There are 13 National Hockey League (NHL) games scheduled for Thursday in the Americas, starting at 7pm EST. Here’s where you should place your bets on the Thursday games.
Chicago Blackhawks (+220) @ Boston Bruins (-277.78)
Chicago scored eight times against Anaheim on Tuesday, and Boston is coming off a home loss to the Kings on Monday. The Bruins should be well rested, and they don’t really need to be well rested to beat Chicago.
Chicago might have undressed Anaheim, but Boston is considerably better defensively, allowing just 2.68 goals per game. Chicago only scores 2.57 goals per game. Although Boston spends more time in the penalty box than Chicago, the Bruins kill 81.2 percent of penalties, and Chicago scores on the power play 20 percent of the time.
Don’t overthink this one. Boston is the better team playing at home on two days’ rest. Take the Bruins on the moneyline, but the way the Blackhawks were scoring Tuesday, betting that more than 5.5 goals will be scored is a good bet. It’d be a better bet if the over/under lines weren’t both -109.89. Betting on Boston to win by two doesn’t pay enough at the time of writing (+110), but keep an eye on that line.
Over 5.5 total goals
Vegas Golden Knights (-232.56) @ Buffalo Sabres (+185)
Don’t overthink this one, either. Vegas is better on the road (16-9-1) than Buffalo is anywhere. Both teams have five players on the injury report, but Vegas is considerably deeper than Buffalo. Vegas is also playing Pittsburgh on Friday, so expect Laurent Brossoit to start in goal against Buffalo. That also doesn’t matter because he’s as good as anyone Buffalo will put between the pipes.
The Golden Knights are coming off a loss at Philadelphia, so a trip to Buffalo came at just the right time. Vegas needs this game to pull within one point of the Kings in the Pacific Division. Bet on them getting that win, and parlay them with Boston on the moneyline. Vegas to win by two or more is also a good bet at +120.
Vegas Golden Knights -1.5
Arizona Coyotes (+310) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (-400)
Parlay the Leafs to win with Vegas and Florida. It pays +130. If you want a better potential win, add Boston to that parlay to make the odds +214. Taking Toronto on the moneyline and betting over 6.5 goals will be scored pays +120. Toronto’s the biggest favorite of the day, so lock them in to win.
Toronto Maple Leafs / Over 6.5 goals
Seattle Kraken (+100) @ Ottawa Senators (-120.48)
Ottawa halted a four-game losing streak with a win at St. Louis on Tuesday, while Seattle enters on a three-game losing streak. Seattle’s simply allowed too many goals per game this season (3.59), and Ottawa’s constipated offense (2.61 goals scored per game) should open up nicely against the Kraken.
Seattle’s power play is also unimpressive (14.9 scoring percentage), so the Senators won’t have to worry about taking penalties given their 80.2 percent penalty kill rate. Take Ottawa to win at home and bet that fewer than six goals will be scored. Parlaying the Senators and under 5.5 goals together pays +265.
Ottawa Senators / Under 5.5 goals
Minnesota Wild (-188.68) @ Detroit Red Wings (+155)
Minnesota plays at Columbus on Friday, so expect Kaapo Kahkonen to start in goal for the Wild. He got the win over Detroit in their first meeting over a month ago, 7-4, so it’s no reason to shy away from the Wild on the moneyline. Their offense seems to be back on track after scoring five goals against the Rangers, albeit against backup goaltender Alexander Georgiev. Just seeing the puck in the net can have a huge effect on confidence, however, so look for the Wild to work the Wings, possibly by two or more, which is really attractive at +150.
Given the questionable goaltending on both sides, betting that more than 6.5 total goals will be scored is also attractive at +100.
Minnesota Wild -1.5
Philadelphia Flyers (+275) @ Florida Panthers (-344.83)
The Panthers are on a four-game win streak after a victory at Pittsburgh in which they allowed the Penguins to score twice in nine seconds. The Florida offense is so explosive, though.
Florida’s scoring more than four goals per game. The Panthers are 25-6-0 at home, and the Flyers are 7-13-5 on the road. Parlay the Panthers with Vegas and Boston on the moneyline, and if the line ever gets positive, bet that more than 6.5 goals will be scored. Betting the Panthers to win by two or more is unattractive at -114.94.
Florida Panthers to win
Winnipeg Jets (-120.48) @ New Jersey Devils (+100)
The Jets are at the Islanders on Friday, so expect Eric Comrie to start between the pipes against New Jersey on Thursday. He’s been quite good in 10 games this season, logging a .914 save percentage and allowing just under 2.5 goals per game, so the Jets will still have the goaltending advantage.
The Jets are also coming off a 7-4 thrashing of the Lightning on Tuesday in Winnipeg. But the Devils also beat Colorado 5-3 on Tuesday after beating St. Louis on Sunday. Both games were played in New Jersey.
The moneyline is indicative of how close this game is expected to be, which is why you should punt on this one. The Devils to win at +100 is only modestly attractive, and the over/under being set at 6 is equally unattractive. The most attractive line is for Winnipeg to win by two or more at +180.
Winnipeg Jets -1.5
Colorado Avalanche (-114.94) @ Carolina Hurricanes (-105.26)
This battle between division leaders will be fun to watch whether you bet on it or not. Picking a winner isn’t particularly attractive given the similar lines. The same goes for the over/under set at 6. Picking Colorado to win by two or more pays +200, and taking Carolina by at least two pays -250, though. Carolina has likely played the tougher schedule, and the Avs have four more points than the Hurricanes because they’ve played and won two more games. Take the ‘Canes to win by two at home, where they are 21-4-2, or just enjoy the great hockey both teams will play.
Amanda Ribas by decision
Columbus Blue Jackets (+140) @ New York Islanders (-158.73)
Columbus hosts Minnesota on Friday, so expect Joonas Korpisalo to start in goal for the Jackets against New York on Thursday. The Islanders would have had the goaltending advantage regardless, but now they might play better offensively than their 2.57 goals-per-game average this season.
Columbus is healthier, however, with New York missing left wing Anders Lee, defenseman Zdeno Chara, and, potentially, center Mathew Barzal, who leads the team in points and assists. Barzal is listed as day-to-day, so wait until lineups are announced before betting on this one.
The Blue Jackets are just as good on the road (13-14-0) as the Islanders are at home (11-12-4), so the home ice advantage is negligible for New York. But Columbus is on a three-game losing streak, falling one goal short in all three. Each of the Blue Jackets’ last five games has been decided by one goal, likely because they can score and struggle keeping opponents from scoring. They allow 3.65 goals per game, so look for more than 5.5 goals being scored.
If you’re looking for some good, long odds, pick Columbus to win on the moneyline and take the over for a +400 potential payout.
Columbus Blue Jackets / Over 5.5 goals
New York Rangers (+110) @ St. Louis Blues (-129.87)
The St. Louis Blues have been in a freefall since the start of March. They’ve yet to win a game this month, most recently falling at home to Ottawa on Tuesday, 4-1. The Rangers actually started the Blues’ losing streak with a 5-3 win in New York on March 2.
St. Louis knows it needs this one, and the Blues should get it at home, where they are 19-7-2. If they don’t, they could be looking up at the Minnesota Wild in the Central Division standings very soon.
Since neither team plays this Friday, expect the top goaltenders to go for each team, both of whom are very good. Igor Shesterkin and Ville Husso are so good, you should bet that fewer than 5.5 goals are scored. The +100 line is rather attractive, and Husso should be better in his second action against the Rangers after allowing four goals the first time around. The Blues could also start Jordan Binnington, which shouldn’t make you shy away from the under. He’s only allowed a little more than 3 goals per game this season.
Under 5.5 total goals
Anaheim Ducks (+160) @ Nashville Predators (-185.19)
Ducks goalie John Gibson is listed as day-to-day after allowing five goals to Chicago on Tuesday. Anthony Solarz has been an adequate backup, but the Predators will have the advantage in net regardless of who starts for Anaheim.
Anaheim could make this a game given the number of penalty minutes Nashville has taken this season (702), but the Ducks’ 25 percent scoring average on the power play might not overcome Nashville’s nearly 80 percent penalty kill rate. Take Nashville to win at home on the moneyline and keep an eye on the line for them to win by two or more. It’s at +135 as of this writing.
Nashville Predators to win
Tampa Bay Lightning (-109.89) @ Calgary Flames (-109.89)
With both teams at -109.89 at the time of writing, the moneyline isn’t worth a bet. Johnny Gaudreau being listed as day-to-day for Calgary also makes this a wait-and-see game. Gaudreau is Calgary’s points and assists leader, so if he goes, take Calgary at home, where the Flames are 16-5-5.
The Lightning are also coming off a road loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday, 7-4, so expect their attention to be on defense, which could make the total goals come in under 6, which pays -114.94. Taking the Flames on the moneyline and fewer than 5.5 total goals being scored pays +275.
Calgary Flames / Under 5.5 goals
San Jose Sharks (+185) @ Los Angeles Kings (-232.56)
The Sharks ran away with a 6-2 win at home in the first game of this series, but that was in January. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick wasn’t good, stopping just 11 of 17 shots. He’s since split time pretty evenly with Cal Petersen, who’s allowed just 2.56 goals per game at home this season. Petersen has been especially good in three games this March, allowing just 2.02 goals per game and stopping 93.6 percent of shots.
The next three games of the series will be played over the next seven days, so this might be the Sharks’ best chance to split the season series. They enter the game having lost three straight, however, and the Kings have won three consecutive games.
The Sharks are missing starting goaltender James Reimer to injured reserve, and the same goes for backup Adin Hill, so expect the Kings to score better than their 2.9 goals-per-game average. That said, if you can find the over/under set at 5.5, bet the over. Parlaying the Kings on the moneyline with over 5.5 goals being scored pays +140. It would be nice if the line on the Kings to win by two or more was better than +120. Take the Kings by two if that potential payout improves.
Over 5.5 total goals
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