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NHL · a month ago

SportsGrid NHL Model Picks for Saturday, November 11

Grant White

Grant White

SportsGrid NHL Model Picks for Saturday, November 11

Saturday is synonymous with hockey. It’s typically the busiest day of the week in the NHL, featuring a bevy of intriguing matchups. That leaves many in-roads for bettors looking for edges in the gambling market. 

To help players get a winning edge, we’re highlighting some of our favorite plays from the SportsGrid NHL Model.

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Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens Moneyline (+168): 5-Star Rating

There’s always something special about an Original Six rivalry game on a Saturday night. NHL schedule makers have bestowed hockey enthusiasts exactly that tonight, as the Montreal Canadiens host the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre. No one has been able to slow the B’s down, but the Habs might have the spike strip to make it happen. 

Montreal has been playing some tidy defensive zone hockey of late. Three of their past five opponents have been limited to six or fewer high-danger chances and 20 or fewer scoring opportunities. Moreover, the Canadiens have been out-chanced just once over that span, tilting the ice in their favor. 

Analytically, the Bruins haven’t been as sharp. Boston has been outplayed in three straight and five of its past six, with a cumulative 48.7% expected goals-for rating. Still, the Bruins have won five of those games, implying they are regression candidates over the coming weeks. 

Not surprisingly, bookmakers opened the 11-1-1 Bruins as heavy favorites in this Atlantic Division showdown. However, that leaves an even more pronounced edge in backing the hosts. We rate the Canadiens moneyline as a 5-star play.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Penguins Moneyline (-176): 5-Star Rating

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t get out to the start of the season they were hoping for this year. Sidney Crosby and company dropped six of their first nine, facing an immediate deficit in the Metropolitan Division standings. Since then, Pittsburgh has rattled off wins in three straight, looking to make it four in a row against the Buffalo Sabres. 

Age isn’t slowing down the Penguins. The Pens remain a top analytics team, posting the fifth-best expected goals-for rating in the NHL. Further, they’ve amplified production over their recent sample, posting game scores above 60.0% in four of their last five. 

The opposite is true for the Sabres. Buffalo has stumbled of late, posting expected goals-for ratings below 50.0% in all but one of their previous six. Consequently, their cumulative rating has dropped to 45.5% over the six-game sample, putting them bottom ten in the league. 

Although the Penguins are favored in this one, the line doesn’t reflect their actual probability of walking away victorious. The -176 moneyline price comes with a 63.8% implied probability, below the 73.1% chance we give them. That leaves a substantive edge in backing the Pens on Saturday night.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators
Coyotes Moneyline (+122): 5-Star Rating

Hold your nose for this one as we highlight two of the most overlooked franchises in the NHL. The Arizona Coyotes travel to take on the Nashville Predators in a Central Division clash. Nevertheless, any edge is playable, and we see a substantive in-road in backing the underdogs in this one. 

Surprisingly, Arizona hasn’t been as terrible this year as we’ve come to expect from them. After finishing last year with the fifth-worst expected goals-for rating, the Coyotes have sprung up to 14th with a 51.1% mark. We’ve seen the best the Yotes have to offer more recently, with the Desert Dogs going north of 70.0% expected goals-for ratings twice over the past couple of weeks. 

The Predators haven’t enjoyed the same level of success over their current schedule. Nashville hasn’t posted an expected goals-for rating above 50.0% in four straight, outplaying its opponents just once since October 21. Those inadequate performances have dropped the Preds’ season-long Corsi rating to 46.8% and their scoring chance benchmark to 47.1%. 

These teams come into Saturday night’s battle on very different footing. Arizona has looked good lately, improving on years of ineffective play. Conversely, the Predators can’t get out of their own way, consistently getting outplayed by opponents. On that basis, we’re backing the Coyotes as underdogs, rating it as a 5-star play. 

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