NHL Picks - Free Hockey Predictions
Puck Heads can get another opinion on some of the games from our resident hockey handicapper who gives out his free NHL picks throughout the hockey season. Stop by frequently to see what wagers Ross Staring is laying down on in his quest to make the hockey season a winning one.
Even with the 3-1 series lead, a solid winning record on the road and a ton of momentum from its last three wins, I am still going against Washington on Thursday night. Vegas has been a very tough out at home all season long and in the postseason leading up to this series. Game 6 back in Washington could be a whole other story, but I think the Golden Knights have one more win in them in this storybook season.
The total has closed at 5.5 goals in the first three games of this series, and it has been set at that same betting line for Monday night's contest. I think both starting goalies in this series have settled into form heading into Game 4 and each team's defense has done an excellent job at limiting scoring chances over the past two games. My lean would be towards Vegas evening this series at two games apiece, but I am sticking with the UNDER as my ‘best bet’ for Monday night.
I went with Vegas in the first two games of this series as solid home favorites. It will be interesting to see how the Golden Knights react to that Game 2 loss on the road against a Washington squad that has not always played its best postseason hockey on its home ice. The one thing I am willing to bet on in Saturday night’s contest is the UNDER on the total line with both goalies playing to form.
I did not expect Game 1 to be a high-scoring affair given the way each team’s defense and starting goalie played in their previous series. The Capitals won the majority of their games on the road, and Vegas was almost unbeatable at home. Look for another tight battle at T-Mobile Arena this Wednesday night in Game 2 with the same basic result to give the Golden Knights the sweep at home and the early 2-0 edge in this championship series.
The Finals should be a great series between two teams that know how to play at a very high level on each end of the ice. Washington may have the momentum coming off two shutout victories to close out its previous series, but Vegas has the early edge playing at home on several days of rest. I am giving Game 1 to the home team with the total staying UNDER 5.5 goals in the opening round of this heavyweight clash.
There is nothing more exciting than a Game 7 when it comes to the NHL playoffs, especially with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. After the road team won the first four games in this series, home ice has prevailed in the last two battles. I am riding that home ice trend again on Wednesday night with Tampa Bay winning this series. However, I am betting that the total goes OVER six this time around in a wild one at Amalie Arena.
The early rounds of this heavyweight clash are in the books with each NHL power flexing their muscles on the road. I would give the edge moving forward to Tampa Bay as the better overall team. Plus, the demons of all those past failures in the postseason could start to haunt Washington after blowing a golden opportunity to take a commanding lead in this series. I went with Tampa Bay in the last two games, and I am taking the Lightning on Saturday to get back to winning games on their home ice.
The Capitals are playing with a very high level of confidence right now, but Tampa Bay has proven itself to be a very resilient team all season long. The two best teams in the East are in this series for a reason, but this time around I am going with the Lightning to make their presence felt for the first time in three games. I also like Game 3 going OVER the total as a possible parlay play for Tuesday night.
Each team lacks postseason experience with the exception of what they have been able to accomplish so far. They have each shown the ability to win at home, and on the road, so Saturday’s matchup should play out like the first few rounds of a heavyweight title bout. I am looking for a defensive battle that stays UNDER the 5.5-goal total line as each team’s goalie helps to set the early tone for this series.
I have been impressed with the way that Winnipeg won games in this series but getting that fourth win on the road is going to be a tall task. Anything can happen in a Game 7 matchup between two teams that are extremely familiar with one another, but I am going with the Predators on Thursday night. The experience from last season’s run to the Stanley Cup Finals will pay some big dividends in this game given the proven ability to win on a much bigger stage.
Each team in this series has posted a win at home and a win on the road in another matchup that should go the distance. While my lean for Saturday night in Game 5 is towards Nashville as the home favorite, I see both teams lighting up the scoreboard enough times to take this game OVER another six-goal line.
You can almost guarantee that this series is going the full seven games given the deep rivalry between the two teams. They each won their first road game in this matchup, but I am going with the home team on Saturday as the Capitals regain the series edge.
The total has stayed UNDER in most of these two team's earlier playoff games, and I would expect Tuesday's Game 3 to be more of a defensive battle than the nine-goal barrage in Sunday's contest. My lean would be towards Minnesota taking the 2-1 series edge with a win at home, but I am betting the total stays UNDER on an anticipated 5.5-goal line.
It what should be a back-and-forth series that once again goes the distance, I will go with Pittsburgh to regain the series edge with a victory on Tuesday night.
The Sharks should put up a much better effort in Game 2, but given the roll that Vegas is currently on, I am not about to start betting against the Golden Knights on their home ice.
The wear and tear on Boston heading into Saturday’s series opener is a big concern against the well-rested Lightning. My lean is towards Tampa Bay in Game 1, but I am going with the OVER on six goals as my ‘best bet’ pick.
My lean is towards the home team closing things out with a win, but I am betting that Game 5 goes OVER with both sides having success lighting the lamp.
Ovechkin netted his third goal of the playoffs to help win Game 4 and Holtby has turned away 56 of the last 59 shots he has faced making the Capitals my pick to win Game 5.
Given the way that Tampa Bay dominated the first two games at home, I would lay the 1.5 goals on the puck line and take the Lightning to win by two or more goals on Saturday to end this series in five games.