NHL Betting Guide: Friday 5/7/21

It's hard to comprehend, but this is the last full weekend of hockey in the NHL regular season. A few playoff races will come down to the wire, but we will have a better idea of what the playoff field will look like after this weekend.

Here are a few plays from our daily projections!

Los Angeles Kings vs. Colorado Avalanche

Kings moneyline (+240): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Kings +1.5 (-110): 3-Star Rating Out of 5

The Los Angeles Kings are finally progressing, although it may be too little, too late. The Kings have the 25th-ranked PDO at five-on-five, currently sitting at .989, but their recent efforts have brought that up closer to 1.000. LA has posted a PDO above the hypothetical average in four of their last six, outscoring their opponents 9-4 at five-on-five in those games. Their shooting and save percentages are both above-average, illustrating that the Kings are taking care of business on both ends of the ice.

That could be trouble for the Colorado Avalanche, who are struggling defensively of late. The Avs have given up three or more goals at five-on-five in four of their last seven. Their five-on-five save percentage has been below 87.0% in all four games, resulting in a .964 PDO across the seven games. Colorado has allowed 10 or more high-danger chances in three of their last five after leading the league for most of the season. It's a troubling trend ahead of the playoffs.

Based on our projections, the Kings are the side to back tonight. We rate backing the Kings to win as a two-star play and to cover the puckline as underdogs as a three-star bet.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars

Over 5.5 (+104): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

High-scoring games and the Dallas Stars have gone hand-in-hand recently. We're expecting that trend to continue when the Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning meet for the final time this regular season.

Ineffective defense has been the reason for the Stars' high-scoring games. Opponents have put up double-digit high-danger attempts and 29 or more scoring opportunities in four of the Stars' last five games. Dallas is on a recent three-game slide in which opponents have averaged 33.0 scoring and 12.7 high-danger chances per game across all strengths.

Increased production metrics have resulted in increased scoring, as opponents have scored three or more goals in five of the Stars' last six games, with Dallas' goalies stopping only 87.7% of shots.

The Lightning showed how effectively they could carve up the Stars when these teams met on Wednesday. Tampa dominated possession and production, putting up six goals en route to a 6-2 victory. That was the fifth time in seven games in which the Bolts netted at least three goals, but it was only the third time a game has gone over the total in that span. We're expecting another over in this one.

Dallas is running out of opportunities to catch the Nashville Predators for the final Central Division playoff spot, which means that we should get an all-out effort from them tonight. That should lead to high-scoring games as the Bolts force the tempo offensively. Betting this game to go over the total is rated as a two-star wager, per our projections.