2018 Stanley Cup Playoff Odds, Golden Knights vs. Jets Game1 Picks

Stanley Cup Playoff Odds

NHL Playoff Odds Winnipeg Jets vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 1 Picks

By Rock Westfall

The Winnipeg Jets are coming off the thrill of a seventh game win at Nashville against the Predators to clinch what was one of the better playoff series so far this spring.  But now they must quickly recover and refocus.  Game One of their Western Conference Final opens just two nights after their series winning triumph in Music City.  The opposition will be the Vegas Golden Knights, the most remarkable and successful expansion franchise in any sport ever.  And with the hottest goaltender in the playoffs in Marc Andre Fleury the Golden Knights will be a tough out.  Winnipeg hosts Vegas in game one on Saturday night.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets Game One
Date and Time: Saturday, May 12, 2018, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
NHL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Golden Knights +1 ½ (-230), Jets -1 ½ (+190), Over/Under 5 1/2, Golden Knights +120, Jets -140
Golden Knights vs. Jets TV Coverage: NBC

This is the first game of the best of seven Western Conference Final.  Game two will also be in Winnipeg on Monday.

Players to Watch

Winnipeg center Mark Scheifele has had the hot hand in post season with 11 goals and five assists and a plus six.  In the regular season Scheifele posted 23 goals and 37 assists with a plus 19.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is another important man to keep an eye one. “Big Buff” has four goals and nine assists in the playoffs with a plus six and a powerful defensive presence.

A pair of centers, Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson, have led the Golden Knights all season.  So far in the playoffs Marchessault has four goals and seven assists with a plus seven.  In the regular season the Florida castoff had 27 goals and 48 assists with a dominant plus 36.  Karlsson was kicked to the curb by Columbus last summer and has four goals with six assists and a plus six in post season.  In the regular season he led Vegas with 43 goals and 35 assists with a plus 49.

Golden Knights left wing James Neal was their top clutch goal scorer starting with their first ever game in a win at Dallas.  Neal had 25 goals in the regular season with three goals and four assists in the post season.

Goalie Report

Vegas netminder Marc Andre Fleury has been the most dominant goalie in the NHL playoffs so far with a save percentage of an eye-popping .951 and four shutouts with a goals against average of 1.53.  Fleury has won eight out of his ten starts in post season.  During the regular season he posted a .927 save percentage with four shutouts and a 2.24 goals against average.  Fleury’s value goes far beyond numbers.  He is the marquee man of the franchise and its most recognized player.  He is a fan favorite that has shown the rest of the team how to conduct themselves as representatives of the franchise.  Fleury has three Stanley Cup rings from his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Connor Hellebuyck has enjoyed a breakout season as a goaltender to be relied upon for the Winnipeg Jets.  Hellebuyck has posted a playoff save percentage of .927 with two shutouts and a 2.25 goals against average.  In the regular season he had a .924 save percentage with six shutouts and a 2.36 goals against average.

Key Stats

Winnipeg was 32-7-2 at home this year with just 15 of their 41 home games going under the total.  The Jets ranked second in the NHL for goal scoring and fifth for goals against.

Vegas was a good road team with a mark of 22-14-3-2 with just 18 of their 41 away games going under the total.  The Golden Knights were fifth in the NHL for goal scoring and eighth for goals against.

Hockey Betting Picks

Golden Knights vs. Jets Free Picks

It’s understandable that Winnipeg would be a series favorite.  But its asking an awful lot for the Jets to fully reboot just two nights after winning a game seven at Nashville.  Look for well rested Vegas to take full advantage.

Golden Knights vs. Jets Pick: Bet the Vegas Golden Knights money line
Golden Knights vs. Jets Game Prediction: Golden Knights 4, Jets 2

 

NHL Hockey Betting Lines, Philadelphia Flyers vs. Detroit Red Wings Odds

Hockey Betting Lines

Flyers vs. Red Wings NHL Betting

By Rock Westfall

For the first time since 1983 the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs and they will be extending that streak to two next month.  Worse still is that the Wings have appeared to have packed it in a month early.  Mired in a horrible slump that is flooding gamblers with red ink Detroit is just five points out of the Eastern Conference basement.  Also slumping are the Philadelphia Flyers although they are still firmly ensconced in the third Metropolitan Division playoff spot, at least for now.  Detroit hosts Philadelphia on Tuesday night.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
NHL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Flyers vs. Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Detroit has lost nine of their last ten games with three of their last five games going under the total.  On one hand some may excuse such futility with the fact that the Wings have been on the road in 10 of their last 11 games.  Those who are less politically correct would say that the team has quit on the season.

Also slumping is a Philadelphia team that has lost seven of their last nine outings.  They have also gone under the total in three of their last five tilts.  Rather than throwing in the towel the Flyers just may be running on an empty tank as with both of their top two goaltenders out of the lineup.

Special Teams

With a ranking of 29th the Flyers penalty killing unit has been a big problem all season and a key culprit in their current slump.  However, the Red Wings 22nd ranked power play is not likely to take advantage.  Detroit is equally ineffective on the penalty kill with a NHL rank of 22nd.

Injury report

The Flyers goaltending tandem of Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth is out.  Neuvirth has a lower body issue keeping him out of the lineup until early April.  Elliott is on the injured list until late March with an abdominal problem.


Players to Watch

Detroit left wing Henrik Zetterberg is a magician with the puck and one of the most skilled players in the NHL.  He has 10 goals and 37 assists on the season.  Flyers left wing Claude Giroux has a team best 83 points with 26 goals and 57 assists.

Goalie Report

Former Red Wing Petr Mrazek has been getting the majority of the work for the Flyers with Elliott and Neuvirth out.  Acquired at the trade deadline from Detroit for a couple of draft picks he has a subpar save percentage of .887 and a 3.15 goals against average.  As a result of Mrazek’s bad play Alex Lyon has been given an opportunity and has been the better netminder with a .913 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average.

Jimmy Howard is the top Red Wings goaltender and has posted a .909 save percentage with a 2.87 goals against average.  Backup Jared Coreau has a .863 save percentage and a 4.25 goals against average in three starts.

Key Stats

On enemy ice the Flyers have been impressive with a profitable mark of 19-12-2-3.  Overall Philadelphia is 36-25-5-6 and in the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.  One impressive metric for the Flyers is their ranking of fourth for shots against.

Home ice has not been an advantage for the Red Ink Wings.  At their palatial new home, the Wings are 13-14-7-1.  Little Caesars Arena has seen the Red Wings go under the total in 21 out of 35 games.  Detroit is 26-34-10-1 overall with 43 of their 71 games going under the total.  Detroit ranks a terrible 28th in the NHL for goal scoring and 21st for goals against.  A significant reason for the Red Wings terrible offense is their inability to generate shots.  They rank a pathetic 29th in the league for shots on goal.

Flyers vs. Red Wings Free Picks

With both teams slumping the Flyers at least have something to play for.  Detroit’s weak scoring depth lacks the ability to take advantage of the Flyers goaltending problems.

Flyers vs. Red Wings Pick: Bet the Philadelphia Flyers money line
Flyers vs. Red Wings Score Prediction: Flyers 3, Red Wings 1

NHL Hockey Betting Lines, Flyers vs Capitals Predictions

NHL Betting Odds

Flyers at Capitals Picks

By Jonathan Willis

The Washington Capitals are looking to extend their lead in the Metropolitan Division when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers in one of NBC’s mid-week games. Washington is used to being atop the Metropolitan, so that’s not big news, but are well behind both Tampa Bay and Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Caps finished atop the Eastern Conference the past two seasons and would like to make it three in a row.

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Flyers at Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN

Philly is hoping that the All-Star Break didn’t kill the team’s momentum. The Flyers had been a team on fire before the break, winning eight of their last 10 games. That vaulted them right into the thick of things in the crowded Metropolitan.

The Flyers have been one of the league’s better road teams this season. Philly has gotten at least a point in 15 of their 23 road games and is 17-6 against the puck line.

Washington welcomed the All-Star Break, as the Capitals had gone on a bit of a skid leading into the long weekend. The Capitals had lost three straight home games, a rarity for them, and will be looking to reestablish their dominance at home. They were 17-5 at home prior to those three losses.

Injuries to Watch

The Flyers are expected to be pretty healthy coming into this game. Brian Elliott was scratched from their last game prior to the All-Star break because of a lower-body injury, but he might be able to play against the Caps in this one. If he can’t go, Michal Neuvirth will be minding the net.

Washington is one of the few teams with no players on the injury report. That’s good news heading into the last third of the season.

Player to Watch

Over the past 13 seasons, Alex Ovechkin has been the face of the Washington Capitals. He has been the lynchpin of the team through thick and thin, and it will be he who the Caps lean on during their stretch run.

Ovechkin just recently hit a couple of milestones that highlight just how great he has been. Right before the All-Star break, he notched his 500th career assist and tallied his 13th straight 30-goal season in a win over Florida.

There is no denying that he is a shoot-first player, but when you are as talented as Ovie, it’s hard not to be. He has led the NHL in shots in 10 of his 12 complete seasons and has been the league’s leader in goals for six seasons. Ovechkin is currently leading the NHL in both shots and goals, and he is looking to crack the 50-goal mark for the eighth time in his career.

Key Stat

Neither Elliott or Neuvirth is a great, or even good, goaltender. That puts the pressure on the defense to be solid and not allow a lot of scoring opportunities, and the Flyers have done just that. Philadelphia is fifth in the NHL in shots allowed, giving up 30.2 shots per game.

The Flyers have two young defensemen that are already playing at an elite level. Ivan Provorov isn’t old enough to legally drink in this country, but he has helped shut down some of the best players in the game. He logs a ton of minutes and has been who Philly has leaned on the most.

Shayne Gostisbehere has been the other defenseman Philly has counted on. Gostisbehere is in his third season in the NHL and is known more for his offensive chops, but has come along as a defender too.

Flyers at Capitals Free Picks

Before the All-Star break, these teams met in our nation’s capital with Philadelphia coming on top 2-1. This time around, Washington will emerge victorious. The Capitals will find success against the Flyers other defensemen, and that will be the difference in this one.

Flyers at Capitals Pick: Back the hometown Capitals on the puck line
Flyers at Capitals Score Prediction: Capitals 3 – Flyers 1

NHL Hockey Predictions, Flyers vs Red Wings Betting Picks

NHL Hockey Odds

Flyers at Red Wings Picks

By Adam Markowitz

It’s been another rebuilding year for the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit looks like it is going to miss out on the playoffs yet again this season. Only two teams in the East currently have worse records, and they have been unable to string together good performances lately too. The Red Wings are hopeful that they can right the ship at least a little bit at this point. A win over the Philadelphia Flyers on national television would help in that regard.

Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time:Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Flyers at Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Philadelphia is one of the hotter teams in the NHL at the moment. The Flyers have won seven of their last eight and just got done picking up a nice road win against the Capitals on Sunday afternoon.

Yet another road win has made this a great team to bet on away from home. The Flyers have gotten points in 14 of their 22 road games, and are 17-5 ATS on the road.

Detroit has not had much to celebrate this season, home or away. The Red Wings have lost units on both the moneyline and the puck line this year. Lately, they have been in a particularly bad slump, losing four of their last five. Additionally, Detroit has lost its last three home games.

Injuries to Watch

The Red Wings are expecting to have one back from injury for this one. C Luke Glendening has been out for over a month with a wrist injury, but looks set to make his return against the Flyers. However, three other injured players look set to miss this game. Both C Darren Helm and LW Justin Abdelkader have been out for about a week and neither one is expected to play here. Additionally, D Trevor Daley suffered an injury on Saturday and is likely to miss this one.

For Philadelphia, there is nothing new to report on the injury front. That’s a welcome spot of news this time of year. The Flyers are hoping that luck holds up for as long as possible.

Matchup to Watch

Those injuries have been very costly for the Red Wings. Detroit is one of the worst teams on the penalty kill in the NHL. The Red Wings are allowing teams to score 21.1 percent of the time they are on the power play, a figure that is well below-average.

Without players like Helm, Abdelkader, and Daley, the penalty kill has performed even worse. Detroit has allowed opponents to score two power play goals in three of its last four games as a result of the injuries. Unsurprisingly, the Red Wings lost all three of those games by multiple goals.

Philadelphia has not scored on the power play in its last four games, but might break through here. They found the back of the net on their lone power play against Detroit the last time these teams met and will look to do so again.

Flyers at Red Wings Free Picks

During Philadelphia’s run, the Flyers have gotten good production out of both their goaltenders and their offense. Through the first half of the streak, the offense led the way with 21 goals in the first four games. Lately, it’s been defense though. Philly has given up just four goals in its last three games, and held Washington to just one goal on the road.

Give the Flyers credit for bouncing back when they could have mailed it in early. They lost 10 games in a row during the last half of November, putting them in a bad spot. However, they have since rallied and are now looking like a playoff team. In particular, the play of Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott has been much better than expected. Goaltending let down Philly last year, but it has been a boon this season.

With the Red Wings having to take a road trip to New Jersey the night before this game, the Flyers will have a day of rest. That will help them pick up the win.

Flyers at Red Wings Pick: Take the Flyers to get it done on the road here
Flyers at Red Wings Score Prediction: Flyers 3 – Red Wings 2

NHL Hockey Predictions, Penguins vs Kings Betting Picks

NHLOpening Odds

Penguins at Kings Picks

By Adam Markowitz

After missing out on the playoffs in two of the past three seasons, the Los Angeles Kings are looking to get back to the postseason. The Kings have the best defense in the NHL and have rode that defense this year. However, that defense has had some major problems over the past four games, allowing four goals each game. That has led to four straight losses. Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are coming to town, and the Kings better hope that defense is shored up.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Kings
Date and Time:Thursday, January 18, 2018, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Penguins at Kings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Pittsburgh has not fared well on the road this season. The Penguins have won just nine of their 23 road games and will be behind the eight ball in this one. Whereas the Kings get a few days of rest prior to this game, the Penguins play Anaheim on Wednesday night and will have to travel to face San Jose on Saturday.

The Penguins were a middling team for the first two months of the season, but they have turned it on in recent weeks just like they have in past years. They have won four straight coming into this one, thanks to an offense that has scored 19 goals in those four games.

Los Angeles is one of the rare teams that is better on the road than at home. The Kings have won just half of their home games this season and are 6-16 on the goal line in the Staples Center. During this recent poor stretch of play, the last three games have been at home.

Injuries to Watch

The Kings have been without Jeff Carter all season long. He has been sidelined with an ankle injury, but the team recently got good news as he has finally returned to the ice and is skating on his own.

Not having Carter hasn’t been easy, but this team has really struggled since defenseman Jake Muzzin went on IR with an upper-body injury. It’s no surprise that this team’s defensive collapse has happened with him out of the lineup. The Kings need to get him back soon.

Chad Ruhwedel and Bryan Rust have been on injured reserve with upper-body injuries since the tail end of December, and Carter Rowney was added to IR for that same reason a week later. Ruhwedel may be able to go, but Rust and Rowney will be out for a few weeks longer.

Pittsburgh got good news too when it was announced that Matt Murray would make the West Coast road trip with the team. Murray has been out for the last two games for personal reasons, and his status was up in the air for this trip.

Matchup to Watch

The league’s best power play will face off against the league’s best penalty kill in this one.

With so much talent, it’s no wonder that Pittsburgh has the most effective power play in the NHL. The Penguins have scored on 26.5 percent of their chances as teams eventually crack under the waves of pressure that they can bring. The big three of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel have starred on the man advantage with the trio combining for 25 goals.

Los Angeles has allowed a power play goal in two if its last three games without Muzzin available. Still this is the NHL’s top defense and is tops at killing off penalties too. The Kings have successfully killed off 87.1 percent of power plays this season. That has helped them keep winning in spite of a middling offense.

Penguins at Kings Free Picks

Not having Muzzin is huge for the Kings. However, Pittsburgh won’t be able to take advantage of his absence. This is no longer a young team and road games in back-to-back nights take a toll. Anaheim plays a particularly physical brand of hockey, so Pittsburgh will be bruised heading into this one. That’s all the advantage LA needs.

Penguins at Kings Pick: Back the Kings at home
Penguins at Kings Score Prediction: Kings2 – Penguins 1