NHL Hockey Betting Odds, Rangers vs Penguins Lines

NHL Odds

Rangers at Penguins Picks

By Adam Markowitz

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in serious danger of missing out on the postseason. The back-to-back Stanley Cup champions are currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have a goal differential of -12. They have been playing better in recent weeks, but a terrible December put them behind the eight ball in the conference.

Pittsburgh will play host to the New York Rangers this weekend. The Rangers have overcome an awful start to the season and are battling for a playoff spot. A road win against a division rival would be nice.

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Date and Time: Sunday, January 14, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Rangers at Penguins TV Coverage: NBCSN

Both of these teams will be playing on Saturday afternoon, so fatigue may be a little bit of a factor.

Pittsburgh has won three of its last four. However, the Penguins have not won a home game in regulation in quite a long time. The last time the Pens won a home game without going to overtime was all the way back on December 2, when they beat Buffalo 5-1. Since then, they have played eight home games. They lost four in regulation, won two in overtime, and won two in a shootout.

The Rangers have a knack of getting at least a point in each of their road games. Although they lost 2-1 to Vegas in their last road game, this team had ended regulation tied up in five straight road tilts prior to that. Under has been a great play in Rangers games recently, with 10 of their last 13 finishing under the total.

Injuries to Watch

New York’s Chris Kreider will be out for at least another month after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot. The Rangers might have another winger back for this one though as Kevin Hayes looks set to return from a concussion.

For Pittsburgh, Carter Rowney and Bryan Rust will be out for a significant amount of time. However, it looks like defenseman Chad Ruhwedel might be able to return for this one.

Key Stats

The main thing keeping Pittsburgh in the mix is its success on the power play. The Penguins have the NHL’s best power play, finding the back of the net on 26.6 percent of their opportunities this year.

This team has been on fire on the power play over its last nine games. Pittsburgh found the back of the net in six of those games and scored twice on the power play in four of those tilts. Through the nine games, the Penguins are 10-26 on the man advantage. That’s an incredible number over a significant period of time.

To make things easier, the penalty kill is one of the ten best units in the NHL. Pittsburgh has successfully killed off all penalties in seven straight games. Opponents had a combined 17 power play opportunities in those games, and the Penguins defenders helped them get some needed points by blanking them.

Player to Watch

New York has had a hard time generating offense over the last couple weeks. The Rangers have tallied just eight goals in their last five games, so one of their scorers needs to get back on track.

We all knew that Michael Grabner was going to come back down to Earth after his hot start, so now it’s up to players like Mika Zibanejad to start finding the back of the net for the Rangers. Zibanejad is second on the team in scoring, but has scored almost half of his goals on the power play. He needs to start scoring at even strength.

Rangers at Penguins Free Picks

These teams are very familiar with each other. They have already met twice this year with both games going over the total and the road teams winning each time.

Pittsburgh is going to be favored here, but with how it has played at home, the Rangers are a great bet. You can get them at a good price and should back them here.

Rangers at Penguins Pick: Back the Rangers on the road
Rangers at Penguins Score Prediction: Rangers 3 – Penguins 2

NHL Hockey Picks, Blackhawks at Rangers Betting Lines

NHL Hockey Picks

Blackhawks at Rangers Picks

By Adam Markowitz

We’re getting a good look at the New York Rangers this week. The Rangers were on national television on New Year’s Day, taking on Buffalo in the Winter Classic, and now we will see them square off against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Rangers are in good position for the postseason at this moment, but would like to catch Washington and New Jersey. Meanwhile, Chicago is still struggling to shift into another level and would be out of the playoffs if the season ended today.

Chicago Blackhawks at New York Rangers
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 3, 2018, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
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Blackhawks at Rangers TV Coverage: NBCSN

Like most of the NHL, Chicago has been better at home than it has been on the road. However, the Blackhawks are still good at covering the puckline when they are the road team. They are 13-8 ATS on the road this season and have made bettors a little bit of money. That’s despite winning just one game on their latest five-game road trip.

The Rangers have been a solid team to bet on this season and have made you money whether backing them on the moneyline or ATS. They have won 15 of their 24 games at MSG, and have been lighting the lamp with regularity on home ice as well. Picking up an overtime ‘road’ win against Buffalo in the Winter Classic gives them a nice little boost too.

Player to Watch

It’s been a bumpy road for Henrik Lundqvist this season, but he is finally starting to look like ‘The King’ once again. Lundqvist did not have a good October, posting a 3.2 GAA and a save percentage under .900. He has really come alive over the last two months though.

In November, he posted a save percentage of .927, and he put up an even better number of .936 in the month of December. He was lights out against Buffalo in the Winter Classic too, so it looks like he might be off to a strong start in January.

He has been great at home too this season. Lundqvist is 13-4-2 on home ice with a save percentage of .923.

However, he really struggled in his previous outing against Chicago and didn’t’ make it through the game. Lundqvist allowed four goals on 34 shots in a 6-3 loss.

Key Stats

Blackhawks fans keep on waiting for this team to turn the corner. They have a positive goal differential, so they should have a better record then they do.

However, two main things have been holding this team back. The first is an inability to make teams pay by scoring on the power play. Chicago has the third-worst power play in the league, something that’s unfathomable considering the amount of offensive firepower on the roster. The Blackhawks have converted on just 15 percent of their chances this season.

Additionally, Chicago’s defense has allowed far too many shots on net. Opponents are putting 33 pucks on net a night against the Blackhawks, and that has burdened the goaltending. Corey Crawford has played well despite this, but backup Anton Forsberg has not.

Blackhawks at Rangers Free Picks

Patrick Kane is having a great season for the Blackhawks. He is averaging a point a game and has kept this offense respectable despite some down years from the other big names on the roster.Kane has 13 more points than anyone else on the team and needs to start getting more help from his teammates.

The Rangers don’t have a superstar on their roster, but have three solid lines that can give the team production. There are already 14 players who are in double-digits in points for the Rangers this season, and that makes it hard for teams without much depth at defense to battle this team effectively.

Chicago is going to have a tough time against New York’s second- and third-line. Look for each of those lines to net a goal in a Rangers victory.

Blackhawks at Rangers Pick: Grab the Rangers on the puck line
Blackhawks at Rangers Score Prediction: Rangers 3 – Blackhawks 1

NHL Hockey Betting Picks, Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals Odds

NHL Odds

Bruins at Capitals Picks

By Adam Markowitz

For the second time in two nights, the Washington Capitals will be on national television when they host the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. Washington has started to come alive in the month of December and is looking to keep the momentum it built up before Christmas. The Caps have been one of the best regular season teams in the NHL for the last decade, but have yet to reach even the Eastern Conference Finals. This year they are hoping for things to be different.

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Thursday, December 28, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
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Bruins at Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN

Boston has won its last four games coming into this one, taking care of business as a favorite all four times. The defense has been great during that stretch, allowing just four goals, and that helped the under to go 3-1 in that time. This is one of the more defensive minded clubs you will find, and the Bruins have seen 19 of their 34 games go under the total.

The Capitals lost their last two games before the break. Washington just couldn’t find much offense out west against Arizona and Las Vegas. However, before that point, the Caps had won eight of nine, including a win over Boston on the road in that stretch. This team hasn’t lost at home since November 30, and is 14-5 on home ice this season.

Last Meeting

Boston is hoping its luck will change playing Washington in a new venue. The Bruins have lost both of their home games to the Capitals already this season, getting outscored 8-4.

These two teams met two weeks ago in Beantown, with Washington pouring it on in the third period in order to get the win. Two Alex Chiasson goals, one shorthanded, midway through the period put the Caps up 4-1, and it was all over from that point.

Special teams were extremely important in that meeting. Boston and Washington combined to tally three power play goals on nine chances and Chiasson had the shortie as previously mentioned.

Additionally, what killed Boston was its inability to outscore Washington in the second period despite outshooting the Capitals 13-3. Both teams tallied a goal in that frame and that kept the pressure on Boston.

Player to Watch

Braden Holtby has been a Vezina contender for each of the last three seasons, but has not played well so far this year. Holtby is in his late 20s, and the Caps believed that the future was bright for him after posting a career-low 2.07 GAA in 2016-17.

Unfortunately, his numbers have regressed in a big way now that he no longer has some of the first-class defensemen he once did. Holtby has a 2.65 GAA this season and has seen far more shots this year than in the last three seasons.

His save percentage has taken a slight dip, so it’s obvious the main culprit is the defense. However, at the end of the day, it’s Holtby that gets the credit or the blame for how many goals the opponent scores. He has allowed at least two goals in each of his last five outings.

Bruins at Capitals Free Picks

Washington’s success this season is a little curious when you look at certain stats. There is usually a good correlation between shots taken and shots allowed and a team’s success, but the Caps have thrown that out the window. They are getting outshot by an average of three shots a game, yet keep finding ways to win games. Neither of the special teams units have been that good, and still their pucks keep finding their way into the back of the net.

That’s why I’m going to go with the underdog here. Boston is good enough on the defensive end to stop Washington, and the Bruins were a little unlucky the last time these teams met. Back Boston to pull off the upset as a good-sized underdog.

Bruins at Capitals Pick: Grab the Bruins on the moneyline
Bruins at Capitals Score Prediction: Bruins 4 – Capitals 2

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
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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
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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