NHL Picks & Pucklines Tonight
Will Maple Leafs Score Rare Win Over Coyotes?
For whatever reason, the Arizona Coyotes have flown under Toronto’s radar over the past few years, causing the Leafs to underestimate desert hockey. This time around, coach Babcock won’t let his squad get away with a lack of intensity when Toronto travels to Glendale.
Montreal’s in a similar situation that the Leafs dealt with a couple of weeks ago, facing tough competition without their star defenseman. Unlike Toronto, which features a deep forward lineup that pitched in without Matthews, the Canadiens don’t have another presence on the blue line that produces nearly as well as Weber. Beating the Lightning in Florida looks like a dicey proposition.
NHL Straight Up Picks & Puckline Predictions
NHL Odds Courtesy Of Sports Interaction
- Montreal at Tampa Bay: Bet Lightning Puckline (-1.5, +110)
- Toronto at Arizona: Bet Maple Leafs Puckline (-1.5, +135)
- Chicago at Vancouver: Bet Blackhawks SU (-145)
- Calgary at San Jose: Bet Sharks SU (-135)
- Philadelphia at Florida: Bet Panthers SU (-110)
NHL Lines: Lighting The Lamp
Canadiens at Lightning – Bet Tampa Bay Puckline (-1.5, +110)
Over the last eight meetings between these two teams, Tampa Bay collected six wins, including four consecutive victories by two or more goals in 2016. GM Steve Yzerman’s probably still chuckling about getting Sergachev in exchange for Drouin, which is one of the bigger mistakes that Bergevin committed over the past couple of years. Tampa’s the best team in the NHL, while the Canadiens try to stay above .500 without their number one defenseman, Shea Weber. The Lightning should roast the Habs in Florida.
Maple Leafs at Coyotes – Bet Toronto Puckline (-1.5, +135)
Arizona pulled off a nice victory last night in Colorado, defeating the Avalanche with a tidy 3-1 result. They fly back to Arizona less than 24 hours later to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs, who welcomed their best player back before Christmas, notching a 3-2 road win against the Rangers. The Coyotes happen to be one of those teams which play the Maple Leafs inexplicably well, earning six wins against Toronto over the last seven meetings. Unlike earlier this year, Matthews and the Leafs won’t take the Coyotes lightly.
Blackhawks at Canucks – Bet Chicago SU (-145)
It will be a couple of weeks until the Vancouver Canucks return to full health. They lucked out with Brock Boeser in more ways than one, as the super rookie recently netted his 20th after x-rays on his foot were negative. The Canucks are fortunate to draw Chicago’s backup goaltender, as Corey Crawford heals from an upper body injury. That’s about it in terms of health luck for Vancouver, who miss a trio of valued contributors. Expect Chicago to take advantage of a Canucks squad rife with injury.
Flames at Sharks – Bet San Jose SU (-135)
Calgary will play backup goaltender David Rittich to keep Mike Smith rested for tomorrow’s clash against the Ducks in Anaheim. San Jose has performed well without Logan Couture, who’s dealing with concussion issues. These teams have split their last four meetings in 2017, although San Jose defeated the Flames 3-2 during their last clash. Expect a close win for the Shark in their own tank.
Flyers at Panthers – Bet Florida SU (-115)
Florida pulled off a sudden three game win streak, partially under the strength of James “Optimus Reim” Reimer, who was named one of the three stars of the week. Philly’s one of the better teams in December, earning a 7-2-1 record over their last ten. The Flyers have beaten the Panthers four times in a row, but Florida’s riding a streak while Philly’s cooled a bit. Sportsbooks list the Panthers as a slight favorite, so go with the Florida home advantage for this matchup.
Dirty Dangle Of The Night
Chicago Blackhawks Beat Puckline Against Vancouver Canucks (-1.5, +205)
Vancouver’s without Horvat, Sutter and Tanev, which wreaks havoc on the Canucks defensive structure. Chicago’s still one of the best teams in the NHL, despite a relatively slow start to the season, and their backup goalie has played relatively well over his past four appearances. Without anyone to stop Kane from going nuts, the odds of a victory by two or more increases for Chicago, with a sweet line of +205 making the risk more palatable.
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