NHL Game Predictions - Free Bets March 7
The action is starting to really heat up in the push to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs so I have dug deep into the key stats and recent betting trends for a full slate of games this Saturday. The result of all this hard work are my three "best bets" that you can take to the bank.
Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins (1 p.m.)
I have gone against the Flyers the past two weeks and got burnt in two surprising wins over Nashville and the New York Rangers, but I think the third time will be the charm given their current five-game losing streak to the Bruins. Philadelphia is still on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs primarily because it is ranked 22nd in the NHL with a goals-against average of 2.8.
Boston has won three of its last five games and it is currently clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with an overall record of 31-22-10. The Bruins remain one of the better defensive teams in the NHL with a GAA of 2.50 behind goalie Tuukka Rask, who has a 2.35 GAA in 53 games this year. Boston is 28-10 in its last 38 games against the Metro Division and I see the Bruins improving upon this trend with another win this Saturday.
New York Islanders at Florida Panthers (7 p.m.)
The Islanders continue to set the pace in the Metro Division with 87 points behind a record of 42-21-3 that includes a 19-12-3 mark on the road. New York has stumbled a bit lately with four losses in its last seven games, but overall it remains one of the most potent scoring teams in the league with an average of 3.1 goals a game. It has also been solid on the power play by converting on 18.6 percent of its opportunities.
Florida is battling for a spot in the postseason with 70 points on the year, but it has not helped its cause with a 4-4-2 record in its last 10 games. The Panthers have struggled with consistency to find the back of the net this season with an average of just 2.4 goals a game. Despite the shaky record, they have been able to pick up the pace with 16 goals in their last four games. I think New York still gets the win on the road, but I am going with the OVER on an expected total line of 5.5. It helps that the total has gone OVER in the last six meetings.
Vancouver Canucks at San Jose Sharks (10 p.m.)
Vancouver has dropped three of its last four games following a 3-2 loss to Arizona this past Thursday as a -173 road favorite. It has now lost three of its last five road games while going 0-7 in its last seven division games. The Canucks are averaging 2.8 goals per game, but they are in the bottom third of the league defensively with a GAA of 2.7. The one saving grace has been an excellent performance defending the power play with an 85.9 percent kill rate.
It has been an up and down season for the Sharks at 32-25-8 on the year, but they have won their last two outings including this past Tuesday's 6-2 rout of the Canucks as even-money road underdogs. This followed an impressive 4-0 shutout of Montreal the night before as +118 underdogs at home. San Jose has done a good job lighting the lamp all season long with an average of 2.8 goals a game. Both teams come into this Pacific Division showdown in desperate need of landing two points, but I am going with the Sharks to complete the home-and-home sweep despite the fact that the road team in this matchup has won the last seven meetings.