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Top NHL Betting Picks for Thursday, February 4 (2021)

by February 4, 2021

How does it go? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. I think, right?

This old saying is applicable because I bet the over (6) in a game when three goals were scored within the first ten minutes of the opening period for the second time in the past week. One would think you were on the way to an easy win – well, I’m here to tell you that this notion isn’t absolute. I write you today a bitter man.

Hell hath no fury like a man scorned, so let’s avenge our heartbreak and analyze Thursday’s nine-game slate.

And be sure to follow me on Twitter as I post or add plays on days we don’t offer a full writeup.

YTD: 36-27 (+13.52u)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Calgary Flames (-121) vs. Winnipeg Jets (+104)

These two teams have faced off twice this week already. Calgary took game one, winning in a shootout. While Winnipeg rebounded Tuesday night, squeaking out a 3-2 win.

Despite needing extra time, the Flames largely dominated in game one from a metrics standpoint. Completely out chancing the Jets 17-4 in HDSC and expected goals.

Game two was more even but still tilted in favor of Calgary when you look under the hood. They held a distinct advantage in CF% at 53.26, had nine more scoring chances, and an xGF of 2.06 to the Jets’ 1.7.

The marquee matchup of game three lies within the goaltending. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck won the Vezina a season ago but hasn’t quite rounded into form yet. Jacob Markstrom has been sensational at the other end of the ice – sporting a .924 SV% and 4.10 GSAA.

With the hot play of Markstrom and the metrics telling us they deserve better results, I’m backing the Flames in this one.

Pick: Calgary (-121)

Vancouver Canucks (+160) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (-186)

Vancouver arrives in Toronto with their tails tucked between their legs after getting waxed yet again by the ascending Montreal Canadiens.

Positively, Tyler Toffoli doesn’t play for the Leafs, so they don’t have to worry about him terrorizing them. Like, actually terrorizing them, as he has scored eight goals against them this season. I guess he’s pissed they didn’t resign him – Hell hath no fury like… ok, you get it.

The last time we saw Toronto was last Sunday when the Edmonton Oilers defeated them. The team has largely played well defensively this season, which was unanticipated, to say the least. However, in the past few games, we’re seeing them give up more scoring chances, and their xGF% steadily rise.

Apart from public perception, these two teams are relatively even in:

  • CF/60: 54.06 (TOR) 54.75 (VAN)
  • xGF%: 48.78% (TOR) 47.5 (VAN)

Additionally, the Canucks own an xGF/60 of 2.58 to the Leafs’ 2.29 – which would shock many casual fans.

While Toronto is the better overall team, Vancouver can certainly compete with them offensively, and disputably may have the edge in net. At this price, I’ll ride the desperate team.

Pick: Vancouver (+160)

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Jordan Anderson is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Jordan, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @Jordan_A03.