All posts by Todd Cordell

Stanley Cup odds update: Teams to buy, sell in futures market

It's the beginning of a new week and you know what that means: futures update!

We're looking at Stanley Cup odds today, identifying the teams we should be buying and selling based on what we've seen thus far. Let's dive right in.

TEAM ODDS (Nov. 29) ODDS (Nov. 1)
Colorado Avalanche +625 +550
Florida Panthers +850 +900
Tampa Bay Lightning +850 +800
Vegas Golden Knights +900 +1000
Toronto Maple Leafs +1100 +900
Carolina Hurricanes +1200 +1000
Edmonton Oilers +1200 +1400
Boston Bruins +1400 +1400
Minnesota Wild +1400 +1800
Washington Capitals +2000 +2700
New York Islanders +2200 +1800
Calgary Flames +2400 +5500
St. Louis Blues +2400 +2800
New York Rangers +2500 +3000
Pittsburgh Penguins +2800 +2400
Winnipeg Jets +3000 +5000
Dallas Stars +3500 +3500
Philadelphia Flyers +4000 +5500
Nashville Predators +5500 +10000
Los Angeles Kings +6000 +10000
New Jersey Devils +6000 +5000
San Jose Sharks +7000 +6000
Anaheim Ducks +7500 +30000
Chicago Blackhawks +10000 +8000
Columbus Blue Jackets +10000 +20000
Detroit Red Wings +10000 +11500
Montreal Canadiens +10000 +8000
Seattle Kraken +10000  +7000
Vancouver Canucks +10000 +8000
Buffalo Sabres +15000 +30000
Ottawa Senators +15000 +15000
Arizona Coyotes +50000 +30000

Buy

Toronto Maple Leafs (+1100)

I know, I know, the Maple Leafs need to get out of the first round before we start talking about the Stanley Cup. Nobody is buying into them until they prove it ... but that might be part of the reason we have an edge here.

The Maple Leafs rank second in the NHL with a 55.20% share of the expected goals at five-on-five. They lead the league in high-danger chances (252) by a landslide, sitting 35 clear of the closest team. Their power play is really clicking, and Jack Campbell has played at an elite level.

Toronto looks strong across the board, and that's with Auston Matthews finishing at about half the rate he has for his career. There's reason to believe he can produce a lot more, which is a scary thought when talking about a club with 14 wins in 16 games.

Really, this team's only red flag is its history. If, say, Vegas dominated at five-on-five to this extent, led the league in Grade A chances by a country mile, and had a starter with a .946 save percentage, the Golden Knights would be talked about as a force.

Toronto's reputation seems to have led the market to undervalue this year's edition of the Maple Leafs - which really looks like the best yet.

Minnesota Wild (+1400)

Speaking of undervalued, meet the Minnesota Wild. Only three teams have more wins to date. Only three teams have controlled a larger share of the expected goals at five-on-five. The Wild rank second in goals scored during that game state, and only the Bruins, Lightning, and Kraken have done a better job of suppressing expected goals. Put another way, Minnesota is lethal with the puck and suffocating without it.

Although the Wild have piled up the the wins and own a strong underlying profile, they're deemed ninth-most likely to win the Stanley Cup. I think that's too low, especially considering they're likely to go all-in on this year's team given the cap penalties that kick in next year from buying out Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.

Sell

New York Islanders (+2200)

The Islanders currently sit 15th ... in the Eastern Conference. They've won five of their 17 games. The offense looks lifeless, they're dealing with injuries to key players such as Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock, and COVID-19 is absolutely tearing through the roster.

Sure, they have a ton of home games coming up. But this team will be hard-pressed to crawl out of its early-season hole and make the playoffs, let alone make noise once it gets there.

I doubt the Islanders will fold like a tent and go quietly. But more than 20% through the season, a team 30th in points is priced as the 10th-most likely side to win the Stanley Cup. This Islanders team might finally be getting too much respect.

New York Rangers (+2500)

The Sabres, Senators, Flyers, Coyotes, and Blackhawks are the only teams controlling a lesser share of the expected goals than the Rangers at five-on-five.

While they have looked a little more potent of late, I simply can't buy a team routinely getting outplayed at full strength when the vast majority of every contest is played in that game state. And the refs tend to put the whistles away in the postseason, placing an even larger premium on success at five-on-five.

Igor Shesterkin, Artemi Panarin, and Adam Fox are all among the truly elite at their positions. However, there just isn't enough competent depth around them to make me a believer come playoff time.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Monday best bets: Squid games

We have just four games on the docket to start the week, and they're rather ugly. Five of the bottom eight teams in the NHL are in action, and only one game features two competitive teams (Calgary Flames versus Pittsburgh Penguins).

Still, there's value to be had. Let's comb through it.

Kraken (-140) at Sabres (+120)

Remember when the Buffalo Sabres were competent to start the year? Those days have long passed. Buffalo dropped five of its last six games and ranks 28th in expected goal share at five-on-five in the last 10 games. The Sabres are playing terrible hockey.

One of their biggest issues right now is generating offense. The Sabres are averaging 1.78 expected goals per 60 minutes in the last 10 games, good for 30th in the NHL.

It just so happens that the Seattle Kraken's bread and butter is suppressing opposing offenses. They've allowed 1.99 xG per 60 in the last 10, putting them just 0.01 behind the Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames for the best mark during that period.

They're making life easy on their goaltenders, which is probably why the Kraken have gotten quality starts from their netminder in three of the last four games.

Though the Kraken have performed better at home, they have a clear edge at five-on-five and should be able to suffocate Buffalo's rather lifeless attack.

I'd like the Kraken more if Aaron Dell started, but Dustin Tokarski playing for the third time in four nights is an advantageous spot, as well.

Bet: Kraken (-140)

Canucks (+105) at Canadiens (-125)

The Vancouver Canucks have won one of their last 10 games, and sweeping changes within the organization seem imminent. Backing them is a scary thought, I know, but I see value on this line.

For all of their faults, the Canucks haven't played that bad during this stretch. Their expected goal share is around 50% - sandwiching them between the Nashville Predators and New York Islanders - and they rank in the top 10 in Corsi For percentage at five-on-five.

Meanwhile, the Montreal Canadiens sit 25th in Corsi share and 29th in xG share during that same period. They've been particularly disastrous in their own zone, giving up 2.85 xG per 60 - more than all but the Philadelphia Flyers. They're horrendous at five-on-five, and their special teams are just as bad.

Factor in Vancouver's edge in goal - Thatcher Demko is one of the better young netminders in the league - and, even on the road, I think the wrong team is favored here.

Bet: Canucks (+105)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Friday player props: Kyrou, Rakell to pile up the shots

Hockey is back following a one-day layoff, and you know what that means: shot props!

Despite an off night Wednesday, my record on shot totals this season sits at 35-22 for +13.33 units.

We'll look to keep the ball rolling during Thursday's 13-game slate.

Jordan Kyrou over 2.5 shots (+120)

Kyrou has been a highly efficient shot generator of late. At five-on-five, he ranks second among Blues forwards - behind only Vladimir Tarasenko - in shots on goal over the last 10 games, and he's recorded at least three shots on goal eight times in that span.

Now he draws one of the best matchups possible in the Blackhawks. They're allowing more than 60 attempts per 60 at five-on-five over their last 10 games and rank 28th in that category. Suppressing shots is not exactly Chicago's strong suit.

Kyrou is playing in the top six and on the second power play, which should give him plenty of ice to capitalize on this advantageous matchup.

Rickard Rakell over 2.5 shots (-120)

Rakell has missed half of the Ducks' games due to injury; however, he's piled up the shots when healthy.

He's averaging 6.2 shot attempts and 3.6 shots on goal through 10 games. That's very encouraging volume. He also finds himself in a dream matchup against the Senators, who can't defend a lick: No team has allowed shots at a higher rate over the last 10 games.

Rakell has generated at least two shots on goal every game this season and he's gone over the number more often than not. I like his chances of doing so once again versus this struggling Ottawa squad.

Bonus round: Andrew Copp over 2.5 shots (+135). The Jets forward has averaged a whopping 3.77 shots per game on the road this season and the Wild's defense isn't as stingy with Jared Spurgeon out of the lineup. There is real value here.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Friday best bets: Panthers to stay hot in Washington

The NHL is back from its short Thanksgiving break, and boy, is the league returning in style.

Nearly every team will be in action between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. EST.

Let's get into our best bets for today's jam-packed schedule.

Kraken (+150) @ Lightning (-170)

There's slow, and then there's the Seattle Kraken. Seattle is moving at a snail's pace these days, with an emphasis on limiting chances at the expense of the club's own shot creation.

The Kraken rank dead last in attempts per 60 over the last 10 games and first in suppressing them. The story is similar in terms of expected goals: They sit 27th in xG per 60 and, again, first in xG against per 60. Seattle is playing lower event hockey than every other NHL team, which isn't all that surprising given how poor the squad's goaltending has been this season.

Philipp Grubauer is starting to trend upwards, but he has struggled mightily. Limiting the danger in front of him to help get on track is probably optimal, especially considering the Kraken don't have a roster littered with high-end scorers. Getting into a track meet is a losing battle.

While the Tampa Bay Lightning do play faster - everyone does! - they're not exactly burning up the ice. Tampa Bay ranks 26th in combined Corsi events (attempts for + against) at five-on-five over the last 10 contests. That's not surprising either - the Lightning are stout defensively on any given night, and with Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point out, they have to lean in that direction even further.

This matchup is set up to be a snoozer. If the goaltending is remotely competent - looking at you, Grubauer - this game should stay under the number.

Bet: under 5.5 goals (+100)

Panthers (-105) @ Capitals (-115)

The Washington Capitals are severely undermanned these days. With injuries to Nicklas Backstrom, Anthony Mantha, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, and Conor Sheary, their top-nine is almost unrecognizable.

Somehow, the Capitals have still managed to pile up the wins, going 7-2-1 over the last 10 contests, but it's hard to argue the success is sustainable - at least while missing so many key players. During that span, Washington's share of high-danger chances at five-on-five (45.40%) placed the team 27th in the league.

The Panthers are not the best opponent for the Caps to run into right now. Florida leads the NHL in CF% and xGF% over the last 10 games. Oh, and no side has generated high-danger chances at a more efficient clip. The Panthers are firing on all cylinders - even without Aleksander Barkov.

I see the edge being in Florida's favor at full-strength, and projected starter Sergei Bobrovsky leads the league in Goals Saved Above Expected (+19.7). Simply put, I think the market is favoring the wrong team in this spot.

Bet: Panthers (-105)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Wednesday player props: Dubois out for revenge vs. Blue Jackets

Tuesday was a huge bounce-back night on the ice. I posted six shot props on Twitter, five of which were winners. Naturally, the one I wrote up in the best bets article was the one that lost.

Nevertheless, the 5-1 night brought our record on shot totals to 33-16. Let's keep the ball rolling tonight.

Pierre-Luc Dubois over 2.5 shots (-110)

Dubois has attempted 48 shots - and hit the target 30 times - over the last 10 games at five-on-five alone. He's averaging 6.2 attempts and 3.9 shots on goal across all game situations. He recorded at least three shots on goal seven times in that span. Put simply, he's shooting a ton.

Now he draws a very juicy matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets. This is an extreme pace-up spot. The Jackets rank 29th in shots against per 60 over the last 10 games at five-on-five. They play fast, high-event games. Dubois will benefit from that.

So, we're looking at a trigger-happy player in a shot-friendly environment. If that's not enough to get you on board, there's also the good old-fashioned revenge narrative. Dubois is going up against his former team for the first time since being traded to the Winnipeg Jets. That could put a little extra pep in his step.

Ryan Hartman over 2.5 shots (-115)

You don't think of Hartman as an offensive dynamo, but he's quietly playing some very productive hockey.

Hartman has piled up 60 shot attempts over the last 10 games and is tied with Kevin Fiala for the team lead in shots on goal (35) over that time.

Like Dubois, he now finds himself in a pace-up spot against a team bleeding shots. The New Jersey Devils have not defended well of late. Over the last 10 games, they rank 30th in shot attempts and shots on goal against per 60 minutes of five-on-five play.

Having played at least 16 minutes in 10 straight, and centering the top line at even strength, Hartman finds himself in a prime spot to take advantage of the matchup.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Tuesday best bets: Expect goaltending duel in Tampa

We have an unusually quiet three-game slate on the docket for tonight. Still, there is value to be had.

We'll comb through it with our best bets.

Flyers (+145) @ Lightning (-165)

The Flyers spoiled our under in the dying seconds the last time these teams met, but we're going right back to the well today.

Philadelphia's offense is trending downward in a hurry. They rank dead last in five-on-five scoring efficiency over the last 10 games and it's not hard to see why. They're not generating many quality looks, ranking 29th in high-danger chances per 60 during that time.

This isn't exactly the best spot to get on track. The Lightning are extremely stout defensively. Tampa Bay ranks third in shot attempts against and fourth in high-danger chances against per 60 on the year.

I don't see the Lightning giving up much, and without Nikita Kucherov and now Brayden Point, their offense isn't exactly scary. Tampa Bay ranks 22nd in expected goals per 60 at five-on-five and 26th on the man advantage. They're much more competent defensively.

Carter Hart (12.1 goals saved above expected) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (5.1) should be able to limit the damage and keep this a low-scoring affair.

Bet: Under 5.5 (-110)

Shot props

The under in Tampa Bay is the only total or side I like. Thankfully, shot props exist. There's almost always value to be had with those and tonight is no exception.

We're going to stick with Flyers-Lightning and back defenseman Victor Hedman to record over 2.5 shots.

Hedman leads the Lightning in shot attempts and shots on goal this season. With Kucherov and Point out of the lineup, he'll be relied upon even more to create offense.

He plays a lot of minutes in all situations and recorded eight shot attempts against the Flyers in their previous meeting. I expect him to be heavily involved again in this one.

Bet: Hedman over 2.5 shots (-115)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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Vezina Trophy odds update: Campbell, Markstrom among biggest risers

It feels like hockey just returned, and yet we're already around 20% through the 2021-22 NHL season.

As such, we're starting to see players separate themselves from the pack - in good ways and bad.

We're going to highlight a few today as we dive deeper into the Vezina Trophy market.

PLAYER ODDS (Nov. 22) ODDS (Oct. 11)
Andrei Vasilevskiy +500 +380
Igor Shesterkin +750 +2100
Frederik Andersen +750 +1800
Jacob Markstrom +1000 +4000
Sergei Bobrovsky +1000 +3300
Jack Campbell +1200 +2400
Connor Hellebuyck +1400 +900
Ilya Sorokin +1400 +2500
Robin Lehner +1600 +1600
Juuse Saros +1800 +2400
Jordan Binnington +1800 +2300
Darcy Kuemper +2000 +1000
Semyon Varlamov +2000 +1700
Marc-Andre Fleury +2000 +1000
Carter Hart +2200 +3200
Thatcher Demko +2500 +1700
Elvis Merzlikins +2500 +4000
John Gibson +3000 +3500
Cam Talbot +3000 +3200
Philipp Grubauer +3000 +1500
Cal Petersen +3000 +3800
Alex Nedeljkovic +3000 +2400
Carey Price +3000 +1400
Anton Khudobin +3500 +3300
Chris Driedger +3500 +2500
Vitek Vanecek +3500 +6000
Spencer Knight +4000 +2200
Linus Ullmark +4000 +3400
Petr Mrazek +4000 +1800
Mike Smith +4000 +7500
Tristan Jarry +5000 +6300
Tuukka Rask +5000 N/A
Mackenzie Blackwood +5000 +4000

*Only listing players with odds 50-1 or shorter

Trending up

Igor Shesterkin (+750)

The New York Rangers haven't played great hockey, especially in their own zone. They rank 29th in expected goals against and 30th in scoring chances against per 60 minutes at five-on-five. Despite their terrible defensive play, they own an 11-4-3 record and sit sixth in points percentage, and Shesterkin is the biggest reason why. He owns a sparkling .931 save percentage and sits sixth in the NHL having stopped 11.4 goals above expectation.

Frederik Andersen (+750)

Andersen's been the MVP for a team that owns the league's best record at 14-2-0. He's posted a ridiculous .937 save percentage while appearing in 13 of 16 games for the Carolina Hurricanes. Only two goaltenders rank above Andersen in goals saved above expectation and GSAE per start. Though the Hurricanes are obviously a strong team, it's not as if life has been easy for Andersen. Carolina ranks 30th in expected goals against per 60 minutes. He's faced one of the more difficult workloads among goaltenders and still managed to dominate.

Jacob Markstrom (+1000)

The Calgary Flames surprisingly sit third in the NHL in points and fourth in points percentage. A lot of players have picked it up in Darryl Sutter's first full season as Calgary's head coach - perhaps none more so than Markstrom. He posted a highly mediocre .904 save percentage a season ago but has rebounded in a huge way. He ranks second in the league with a .942 save percentage and has helped the Flames pick up at least a point in 11 of his 14 starts.

Jack Campbell (+1200)

Campbell was nothing short of spectacular for the Toronto Maple Leafs a season ago, and yet he's found a way to take things up a couple of notches. In his first year as the team's undisputed starter, Campbell's posted a league-leading .944 save percentage and saved more goals above expectation than everyone but Sergei Bobrovsky.

Trending down

Philipp Grubauer (+3000)

There likely isn't a bigger disappointment in the league than Grubauer. He was a finalist for the Vezina just a year ago and converted that into a lucrative contract to be a stabilizer for the Seattle Kraken in their inaugural season. He's been anything but stable, though. Grubauer has won only a third of his starts and allowed 14.5 more goals than expected, and he owns a woeful .882 save percentage. No other netminder with at least 10 starts has conceded more than four goals above expectation; Grubauer is in a league of his own in the basement of the NHL.

Spencer Knight (+4000)

Knight entered the year with a realistic shot at claiming the starting job for the Florida Panthers. He hasn't come close to stealing it from Bobrovsky, and it's not just because the latter has played lights-out. Knight has really struggled to date, posting a pedestrian .904 save percentage for a Panthers team that finds itself atop the league in points.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Monday best bets: Jets to take flight

We're heading for a busy Monday night on the ice, with six games scheduled to open the week.

Let's get into our best bets.

Blue Jackets (-125) @ Sabres (+105)

The Blue Jackets have been a surprisingly good team in the early going. They own a solid 9-6-0 record and are full value for their success, especially of late.

Columbus has won six of its last 10, controlling 54.15% of the expected goals at five-on-five in that span. That's the sixth-highest output in the NHL, slotting them just ahead of clubs like the Wild and Panthers. Good company!

Things haven't gone as swimmingly for the Sabres. Buffalo's won just two of its last 10 contests, posting a 43.26 xGF% in that time - only the lowly Blackhawks have fared worse.

The Sabres are getting significantly outplayed on a nightly basis without the shooting talent to out-score their problems, and their goaltending isn't strong enough to keep them around in games they don't belong in.

I expect the Blue Jackets to take advantage of this fatigued Buffalo team - this is the side's third game in four nights - and get back on track with a win.

Bet: Blue Jackets (-125)

Penguins (+100) @ Jets (-120)

For years, the Jets have been a mediocre five-on-five team that's won games on the back of high-end shooting and high-end goaltending. It has served Winnipeg well in the regular season but has led to little success in the playoffs when facing other top clubs they can't just beat on talent.

This Jets squad is much different than those of the past. They're good - very good, even - at full-strength, and that has made Winnipeg a much more complete team capable of hanging with the best.

And it's leading to strong results. The Jets have picked up at least a point in eight of their last 10 games and controlled a league-leading 57.36% of the expected goals in that time.

With Kyle Connor, Nik Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, and a resurgent Pierre-Luc Dubois up front headlining the team, we know Winnipeg has the firepower to convert at a high rate over time - but the club's generating so much offense that they don't even need to be opportunistic.

The Jets, believe it or not, are 29th in shooting percentage during this strong run of results, but they rank second in attempts and high-danger chances per 60, so it hasn't even mattered.

If Winnipeg can sustain anywhere close to this level of play, the unit's going to feel unbeatable when its top shooters reach their full potential.

While the Penguins are very strong, especially defensively, they're not playing as well as the Jets at five-on-five. Pittsburgh doesn't have a goaltender close to Connor Hellebuyck's caliber, either, so Winnipeg has the edge in goal. Oh, and the Jets are at home - where they own a 7-1-1 record on the year.

Back Winnipeg to snap out of this mini losing streak and take care of business on home ice.

Bet: Jets (-120)

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NHL weekend betting preview: Canucks, Kraken to snap losing streaks

Thursday night was a mixed bag on the ice. We nailed all three of our player props to push our record to 15-2 on the season. Unfortunately, our under in the Tampa Bay versus Philadelphia game was lost with eight seconds remaining, while the Columbus Blue Jackets blew a third-period lead to erase any hope of a regulation victory.

All in all, we won three of five plays given out. Let's dive into some of our best bets for the weekend ahead.

Note: shot props will be posted on Twitter, so be sure to follow!

Jets (-110) @ Canucks (-110)
Nov. 19, 10 p.m. EST

Believe it or not, the Canucks are starting to play much better hockey. The results just haven't come yet.

Vancouver ranks fifth in Corsi For% and has controlled better than 52% of the expected goals at five-on-five since the beginning of November. The team owns a positive goal differential as well. Most of every contest is played with each team icing five players, of course, so it's encouraging that the Canucks are enjoying success there.

What's erased most - all? - of the good work Vancouver has done at five-on-five is its mind-numbingly bad penalty kill. For example, the Canucks posted an xGF above 70% and out-scored the Avalanche 2-0 at five-on-five in their last game. However, Vancouver still lost because it couldn't kill a penalty.

There's reason to believe the Canucks may pull off such a miracle tonight. While the Jets are a good team, there's definite room for improvement on the power play. They rank 20th in expected goals per 60 minutes and 29th in scoring chances per 60 while on the man advantage. Those numbers aren't overly threatening.

I like Vancouver's chances of snapping out of this lengthy losing streak if it can survive on the penalty kill. The Canucks are performing well at full strength, and the Jets are playing their third game in four nights and will also be without Connor Hellebuyck between the pipes Friday.

Bet: Canucks (-110)

Avalanche (-150) @ Kraken (+130)
Nov. 19, 10 p.m. EST

Believe me when I tell you I do not want to back the Kraken again. This team hasn't gotten a save all season long, and it's cost them at least a few games on nights we backed them. But we bet numbers, not teams, and the number is too good here.

Colorado is playing without several key players in Nathan MacKinnon, Bowen Byram, and J.T. Compher. That's taken a lot of sting out of its lineup. But the Canucks(!) out-chanced the Avalanche 34-16 at full strength a couple of days ago. Clearly, the Avs aren't their usual selves.

Controlling the run of play at full strength has been the Kraken's calling card all season. At home and desperate to snap their losing streak, I expect they'll more than hold their own against this banged-up Avalanche team.

Seattle has a good chance of pulling off the upset if it can get a save - for once! Let's hope the Kraken finally come through; they owe us one (or six).

Bet: Kraken (+130)

Red Wings (-140) @ Coyotes (+120)
Nov. 20, 8 p.m. EST

The Red Wings still have their flaws - particularly defensively - but they're several tiers ahead of the Coyotes.

Detroit has controlled nearly 50% of the expected goals at five-on-five over the last 10 games. That sandwiches the team between the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators - respectable company.

Meanwhile, Arizona continues to get caved in on a nightly basis. Its xG share sits at 41% across the last 10 contests. Only the paper-thin Chicago Blackhawks have fared worse over that time.

Despite the Coyotes' goalies combining to post a .930 save percentage at five-on-five during that span, the team has managed to win only two of 10 games. Based on the netminders they roster, I'd expect that number to dip sooner than later.

I see edges across the board for this rebuilding Red Wings team, and I expect them to shine Saturday in Arizona. Don't be shocked if Detroit's surprisingly potent offense puts up a healthy number.

Bet: Red Wings (-140)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Thursday player props: 3 shot totals to attack

Death, taxes, and winning shot props this season.

We hit the Viktor Arvidsson over on Wednesday - and, as a bonus, the Brock Boeser total I tweeted - to push our record to 12-2 on the year.

There's a jam-packed slate of games to pick through tonight, so let's get right into it.

Mitch Marner over 2.5 shots (-115)

Mitch Marner is not somebody you think of as a big shooter, but he's been very trigger-happy as of late. He's attempted 56 shots and hit the net 29 times over his last 10 games.

Marner now draws arguably the best matchup you could ask for. The Rangers are allowing a league-leading 69 shot attempts per 60 over the last seven games. They can't defend a lick and are relying heavily on goaltender Igor Shesterkin to keep them in games.

The good news with shot totals is that opposing goaltenders are irrelevant. It doesn't matter whether you're facing Shesterkin or the guy from the corner store; a shot is a shot whether it goes in or not.

Marner is generating shots at an efficient clip and New York is bleeding them more than any other team.

At near even money, I'm happy to roll the dice with Marner here.

Zach Werenski over 2.5 shots (+100)

Zach Werenski is a shooting machine, averaging 6.5 attempts and 3.5 shots on goal per game over the last 10. He's also gone over 2.5 in seven consecutive contests.

While the Coyotes don't give up a ton of shots at five-on-five, they bleed them on the penalty kill, and only Oliver Bjorkstrand has more power-play shot attempts than Werenski for the Blue Jackets over the last 10 games.

This is not a dream spot in terms of pace, but Werenski is a willing shooter who plays nearly 27 minutes per game. So there's still real value on this line.

Bonus round: Aaron Ekblad over 2.5 shots (-120). The Devils are struggling defensively, allowing shots at a higher rate than everyone but the Rangers over the last five games. Ekblad leads the Panthers in shots this season and there's some extra puck to go around with Aleksander Barkov out of the lineup.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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