Weekly NHL Betting Insights (April 3): Oilers, Avalanche Not Profitable Road Bets

Should bettors be concerned about home and road splits?

Colorado and Edmonton are among the best teams in the league, however, both the Avalanche and Oilers have struggled to play like it on the road this season. Colorado (+64) and Edmonton (+51) rank first and second in home goal differential this season, but the Avalanche (-9) and Oilers (+3) have both underperformed their odds away from home and bettors should take it into account.

Colorado, in particular, has been a bad bet on the road, going 18-20 straight-up. A bettor would be down -6.02 units if they had placed a one unit bet on the Avalanche to win all 38 road games this season, which is bad, but they have been an even bigger disappointment as the road favourite, going 14-12 for a loss of -6.59 units. Meanwhile, Edmonton has gone 17-14 as a road favourite this season for a loss of -3.98 units. The Oilers’ .541 road win percentage is well below their average odds (61%) and betting one unit on Edmonton to win every road game year-to-date would have resulted in a loss of 3.71 units.

Both Colorado and Edmonton will be on the road on Wednesday, but I want to zero in on the latter. The Oilers were already at a disadvantage playing a road game on short rest against the Stars, who have had the last three days off. Still, it looks as if Edmonton will start backup Calvin Pickard between the pipes. Pickard has been solid this season, posting a .916 save percentage in 18 games, but the competition he’s faced has skewed toward the league’s worst teams, not the league’s best. The Stars are one of the league’s best teams, and my model says they should be bigger favourites than they are. Pinnacle is currently offering the best odds (-122) to bettors in Ontario.

Dallas Stars Moneyline


Montreal is a sneaky good underdog bet on Thursday

The Tampa Bay Lightning will play back-to-back games against Toronto and Montreal on Wednesday and Thursday, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to get the start versus the Maple Leafs. Normally, this would mean that backup goaltender Jonas Johansson would start against the Canadiens, but he hasn’t dressed the last two games due to a lower-body injury and he was not on the ice at practice on Wednesday. 

Head coach John Cooper said that he doesn’t expect Johansson to be sidelined for very long, but in the short term, this means that Matt Tomkins is the projected starter against Montreal, barring any news regarding Johansson’s availability. The Canadiens have pulled off upsets against the Avalanche and Panthers recently and they are a good bet at +140 odds (or better) regardless of which goaltender starts for the Lightning, but shop around for better odds as seen below.

Montreal Canadiens Moneyline


Toronto might avoid Boston in round one after all

In the last 10 games, Florida has struggled, managing only two wins out of 10. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins have taken a four-point lead in the Atlantic Division, and as a result, Boston now has an 80% chance of finishing first in the division. Meanwhile, Toronto has a six-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning while sitting just four points back of the Florida Panthers with two games in hand. In other words, a rematch between the Panthers and Maple Leafs is becoming more probable by the day.

Toronto has a 65% chance of finishing third in the Atlantic, while the Panthers have a 59% chance of finishing in second place. The Maple Leafs could leapfrog the Panthers, but the odds aren’t in their favour. Toronto has gone 2-1 against the Panthers this season, and per Evolving Hockey, the Panthers rank 21st in expected goals percentage at 5-on-5 and 18th in 5-on-5 goals per 60 minutes over the last month. The Maple Leafs have gone 0-4 straight-up versus the Bruins this season.

With the regular season winding down, over 90% of the games are now behind us. As we gear up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let’s take a moment for your weekly dose of updated betting trends from around the NHL.