NHL Picks & Pucklines Tonight
Will The Leafs Extend Win Streak Without Matthews?
Scoring four goals in your first NHL game will win you a lot of fans, but following up a beneficent debut with season-long consistency establishes players as elite. Auston Matthews already established himself as a Leafs legend after netting 40 last year, but will be forced to sit this weekend against the Boston Bruins. Similar to the Lightning absorbing the loss of Stamkos last year, the Leafs have the depth needed to survive without their MVP.
Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin form the crux of one of the best player rivalries in the modern NHL. Alex leads in regular season awards, earning three Hart Trophies and beating out Crosby for the Calder during their rookie year. Of course, Alex would rather own a trio of Stanley Cups, two gold medals and consecutive Conn Smythe awards, all of which decorate Crosby’s cabinet. Sid’s no longer a kid – he’s one of the greatest winners to grace the NHL since Mario Lemieux.
NHL Straight Up Picks & Puckline Predictions
- Boston at Toronto: Bet Maple Leafs SU (-140), Over 6.0
- Carolina at Columbus: Bet Blue Jackets SU (-160), Under 5.5
- Florida at Buffalo: Bet Panthers SU (-110), Over 5.5
- Pittsburgh at Washington: Bet Penguins Puckline (-1.5, +260), Over 5.5
- Winnipeg at Vegas: Bet Golden Knights SU (+115), Under 6.0
NHL Odds Courtesy of Sports Interaction
NHL Lines: Illuminating The Lamp
Bruins at Leafs (Toronto -140)
The Boston Bruins used to be the bane of the Toronto Maple Leafs prior to last season. These original six teams have a considerable history against each other, including a stretch between 2011 and 2016 where the Bruins won 17 of 23 meetings.
During the 2016-17 season, the Leafs won all four matches, including three wins by two or more goals. Matthews won’t be present, but the Leafs forward depth is good enough to make up for his production. Expect the Leafs win streak to extend to five at the Air Canada Centre.
Hurricanes at Blue Jackets (Columbus -160)
Columbus continued their strong, consistent play of last year with a superb start to this season, one point behind the Penguins in the Metro division with one game in hand. The Blue Jackets have won four of their last six meetings against Carolina, with the last three matchups ending in one goal games.
This year, Columbus improved their lineup by adding Artemi Panarin from the Blackhawks, making the Jackets deadlier than ever. The Canes are a year or two away from becoming a dangerous team, and Columbus has greater depth at every position, giving the edge to Columbus.
Panthers at Sabres (Buffalo -110)
The Florida Panthers have been one of the more interesting teams to watch because of their diverse offense and underperforming defense. An average of 7.64 goals per game have been scored during Florida’s 14 matchups this season – unfortunately for the Panthers, they’ve dropped the last five because of awful defending.
Buffalo’s moving in the opposite direction, earning a 5-4-1 record over their last ten. The Sabres low scoring ways will reverse this evening, beating Florida during an evening of firewagon hockey at the KeyBank Center.
Penguins at Capitals (Pittsburgh -1.5 Puckline, +260)
Pittsburgh hasn’t played well on the road this year, dropping five of their last six road matches. However, the road team tends to win this matchup more often than not. Pittsburgh has a 4-1 record over their last five in Washington, and the road team has won six of the last eight meetings.
The Capitals have lost six of the last ten regular season meetings against Crosby and co. Washington has played erratic hockey in general, losing to the Sabres, Canucks and Panthers over the past few weeks. Pittsburgh already beat Washington this year, and they should be able to pick up another win. If you’re looking for great value, betting on the Pittsburgh puckline will more than double your wager.
Jets at Golden Knights (Vegas +115)
There’s something magical that’s been happening when the Golden Knights play in Las Vegas. Despite their status as an expansion team, Vegas has won six of seven home games, including big wins against the Blackhawks and Blues. Their last three losses on the road were by a single goal, suggesting that coach Gerrard Gallant has been making the most of jettisoned talent.
The Winnipeg Jets have become lethal this year – they’ve earned points in eight consecutive games, including five wins over that span. Typically, Winnipeg would be considered a stronger favorite, but home cooking has fed Vegas well this season. Expect the Golden Knights to pull off yet another upset.
Dirty Dangle Of The Night – High Risk/Reward
Buffalo Sabres Beat -1.5 Puckline (+240)
Buffalo as a puckline favorite normally doesn’t inspire confidence in hockey fans, but the Sabres have improved from their awful start to the season, while Florida has regressed significantly on defense. The Hurricanes put up 47 shots (!) against Florida on Tuesday, leading to a 3-1 loss for the Panthers.
Florida won’t suddenly improve on the defensive end, while Buffalo’s young stars look to break out offensively. The Sabres will pour another 30-35 shots onto Luongo, who hasn’t won since returning from injury.
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