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
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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 Predictions, Capitals vs. Ducks Betting Odds

NHL Hockey Predictions

Capitals vs. Ducks Picks (GP)

By Rock Westfall

If the season ended today the Anaheim Ducks would be in the Western Conference playoffs by the skin of their chin.  But they would enter the playoffs with the momentum of six wins in their last eight games.  Momentum has also swung the way of the Washington Capitals.  Fresh off a Stadium Series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs the Caps have won three of their last four.  For the Ducks their success is based on an emphasis on defense and the stellar goaltending tandem of John Gibson and Ryan Miller.  For the Caps its sniper extraordinaire Alex Ovechkin leading the way.  The Ducks host the Caps Tuesday night.

Washington Capitals vs. Anaheim Ducks
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 10 p.m. ET
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
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Capitals vs. Ducks TV Coverage: NBCSN

Anaheim has a record of 33-21-12 and is one point behind the second place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.  The Ducks are coming off a strong 6-3 home payout over the Chicago Blackhawks.  Home ice has been nice for the Ducks as evidenced by their mark of 18-9-3-2 at Honda Center.  Over the total has paid in just 13 of their 32 home games.

The Caps dominated a good Toronto team in a 5-2 in the Stadium Series game at the US Naval Academy.  Washington leads the Metropolitan Division with a record of 37-21-6-1.  On the road the Caps are 14-12-4-1 with 21 of their 31 away games going over the total.  Only three of the Caps last ten games have gone under the number.

Special Teams

Washington boasts one of the top power plays in the NHL and ranks fifth in the league for that department.  Ovechkin of course is a big reason as to why.  The Russian has 40 goals on the season including 12 power play goals.  Additionally, The Great Eight has 13 power play assists.  Ovechkin’s snap shot from the left wing continues to be deadly.  The Ducks may be able to counter the Caps power play with a strong penalty killing unit that ranks fifth best in the league.  However, Anaheim has a terrible power play of its own that is ranked 24th for efficiency in the NHL.

Players to Watch

Another Russian has emerged as a key asset for the Capitals.  Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has 20 goals and 44 assists on the season.  He also has 18 power play assists in the role of feeding Ovechkin.  Washington defenseman John Carlson plays a complete 200-foot game while bringing 12 goals and 41 assists.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf may only have nine goals on the season but he also boasts 36 assists with a plus-15.  His leadership is an important intangible.  Fellow Anaheim center Rickard Rakell has a team high 27 goals along with 27 assists.  Defenseman Josh Manson is having a fine season with 5 goals, 23 assists, and a team best plus-23

Scheduling Situation

The Ducks are concluding a four game homestand in this matchup.  They have won two of their first three in that stanza.  For the Caps this matchup opens a three game California road trip that will also include games this week at Los Angeles and San Jose.

Goalie Report

Anaheim’s John Gibson and Ryan Miller have been one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.  Both have save percentages of .925.  Miller has posted three shutouts in 23 starts.  For Washington Braden Holtby has slipped a notch with a subpar .908 save percentage.  However, Holtby is capable of more as proven by his career save percentage of .920.  Holtby was stellar with 27 saves on 29 shots in the win over Toronto.  Backup Philipp Grubauer has outplayed Holtby and has posted a save percentage of .922 on the season.

Key Stats

Head to head Washington has dominated this series with six wins in their last eight meetings against the Ducks.  The Caps scored a 3-2 home payout over Anaheim on December 16.  Six of the last nine games between these teams went under the total.

Capitals vs. Ducks Free Picks

Both teams are in good form and it’s not inconceivable that they could meet in the Stanley Cup Final.  In a matchup that looks even Washington should be the better value.

Capitals vs. Ducks Pick: Bet the Washington Capitals money line.
Capitals vs. Ducks Score Prediction: Capitals 4, Ducks 2

 

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds, NHL Betting Lines

NHL Odds

Kings vs. Golden Knights Picks

By Rock Westfall

The Los Angeles Kings enjoyed an early sugar rush of a new head coach to bust out of the gate with a very successful start.  John Stevens emphasized a freer flowing offensive approach than predecessor Darryl Sutter, but now the reality of the Kings roster has caught up with them.  Their lack of offense cannot be covered up for and they are back to the reality of what they always were and that is the same one dimensional defensively oriented team that they were under Sutter.  The Vegas Golden Knights are the sensation of the hockey nation and the first-year expansion team has the league’s best record.  Almost as important is that they play a high scoring attack style that entertains.  The Golden Knights host the Kings on Tuesday

Los Angeles Kings vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Date and Time: Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
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Kings vs. Golden Knights TV Coverage: NBCSN

Los Angeles peaked on January 2 when they were 24-11-5 and looked like a guarantee to make for the playoffs with home ice advantage.  Their collapse since then has been breathtaking.  Gamblers backing LA have drowned in red ink for the last two months.  LA is in an eight team race for the final five Western Conference playoff spots.  Just six points separate those eight clubs in the standings.

There is no doubt that center Jeff Carter’s four month absence due to injury was a factor in the Kings woes.  But the fact that LA was highly profitable for the first month and a half that Carter was out can’t be ignored.  Carter has returned to the lineup, but will it be enough?  Many NHL insiders believe that the Kings offensive woes under Sutter were never really addressed.

The Kings have been under water lately.  In their last eight games they have lost five times.  They have been a decent value on the road with a mark of 19-13-2.  Just 14 of LA’s 34 away games have gone over the total.

In their first season of existence, Vegas is in the President’s Trophy hunt for best regular season record in the NHL.  The Golden Knights remain in great form with six wins in their last eight games.  Home ice has been a big advantage for Vegas.  The Golden Knights are an astounding 24-5-1-1 at T-Mobile Arena.  Vegas paid half a billion dollars to join the NHL.  To its credit the league offered them good players in the expansion draft.

Special Teams

Vegas boasts one of the best power plays in the NHL with a ranking of fifth.  Comparatively the Kings rank a disappointing 17th for the power play.  This matchup’s Power play comparison is indicative of team’s respective strengths and weaknesses.  The fresh approach of Stevens has worn off.  The Kings traditional scoring problems that doomed Sutter remain.  Power play efficiency is a big reason for the Golden Knights amazing success.

Goalie Report

Marc Andre Fleury has had to fill the void for Vegas due to Malcolm Subban’s injury.  Subban is out indefinitely due to an upper body issue.  Fleury has a stellar save percentage of .930 with a 2.13 goals against average.  Maxime Legace has struggled in Subban’s place as backup.  Legace has a weak .872 save percentage and 3.79 goals against average.  Thus, Fleury is carrying a heavy workload.

For the Kings starter Jonathan Quick and backup Darcy Kuemper are among the top tandems in the game.  Quick has a save percentage of .921 with a 2.46 goals against average in 48 games.  Kuemper’s save percentage is an even better .932 with a 2.10 goals against average in 19 games.

Key Stat

Vegas is defying all laws of gravity and expectations for an expansion team.  Beyond being a President’s Trophy contender they also rank second in the NHL for goal scoring.  In comparison slumping Los Angeles is 18th in the league for goals scored.

Kings vs. Golden Knights Free Picks

Vegas scored a 4-2 win in their only previous home game against LA on November 19.  There is no reason to expect anything different in this one.  The Golden Knights have developed a true four line team that relentlessly attacks in wave after wave.  The scoring depth of Vegas cannot be matched by the Kings.

Kings vs. Golden Knights Pick: Bet the Vegas Golden Knights money line
Kings vs. Golden Knights Score Prediction: Golden Knights 5, Kings 2

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

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.
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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