Top NHL Betting Picks for Saturday, May 15 (2021)

Saturday commences the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Boston Bruins visit the Washington Capitals. These two teams met eight times during the regular season, splitting the series 4-4. Below we’ll break down Game 1.

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Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

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Boston Bruins (-110) vs. Washington Capitals (-110)

Boston will have an advantage Saturday entering this game with a fully healthy lineup. Washington, however, has many question marks as star players Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, and Ilya Samsonov are game-time decisions.

Not much separated these teams in the standings during the regular season. The Capitals ended up with four more points than the Bruins, good for second place in the highly competitive East Division.

As this pick ‘em line tells us, the oddsmaker believe these teams are evenly matched. While we could merely flip a coin to pick this game, let’s instead dig into some advanced statistics to help us determine the winner of this contest.

Metrics 5v5 this season:

Number’s courtesy of Evolving-Hockey

CF%: 55.88 (BOS) 51.36 (WSH)
xGF%: 53.33 (BOS) 51.78 (WSH)
xGF/60: 2.16 (BOS) 2.21 (WSH)
xGA/60: 1.89 (BOS) 2.06 (WSH)

Statistically, these teams are as close as it gets. To find an advantage, I went back and looked at the metrics from the April 12th trade deadline until today, as both teams made savvy moves to improve their teams.

Metrics 5v5, April 12-May 13

CF%: 59.08 (BOS) 56.46 (WSH)
xGF%: 61.71 (BOS) 56.52 (WSH)
GF/60: 3.14 (BOS) 2.44 (WSH)
60: 1.63 (BOS) 1.89 (WSH)

As we can see, the Bruins hold an advantage in every category since the trade deadline, which is important to note with the resurgence of Taylor Hall.

There is no doubt that when both teams are healthy, this game is a coin flip. With the Caps inflicted with a myriad of injuries, I’ll back the B’s in this one.

Picks: Boston Bruins (-110)

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