NHL Hockey Picks, St. Louis Blues vs. Nashville Predators Lines

 NHL Hockey Odds

Blues at Predators Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Nashville Predators are making a run to finish atop the Western Conference. Nashville has come alive in recent weeks and looks ready to challenge Vegas for the top spot in the conference over the last quarter of the season. Home ice would be massive for Nashville, who showed that they have a big advantage in the Music City on its way to the Stanley Cup Finals last year.

Their opponents, the St. Louis Blues, are fighting for their playoff lives. St. Louis is currently in line for the eighth and final playoff spot, but two teams are just one point behind them. Winning on the road in Nashville is tough, and even getting a point would be big for the Blues.

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators
Date and Time: Sunday, February 25, 2018, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena,Nashville, Tennessee
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Blues at Predators TV Coverage: NBC

The Blues need to right the ship in a hurry. St. Louis has lost four in a row, and although it was a tough stretch of opponents, getting just one point over that span hurt.

St. Louis has been a decent team away from home this season. The Blues are 15-10-4 on the road and 19-10 ATS. Under is 17-12 in their road games this season and 36-24-1 overall.

Nashville has bounced back from two bad home losses to Calgary and Detroit to win three in a row. They hammered San Jose 7-1 in their last game and are one of the NHL’s best home teams. Nashville is 21-7-3 on home ice this season.

Injuries to Watch

The Predators are healthy at just the right time. Nashville has no one listed on the injury report coming into this game.

St. Louis hasn’t been so lucky. Defenseman Joel Edmundson is likely out for the rest of the year with a broken forearm and fellow defenseman Robert Bortuzzo was just placed on injured reserve on Thursday. Left wing Sammy Blais just suffered a concussion and will probably be held out of this game as a precaution, but left wing Vladimir Sobotka will likely be ready to return.

Last Meeting

These two teams met in Nashville two weeks ago, and St. Louis missed a great opportunity to grab two points. The Blues dominated the first two periods of the game. Jay Bouwmeester put St. Louis ahead 1-0 at the end of the first period, and the Blues scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the second period in order to take a commanding 3-0 lead. Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists and the Blues outshot the Predators 16-3 in the second frame.

St. Louis continued to lead 3-0 until there were 11 minutes left in the game. Then, it all fell appart. Calle Jarnkrok cut the lead to two, and then Austin Watson took over. He scored a shorthanded goal with a little over five minutes left and found the net again almost a minute later to knot it at three. The Blues were left reeling following that and fell in overtime after Filip Forsberg scored on a penalty shot.

Player to Watch

Pekka Rinne continues to be one of the top goaltenders in the NHL. Rinne is seeing a lot more shots than usual this year, but he continues to turn them away at a better rate than he has for most of his career. On the season, he is 31-9-4, posting one of the best records in the NHL.

Rinne is 3-0 against St. Louis this season with a .958 save percentage. Although he allowed three two weeks ago against the Blues, he allowed just one goal in his first two games against St. Louis. He’ll again be in net for Nashville on Sunday.

Blues at Predators Free Picks

Nashville will have an additional day of rest with both Friday and Saturday off, and the Predators will not have to travel as their last game was at home. That gives them a pretty big advantage in this one. The Predators will probably be a -140 or -150 favorite, and it’s worth betting them at that price.

Blues at Predators Pick: Take Nashville on the moneyline
Blues at Predators Score Prediction: Predators 3 – Blues 1

Hockey Prediction, Flames at Bruins Betting Lines

NHL Betting Odds

Flames at Bruins Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Calgary Flames have performed well on their road trip so far, and they are looking to keep it going when they take on the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. Calgary has won three of its first four during this six-game road trip, and the Flames have covered the spread in each as all games were decided by one goal. The Flames are currently tied with Minnesota for the seventh spot in the Western Conference, and they need to keep winning to feel confident about making the postseason.

Calgary Flames at Boston Bruins
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
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Flames at Bruins TV Coverage: NBCSN

For whatever reason, Calgary has been much better on the road than it has been at home this season. The Flames have been one of the best road teams in the NHL, with a 16-6-5 record away from Calgary. They are making up for a six-game losing streak a little bit ago with this performance.

Under has been a good bet in Calgary’s road games this season. The under is 16-11 overall in their road games.

Boston continues to perform well and has nearly caught Tampa Bay for the top spot in the East at this point. The Bruins are just three points back with a game in hand, and they have been on fire lately. Boston is 8-2 in its last 10 games.

The under has been the right play in Bruins games too this season. Under is 17-12 when Boston is playing in TD Garden.

Injuries to Watch

The only player listed on the injury report for Calgary is Kris Versteeg. Versteeg has been out since the end of November with a lower-body injury but has started skating again. He is still a long way away from returning though.

Both Anders Bjork and Kevan Miller are considered day-to-day with upper-body injuries and may or may not be able to play for this one. They have both been out for a little bit of time, but they should be back relatively soon.

Player to Watch

Although Connor McDavid gets a lot of attention, Johnny Gaudreau is showing that there is another forward in Alberta that can put up amazing numbers. Gaudreau is having a banner year and looks set to crush his career-high in points. With just 14 more points over his last 26 games, he’ll get there.

Gaudreau has been something else in recent weeks. He has scored a point in six straight games and has three goals and six assists overall during that timeframe. Very few teams have been able to shut him out all year as he flusters opponents with his speed.

He may be undersized at 5’9 and 157 pounds, but there’s no denying the impact he has. He can maneuver around bigger defenders and find passing lanes that others can’t with his quickness.

Key Stat

Boston is the best team in the NHL at keeping opponents from scoring. The Bruins are allowing just 2.4 goals per game, and that has made Tuukka Rask a serious contender for another Vezina Trophy. It’s been a banner year for Rask after a slow start, but the defenders are top notch as well and the forwards backcheck and block shots as well as any team.

In fact, it’s such a team effort that they are superb on the penalty kill too. Boston is allowing teams to convert less than 17 percent of their power play chances, placing them fourth in the league.

Flames at Bruins Free Picks

The Flames do have some trouble scoring outside of their first line. While Gaudreau is among the league leaders in points, only one other player has cracked 40 points this season. That means teams with good defensemen can focus on shutting down the top line and making the second and third lines beat them.

For that reason, Boston is going to get the win. The Bruins will keep Gaudreau’s line in check and find the back of the net a few times in a comfortable victory.

Flames at Bruins Pick: Bet on the Bruins to ice the Flames
Flames at Bruins Score Prediction: Bruins4 – Flames 1

Pittsburgh Penguins vs St. Louis Blues Lines, NHL Hockey Picks

NHL Hockey Odds

Penguins at Blues Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally seem to be rounding into form after middling performances through the first two-thirds of the season. Pittsburgh is now in second place in the Metropolitan Division after a big win over Vegas earlier in the week. A road win against the St. Louis Blues would help them close the distance on the Washington Capitals in the race for the division crown.

St. Louis has ideas of its own though. The Blues have the fourth-best record in the West as of Friday morning, and they have been great at home too.

Pittsburgh Penguins at St. Louis Blues
Date and Time:Sunday, February 11, 2018, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
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Penguins at Blues TV Coverage: NBC

Coming into this one, Pittsburgh has won five of its last six games. However, all of those wins came at home, and the one time the Penguins went on the road, they looked completely listless against the Devils. This team has not been good on the road this season, with a 10-15-2 record away from the Steel City.

Over has been a good bet in Pittsburgh games recently, as the offense has scored at least five goals in four of its last five. Unsurprisingly, all four of those games went over the total.

St. Louis has won seven of its last ten coming into this game, and the Blues have been favored in eight of their last ten overall. Unlike Pittsburgh, the under has been the thing to bet in St. Louis games this season. Seven of the last ten games have gone under the total.

Injuries to Watch

The Penguins are winning games despite a number of injuries that have cut into this team’s depth. Wingers like Colin Sheary, PartricHornqvist, and Tom Kuhnhackl have all been added to the injured reserve list with lower-body injuries, causing Pittsburgh to have to rely on some of its depth down in the AHL. Sheary should return soon, but Hornqvist and Kuhnhackl are expected to be out a while.

St. Louis is relatively clean on the injury front. There are no new injuries listed for the Blues, just the two players that have been out since the pre-season.

Matchup to Watch

There has been a world of difference between the power play units for these two teams this year. Pittsburgh has the best power play in the NHL. The Penguins typically stack Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, and Phil Kessel together, and that is a tough combination to stop. They are finding the net on 26.8 percent of their opportunities, and that buoyed this team when it struggled earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, St. Louis has one of the worst power plays in the NHL. They score at a little over half the rate that Pittsburgh does, and that has hurt this team in low scoring games. The Blues do have more talent on offense than last season, but they need to find something that works on the power play.

Last Meeting

These two teams opened the season against each other in the Steel City and this will be their second meeting of the year. St. Louis looked excellent on offense in its opener, with Alex Pietrangelo finding the net twice in a 5-4 win.

Pittsburgh looked out of sorts on the defensive front, as its back line looked slow trying to cover the Blues’ speedy wingers. In particular, Olli Maatta was caught out of place a handful of times. It will be interesting to see whether or not the Blues try to take advantage of that again.

Penguins at Blues Free Picks

This is a tough spot for Pittsburgh to win in. The Pens have a tough road game against the Stars on Friday night and then have to make their way up here. St. Louis has been solid at home this year, winning 63.3 percent of their outings in regulation. Look for the Blues to chalk up another win here to stay in the running for a home playoff series.

Penguins at Blues Pick: Lay the chalk with the Blues
Penguins at Blues Score Prediction: Blues 3 – Penguins 2