NHL Game Predictions - Free Bets Feb 28
Last Saturday's NHL "best bets" did not pan-out so well, so I went back to the drawing board to find three solid plays for this Saturday's 10-game schedule. After pouring over all the key stats and betting trends, the following three games should fit the bill.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Nashville Predators (3 p.m.)
The Red Wings are coming off a 3-2 victory against San Jose this past Thursday night as +119 road underdogs, but it was just their third win in their last eight games. Detroit remains in third-place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points, but it has gone just 1-4 in its last five games against a team with a winning record and 1-2 in its last three road games.
Nashville continues to set the pace in the Western Conference with a NHL-best 89 points and it is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games. The Predators did come up short their last time out in a 4-2 loss to Minnesota as 145 favorites at home. They remain one of the top scoring teams in the league with an average of 2.9 goals per game, but Nashville's primary strength remains a shutdown defense that is ranked second in goals allowed (2.3). The home team in this matchup has won six of the last eight meetings and I am going that way again with the Predators getting the win this time around.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m.)
The Rangers come into this bitter Metro Division rivalry on a roll with eight victories in their last nine games. They are now tied with the Islanders at the top of the division with 82 points. New York has been a force on both ends of the ice with 3.1 goals per game and a goals-against average of 2.4, which are both ranked near the top of the league. It has been especially good on the road this season with a record of 18-9-1.
Philadelphia has dropped its last two games with road losses to Carolina and Toronto by a combined score of 7-3. It now has just two wins in its last six games as it continues to fade from playoff contention. The Flyers main problem all season long has been a shaky defense that is ranked 24th in the NHL in goals allowed (2.8). Their current losing streak in this matchup reached four games with back-to-back losses to New York this past November in a home-and-home series and I see this streak getting extended to five this Saturday night.
Ottawa Senators vs. San Jose Sharks (10 p.m.)
Ottawa has reeled-off four straight wins including a 1-0 shutout of Los Angeles this past Thursday as a heavy +235 road underdog. Much of the credit for this surprising run has to go to a defensive effort that has allowed a combined total of just three goals in those four victories. The total has now stayed UNDER in the Senators' last five games and it has stayed UNDER in six of their last nine games after allowing two goals or less in their previous contest.
The Sharks have just two wins in their last nine outings and during this slide they have only averaged 2.2 goals in their last five games. This is far less than a season average of 2.8 goals per game. San Jose is now 30-24-8 on the year and 14-13-5 on its home ice. I would have to go with Ottawa in this matchup given the current form of both these teams, but the top play in this one is the UNDER on the total line, which should be set at 5.5 despite these recent scoring trends for both sides. It also helps that the total has stayed UNDER in six of the last eight meetings between the two.