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NHL weekend betting: Friday plays and pre-ASB moneyline projections

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Our week-long adventure of bringing the NHL weekly moneyline guide to life has come to an end. We've laughed, and we've cried tears of overtime-related sorrow and shootout joy - and vice versa. Thanks to a run of luck, we're back to even since I took the reins, with a last chance for a profitable week on a busy Friday night.

Golden Knights (+135) @ Rangers (-155)

Win, lose, or overtime, we can use some of the same premises from earlier in the week with the handicap for this game. We lost with the Golden Knights in New Jersey on Tuesday when a pair of bad bounces beat Logan Thompson and a penalty in overtime put the writing on the wall for a +150 bet. But Vegas is still a good road team, and with two days to get across the river to Manhattan, the travel element of home-ice advantage is mitigated, unless Vegas was forced to portage for some reason.

The Rangers hammered the Panthers on the scoreboard Monday, but the even-strength expected goal share was relatively even. New York then fell to an overtime defeat in Toronto, losing the XG% and five-on-five high-danger chance battle quite handily. That's in keeping with the Rangers' metrics since the Christmas break, so while the goaltending matchup favors them, we're getting +135 with the team that should drive play in New York's last game before a nine-day vacation.

Pick: Golden Knights (+135)

Kings (+125) @ Panthers (-145)

Both the Kings and Panthers have been living the life of high-anxiety goaltending all season, but Florida's never had it worse than having to hope that Sergei Bobrovsky is healthy tonight after watching Alex Lyon give up 13 goals in his last two games.

With little hope that either team can steal a game with goaltending, we'll rely on the better side at even strength, hoping it can generate enough chances to outscore the opponent. That would appear to be the Panthers, whose metrics are better this season. However, here are the even-strength metrics since the Christmas break:

TEAM XG (%) HDC (%)
Kings 53.5% 54.7%
Panthers 50.6% 49.2%

The Kings are the sixth-best team at five-on-five in their last 13 games and should put their best foot forward knowing they've got a tough matchup in Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Pick: Kings (+125)

Flames (+100) @ Kraken (-120)

No one is more pro-Kraken than I am, having stumped for Dave Hakstol's Jack Adams Award candidacy for months now, but this is a tough spot for Seattle. The Flames are behind only the Hurricanes in even-strength metrics since Christmas, so they've turned up their play overall. That wasn't on evidence when the Blackhawks beat them Thursday, but this is their last game before vacation, and Darryl Sutter will have his team's full attention, demanding a good effort and likely going back to Dan Vladar, who's been the better option.

The Canucks made life easy for Seattle on Wednesday, and the Kraken should be able to get any good vibes back Saturday with the Blue Jackets coming to town, so you can forgive them if they get outworked Friday night by a motivated Flames group.

Pick: Flames (+100)

Moneyline mini-guide

There's still a weekend's worth of games and a smattering of action leading into the All-Star break, so we'll add a mini-guide with moneyline projections for all the matchups from Saturday to Wednesday. For the uninitiated, the following includes my fair price on the games (true moneyline) and the moneyline price I'd need to consider betting either side.

Jan. 28 STL@COL +188/-188 STL +226/COL -180
BOS@FLA -106/+106 BOS +105/FLA +117
MTL@OTT +200/-200 MTL +241/OTT -191
SJS@PIT +159/-159 SJS +188/PIT -152
PHI@WPG +160/-160 PHI +191/WPG -154
LAK@TBL +214/-214 LAK +259/TBL -204
VGK@NYI +100/+100 VGK +100/NYI +111
BUF@MIN +152/-152 BUF +181/MIN -146
CHI@EDM +267/-267 CHI +330/EDM -254
CBJ@SEA +282/-282 CBJ +351/SEA -268
ARI@ANA +121/-121 ARI +142/ANA -116
Jan. 29 BOS@CAR +152/-152 BOS +180/CAR -146
WSH@TOR +162/-162 WSH +193/TOR -155
Jan. 30 STL@WPG +158/-158 STL +188/WPG -151
Jan. 31 WSH@CBJ -159/+159 WSH -152/CBJ +188
OTT@MTL -142/+142 OTT -136/MTL +168
LAK@CAR +171/-171 LAK +204/CAR -164
Feb. 1 CAR@BUF -124/+124 CAR -119/BUF +146
BOS@TOR +119/-119 BOS +140/TOR -114

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

NHL weekend betting: Friday plays and pre-ASB moneyline projections
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