NHL Betting Matchups Odds, Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators Picks

Nashville Predators

Capitals at Predators Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Nashville Predators are the hottest team in the Western Conference right now. Nashville has won four in a row and has proved itself against some of the best teams in the NHL during that slate. The Preds went on the road to win against Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Columbus and followed that up with a shootout win over Pittsburgh in the Music City on Saturday. Their quest to top every one of the best teams in the league during this run continues on Tuesday night when they host the Washington Capitals in NBC’s Tuesday night hockey showdown.

Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators
Date and Time: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Capitals at Predators TV Coverage: NBCSN

Recently, it’s been Nashville’s offense that has come alive in its wins. The Predators have tallied at least three goals in every one of their wins during this recent swing and that has overshadowed some uncharacteristically poor goaltender play. Nashville has allowed 11 goals during this timeframe and it comes as no surprise that three of those four games went over the total.

Washington has been on fire since the start of November. Although the Caps dropped one on national television to the Sabres last week, they have won five of their six this month. Under has been a great bet in Washington games as the last five tilts have had five goals or less.

Key Stats

The Capitals are a little fortunate to be tied for second in the Metropolitan Division at this point. They aren’t as lucky as the Penguins who somehow have the same amount of points despite being -18 in goal differential, but it’s interesting to see Washington with a winning record although it is breakeven in goal differential.

Any time you talk about Washington, the first player that comes to mind is Alex Ovechkin. However, Evgeny Kuznetsov may be even more important to the team this year and he has certainly been more consistent with his performances. Kuznetsov has 16 assists already this season and has played a big part in Washington’s wins. In the Caps’ 10 wins, he has 14 assists, but in the team’s eight losses, he has just two helpers.

While there is certainly correlation with those stats, that amount of correlation is off the charts. Averaging a point and a half per game in wins is extremely impressive and shows that he is coming through for his team.

Player to Watch

Pekka Rinne is the leader of Nashville and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Rinne has been phenomenal this season and has an 8-2-2 record when he is between the pipes. He boasts a 2.23 GAA and a .929 save percentage and continues to dominate into his mid-30s.

His performance has been even more impressive when you consider the fate of his backup, Juuse Saros. Saros has really struggled in his four starts this season, posting a record of 1-3. He has a 3.94 GAA and a save percentage of just .855.

There were doubts about Rinne coming into this season because of his age, but he is continuing to prove all the naysayers wrong. Nashville has to hope that he doesn’t go down with an injury though or else it could submarine its season.

Capitals at Predators Free Picks

The Predators have the advantage when it comes to special teams. Nashville is in the top ten when it comes to both the power play and the penalty kill. That has really helped a team that doesn’t score many goals keep finding ways to win.

Conversely, Washington is in the bottom half of the NHL in both categories. The power play is of particular concern as it should be better with so many playmakers and sharpshooters on this roster, but it has been lacking.

Nashville should be a short to moderate favorite in this one and the Predators are a solid bet. They play great at home and will have a loud, energetic crowd with the Caps in town.

Capitals at Predators Pick: Grab the Predators on the moneyline
Capitals at Predators Score Prediction: Predators 3 – Capitals 1

NHL Hockey Odds, Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Picks

Bruins at Rangers Picks

Bruins at Rangers Picks

By Adam Markowitz

It will be a battle of Original Six teams on Wednesday night when the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers clash in historic Madison Square Garden. If the postseason started right now, both teams would miss the playoffs, but Boston has played three less games than New York. The last time these two sides met, the Rangers scored a 2-1 victory in MSG but that was last season. This is the first of three meetings this year.

Boston Bruins at New York Rangers
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bruins at Rangers TV Coverage: NBCSN

The Bruins must be wondering when their luck will change. Boston has ended regulation tied in three of its last six games, but ended up losing every game in either overtime or a shootout. The team still got a point from the game, yet missing out on two is huge. These things typically even out over the course of the season and the Bruins have to be wondering when that will change.

New York has thrived in the extra period. The Rangers are near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, but have won three in a row to make up some ground on the other teams. The last two were big overtime wins that came during a Sunshine State road trip. New York was an underdog to both Tampa Bay and Florida but pulled four points out of that swing and that has to have this team feeling good.

Player to Watch

Henrik Lundqvist is no longer a premier goaltender. His numbers have fallen off considerable in each of the last two seasons and it’s time to start considering him on the downslope of his career. Lundqvist was one of the best netminders the NHL had to offer for about a decade. He was phenomenal earlier this decade, not finishing with a save percentage below .920 in any season. However, last season, saw his save percentage fall to .910 and it is even worse thus far.

Through 12 starts, Lundqvist has a .902 save percentage and is averaging over three goals a game for the first time ever. Some of this is the result of defensive woes, but Lundqvist has been allowing some bad goals too. His agility is not what it used to be and that’s not good news for the Rangers.

Matchup to Watch

Boston has been fantastic on special teams this season, using that to gain an advantage on opponents. The Bruins are fourth in the NHL in power play percentage, converting on 27.9 percent of their opportunities. Rather than one person dominating the scoring on the man advantage, everyone is getting involved too. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have five points each, but David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron are right behind them with four points.

Additionally, this team has been solid on the penalty kill. The Bruins have killed off 87 percent of their opponents’ power plays this season thanks to some great forechecking from their forwards. All too often, the defensemen are given the credit or the blame for a team’s penalty kill, but Boston’s front line has really helped matters in this area.

Conversely, the Rangers have a middle of the pack penalty kill and an above average power play.

Bruins at Rangers Free Picks

Both teams have a game on Monday night prior to this one. The Bruins will be hosting a Minnesota Wild team that is not off to the blazing start it was last year, while the Rangers will be hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. There isn’t a lot of distance between these two cities, so fatigue and travel won’t be factors.

I really like Boston in this spot. Lundqvist has not looked sharp this year, but you will still be able to get Boston as an underdog because the game is in MSG. Look for the Bruins to notch a comfortable victory on enemy ice.

Bruins at Rangers Pick: Jump on the Bruins as an underdog in New York
Bruins at Rangers Score Prediction: Bruins 4 – Rangers 1

College Football Week 10 Odds, Penn State vs. Michigan State Betting Picks

Penn State vs. Michigan State

Penn State vs. Michigan State ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

The Penn State Nittany Lions had their hearts ripped out last week at the Horseshoe by Ohio State. They’ve still got a chance to ultimately reach the College Football Playoff this year, but their margin for error is now officially nil. A win over the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing is an absolute must at this point.

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Michigan State Spartans
Date and Time: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Opening College Football Odds: Penn State -9
Penn State vs. Michigan State TV Coverage: FOX

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the first College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday. The Nittany Lions will surely be in the mix after losing by a single point to Ohio State on Saturday at the Horseshoe. That said, Oklahoma beat Ohio State, and the Sooners don’t seem to be getting enough love for that victory. Penn State should theoretically be behind them both, especially since the Nittany Lions don’t have a single notably victory to date outside of the seemingly suspect triumph over Michigan.

Still, this Penn State team is really good. Saquon Barkley was bottled up against the Buckeyes to the tune of just 44 yards on 21 carries, but he showed explosiveness in the running game and the passing game while tossing in a kickoff return for a touchdown that started the game.

That said, these Nittany Lions had over a 97 percent chance of beating Ohio State according to ESPN’s FPI with less than five minutes to play and blew it. It’s going to be really hard to rebound from such a defeat.

Michigan State built National Championship hopes for a hot minute, but after losing in three overtimes at Northwestern on Saturday, all of that is now gone. The Spartans still actually control the Big Ten East if they can win out, but that requires beating Penn State at home this week and Ohio State on the road next week. Good luck with that.

It wasn’t all that shocking to see Sparty go down in Evanston; Michigan State was only -2 in the game. However, to give up 432 yards in the game and let the Wildcats score touchdowns in all three of their overtime periods was something that we didn’t expect to see.

We also didn’t think that Brian Lewerke had a 445-yard passing performance in him. That’s what happens when MSU rushes for just 95 yards on 30 carries, nine carries and 30 yards of which came from Lewerke himself.

Key Stat

21.4 – The percentage of the time Barkley has been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage this season.

Barkley has evolved into a true home run hitter, but just as he had plenty of problems getting going at times against Ohio State, this could be a huge test against a really good defensive line that has had some moments of real dominance this season.

Barkley is going to get his yards and his scores in all likelihood due to the fact that he’s incredibly tricky to try to bring down when he gets into open spaces, but keep in mind that he was bottled up when PSU needed him the most. Six of Barkley’s last nine runs went for negative yardage against the Bucks.

Penn State vs. Michigan State Free Picks

This is a great spot to back Sparty at your favorite online sportsbook. The game against Northwestern was always a lookahead spot, especially with not just one, but two games against top-10 teams coming up in succession. Sure, that game was lost, but the Spartans probably spent much of their week with their eyes on this game against Penn State.

We suspect the Nittany Lions are going to get a raw deal from the Selection Committee. We think they should be in front of unbeaten teams like Wisconsin and Miami, but we aren’t sure that’s going to be the case. This is a good football team and one that can beat anyone in the nation.

Still, it’s hard to rebound from such an emotional loss, especially with expectations abound that this game will be a blowout. Look for the Spartans to get back to basics and turn this game into a grind. We’re not sure Penn State is going to have the ability to survive if that’s the case.

College Football ATS Pick: Michigan State +9 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Michigan State 20, Penn State 17

NCAAF Week 9 Odds, Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs Betting Picks

Florida vs. Georgia ATS Picks

Florida vs. Georgia ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

The traditions in the SEC are really like none other, especially this time of year. Right around Halloween every single season, fans from the Sunshine State and the Peach State descend upon Jacksonville for the duel between the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs. UGA has a chance to really put its foot down on the throats of the rest of the SEC East, but Florida has had a history of being a pain in this game, especially when the Dawgs are favored as they are at all of the top online sportsbooks in this one.

Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Date and Time: Saturday, October 28, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
Opening College Football Odds: Georgia -14
Florida vs. Georgia TV Coverage: CBS

It’s good to be a Bulldog right now.

Georgia has started off the year at 7-0, has the SEC East title firmly in its grasp and recently landed the No. 1 recruit in the nation in Justin Fields, a man who will probably be the starting quarterback for the Dawgs in two or three years after redshirting.

Just as Mark Richt deserved a ton of credit for helping put Georgia back on the map, his successor, Kirby Smart deserves the credit for kicking the door down and making this team a relevant club in the College Football Playoff. You’d like to think that UGA is going to be favored in the rest of its games this year outside of perhaps a trip to Jordan-Hare to take on Auburn. Win out in the regular season, and the SEC Championship Game presumably against Alabama might not mean a thing. The SEC is good enough to have two teams in the CFP this year, and the winner of the East and winner of the West could end up fighting it out in the playoff down the line as well.

They said “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” too, but we’re not seeing it at the moment.

Florida has lost consecutive games, is now 3-3, and thanks to losing a game from Hurricane Irma, there’s a real chance this team finishes at 5-6 and isn’t bowl eligible after being ranked in the Top 25 to start the season.

The Gators haven’t scored more than 17 points in any of their three losses this year, and their offense has combined to score just three touchdowns in those three games.

Key Factor

At some point, you have to stop blaming quarterbacks and start blaming coaches. From Treon Harris to Will Grier to Austin Appleby to Luke Del Rio to Malik Zaire to Feleipe Franks… It can’t be possible that all of these men have the exact same problem, right?

Franks is the quarterback du jour at the moment in Gainesville, though as we know, that could change at any given moment. The only reason Franks has a good shot to succeed in this game is because he has two fantastic playmakers in Kadarius Toney and Tyrie Cleveland. These two men are explosive and can stretch the field, and we saw all the problems UGA had stopping the deep pass against Missouri a couple weeks ago.

The difference? Give the Gators three touchdowns, and they’re probably going to win more often than not. Allow three touchdowns to Missouri, and you’re still winning by three or four scores.

Florida vs. Georgia Free Picks

Florida has won 21 of the last 27 games in this series, and though it’s a dog in this one, we have a sense that this defense is going to pull off a big upset in Jacksonville.

If the Gators can force Jake Fromm to put the ball in the air 25-30 times in this one, this could get interesting. We’re not really all that sure if Fromm can really throw the ball or not; we know that he hasn’t had to.

There are just far too many question marks surrounding the Georgia passing game. Parlay that with the Florida dominance in this series over the year, and it’s easy to call this one as an upset.

College Football ATS Pick: Florida +14 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Florida 24, Georgia 17

NFL Thursday Night Football Predictions, Chiefs vs. Raiders Against the Spread Picks

Opening NFL Week 7 Odds

Chiefs vs. Raiders ATS Picks

By Andrew Ryan

If anyone plans on catching the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, there’s going to have to be a team in the West that steps up and beats them. The Oakland Raiders have a grand chance of doing just that on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 7 of the season.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Date and Time: Thursday, October 19, 2017, 8:25 p.m. ET
Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
Opening NFL Week 7 Odds: Chiefs -3, O/U 47.5
Chiefs vs. Raiders TV Coverage: CBS

The 1972 Miami Dolphins popped their corks last weekend when the Chiefs suffered their first loss of the year. Now, we’ll see whether Kansas City is going to stick around as one of the top contenders in the AFC or not.

The hope for the Chiefs is that their first half last week against the Steelers was an aberration. Alex Smith and company had -21 yards in the first half versus the team that ended their season. For a team that still ranks No. 2 in the NFL in total offense at 387.0 yards per game and is No. 3 in scoring, you have to think that this was a flash in the pan.

Then again, it’s also worth remembering that the Chiefs had an average-at-best offense a year ago, and there isn’t any more talent on this team now than there was last season. The only difference is that Kareem Hunt, a running back who may or may not have more talent than anyone who was on the roster last year, is racking up insane statistics.

The Raiders dropped to just 2-4 on the year. A loss in this game, and the likelihood of getting into the playoffs is slim at best. Oakland won’t be back at home after this game until November 26 after playing at Buffalo and Miami, having a bye week, then playing in Mexico City against New England.

Derek Carr rushed back from his back injury in Week 6 after missing just one game. After watching him throw for just 171 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a 17-16 loss to the Chargers last week, we wonder if there’s still a lot wrong with him.

But even before he was hurt, the Raiders were struggling. They scored 71 points in their first two games combined; they’ve scored a total of just 53 since that point.

Heck, E.J. Manuel’s 17-point effort against Baltimore was the best this team has had since Week 2 of the season.

Key Player

It should be rather obvious that your best players have to make big plays to win games in the NFL. It should also be rather obvious that Oakland’s struggles run parallel to Amari Cooper’s.

In the first two games of the season, Cooper had nine receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown. In his last four, he has nine receptions for 51 yards. He hasn’t found the end zone since Week 1 and hasn’t had a catch that covered more than eight yards since Week 2.

Simply put, the Raiders aren’t moving the ball without No. 89 making some big plays. Cooper’s frustration has to boil over at some point. Maybe the fact that he had five receptions against L.A. last week will help him out. This has to be his breakout game, but it comes against one of the stingier pass defenses in the NFL.

Chiefs vs. Raiders Free Picks

Last year, Cooper had 15 catches in two games against the Chiefs, and we have to think that he’s going to finally snap out of his funk this week.

We’re not sold on this Kansas City outfit. The team has massively overachieved offensively, and for as great as this pass rush is, the raw defensive stats aren’t great. There’s no way this team should be allowing just 21.7 points per game after allowing 378.2 yards per game.

The Oakland defense played a huge game last week against the Chargers, yet it ran out of gas at the end after so many bad offensive possessions left the ‘D’ in bad spots. If Carr and the offense get their acts together, this is a winnable game against an overrated team.

NFL ATS Pick: Raiders +3 at BookMaker.eu
NFL Score Prediction: Raiders 27, Chiefs 20