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Being responsible

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The advantages

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Bitcoin is growing quickly and is an investment you will definitely want to make which, in turn, will make your betting and gambling a safer, more enjoyable experience right from the get-go.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving day there was no NHL games and all teams had day off. But today we have a huge card and you decided for a game between Flames and Stars which will be played in Dallas.

Bookmakers opened the odds of around +120 on Calgary but the odds dropped after that. We can still get Calgary as an underdog at around +113. Dallas odds are set at around 1.79.

My projected odds…

Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
Calgary Flames 10 2.95 3.05 96 103 11 31 41.50% 2.41 141
5.42
Dallas Stars 24 2.77 2.95 98 96 2 8 58.50% 1.71 -141

I have projected, that Dallas should be favourite of around 1.71 and Calgary at around 2.41. The difference between my odds and bookmakers odds is still too small, where I don’t see enough value betting Dallas at the price of 1.79. If we include the errors of the model, there is not enough value on Dallas.

Calgary Flames on a very good run

Calgary Flames are playing very good ice hockey right now. They won 7 out of last 10 games and if we exclude that game agaisnt Detroit, where they allowed 8 goals, they are very very good. One loss in overtime against Columbus and one loss against Vancouver at home.

They score 2.95 goals per game and I rank them little bit lower than league average in the offence. They allow 3.05 goals per game and I rank their defence as 3% weaker than league average. They allow 3.05 goals per game and their defence is weaker for 3%  than league average defence. This number was also affected by that game in Detroit, where they allowed 8 goals, but they didn’t play with Mike Smith then and I believe, that he will be in the net tonight

Dallas Stars strong at home – weak on the road

Dallas Stars is one of those teams, at least from what we saw so far, that has two faces. They are very good at home, where they have the record of 8-2 and they are not that good on the road where they have the record of 3-9. The good thing for this team is that they will play at home tonight. They score 2.77 goals per game, which is less than Calgary Flames on the other side, but according to my numbers and my xOFF+ rankings, they are slightly better offensively than Calgary. They are also slightly better than Calgary in the defence. They allow less goals (2.95) and I rank this team defensively better than league average for 4% and for 7% better than Flames defence.

Special team comparison

Both teams have good power plays. Calgary Flames PP% is with 21.62% conversion 11th best in the league. On the other side Dallas Stars are even better in power plays with PP% of 25.37% and are 2nd best. But the biggest difference is made in penalty kill. Dallas Stars penalty kill unit is at 83.75% and they are 8th best in the league. On the other side Calgary Flames have the worst penalty kill unit  (72.6%) in the league. In other words when they need to defend with one men less, they allow goal in 27.4% of times. It will be interesting to see the worst penalty kill unit (Calgary) against second best power play in the league (Dallas).

Goalie match up

I still don’t have information who will be in the net, but after yesterday, where all players had day off, I believe, that both teams will go with their best goalies. Calgary have one very good goalie – Mike Smith and he holds SV% of 0.925 with 0.632 quality starts this season. And they have two other goalies with SV% below 0.900.

Dallas Stars on the other side rely on Ben Bishop, who holds SV% of 0.908.

Calgary will have advantage in the net, because Mike Smith is playing really well after he came to Calgary and according to GA%- he is higher ranked goalie than Bishop. The only question is his defence in front of him.

Injuries

Calgary Flames are complete

Dallas Stars are missing Methot, Hanzal and Lehtonen. If they start with Bishop none of these players will be a big factor in this game or if you like, current season numbers are not heavily affected by those players numbers. Kari Lehtonen SV% is lower and I rank him lower than Ben Bishop, so he is anyway the second choice. Methot played 15 games this season and collected 0 points. They will not miss him in offence, but they will probably miss him the defence. He is their 4th most important player int the defence. Hanzal is their third injured player and he is very big guy (6-6, 230lb (198cm, 104kg)) and his size can help Dallas, but his numbers this season are not good. In 17 games he collected only 3 points and has +/- rating at -11. This statistic tells us that when Hanzal was on the ice goal differential is -11 for Dallas. A player gets a “plus” each time he is on the ice and when his team scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal. He gets a “minus” if he is on the ice for an even-strength or shorthanded goal scored by the opposing team. The difference is +/-.

 

Trends and other interesting information

Road team won 9 out of last 12 meetings between those two teams and Calgary is 4-1 in last 5 meetings in Dallas. Both teams are playing well on Friday – Dallas is 8-2 in last 10 Friday games and Calgary is 5-2 in last 7 Friday games.

Dallas is in a situation after a loss by 2 goals or more in their previous game and they are 27 – 4 for the last 3 seasons (+22.55 units). Calgary Flames on the other side are playing a game after they scored 2 goals or less in previous game and they are 4-0 in last 4 games in the same situation.

Not also, that Dallas lost 35 out of 51 games versus winning teams and they are playing the third game of a 3-in-4 situation. They are just 8-20 in this situation.

Conclusion and the pick

The model has Dallas at 1.71 and the bookmakers have slightly better numbers at around 1.79. But if we include the errors by model, there is no value for me in this game, so I will go with the other information and intuition that I have.

First of all, Calgary is playing better and they don’t have any injured players. Especially in last couple of games they are playing well. Even that last loss against Columbus was in extra time. They are 7-3 in last 10 games, while Dallas is 4-6 in last 10 games.

Secondly, Calgary has better goalie with Smith in the net. Goalie can be the difference in close games and this could be one of those close game tonight.

Thirdly, the line movement is on Calgary side. The odds dropped on them during the day. Calgary has good record against Dallas and because they lost the only game this season against them at home it is a time for revenge. The road team is 9-3 in last 12 meetings between those two teams.

Calgary has no injured players, while Dallas is missing two from the lineup. Despite those two players are not most important players for this team, they still could miss them in close games.

Those are the reasons why I like Calgary here.

There are also three strong reasons to back Dallas: They are playing at home, where they are almost unbeatable, they have very good power play and they will face the worst penalty kill unit in the league. If Calgary goes into the troubles with penalties, then this might be very interesting – second PP vs worst PK in the league. And there is also my winning percentages, where I see small value with the Dallas. Not enough value and not enough difference between the odds to make final conclusion but still there is small difference and the model favours Dallas.

So, there is all kind of questions about this game and you can decide based on those information.

RECOMMENDED BET: CALGARY FLAMES 2.129 (US odds +113)

Thanksgiving day and whole USA will focus on three NFL games and I will try to give you the best advice with my analysis of the day, despite NFL is not my main sport and this is something, where I still need to learn a lot.

But let’s go to the game, that you have selected and this is Giants at Redskins. The bookmakers opened the spread at around -7.5 and despite, that most people will be with Washington the line moved to -6.5, this is one information, that is interesting.

My projections

According to my projections, Washington should be at -10.5

Game My Spread My Total
New York Giants 10.5
50
Washington Redskins -10.5

This is the first year where I project the lines for NFL games, but those projected lines helped me already when I made some bets this season. I also have projected the total at around 50 points, which is little bit bigger than from bookmakers. Bookmakers still have the total at around 45 and this it looks like my model favours the total in this one.

Match up

We have to losing teams and Giants are coming to this game after they beat Kansas in the last game, which was an upset win. Of course, they were +10 point underdog. They beat Kansas at home in low scoring game, but if we check their performance this season, they are not doing well. They score 16.2 points per game, where they make 5.1 yards per play. They also allow 24.7 points per game and 6 yards per play.

On the other side we have Washington, who scores 23.8 points per game in other words, they score 1 TD more than Giants on the other side. But what is interesting here is that Washington also doesn’t have the best defence. They allow even more points than Giants on the other side (26.6). They allow the same yards than Giants on the other side and we have two weak defences and the main difference is made in the offence.

I have projected the result:

Giants 18.72 points
Redskins 27.65

Washington is in a must win situation…

But those are the numbers and I think we should also consider other things here. First of all Washington is in a must win situation after they lost 2 straight games if they want to hope for the playoffs. They lost the last game in New Orleans, where they scored a lot of points but they also faced one of most potent attacks in NFL and today they will face much weaker offence. Not only that they scored more than 30 points in last game, they were also leading by 15 points and they blew up that game. And right now they are coming back home to bounce back after that loss.

Giants on the other side are basically not playing for anything. They stole a win last week and they will be relaxed to play here. Thanksgiving is always a special day to play and I believe they will be motivated. They are also very unpredictable, because they lost to poor 49ers and then the next week they beat Kansas. And if we check the last 8 games, they lost only 3 games by more than a TD. All other games they lost by less points.

However, both teams have the same ATS record (against the spread), which is 4-6.

Trends and other information

When those two teams met in the past the underdog is 10-3 ATS in last 13 games. That means, that the team with plus spread is 10-3. Giants will be an point spread underdog here and they are 6-2 in last 8 meetings against Washington.

Note also that Washington is 1-6 ATS at home in last 7 games and Giants are 5-1 in last 6 games against the teams, that have losing home record.

My conclusion and recommended pick…

The line was opened at -7.5 on Washington but after that the spread dropped to -6.5 despite public will be with Washington and this is something I don’t like. All trends are also against Washington.

It is a big question how will Giants play this game. They definitely gained some momentum in the last game, but then again, they are not consistent. In one game, they beat Denver on the road and then allow 51 points to Rams and they lose a game against 49ers. The question is which version of Giants we will see here.

Motivation is definitely on Washington side, but the question if the motivation is enough.

So, I will go with the three things that I like about Washington here:

Their QB Kirk Cousins is red hot. He played well in the last game, where he  threw 3 touch downs and zero interceptions. He will face very bad defence. Giants defence allowed already 20 touchdowns this season. He is also much better ranked QB than Manning on the other side.

Secondly, Washington will be much more motivated for this game. I don’t like to rely on motivation and this should not be the only reason to bet on the games, but where there are other reasons, then this can only support it.

And there is also my projections for this game, where I favour Washington. So I will just go with this and will go against the trends.

I will stay myself out of this game, because I think that is very tricky one, because we never now which version of Giants we will see, but I will still make a prediction here…

MY RECOMMENDED BET: WASHINGTON REDSKINS -6.5 at Cloudbet

VOTE FOR FRIDAY’S GAME – I WILL ANALYSE IT FOR YOU

The bookmakers opened the odds of around +120 (2.20) on Winnipeg but then later those odds dropped and this makes sense. Winnipeg is one of nice surprises this season. I like this team and when somebody asked me, which team I think will be nice surprise in NHL 2017/2018 I said Winnipeg. They have couple of great talented players and right now they are 3rd best team in NHL according to points. Very good team so far.

Game Nitrogensports Cloudbet mBIT Bitcoinrush Betcoin
WPG 2.099 2.08 2.11 2.11 2.1
LAK 1.804 1.79 1.81 1.81 1.752
Margin 103.07% 103.94% 102.64% 102.64% 104.70%

The best bitcoin bookmakers have the odds of around 2.10 on Winnipeg and around 1.80 on Los Angeles Kings. With this, they give small advantage to the Kings.

My projected odds

I have projected, that Los Angeles Kings will have around 60% of chance to win this game.

Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
Winnipeg Jets 3 3.35 2.80 112 102 6 22 39.75% 2.52 152
5.46
Los Angeles Kings 9 3.05 2.38 101 81 18 1 60.25% 1.66 -152

Because of that my fair odds would be at 1.66 on Los Angeles. With 1.81 on Bitcoinrush and mBit bookmakers sites, I have small value with the Kings here.

I also projected around 5.46 goals in this game. Bookmakers set the odds for 5.5 total at around 1.91 (-110) and there is no value playing the total for me.

Kings are on a bad streak…

Los Angeles Kings are a team with a lot of very good players. They play very aggressive ice hockey and playing against them is not easy. Last season was very bad season, because they didn’t even reached the playoffs. They key players were not satisfied with the season and they step up in this season. Kopitar, Brown, Qiuck, Doughty,… it seems that they are playing much better than last season. And those players are among the best in the league. With couple of young guns I think they can reach playoffs this season, especially if Quick will play on this level.

But after a good start they collected couple of losses. It all started at home when they faced Tampa Bay and Lightning beat them by 5-2. They played the next 4 games at home and the only win came against Florida after they lost to San Jose, Vancouver and Boston. After that win they traveled to Vegas and they lost again.

Such a streaks are something normal in sports betting and me myself face this kind of streaks in betting too. But streaks are bad short runs and we always must to get bigger picture about this team and what can they do.

Los Angeles Kings score 3.05 goals per game and they have average offence in the league (1% better than league average according to my xDEF rankings). They started struggling little bit in last couple of games (2 goals per game in last 5), but they still have a lot of potential and definitely they can score more than 2 goals per game.

But their main strength is their defence. According to my numbers, where I take into account goal attending, defence, PK%, shots against per game and 5 on 5 game they have second best defence in the league. Their defence is 19% better than league average defence (xDEF+).

In front of this very good defence we have two very good goalies. Jonathan Quick is their first goalie and holds SV% of 92.6% to the season. In last 4 games his SV% dropped little bit to 0.899 but we must understand that his career SV% is 0.916 and when he is playing at his best he is among the best goalies in NHL. And according to this season numbers he can have a very good season. His backup is Darcy Kuemper, who came from Minnesota and he holds SV% 0.943 to the season (6 games, 4 starts). No matter who starts, Kings have good goalie options and very good defence.

Winnipeg Jets good streak…

Winnipeg Jets on the other side are playing great ice hockey. They score 3.35 goals per game I rank their offence for 12% better than league average. In last 5 games they scored 3.8 goals per game and went 4-1. In last 11 games, they lost only 3 times. I think that goal scoring is their main strength, despite they have very good goalie with Connor Hellebuyck, who holds SV% of 0.925. Their defence is just average (2% weaker than league average defence) and in those three losses they allowed 15 goals (5 goals per game). They also have weaker backup goalie (we still don’t know who will be in the net), because Steve Mason holds SV% of 0.892 and I also don’t trust him too much.

Their power play is among the best in the league (6th best) but they will also face the best penalty kill unit in the league, because Los Angeles PP% of 90.14% is the best in NHL.

Injuries and missings

Los Angeles are missing Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford and Marian Gaborik who are out a big factor here. Yes, they are very important players for the Kings, but they didn’t play much this season and what the Kings did this season was without those guys and I use current season statistics when I analyse games. Jeff Carter played only 6 games, Clifford only 3 games an Gaborik didn’t play any game yet. The biggest question is if Quick will play, because a the time when I write this I still don’t have this information, but I also don’t have any problem with Darcy Kuemper who did well so far this season.

Winnipeg will miss Toby Enstrom, but he is not important factor in this game, because he played 19 games this season and collected only 2 points.

Trends and interesting information

Winnipeg Jets lost 8 out of 11 meetings in Los Angeles. But they are playing on one day rest, where they are very good with recent record of 14-2 in this situation. Kings lost 5 out of last 6 home games, but they had 2 days off now to clear their minds and they are good when they had 2 days rest. They went 5-1 in last 6 games with 2 days rest.

Conclusion and my recommended pick

Winnipeg Jets are playing well, they are playing well on the road too. Definitely one of the hottest teams right now in NHL. But we have interesting match up here:

Very good offence vs very good defence (Winnipeg OFF +12% versus LA Kings DEF +19%)

Very good power play versus very good penalty kill (Winnipeg #6 in NHL – PP% 22.73 versus LA Kings #1 in NHL – PK% 90.14)

If we check Winnipeg numbers on the road and compare them to their numbers at home, they score only 2.9 goals per game on the road, they are also outplayed by 5.5 shots per game on the road and their special teams performance is slightly weaker on the road.

I give small advantage to Jonathan Quick if he starts tonight, which I believe, because he had 2 days rest. And even if he doesn’t start, they have very good option with Kuemper.

Los Angeles Kings had 2 days rest and Lewis said. “We have to go home and regroup.” Two days were enough to regroup, after all they are 5-1 in last 6 games when they had 2 days off. I think that we will see very good Kings tonight.

My betting model gives them better chance to win this game (60.25%) and with the current odds that are offered by bookmakers, we have a value with Los Angeles Kings.

In the meantime we got the information, that Winnipeg will start with  Steve Mason, Los Angeles with Jonathan Quick and because of that I like the Kings even more.

RECOMMENDED BET: LOS ANGELES KINGS at 1.78 (US odd -128) at Bitcoinrush

 

One analysis per day has been very good so far. Despite I don’t select games, but you with the voting on my site and at the bottom of this post, I do my best to research selected game. So, if you like my analysis, please vote for tomorrow’s game, there will be 15 games and I am sure you will find most interesting game.

But let’s go to today’s game. Your choice is: Vancouver at Philadelphia

Philadelphia Flyers will meet Vancouver Canucks at home and the bookmakers have Vancouver as an underdog of around +145. The odds didn’t move much during the day and the public will be more with Philadelphia. Nitrogensports has Vancouver at 2.47 (+147 US odds) and Philadelphia at 1.60 (-166).

My projected odds

Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
Vancouver Canucks 21 2.55 2.85 83 88 24 18 40.36% 2.48 148
4.39
Philadelphia Flyers 26 2.80 2.80 95 87 17 24 59.64% 1.68 -148

My projected odds are pretty same than from Nitrogensports. I expect, that I win $148 with Vancouver if I bet on them and if they win of course. Nitrogensports is willing to pay me exactly the same amount of money. Because they have 3% margin in this game, my odds on Philadelphia are slightly bigger. I have them at 1.68, where I expect at least $68 of profit for my $100 risked. Nitrogensports would pay me little bit less, $60 of profit.

The total is set at 5.5 and if I adjust the total at my bookmakers account, the odds on the total of 5 goals is set at 2.28. I have projected, that this game could be low scoring game. But let’s check the other information, that we have about this game.

Match up

Vancouver Canucks score 2.55 goals per game and according to my xOFF+ ranking, I have them as 17% weaker offence than league average. They don’t make a lot of shots (28.9 shots per game and in last 5 games they placed only 26.4 goals per game) and if we check their production in last 5 games, they score only 1.8 goals.

At the same time Vancouver allow 4 goals per game in last 5 games. After a very good start to the season, where they still have solid record and I must say, that I don’t expect much from this team, betting on them was not that bad. At least you would not lose money betting on Vancouver this season (9-11, +0.3 units). Their road record is even better (6-3, +6.2 units) and because they are underdog on the road, betting Vancouver on the road was very profitable so far.

I rank their offence below league average but I rank their defence above league average (+12%).

Philadelphia on the other side has a better overall team, at least based on player names. But of course players names are not a guarantee for a good season and because Philadelphia is overrated most of the time, betting on them this season was not profitable. If you bet on Philadelphia in every single game this season, you would make a loss of -5.8 units.

They score 2.8 goals per game and I rank their offence better than Vancouver offence. However, I rank Philadelphia’s offence lower than league average offence for 5%. Their best production is at home, where they score 3 goals per game.

But when it comes to the defence, Philadelphia allows only 2.8 goals per game and I rank their defence higher than Vancouver defence and higher than league average defence (for 13% bettter vs league average).

Goalies

Vancouver will start with their first goalie Jacob Markstrom, who played in 15 games this season and holds SV% of 0.910. But in last few games his SV% dropped to 0.888 and his SV% on the road is also little bit lower (0.904). He has 50% of quality starts this season and his career SV% is 0.910.

Philadelphia on the other side will start with Michal Neuvirth, their backup goalie, who has been very good in 6 games this season. His Sv% is 0.928 and at home he has been even better with SV% of 0.935. His career SV% is 0.910, which is the same then from Markstrom on the other side.

Current streaks…

But teams are struggling right now. We have Vancouver that lost 7 out of last 10 games and we have Philadelphia with the same record in last 10 games. Philadelphia also lost last 4 straight games and I think they will be little bit more hungry in this game.

Injuries

Vancouver will be without Christopher Tanev and Troy Stecher. Stecher is not a big factor in this game, but on the other side Tanev is their most important defence player. According to defensive point shares Tanev is the best player in Vancouver. He is out since 9th November. From 9th November till today, Vancouver is just 1-4.

Philadelphia will be without Andrew MacDonald, Radko Gudas, Colin McDonald and Anthony Stolarz. But they will probably have back  Jordan Weal. Gudas will start serving 10 game suspension and they will miss him, but according to defensive point shares, Andrew Macdonald and Gudas are only 5th and 6th most important D players in Philadelphia. Colin Macdonald and Anthony Stolarz are not important for this game.

From injury view I think that we don’t have any huge advantage by any team here.

Trends and other interesting information

Vancouver is playing well as a road underdog, they are 10-8 since March 4th as a road underdog. And we all know what that means, because with the underdog plays you need winning percentage of only  50% and you make profit for sure. Vancouver is also 7-19 against Metropolitan teams and the home team is 4-1, when they met in the past.

Philadelphia on the other side has a good record against Vancouver since 1996. They beat them in 18 out of 27 games (66.67%) since 1996. They are also good bounce back team – after they received 5 goal or more in previous game, they responded with the win in the next game 7 times out of last 8 games. And this is exactly the situation for them after they allowed 5 goals against Calgary.

Conclusion and my recommended pick

I was watching Philadelphia against Calgary. They were leading by 3-1 and at the end they lost. They were playing well and even in overtime they had possession most of the time. But then Calgary somehow scored with the first possession. Despot that loss and despite their current losing streak, I think they are better team than Vancouver here.

First off all, they have better offence and better defence. I don’t see any big difference in the net, but according to historical numbers, Philadelphia has good numbers against Vancouver. They will also try to bounce back after that last loss, where they allowed 5 goals.

Vancouver is below league average team and I don’t expect much from them this season. They lost last 2 games at home and they are starting with a tough schedule on the road against Metropolitan teams. And Philadelphia has good record against them. We will see how good they are on this road trip.

My NHL betting model didn’t find any advantage and any value in this game. I think the odds are set fair and I always recommend to stay away from bets, where there is no value. But if we take this game as a whole picture, which is combination of different information, including my math model, I think I would rather go with Philadelphia. They play strong ice hockey at home, where they outscore opponents by 0.4 goals per game and they also outplay opponents by 2.8 shots per game in average.

MY RECOMMENDED BET: PHILADELPHIA FLYERS at 1.60 (US odds -166) at Nitrogensports

Vote for tomorrow’s game:

Minnesota Wild will host New Jersey Devils for the first time this season. Bookmakers opened the odds of around 2.50 on New Jersey Devils and then during the day the odds dropped on Minnesota.

Nitrogensports offer the odds of 2.607 on New Jersey Devils right now and 1.547 on Minnesota.

Before we go to the analysis, I must say, that this is not my favourite game to bet. But since you voted for this game, I will try to give you the best possible advice with all the information I poses.

My betting and projected odds

My betting model gives Minnesota around 58.86% of chance to win this game. According to my model, fair odds would be New Jersey +143 and Minnesota -143:

Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
New Jersey Devils 5 3.32 3.16 107 107 3 16 41.14% 2.43 143
5.70
Minnesota Wild 21 2.95 2.68 99 90 19 8 58.86% 1.70 -143

The bookmakers have pretty same odds and I don’t see any huge value in this game. Minnesota is a better team and should be favoured here, but playing them was not profitable this season (9-10, -2.8 units). On the other side playing on New Jersey was successful and if you bet on New Jersey Devils whole season, you would make a profit (11-8, +5.4 units).

The odds dropped on Minnesota despite bettors are undecided and in some cases, they favour New Jersey here.

Current streak and season performance

New Jersey Devils started this season really big. They won couple of straight wins and even after a month and a hals, they are still winning team with the record of 11-8. They have winning road record too (6.4) and they are among the best scoring teams in NHL with 3.32 goals per game. Nobody expected such a good start.

But after good start the things changed little bit and the Devils lost 6 out of last 8 games. They beat Florida at home by 2-1 and they beat Chicago on the road by 7-5. In last 5 games they score 2.6 goals per game.

I rank Devils for 7% better offensively than league average team and I rank them for 7% weaker than league average team in defence.

On the other side we have Minnesota Wild, who didn’t start the season that well. They were struggling with couple of injuries and they simply didn’t play that well. However, in last 5 games, they won 4 and the only loss came from Washington, where they lost 3-1.

Minnesota score 2.95 goals per game and my offensive ranking (xOFF+) is 99. In other words I rank them for 1% weaker than league average offensive team. But their are much more stronger in offence, at least so far this season. They allow 2.68 goals per game and rank them (xDEF+) for 10% better in defence than league average team.

Goalies comparison

So we have one good defensive team (Minnesota) and one below league average team, when it comes to defence. But the main roles of these defences play goalies. And both teams decided to send out their best goalies.

Minnesota will start with Dubnyk, who started 15 games this season and holds SV% of 0.922. His start was not that good, but in last couple of games he is playing on a very high level. His SV% in last 5 games is 0.970 and he is very good since he arrived in Minnesota (SV% by season: 2014-15: 0.936, 2015-206: 0.918, 2016-2017: 0.923) and it looks like he is hot again.

Cory Schneider is 8-6 to the season and has been very consistent and solid so far. He holds Sv% of 0.917 and despite he lost 5 out of last 6 games, he was good (Sv% 0.911).

We will definitely see solid goalie duel. Hockey reference rank both goalies above league average giving small advantage to Dubnyk this season.

Trends and interesting information…

Devils are on a 4 game road trip, where they beat Chicago and lost to Toronto in close game and lost to Winnipeg by 5-2. But when they lost a game by 3 goals or more, they responded well after that. They won 8 out of 11 games after they lost by 3 goals or more.

Devils are also 4-0 in last 4 meetings, but home team is leading series by 7-2 in last 9 meetings.

Minnesota is playing much better right now and they won 5 out of last 7 home games, but they lost 4 straight home games against the teams, that have winning road record (Devils on the road: 6-4). Not only that they lost 4 straight at home against good road teams, but they also lost 17 out of 28 games at home when they were favourite (Since March 7th, 2017).

Injuries

Minnesota will play without Zach Parise and Charlie Coyle. Parise is injured all the time and didn’t play a game this season. Coyle on the other side played only 3 games and those two players will not be a factor in this game and for my projections.

New Jersey Devils will be without Mirco Mueller and Marcus Johansson. Both players collected together 7 points this season for New Jersey Devils and they will not be any big factor in this game.

We can expect both teams to play with their best players, including goalies.

Conclusion and recommended pick:

The line movement is clear – the odds dropped on Minnesota during the day, despite the public is not in huge favour of Minnesota. There are couple of reasons to back Minnesota in this one, because they are playing much better right now, they gained a lot of momentum in the last games, when they lost only one game and what is more importantly for this team – Dubnyk is red hot. If you play Minnesota Wild, the defence is on your side. After all I rank New Jersey Devils as a below average defensive team.

But if you like to play on Devils, there are also couple of reasons to back them. First of all, with the line movement, the odds raised and right now we have a nice underdog odds on them. After all, New Jersey is a winning team this season, while Minnesota is not. Blindly betting on New Jersey was profitable this season, while on Minnesota was not. Devils have good recent record against Minnesota and they will be motivated to step up in this one after they lost a game by 3 goals.

My betting model also favours Devils here by small margin, but there is no perfect model and we must understand that I always look for bigger difference between my numbers and bookmakers numbers, because of errors and other information, that I don’t have, which might affect on the odds.

So, I would recommend to be careful with this game as I simply don’t have value with any of these teams. The prices (odds) are fair and if you bet with Minnesota, you definitely have better chance to win this game, but you will also overpay according to my numbers. If you bet on the Devils, you will bet on a team, that will have less than 50% of chance to win and the reward is not that big.

If you like to play the totals, the over was in 6 out of last 8 meetings between those two teams.

This is not the best play today, but I would still recommend to play small on the underdog here, if you decide to bet. Betting on New Jersey is a money this season, they have good record against Minnesota and because of line movement, we have very good odds on them too.

RECOMMENDED BET: Bet small on NEW JERSEY DEVILS +161 (2.607) at Nitrogensports

 

This is my first NFL season to bet and I started with a challenge, where I want to create simple predictive model, that will estimate the lines for NFL games. After 10 weeks I learned a lot about this sport, but there is still many things to learn and analysing the games is great way how to improve my NFL betting skill. I also improved my NFL betting model and right now I get much better picture about games. After all, I am 12-7-1 on my NFL investment bets this season. It is very small sample size of bets and they don’t tell anything about my NFL betting skill, but still this gives me motivation for future work.

But let’s go to today’s game. You voted for NY Giants vs Kansas City Chiefs game and I will try to give you the best prediction, which will be based on current bookmakers odds. And at the end of the day, I hope that I help you to make money.

Bookmakers opened the odds at +13 on NY Giants and then the odds dropped to +10. The total was opened at 44 and then raised t around 45.5.

 

My NFL projected lines and totals

This season I have created predictive model for NFL and in first 10 weeks I was testing it and adjusting. Last week I updated the model, where I pay special attention to rushing and passing and according to my numbers, fair line on this game should be:

Game My Spread My Total
Kansas City Chiefs -11.5
56
New York Giants 11.5

I have projected, that the line on New York Giants should be +11.5, which is pretty same than bookmakers line and if we take into account errors by the model, then the line is totally correct and I would stay away from this bet. But I also projected the total for this game, which is 56 and this is much higher than from bookmakers. Because of that this game could be potentially high scoring game.

Kansas City Chiefs…

Kansas is among the best offensive teams this season. With 6.2 yards per play they lead the league (with New Orleans, that have the same number) and they are 4th best scoring team. They score 28.1 points per game and on the road hey are even better with 31 points per game. Their offence slowed little bit in last three games, but they still scored more than 25 points in average.

But the biggest problem by Kansas is their defence. They are among the worst in the league. I rank this defence as 30th out of 32 teams. They allow 23.1 points per game. They are second worst in the league in preventing yards (Y/A – yards per attempt) with 4.8 Y/A. Only Patriots are worse. They are also 8th worst in pass defence (NY/A – net yards per pass attempt).

Those numbers are even worse on the road. Kansas allows more than 26 points per game on the road.

But the good thing is that they will face a team, that has even worse defence. At least from points perspective.

New York Giants…

They hold the record of 1-8 and they just lost against 49ers, where I thought that they could win. But it looks like that they are not playing well this season and they are struggling in offence and the defence. They score 16.7 points per game and they allow 26.4 points per game. With their weak defence this season, they can struggle against many teams this season and the worst part in this game is that they will stand against of the best attacking teams in NFL.

The only good thing is that they will face one of the worst defensive teams too.

Trends and interesting information…

Kansas is 13-0 ATS (+13.17 ppg) when visiting a non-divisional opponent, that has lower win%. Kansas is 11-5 ATS in last 16 games and 9-2 ATS on the road. Over is also in 6 out of last 8 Kansas road game, over is also 4-0 after Kansas lost the game straight up (they lost the last game). But the Under is 7-0-1 in last 8 following a bye week.

Giants on the other side are 5-1 ATS at home against teams with winning road record, they are also 5-1 against Kansas in last 6 meetings. When they met in the past games, under is 5-0-1.

Conclusion and recommended pick:

We have Kansas City that has good attack. One of the best in the league and they are scoring even more on the road. They will face the worst defensive team in the league. That team even lost a game against 49ers, that are playing bad football this season. After 3 losses in last 4 games, where they also scored little bit less, I believe, that they will step up here. After all their coach Reid is 16-2 following a week off. They don’t have the nest defence, in fact their defence is among the worst, but they can score.

On the other side we have Giants that are the worst defensive team in the league and because they will face very good offence I expect that we can see some points here too. They probably know what is Kansas weakness and this is their defence. Because of that they will have the chance to score some more points than usually. After all they still have Manning, that can pass and they have currently hot TE Evan Engram, who has caught a touchdown pass in four straight contests.

I believe that both teams can score in this game because of opponents weak defences. Despite the under trend in last 6 meetings between those two teams, I recommend a play on over in this game.

The best odds you can find at bitcoin bookmakers: Nitrogensports, Cloudbet, Bitcoinrush

RECOMMENDED BET: OVER 45.5

2017-05-01

 

Arizona Coyotes finally collected couple of wins this season, but they are still poor team and they will face Ottawa on the road. Ottawa lost last game against Pittsburgh, where they had couple of great chances and they were better most of the game, but they lost somehow.

Bookmakers opened odds of around 2.75 on Arizona, but then the odds dropped to 2.60. There is a reason for that, because Ottawa will start with their backup goalie Mike Condon. But I don’t have any problem with him in the net. In fact he has even better numbers this season, then their first goalie Anderson, who holds SV% below 0.900 (0.898). Mike Condon played 5 games and his SV% is 0.903 at home even better 0.930 (3 games).

Game Nitrogensports Cloudbet Lunarbets Betcoin mBIT Bitcoinrush
ARI 2.696 2.68 2.58 2.55 2.61 2.61
OTT 1.518 1.51 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.56
Margin 102.97% 103.54% 103.69% 103.73% 102.42% 102.42%

The best odds on Arzona we can find on Nitrogensports and the best odds on Ottawa are offered by mBit and Bitcoinrush.

My projected odds:

Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds
Arizona Coyotes 31 2.43 3.95 82 127 25 25 21.73% 4.60 360
Ottawa Senators 9 3.53 3.29 115 105 14 19 78.27% 1.28 -360

I have projected, that Ottawa will have around 78.27% of chance to win this game. My fair odds on them are at around 1.28, which is much lower than from bookmakers and because of that, we have a value on Senators based on my math model.

Ottawa can play much better, especially at home…

Ottawa is a good team. I like how they play, especially offensively, where they are for 15% better than league average team. Not only, that they are better offensively, they have also a lot of very talented players. They bring Matt Duchene from Colorado, Bobby Ryan is back in the lineup, Mark Stone is 4th best scores in whole NHL and I think that this team can and must play better, especially at home, where they have a record of 3-8.

I was watching them in the last game against Pittsburgh and they were playing better than Penguins, but I think that the crucial save and turning point in this game was amazing save by matt Murray:

That was one of the best saves I saw this season, but what I want to say is that Ottawa is playing very good offensive ice hockey and it is only a matter of time, when they will destroy someone at home by couple of goals.

Condon or Anderson

Current line movement, where the odds dropped on Arizona was affected definitely by the information, that Ottawa will start with their backup goalie – Mike Condon. Of course one of the reasons is also Wideman out, but usually when teams starts with second goalie, odds drop. However, when we talk about current season performances by Ottawa goalies, I don’t see any big difference here. Craig Anderson is playing below expectations (SV% 0.898) and I would expect little bit more from a goalie, that holds career Sv% at 0.919.

Mike Condon who will start is sitting at SV% of 0.903 and in his three home games he has Sv% of 0.930. In fact he is the only goalie from Ottawa that has winning record at home (2-1), because Anderson home record is just 2-7. What I want to say here is that I don’t have any problem going with Mike Condon. His career SV% is 0.913 and he has been very solid backup goalie in his career.

Arizona is the worst team in the league…

Arziona Coyotes are the worst team in the league. Of course they will win some games, but they are still 3-18 this season and they won all those three games by only one goal. And even those games could end with different results. When we talk about Arizona, we must understand, that this is a team in re-building mode, if we can say so. They have couple of talented players, but in general they will need some time to re-group. Most of the time, they can not compete against other teams. They score only 1.9 goals per game, they allow 4 goals per game and their special teams are among the worst in the league.

Arizona changed 5 goalies this season and none of those goalies is playing well. Their Sv% are around 0.900 and below. I still don’t know who will be in the net for Arizona, but in reality I don’t even care. Antti Raanta is their first goalie and he is most important of all goalies, but also his SV% is just 0.903 and on the road even worse 0.885 (5 games).

Match up

Arizona scores 2.43 goals per game, while Ottawa scores 3.53 goals per game. I rank Ottawa attack as 15% better than league average attack and I rank Arizona for 18% weaker than league average attack. Arizona allows 3.95 goals per game on the other side Ottawa allows 3.25 goals per game. I rank Ottawa’s defence for 5% weaker than league average, while on the other side we have much weaker defence with Arizona – 27% weaker than league average. Special teams are on Ottawa side.

Injuries and missings

Ottawa will play with their backup goalie, they will miss Chris Wideman and they are already missing Zack Smith. Zack Smith and their first goalie Anderson are not a factor in this game. Zack Smith collected only 6 points this season and I already explained, that Condon is as good as Anderson this season. They will miss Wideman, but they still have very good defensive line with Karlsson.

Arizona on the other side will miss Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jakob Chychrun, but they are not a factor in this game.

Trends and interesting information…

Ottawa Senators have very bad record at home (3-8) and they play much better on the road this season. I believe that they will step up in this game against very weak team, because they are 23-11 in their last 34 home games against weak teams (road record below 0.400). They play well on Saturday (8-2 in last 10 Saturday games) and they have very good record against Arizona (8-2 at home, 14-6 overall meetings).

Arizona on the other side are 1-8 on Saturday in last 9 Saturday games. They couldn’t collect two wins in a row for some time – they are 0-5 after a win (they won last game). Arizona is also 18-40 in their last 58 games with only 1 day rest.

Conclusion and the pick

We have much better team with Ottawa Senators. The odds dropped probably because Ottawa will miss Wideman and because they will play with their backup goalie. I don’t have any problem taking Condon here and I am still confident about their defensive line with Karlsson, Phaneuf and others.

Arizona has very bad record playing in Ottawa and this is one of those games, where I believe, that Ottawa will play much better. First off all, they are coming to this game after a loss against Pittsburgh, where honestly they were better. Their fans want more wins and Arizona is perfect team to beat. Ottawa has Ryan back, they have Duchene in the lineup and with all other players in the lineup I think we have much better team. Not only, that they will face a weak team, this is also last home stand game for them. After this game Ottawa will go on a 3 game road trip where they will face Rangers, Washington and Columbus. I think, that they understand that this is one of those games, where they must collect the points, because next 3 games will be tough.

Because of all those reasons above, I think that we have much better team with Ottawa and I also think, that the odds around 1.55 on Ottawa Senators are value. After all my math model has Ottawa at 1.29.

RECOMMENDED PLAY: OTTAWA SENATORS 1.56 (-179) at Bitcoinrush

But if you still decide to take an underdog with Arizona here, the best odds on Arizona you get at Nitrogensports.

You have decided, that the most interesting game to bet is Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings. And from the start I must to say, that there is one thing that I don’t like. I was even thinking to stay away from this game because of this, but I will trust my betting model here.

Let’s start with the odds, line movement and that thing, that I don’t like in this game…

Bookmakers opened Detroit as much bigger favourite at the start of the day. But since then the odds dropped on Buffalo, despite most bettors will back Detroit here. And of course there is a reason for that. Detroit destroyed Calgary in the last game, where they played really well. On the other side Buffalo lost 3 straight games and they are second worst team in the league based on points. Only Arizona Coyotes is worse.

But still despite all that information and despite the fact, that public will be with Detroit tonight odds dropped on Buffalo. In such situations it is recommended to be little bit more careful.

Game Nitrogensports Cloudbet Lunarbets Betcoin mBIT Bitcoinrush
BUF 2.189 2.17 2.18 2.2 2.2 2.20
DET 1.742 1.73 1.73 1.7 1.75 1.75
Margin 103.09% 103.89% 103.68% 104.28% 102.60% 102.60%

The best odds on this game are offered by two bitcoin bookmakers – Bitcoinrush and mBit. They both have the same low juice odds on this game and the best odds on Detroit right now are at 1.75, while the best odds on Buffalo are 2.20.

My betting model projections favour Detroit in this one and my betting model gives Detroit much better chance here.

H/A Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
Away Buffalo Sabres 30 2.44 3.61 80 108 23 15 30.14% 3.32 232
5.00
Home Detroit Red Wings 19 3.00 2.79 96 90 5 8 69.86% 1.43 -232

I have projected, that this could be a game, where around 5 goals can be scored and I also projected, that based on current season performances by both teams, Detroit will have around 69.86% of chance to win this game. Because of that my odds on Detroit are 1.43, which is much lower than bookmakers odds. According to those numbers, there is a value with Detroit Red Wings in this game.

Buffalo Sabres…

They played pretty well in last 2 games. I was watching both games and I bet on both games. I took them against Montreal, where they lost after shot outs and then I bet on Buffalo again against Pittsburgh Penguins, where they were leading most of the game and I was confident in third period, that I will hit nice underdog bet. But Pittsburgh came back somehow and they won in overtime. Lehner was really upset because of that loss, he just run into the locker room. And completely understand him, because they were playing really good and this was the second straight game, where they were so close to the win.

But of course at the end only win is important and big teams will win despite they play poor game and weak teams will lose despite they played really well. And Buffalo is one weak team right now.

They are just 5-13 to the season, on the road 3-8. They score 2.4 goals per game and allow 3.6 goals per game. I rank their offence as 20% weaker than league average offence and I rank their defence as 8% weaker than league average defence. They have below league average PP and they have just average penalty kill.

Detroit Red Wings…

Red Wings just beat Calgary at home and I hope they will not overreact because of that win. Calgary played with their back up goalie and Detroit will play most of the next games at home. This is where they must collect as much as possible wins. Their record is 9-10 to the season and based on points, they are 19th ranked team in the league.

Detroit score 3 goals per game and allow 2.8 goals per game. At home they score even more (3.4). Their special teams are among the best (PP = 5th best, PK = 8th best in NHL) and this is something, where they much better than Buffalo.

Goalie match up

The main strength of this Red Wings team is their goalie. Jimmy Howard is playing really well and right now is sitting at 0.930 SV%. He is among the elite goalies this season and only Vasilevskiy from Tampa has little bit better save percentage (0.932). And this is not all. In last 4 games he played even better and his SV% in last 4 games is 0.940. He will start today’s game against Buffalo and will try to revenge the last loss against them this season, where he allowed one goal and Detroit lost by 1-0. But his performance was again really good.

Robin Lehner on the other side will start for Buffalo. He is 4-8 to the season and his SV% is 0.903. But the big difference is his game on the road, where he has SV% of 0.858. Goalie performance is affected by how good is a team in front of him and it looks like that Buffalo struggle defensively on the road. They allow 4 goals per game on the road.

I think that this is the game part, where Detroit will have big advantage. They will have much better and hot goalie this season in the net.

Injuries

Lehner was injured and we still didn’t know if he will play tonight, but it looks like he is ok and he will start. Matt Tennyson is questionable today, Rasmus Ristolainen, Evan Rodrigues, Jacob Josefson, Zach Bogosian are all out for this game. Among those players, Ristolainen is most important injured player. He is Buffalo’s leading defenceman with 5 points.

Detroit on the other side will be without Luke Witkowski, Danny DeKeyser and Johan Franzen. They are all out. They also have 3 questionable players for this game: Martin Frk, Trevor Daley and Darren Helm. Frk is their 5th best player this season, Helm is experienced player and deKeyser is fifth best defenceman according to point shares.

Both teams will miss some guys, but key players are in the lineups for both teams.

Interesting trends and information

Buffalo Sabres lost 29 out of  38 meetings, Buffalo Sabres are also lost 15 out of 19 meetings in Detroit. They have pretty bad record against Detroit. They will play on 2 days rest and they lost 6 out of last 8 games in this situation.

Red Wings will have 1 day rest and they are 1-7 in this situation in last 8 games, but they are historically very good at home against weak teams: 233-100-19 in their last 352 home games against weak teams with road record of 0.400 or less.

Conclusion and my recommended pick

There is one thing that still bother me and this is the line movement. The line dropped despite most of the public will be on Detroit.

But then again, this is only one reason why I don’t like playing Detroit here. And there are couple of other reasons, which are supported by numbers and other historical information, that we have.

First of all we have much better goalie with Howard in the net. He is among the best in the league and I rank him as an elite goalie. He has better season than Lehner, he has better defensive team in front of him and he also has slightly better career SV% (0.914) than Lehner (0.912).

Then we co go deeper with analysis. Detroit has better overall offence and they have better defence. My both xOFFx and xDEFx numbers favours Detroit in this situation. They also have better special teams. Both, power play and penalty kill is on their side.

Then we have home field advantage, where Detroit is historically good against weak road teams and we have Buffalo, who is struggling on the road. This season they are just 3-8, with Lehner’s bad road SV% numbers of 0.858 and they also allow big 4 goals on the road.

Detroit is coming to this gam after they destroyed Calgary in the last game by 8-2 and this was a huge momentum game for them. They were flying and if they keep the same effort, I don’t have problems backing them in this game too. Buffalo on the other side lost two games, where they could win. They were so close to winthat two games, that it was frustrating to watch their losses. I know, because I bet on them in las two games against Montreal and Pittsburgh. Such games are not good for confidence and also not good for their momentum. So, the momentum is also on Detroit’s side.

There is another motivation for Detroit here. They lost in Buffalo three weeks ago in very close game by only 1-0. Howard allowed only one goal, but his team couldn’t score then. If they can bring that attacking mentality from the last game, where they scored 8 goals and if Howard can play at his best, like he did whole season so far, I think Detroit can revenge that loss too.

With Ristolainen out for Buffalo and the current situation in Detroit, I think that there will be no huge advantage for both teams.

There is many reason to back Detroit in this game and only one that I don’t like. Also my model is on Red Wings side and I would recommend to play on Detroit. Especially now, when we get little bit bettor odds on them, because of line movement.

RECOMMENDED PLAY: DETROIT RED WINGS the best odds at 1.75 (Bitcoinrush and mBit)

 

Today we will see two teams that didn’t impress me this season. Honestly, I was expecting much more from both team. Pittsburgh Penguins are last year champions and the Ottawa was a playoff team. This season Pittsburgh played 20 games and are sitting on the record of 10-10, while Ottawa sits on 8-8 record.

But let’s start with the bookmakers probabilities, my probabilities for this game and where is the public…

Bookmakers and my projected odds…

Game Nitrogensports Cloudbet Sportsbet.io Betcoin Onehash Bitcoinrush
PIT 1.867 1.85 1.83 1.85 1.78 1.88
OTT 2.02 2 1.95 2 2.039 2.03
Margin 103.07% 104.05% 105.93% 104.05% 105.22% 102.45%

Bookmakers set Ottawa as an underdog in this game. The odds even dropped little bit on Pittsburgh during the day and more people are on Penguins as well.

The best odds offered on Pittsburgh you can get at Bitcoinrush and the best odds on Ottawa you can find on Onehash.

Because of the odds, bookmakers give Pittsburgh more than 50% of chance to win this game. I have projected my own odds with my NHL betting model and I have little bit different probabilities.

I have projected, that Ottawa should be favourite here and Pittsburgh should be an underdog:

H/A Game P# GF/G GA/G xOFF+ xDEF+ PP PK Win% Odds US Odds Totals
Away Pittsburgh Penguins 13 2.75 3.60 87 125 5 25 23.14% 4.32 332
6.90
Home Ottawa Senators 6 3.69 3.31 119 107 11 21 76.85% 1.30 -332

My betting model gives Ottawa more than 76% of chance to win this game and because of that my fair odds on Ottawa are at 1.30 (US -332), which is quite big difference. Of course there is no perfect model, but at least I have a system, which includes the numbers and gives me the first picture about this game.

My model suggest the odds of 1.30 and because of that I would expect, that bookmakers would pay me at least $30 when I bet $100 on Ottawa and if they win of course. Bookmakers are willing to pay me more and because of that, there is a mathematical value with Ottawa.

Pittsburgh weakness on the road

Pittsburg is a team with a lot of talent, but they are not playing well this season. Yes, they are strong at home, but they struggle on the road. Their road record is 4-9 and they lost against teams, that I rank them lower than Ottawa. In some of those games Pittsburgh was beaten heavily (Chicago 1-10, Winnipeg 1-7, Tampa 1-7). If we check their numbers on the road, they score only 2.4 goals per game and they allow 4.4 goals per game. Yes, this is even worse then Arizona, the worst team in NHL.

Ottawa weakness at home

Ottawa on the other side is also not playing their best hockey and what I was expecting more from this team is their home performance. They are just 3-7 at home, while they have pretty good road record (5-1). But still if we compare their home numbers with Penguins numbers on the road, they are much better. They score 3.2 goals per game at home (Pittsburgh 2.4 on the road). Ottawa allows 3.9 goals per game at home (Pittsburgh 4.4 on the road).

Goalie match up

Ottawa will start with Craig Anderson, their first goalie, who holds Sv% 0.895, which is still much lower, than I would expect from him. His career numbers (8 years) are at 0.919. On the other side we will se Matt Murray, who also doesn’t have the best season. His SV% is 0.903 and I think this is one of the weak points in Pittsburgh. They don’t have a back up goalie and because of that they stick with Matt Murray all the time. His road SV% is just 0.876 and on the road he struggle the most.

Teams Match up

Pittsburgh is coming to this game after they beat Buffalo at h0me. I was watching that game and they didn’t impress me. My bet in this game was a Buffalo and they were leading almost whole game. Pittsburgh was trailing by 3-1 and they came back later in the game to force over time with the result of 4-4. In that overtime, they scored a goal, but it was not a game, where we can be satisfied with their game. And if we check their current performance, Pittsburg lost 6 out of last 9 games. Two of those 3 wins were by only one goal.

Pittsburgh scores 2.75 goals per game this season, which is below average and their shot % is just 7.7%. I have their offence for 13% weaker than league average offence (xOFFx). On the other side Ottawa scores 3.69 goals per game and I rank this offence as 19% better than league average offence. The main Penguins strength is their power play (5th best) but relying on special teams is very tricky, because you never know how many such opportunities you will get in one game.

Pittsburgh defence is one thing that is not working right now. I rank their defence as 25% weaker than league average defence. After all they allowed 4 goals against Buffalo, which is not the best team in the league, they allowed 5 goals against Nashville, they allows 4 goals against Washington,… and this is their main weakness.

Ottawa on the other side has a defence, that I rank for 7% lower than league average. They still allow too many goals, but at least they have slightly better defence and slightly better penaly kill unit than Pittsburgh (Ottawa PK% = 78.7%, Pittsburgh = 77.5%)

Injuries

Pittsburgh is playing without Hunwick and Rowney. Those two players are not a factor in this game. Ottawa on the other side is playing without Clarke MacArthur and Zack Smith. Zack Smith collected only 6 points this season and MacArthur didn’t play, so those two players are not a big factor in this game. But Ottawa is stronger for Matt Duchene, who came from Colorado and he is already with this team for couple of days and he played too. They will probably have back Bobby Ryan and Mark Borowiecki. Especially Ryan can be decisive factor in such games, because when he is healthy he is one of the most important players for Ottawa. And both players are probable for today.

Interesting trends and other information

When those two teams met in the past home team won 19 out of 26 games (73.1%). Pittsburgh are 1-4 in last 5 games in Ottawa. Pittsburgh is 15-17 as a road favourite in last 32 games. Ottawa is 57-55 as a home underdog since 2011.

Conclusion and my recommended pick

I like Sidney Crosby, not because is very talented player, but because he always gives 110%. But I also saw much better version of him in the past. His +/- rating is just -14, he is just 3rd in the team based on points, 9th on shot% and 4th in goals. I also saw much better version of Pittsburgh Penguins in pas years. And when they were playing better they still lost 4 out of 5 last meetings in Ottawa.

Ottawa is also not playing pretty well, but there are couple of reasons, why I like them little bit more than Pittsburgh in this one. First is my betting model, that gives them better chances. Secondly, they have good recent record at home against Pittsburgh and they will have two good players back in the lineup. When we talk about current season numbers, Ottawa has better offence and also better defence. When we talk about goalies we have pretty same goalies, because I was expecting much more from both, but we also saw how Matt Murray struggled on the road this season, where his SV% is not good (0.876). Ottawa is historically good home team as an underdog, this is where the bookmakers set plus money on them – the record is 57-55 since 2011. Pittsburgh on the other side has negative record as a road favourite and they are just 4-9 on the road this season.

Of course we never know, when Penguins will explode, because they definitely have a lot of potential, but I like to stick with the facts. And the fact is that Ottawa has better attack right now, better defence right now and I don’t see any big advantage for any team in special teams and in the net. When we add that two important players will be back for Ottawa, I think that playing Ottawa as an underdog is only logical thing. No matter if they win or lose today, Ottawa is the right bet.

RECOMMEDNED BET: OTTAWA SENATORS at 2.039 (+104) at Onehash