Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Mar 17, 2013 |
Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets
Columbus is racking up points and satisfying under bettors.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Columbus is racking up points and satisfying under bettors.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.

For the week of March 10-16

Hot team

Pittsburgh Penguins (4-0 SU)

The Penguins have ripped off eight consecutive wins heading into Sunday’s clash with the Bruins. Pittsburgh has tightened up defensively over its past four contests, yielding a total of four goals. The Penguins play three games against sub-.500 opponents this week (Capitals, Islanders, Flyers).

Cold team

Florida Panthers (0-4 SU)

The Panthers have dropped six consecutive games and nine of their last 10 to fall to the bottom of the league standings. Florida is allowing 3.7 goals per game and is only killing penalties at a 73.3 percent clip – both league-worst marks in the respective categories. The Panthers embark on a five-game road swing beginning Tuesday in Carolina.

Best over play

San Jose Sharks (1-3 SU, 3-0-1 over/under)

After playing under in eight consecutive games, the Sharks have gone over or earned a push for bettors in their last seven contests (4-0-3 O/U). A major reason for the reversal of trends is that oddsmakers have trimmed San Jose’s totals to five instead of the usual 5.5 for its last eight contests because of its overall tendency to play under (8-15-4 O/U). The Sharks play the second of five consecutive road games in Anaheim Monday.

Best under play

Columbus Blue Jackets (2-2 SU, 0-4 over/under)

Bettors have been taking Columbus to the bank on the puckline (23-6 ATS) and they’ve now gone low in five consecutive games because of the stellar play of G Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian netminder posted the first two shutouts of his career over the past week and has allowed two goals or less in each of his last six starts. The Blue Jackets have earned points in 10 straight games heading into Tuesday’s battle with Nashville.

Surveying the schedule:

-After a Sunday home date with the Sabres, the Washington Capitals hit the road for seven of their next eight games. The Caps have a brutal 4-8-1 record away from home and a 5-8 O/U mark.

-The St. Louis Blues head north of the border for three clashes with Canadian teams beginning Tuesday. The Blues will make stops in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary on the trek. St. Louis has played over the total in 10 of its 14 (10-3-1 O/U) road games this season.

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