We head into a new week of NHL action with some intriguing betting angles as we look at backing one of the best teams in the league and one of the worst. If you're looking to make bucks on the pucks, we break down the hockey odds and bring you the best betting notes along with our favorite picks and predictions.
OVER WITH MONDAYS
The start of the week brings us a battle between a pair of Metropolitan rivals as the New York Islanders (3-2 SU, 3-1-1 O/U last five) visit the Washington Capitals (2-3 SU, 4-0-1 O/U last five). The Islanders and Caps have played twice this season and have combined to pile up the goals, scoring 17 in total.
The Caps will likely start goalie Ilya Samsonov as Braden Holtby was tagged for seven goals on Saturday while the Islanders will counter with Thomas Greiss. Both goalies have allowed three or more goals in their previous two starts with the Over going 4-0 in those four games.
We are starting the week with an Over and taking the six as the Over is 19-7-2 in Washington this year.
VALUE IN THE LEAGUE’S WORST
It's not often we recommend the Detroit Red Wings (2-3 SU, 1-4 O/U last five) as they are by far the worst team in the league, but when they are facing the Buffalo Sabres (2-3 SU, 2-3 O/U last five) — a team they beat last week at +190 — there is value to be had. Detroit has been playing competitively of late as it is allowing just two goals against over its last five.
With Detroit playing on the road, it should be a big plus-money play. The Wings have been getting great goaltending by Jonathan Bernier (see below) which has allowed their anemic offense to stay in games. We are taking the Wings on the moneyline and fading the Sabres who have won just once in their last four and are 1-5 SU at home over their last six.
BEST PRICE FOR BEST TEAM
No team has been hotter than the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts have the most points over the last 20 games and are winners of six straight heading into the week. On Tuesday, they find themselves on the backend of a back-to-back which could give bettors a decent price on the moneyline, something that hasn’t been common during their domination of the league.
Tuesday’s opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins, have lost the last three matchups with Tampa Bay with the most recent being a 4-2 loss last week. The Pens’ Top-5 powerplay went 0-for-5 with the man advantage against the Lightning’s third-best penalty kill.
We like backing the best team in the league and what we think will be a great price due to back-to-back and playing on the road. Take the Lightning on the moneyline for this Tuesday night matchup.
OVER AND OUT
The Chicago Blackhawks (2-3 SU, 2-3 O/U last five) and Vancouver Canucks 1-4 SU, 3-1-1 O/U last five) have met twice this year with each team snagging a pair of home victories. But the real takeaway was the offensive production. In those two contests, a total of 19 goals were scored with the most recent result a 7-5 Vancouver victory on January 2.
With Chicago and Vancouver sitting at around 50 percent on the O/U, we should get a total closer to six than 6.5, which is great news for Over backers. Chicago is 5-3 O/U on its last totals of six while Vancouver is 6-3-1 O/U on totals of six in its last 10. We are grabbing the hump day Over 6 on Wednesday.
GOALIE PROFILE: JONATHAN BERNIER, DETROIT RED WINGS
Since returning from an injury on February 1, Jonathan Bernier has started four games and has won two of them at +190 and +270. Bernier holds a sub-2.00 goals against with a .935 save percentage this month which puts him up with the best goalies statistically.
The Red Wings play the Sabres on Tuesday, the Devils on Thursday and the Bruins on Saturday. Detroit has already beaten the Sabres and Bruins this month and will be big dogs in each of those three games. With the tight games that Detroit has been involved with of late, don’t forget to take a look at the +1.5 puckline.
INJURY UPDATE: F WILLIAM KARLSSON, VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
The Vegas Golden Knights (3-2 SU, 3-2 O/U last five) may have the services of 40-goal man William Karlsson on Tuesday versus the Minnesota Wild as the forward makes his way back from a broken finger that sidelined him since January 14. The Knights have scored on the powerplay at the fourth-worst mark in Karlsson’s absence but are tied for the most goals scored (21) over their last five games.
The Wild are 3-2-2 O/U at home in their last seven and are averaging 3.2 goals against in their last 10 games. Getting Karlsson into the lineup could add to an already potent offense. We are looking at the Over.
HAT TRICK TRENDS
• Favorites cleaned up last week going 31-16 with away favorites really dominating, finishing 11-2 over the last seven days. Much like last week, the puckline wasn’t as successful but still had a positive return hitting at 40 percent.
• It seems first-period Overs have started to wane. There is a lot of value in playing the Under for the first frame as the Under is usually even money at worst. Here are the best first-period Under teams of late: Blue Jackets (1-9 O/U), Kings (3-7 O/U), Flyers (3-7 O/U), Hurricanes (4-6 O/U), Coyotes (4-6 O/U), Canadiens (4-6 O/U), Flames (4-6 O/U).
• Looking to play some Overs? Target these goalies as they are in the bottom of the league in goals against over the last 30 days: WSH - Braden Holtby (4.42 GAA); SJ - Martin Jones (4.05 GAA); MIN - Devan Dubnyk (4.04 GAA); NYI - Semyon Varlamov (3.77 GAA).