Happy Friday the 13th, fellow degens! Let's hope our bets don't get killed today.
Friday's NHL trends are collected and ready to go. Let's take a look at what you should know before betting today's NHL playoff games.
One trend to note is that the BetQL NHL model has gone 87-62 (58%) on all NHL picks in the past seven days for a total return of $763 on $100 bets, so you'll definitely want to know who the model is picking in these awesome first-round matchups. BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets, including player props, with star ratings for every game!
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The Penguins are still just one game away from advancing after blowing a lead in Game 5 against the Rangers and falling 5-3 Wednesday. It was a brutal watch for me, as I was on Pittsburgh to finish them off, and things were looking so good until they weren't. However, I did win money by taking the over, which has been a total lock in this series so far. All five games have gone over the total, so of course, it will probably go under in Game 6 or 7. Neither team has played defense at a high level to say the least, and because of that, the goaltending has really struggled.
You can't really place a ton of blame on Penguins goalie Louis Domingue, as he was thrust in there as Pittsburgh's third-string netminder, and there was a reason he was that far down the depth chart. Still, he's played admirably for the position he has been put in. He's 3-2 with a 3.56 GAA and .900 SV%, which isn't very good, but give the guy a break. Who we shouldn't give a break is Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, who was basically the Vezina Trophy winner of the regular season for best goaltender, but has been anything but in the postseason. He's 2-2 with a very poor 3.99 GAA, but a decent .905 SV%.
New York will have to dig deep yet again and get to Domingue rather quickly playing on the road. Shesterkin needs to play better, plain and simple, and so does his defense.
I really have to hand it to the Washington Capitals, they have really played well against the President's Trophy winning Florida Panthers in this series. Washington took a 2-1 lead in the series, but has since lost back-to-back heartbreakers, having a lead in both games and blowing it late. In fact, in Game 5, the Capitals were up 3-0 and looked to be on cruise control to a 3-2 series lead but the cardiac cats did it again, and came back to defeat them. Still, no one expected Washington to challenge Florida in this series, and they have pushed it to at least 6 games.
Game 5 was easily the highest scoring contest of the series so far, with both teams finding offense hard to come by overall. That's nothing quite new to Washington, who wasn't a good offensive team all season anyway. In the postseason, the Capitals haven’t attempted more than nine High-Danger Chances in a game, and are averaging just 19.5 Scoring Chances per game. For Florida, the regression has been incredible. The Panthers have been limited to eight or fewer High-Danger Chances and 21 or fewer Scoring Chances in three of their five games, and scored three or fewer in all three of them.
Going back to Washington will be a challenge for Florida, and their goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. He's been far worse on the road than he is on his ice, with a .903 SV% on the road compared to .918 at home. Still, the Capitals' offense shouldn't scare anyone with how little they have been able to produce.
Calgary has stormed back from a 2-1 hole to take a 3-2 lead in this series against the Dallas Stars. In previous editions of this betting playbook, I outlined how I thought the offensive woes of the Flames would turn around at some point, and they have won both of the previous two games by at least two goals. In Game 5, Calgary won 3-1 while playing some stellar defense against a lucky Stars team that really puzzles me at times with how they win hockey games. That is, until I look at their goaltender and see how they continue to steal wins.
Jake Oettinger has been the best goalie in the playoffs thus far with what he has had to endure. Oettinger has an insane .956 SV% and 1.63 GAA in his first five games, which is easily the best among starting net minders in the 2022 Playoffs. He has been one of the only reasons that Dallas has remained competitive in this series.
Even with how good he has been, it feels like after Games 4 & 5 that the momentum seems to be shifting towards the Flames. Calgary has been the dominant team and completely peppered Oettinger in the last two outings, even if he has stood his ground somewhat. He could steal the show again on home ice for Game 6, but it will be up to the Stars offense to do something against a great Flames defense.