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

 

Ice Hockey Betting Predictions, Bruins vs. Flyers Betting Odds

NHL Odds

NHL Odds Bruins vs. Flyers Picks

By Rock Westfall

With both of their top goaltenders out of the lineup for the past month the Philadelphia Flyers are hanging by a thread for one of the two final wild card playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.  The Boston Bruins have been battling through their own injury issues to stay just two points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the race for the Atlantic Division and top seed in the Eastern Conference.  The Flyers host the Bruins on NBC Sunday afternoon.

Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Date and Time: Sunday, April 1. 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NHL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bruins vs. Flyers TV Coverage: NBC

The Bruins have won six out of their last ten games with seven out of those ten games going under the total.  Boston has been something of a surprise in that they are contending for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.  The leadership duo of head coach Bruce Cassidy and general manager Don Sweeney has proven to be the breath of fresh air that the Bruins needed.  Cassidy has done much to improve the Bruins offensive attack that was being suffocated at the end of Claude Julien’s reign as coach.

The Flyers have lost six of their last ten games with seven of their last ten going over the total.  Without their top two goaltenders Philadelphia has had little margin for error.  They are trying to hold off the Florida Panthers for the final playoff spot in the East.  Florida is four points back but with two games in hand.

Injury report

The Philadelphia goaltending tandem of Michael Neuvirth and Brian Elliott continues to be on the mend.  Neuvirth is now on day to day status with a lower body injury while Elliott is out until early April with an abdominal issue.

For the Bruins left wing Rich Nash is day to day with upper body problems.  Veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara is out indefinitely with an upper body problem.  Right wing David Backes is day to day with leg problems.  Players to Watch

Boston left winger Brad Marchand leads the team in scoring with 33 goals and 47 assists.  Marchand also has an impressive plus-34.  Fellow left wing David Pastrnak is right behind with 30 goals and 43 assists.  Defenseman Torey Krug is a solid setup man with 13 goals and 40 assists.

For the Flyers left wing Claud Giroux leads with 26 goals and 65 assists with a plus-18.  Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is a fine quarterback in his own right with 13 goals and 44 assists.

Goalie Report

Boston’s number one netminder Tuukka Rask has a .918 save percentage with a 2.32 goals against average.  Backup Anton Khudobin has a .917 save percentage and a 2.48 goals against average.

Backup goaltenders Alex Lyon and Petr Mrazek have under par for the Flyers.  Mrazek was acquired at the trade deadline from Detroit but has not lived up to billing with a terrible .886 save percentage and 3.26 goals against average.  Alex Lyon has a .905 save percentage and a 2.75 goals against average.  The poor play of the backup tandem only shows how much the injuries to Neuvirth and Elliott have damaged the Flyers.

Special Teams

The Bruins strong special teams are a major contributor for their success.  Boston ranks sixth in the NHL for both power play efficiency and penalty killing.

Conversely penalty killing has been a major problem for the Flyers with a NHL ranking of 28th.  The power play has been pedestrian with a ranking of 17th.

Key Stats

Boston is 47-17-8-2 with a profitable road record of 22-10-3-2.  The Bruins have gone over the total in just 15 out of 37 away games.  The Bruins play a complete game as evidence by their NHL rankings of sixth for goals scored and third for goals against.

Philadelphia is 43-27-4-2 with a home record of 19-13-3-3.  The Flyers have gone under the total in 17 of 38 home games this season.  The Flyers rank 14th in the NHL for goal scoring and 15th for goals against.

Boston has won four in a row against the Flyers with the last three games going under the total.

Hockey Betting Picks

Bruins vs. Flyers Free Picks

The Bruins are in better form with deeper secondary scoring and more stability at goaltender.

Bruins vs. Flyers Pick: Bet the Boston Bruins money line
Bruins vs. Flyers Score Prediction: Bruins 3, Flyers 1

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 Odds, Boston Bruins vs Buffalo Sabres Picks

Bruins at Sabres Picks

By Adam Markowitz

NHL Betting Odds

The Buffalo Sabres are the worst team in the Eastern Conference by a wide margin. They have just 23 points through 33 games and are six points behind Florida, the next worst team in the East. It’s looking very likely that Buffalo will be missing out on the postseason for the seventh straight year. Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins are in a decent position to get back to the playoffs and are looking to stop a recent skid. They lost their last two games and that has stopped their rise in the standings. They have games in hand on every other team in the conference though.

Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres
Date and Time:Tuesday, December 19, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bruins at Sabres TV Coverage: NBCSN

Buffalo continues to slide in the standings. The Sabres have won just three of their last 18 games this year and they have been held to one goal or less in half of those games. It’s hard to win like that and it’s no wonder that the team has been struggling.

The Bruins have been able to put pucks on the net lately and are back to playing the solid defense that they are known for. Although that hasn’t worked in their last two games, they have the 11th best scoring defense in the NHL now.

Letdown, Look ahead Situation

There aren’t many chances where you might be able to confidently back the Sabres, but this is one of them. Buffalo last played on Friday and after this game won’t have to play again until next Friday. The team has been able to stay in Buffalo the whole time and that extra rest helps over the course of the NHL season.

Boston is about to catch up with the other teams in the East in terms of games played. The Bruins just got done playing three days in four days last week, playing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Now they are about to do the same thing and they have a road trip in there as well.

On Monday, Boston hosts Columbus. After that game is over, the Bruins have to travel to Buffalo for this game the next day and then they host Winnipeg on Thursday. They will be on much more tired legs than Buffalo and that gives the Sabres the advantage in one area.

Key Stats

Buffalo’s offense has been the worst in the NHL this season. The Sabres are dead last in the league in scoring with just 2.2 goals per game on the year. Outside of Evander Kane and Jack Eichel, this team just doesn’t have any playmakers and no one besides those two is in double digits in goals this season.

The offense has a tough task too. Boston is playing good defense again and the goaltending has rebounded after a rocky start to the season. Anton Khudobin and Tuukka Rask are both stopping more than 91 percent of their shots and the defense is limiting the number of shots that these two see.

Bruins at Sabres Free Picks

These two teams played early in the season in what was surprisingly an offensive outburst. This was one of Buffalo’s eight wins and it came in thrilling fashion as the team went into Boston and overcame two different three-goal deficits in order to get a 5-4 win in overtime.

Buffalo dominated the run of the game after the first period. Boston jumped out to a lead, but the Sabres outshot the Bruins 21 to 6 in the third period and extra frame and that led to Buffalo getting the win.

The Sabres have a great chance to win this game and you can probably get good odds on them here. Many people will jump on the chance to back Boston at a short price and not care that the Bruins are on the road and will be tired. Go the other way and hope that you can get Buffalo as a home underdog because of it.

Bruins at Sabres Pick: Look for Buffalo to get a much needed home win
Bruins at Sabres Score Prediction: Sabres 4 – Bruins 2

 

NHL Hockey Picks, Bruins vs Red Wings Betting Lines

NHL Betting Odds

Bruins at Red Wings Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Detroit Red Wings saw their 25-year postseason streak come to an end last year and are in danger of missing out on the postseason yet again. Detroit is sitting in 13th in the Eastern Conference after 29 games with just 27 points. Averaging under a point a game is not a recipe for success and the Red Wings know they need to turn things around soon. They will try to start getting back on track when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bruins at Red Wings TV Coverage: NBCSN

Detroit has been in a freefall lately and needs to snap out of it. The Red Wings have lost eight of their last nine and have been blown out in most of those games. The nadir was last week when they lost 10-1 to Montreal, when Paul Byron had a hat trick midway through the second period.

In those nine games, the Red Wings gave up 43 goals, an average of nearly five goals per game. That’s an incredible number and highlights how bad the defense has been. Unsurprisingly, the over cashed in seven of those nine games.

On the other hand, Boston has really been coming on strong. The Bruins are 8-2 over their last 10 games and have received some awesome goaltending over that stretch. Boston has limited opponents to an average of two goals a game over its last 10.

However, the Bruins have been a much different team on the road when compared to home. Boston is 9-4-2 at home, but just 5-5-2 away from Beantown.

Key Stats

Detroit has one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL. The Red Wings are getting outscored by over a half-goal per game on average and it’s a wonder that they aren’t in the cellar. Both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek have been getting beat in goal and no one outside of Anthony Mantha has been scoring with regularity.

Special teams play has been what has kept Detroit competitive. The Red Wings have a top ten power play and a top ten penalty kill and that has helped make the goal differential better. At even strength, this team has been really bad and that’s concerning.

Matchup to Watch

No matter who is in goal for Boston on Wednesday, the Bruins will have the goaltending edge. While Mrazek and Howard have had their share of woes, Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobinhave been great and have really come on strong.

Rask struggled at the start of the season, but has started to look like his old self recently and has reclaimed his starting spot. His GAA and save percentage are still both a little higher than usual, yet those numbers are much more in line with his averages than what we saw a few weeks ago.

Khudobin emerged as a solid backup while Rask was struggling. Khudobinhas a 7-1-2 record and has a .922 save percentage on the season. He has taken a back seat to Rask again, but will likely either get the start here or the next night when the Bruins host Washington.

Bruins at Red Wings Free Picks

Checking the injury report, while Detroit is pretty much injury free, Boston has a few issues to keep in mind. LW Peter Cehlarik and C Ryan Spooner are both still on injured reserve and C Noel Acciari is considered day-to-day.

I believe that Detroit will be a slight favorite in this one because it is playing at home and Boston has been struggling on the road. However, while Boston will be well-rested with three full days off before this one, Detroit played a game on Monday night against Florida.

Boston has been playing better more complete hockey and I think the extra time off will help the Bruins overcome their road woes. Back the Bruins here, especially if they are an underdog.

Bruins at Red Wings Pick: Back the boys from Beantown
Bruins at Red Wings Score Prediction: Bruins 3 – Red Wings 2