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@FastMoneyLabs’ Best NHL Bet - 3/18

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Philadelphia Flyers (19-30-11) at Ottawa Senators (21-34-5)

I’m vacationing in Nashville this weekend, but when I saw this line today, I had to write about it!

The 1st Period ‘Over’ is:

  • 7-3 in the last 10 Ottawa home games.
  • 7-3 in the last 10 Philadelphia road games.

Ottawa has now scored a 1st period goal in 5 straight games and 6 of their last 7 home.

Tonight, they get to face Philadelphia on their 2nd night of a back-to-back (B2B). That means backup goaltender Martin Jones (7-11-3, 3.42 GAA, 0.900 SV%) will be in net. 

I noticed that Jones performs better this year on the road than at home in all periods except the 1st. As a visitor, he’s allowing opponents to score a 1st period goal at a 75% clip (12 game sample).

All of this suggests we should back the 1st period over, right? Not so fast.

I noticed Ottawa’s starting goalie tonight, Anton Forsberg (13-12-2, 2.84 GAA, 0.916 SV%), has been a brick wall in the 1st. He’s only allowed a 1P goal in 6 of 13 (46%) home starts. In his last 9 home, Forsberg produced a clean 1st period sheet at a 67% rate.

I also noticed that Ottawa is due for better goaltending luck. 

  • In their last 5 games, the Sens are allowing 3.77 actual goals vs. just 2.78 expected goals (which is calculated based on quality of scoring chances)
  • When actual scoring output diverges from expected, it is usually a sign a team is due for a correction towards the expected result.

While backing 1st Period ‘Over’ was tempting based on the O/U splits at the top of my article, I prefer to back Ottawa to win the 1st period on my expectation that Forsberg can blank Philly in the 1st.

  • In their last 5 home games, Ottawa is 3-0-2 in the 1st period.
  • Philadelphia is also 0-7-3 in the 1st period in their last 10 road games.

I also feel Ottawa’s rest advantage supports this pick, since Philadelphia is just 2-8 this year in their 2nd leg of a back-to-back.

$FML Pick

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Ottawa Senators to Win the 1st Period @ +150
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