out, winning their eighth game over their last 10. Should we expect them to further their winning ways tonight?

It's the quietest night of the week in the NHL with a paltry four-game schedule slated for tonight. Favorites have taken 12 of 16 games to start the week, so we're expecting some punch back from a couple of underdogs tonight. We've got one favorite and one underdog highlighted in today's betting guide.

Here are a couple of plays from our daily projections!

Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks

Golden Knights moneyline (-260): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

There is a huge jump in class between the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks, which the Knights should use to their advantage tonight.

The Golden Knights rank third in the league in expected goals-for percentage across all strengths. Possession metrics and production metrics are within the top four in each category. Their 10th-ranked shooting percentage would imply that they could be even more dangerous than their metrics suggest if they could finish more efficiently.

Vegas' recent game scores are on another level. They've posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in 10 of their last 11 but only have eight wins during that span. 8-2-1 is a hell of a record, but their advanced metrics suggest that they should have even more wins than they do.

San Jose is trending in the opposite direction. The Sharks have been outplayed in six of their last nine, including posting an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% in four straight. Offensive metrics are decreasing, and chances against are increasing. It's a recipe for disaster in San Jose, and it's unlikely that their fortunes reverse against a Knights team that is one of the best on home ice.

The Knights barely escaped with a win last time out and should expect to cruise a little more easily in this one. Our projections give them a 75.5% chance of winning, which is in excess of the -260 implied probability of 72.2%. Backing the Golden Knights to win is a two-star play.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

Blackhawks moneyline (+116): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

The Chicago Blackhawks return home for the next two games of a three-game set against the Nashville Predators. The Hawks lost the first game in Nashville, but based on our analysis, they are live home dogs against the Preds.

Chicago outplayed the Preds when these teams met two nights ago, putting up an expected goals-for percentage of 51.2% across all strengths. The Hawks were on the wrong end of a 5-2 decision thanks to some questionable goaltending from Kevin Lankinen. We should expect more from Lankinen tonight, as he's been terrific playing on home ice. Lankinen is 10-6-2 and is stopping 92.1% of shots at home with a 2.71 goals-against average.

The Hawks are on an upswing in terms of production. They've posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% across all strengths in four of six but have only put up a PDO of .979. Chicago only has three wins during that time, so both the expected goals-for percentage and PDO imply that the Hawks should progress.

Monday night's game between these teams marked the fifth time that the Preds were outplayed over the last six games, but it was their third victory. There's a disconnect between how well the Preds are playing and the outcomes they are achieving that will start to correct. Expect that correction to happen on the road where the Preds have the 22nd-ranked expected goals-for percentage at 46.2%.

Based on our projections, the betting market has overreacted to the Preds' chances, leaving an edge in backing the Blackhawks. Taking Chicago on the moneyline is rated as a one-star play.