All 3 of our opinions Tuesday were pretty much spot on so hopefully you agreed with some of them and were able to benefit.
We dropped our first Best Bet in a while as the Leafs failed to score in the opening frame against the Predators. They did, however, look much better than they have of late.
That improvement continued last night in a very solid effort against the Sabres. Maybe Toronto has turned the corner, something we’ll keep an eye on as we head towards the playoffs.
On to Thursday with a huge 12-game slate tonight in the NHL. We breakdown our favourite play – in the Pens/Preds tilt – and offer our opinion on a few other games.
Good luck tonight!
If you were following along last week, this type of play should look familiar. We took +0.5 against the Predators in consecutive games against the Hurricanes and Ducks, cashing tickets both times. With the Preds once again favoured in a high enough range to make the +0.5 available at a cheap price, we’re giving it another try tonight.
The Penguins should bring urgency to the rink here as they try to snap a three-game losing streak, which comes at a bad time as they try to overtake the Islanders for second in the Atlantic. But that three-game skid is a bit deceiving as well. Their last two losses both came beyond regulation time, and Pittsburgh has now earned at least a point in 13 of its last 16 games overall (as well as 8 of its last 9 on the road.) They’ve also held seven of their last 10 opponents to 2 regulation time goals or less.
If you remove empty netters from the equation, Nashville’s scored more than three goals in regulation just once since February 10. That’s a big reason the Predators have to win games by comfortable margins of late, with Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Maple Leafs (including an empty netter, by the way) the first time since February 5 that the Preds have won by three goals or more. And even after three straight wins in regulation time, Nashville has won just six of its last 19 games in the first 60 minutes. The bottom line is that not much continues to come easily for the Predators. With Nashville facing a team with the championship pedigree of the Pens, we expect that to continue tonight.
Other thoughts and opinions:
- Lightning at Hurricanes: Sometimes the odds on a game tell you everything you need to know. One night after being -150 favourites in Washington, the Lightning is now a +113 underdog in Carolina. Tampa was outshot 58-28 last night in Washington but still stole a 5-4 OT win thanks to Andrei Vasilevskiy. With Louis Domingue likely in net tonight and the Lightning not really playing for much at the moment, the stage is set nicely for Carolina to improve to 8-2-1 in its last 11 with a win here. It’s Hurricanes moneyline -125 or pass for us, although the Over 6.5 -130 may also be worth a look with Tampa having gone 18-6 to the Over in its last 24 games on 0 days rest.
- Flyers at Blackhawks: Don’t look now, but the gravy train also known as Chicago Blackhawks Overs may be finally slowing down. Chicago’s scored just four goals in its last two games (and two or less in four of its last seven), and the Hawks have held four of their last five opponents to two goals or less in regulation. Philly’s playing a bit tighter lately as well, allowing two or less goals in four of six (excluding empty netters). With both teams fighting to stay alive in the playoff hunt, we lean Under 7 -125.
- Avalanche at Stars: Any handicap of a Dallas game lately begins with a look at the Under. The Stars are 44-21 to the Under on the season, and they may be playing better defensively than ever of late, allowing just 10 non-empty net goals in their last 9 games. Colorado’s struggled to score goals for quite a while now, especially on the road (six non-empty netters in their last four away from home.) It’s a little juicer than we’d like, but the Avalanche Team Total Under 2.5 -125 makes a lot of sense here.
- Blue Jackets at Oilers: We’d love to fade the Blue Jackets on the road here (1-4 in their last 5 road outings, with the one win coming in OT in New Jersey) but how do you trust the Oilers right now? Edmonton sure looks like it’s checked out on the season, getting outshot 78-36 over the last two games in blowout losses at Vegas and St. Louis. With reasons not to like the way each team is playing right now, it’s an easy pass for us.
Sign up below to get our daily NHL tips sent to your email the minute we post. That way, you will always get the best odds on each game…