NHL weekly betting guide: Lightning linger with No. 1 goalie on the mend
Last week, we looked at the high frequency of NHL coaching changes with the idea that it's not as desperate a move as it seems. The Oilers won their first two games at home following their move but lost their subsequent two road games.
One name that popped up was John Cooper, who's served as the Tampa Bay Lightning's bench boss since 2013 and is the NHL's longest-tenured head coach. Murmurs of Cooper being on the hot seat are either erroneous or foolish, but they come during his first campaign without an elite goaltender. Cooper oversaw the transition from Ben Bishop (2.20 GAA, .917 save percentage in three seasons) to future Hall of Famer Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Vasilevskiy's missed the start of the season after back surgery but is practicing again with the expectation that he'll be back before December. With his pending return, it's worth looking at the Lightning's goaltending as part of their 9-10 record on the moneyline.
|Jonas Johansson||16 GP||-0.94||.894|
|Matt Tomkins||3 GP||-1.19||.889|
Tampa's leaned on Jonas Johansson despite the fact that he and backup Matt Tomkins have virtually the same, very average, statistics.
Last season, Vasilevskiy - who doesn't turn 30 until next summer - started 60 games, posting 26.41 goals saved above expected (sixth in the NHL) and a 34-26 (56.7%) moneyline record. If he comes back fully healthy, it's worth boosting the Lightning's rating by 6%-10%, especially since a smaller workload for Johansson as the backup might improve his stats on a game-by-game basis.
The Lightning's push may have already started. They extended their winning streak to three games with a dramatic overtime win against the Bruins on Monday night, where they had a slight advantage in even-strength expected goals and high-danger chances.
The cheat sheet
The dirty little secret in the betting world is that, while there are no bad bets at the right price, the discovery process of what a good price looks like is hidden.
Each week, we balance market information from regular-season point totals and in-season advanced metrics - with an even-strength focus - to determine the win probability for each team and the moneyline needed to bet on either side. The idea is to remove the cognitive bias of win-loss records, which can be skewed by outliers like special-team results, poor goaltending performances, and other unreliable events.
You can use whatever parameters you like to decide how much of an edge you need to trigger a bet, but here are mine:
- True line favorite of -111 or longer: 1%
- True line between -110 and +110: 2.5%
- True line underdog of +111 or longer: 4%
I also have a 5% win probability consideration for a team playing in the second game of a back-to-back with travel and a 3% consideration for the second leg of a home back-to-back. When it comes to injured players, an estimation is made on the player's impact on their team's win probability.
When the betting markets open up the night before, you can compare those prices with our "price to bet" column to see if you're getting any value with either side's moneyline. There's a possibility that a moneyline moves into a bet-friendly range between the market opening and puck drop.
|DATE||GAME||WIN PROB. (%)||PRICE TO BET|
|Nov. 22||NJD@DET||50.8/49.2||NJD +107/DET +114|
|BOS@FLA||51.8/48.2||BOS +103/FLA +119|
|WPG@TBL||44.6/55.4||WPG +146/TBL -119|
|EDM@CAR||45.1/54.9||EDM +143/CAR -117|
|NYR@PIT||44.4/55.6||NYR +147/PIT -120|
|BUF@WSH||46.5/53.5||BUF +135/WSH -110|
|CHI@CBJ||44.2/55.8||CHI +149/CBJ -121|
|PHI@NYI||39.0/61.0||PHI +186/NYI -150|
|CGY@NSH||49.1/50.9||CGY +114/NSH +107|
|STL@ARI||49.0/51.0||STL +122/ARI +100|
|VGK@DAL||44.4/55.6||VGK +148/DAL -120|
|VAN@COL||37.7/62.3||VAN +197/COL -159|
|MTL@ANA||48.1/51.9||MTL +127/ANA -104|
|SJS@SEA||33.4/66.6||SJS +240/SEA -191|
|Nov. 24||NYR@PHI||54.1/45.9||NYR -113/PHI +139|
|DET@BOS||39.2/60.8||DET +184/BOS -149|
|TOR@CHI||62.2/37.8||TOR -158/CHI +196|
|CBJ@NJD||35.9/64.1||CBJ +214/NJD -171|
|EDM@WSH||56.0/44.0||EDM -122/WSH +150|
|NSH@STL||48.0/52.0||NSH +127/STL -104|
|LAK@ANA||61.7/38.3||LAK -154/ANA +191|
|MTL@SJS||49.1/50.9||MTL +122/SJS +100|
|PIT@BUF||51.7/48.3||PIT +103/BUF +118|
|NYI@OTT||46.6/53.4||NYI +135/OTT -110|
|WPG@FLA||48.0/52.0||WPG +127/FLA -104|
|TBL@CAR||40.0/60.0||TBL +178/CAR -144|
|COL@MIN||50.9/49.1||COL +107/MIN +115|
|CGY@DAL||41.0/59.0||CGY +170/DAL -138|
|VAN@SEA||44.2/55.8||VAN +148/SEA -121|
|Nov. 25||BOS@NYR||48.7/51.3||BOS +116/NYR +105|
|MTL@LAK||32.4/67.6||MTL +252/LAK -199|
|TOR@PIT||44.4/55.6||TOR +148/PIT -120|
|BUF@NJD||37.3/62.7||BUF +201/NJD -161|
|PHI@NYI||39.0/61.0||PHI +186/NYI -150|
|CGY@COL||40.3/59.7||CGY +175/COL -142|
|VAN@SJS||56.8/42.2||VAN -126/SJS +155|
|ARI@VGK||34.5/65.5||ARI +228/VGK -182|
|Nov. 26||MIN@DET||51.0/49.0||MIN +106/DET +115|
|STL@CHI||52.2/47.8||STL +101/CHI +121|
|CBJ@CAR||30.3/69.7||CBJ +280/CAR -219|
|WPG@NSH||47.9/52.1||WPG +120/NSH +101|
|ANA@EDM||28.3/71.7||ANA +312/EDM -242|
|Nov. 27||BOS@CBJ||53.2/46.8||BOS -109/CBJ +133|
|FLA@OTT||44.6/55.4||FLA +146/OTT -119|
|BUF@NYR||41.9/58.1||BUF +164/NYR -133|
|TBL@COL||40.4/59.6||TBL +175/COL -141|
|VGK@CGY||49.4/50.6||VGK +113/CGY +108|
|WSH@SJS||54.8/45.2||WSH -116/SJS +143|
Matt Russell is the lead betting analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on social media @mrussauthentic.
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