|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|05-27-23||Stars v. Golden Knights -142||Top||4-2||Loss||-142||22 h 25 m||Show|
Down 3-0 against the Golden Knights in their Western Conference Finals series, the Stars went all out at home this past Thursday to stay alive. They fired 42 shots on goal, received an outstanding goalie performance from overdue Jake Oettinger and out-hit the Golden Knights, 46-23.
The Stars won - barely. They prevailed in overtime, 3-2.
Now the scene shifts back to Las Vegas where I see the Golden Knights ending the series. Teams that have taken a 3-0 lead in the playoffs before the Stanley Cup final round are 47-0.
The Golden Knights are 11-1 after scoring two goals or less during their previous game. Dallas is 1-4 in its last five road games and also 1-4 following a victory.
The Golden Knights outplayed the Stars in the third period in Game 4. They outshot the Stars, 14-8, in the third period and looked like they were going to win in regulation. So even taking the Stars' best shot, the Golden Knights nearly clinched the series on the road.
The Stars can't match the Golden Knights' four-line depth - especially missing suspended team captain Jamie Benn and injured right winger Evgenii Dadonov - nor can they match Las Vegas' solid core of six reliable defensemen. Adin Hill has also outplayed Oettinger in net.
Las Vegas is an NHL-leading 6-2 at home during the postseason. Unlike Game 4, the Golden Knights will be in control of the matchups having the final line say being the home team.
These many edges are too much for the Stars to overcome.
|05-22-23||Hurricanes -102 v. Panthers||0-1||Loss||-102||19 h 32 m||Show|
Down 0-2 to the Panthers - with both losses occurring at home and in overtime - it's maybe best for the Hurricanes they go on the road now. Carolina has to be totally focused and unfazed.
The Hurricanes have outshot the Panthers, 103-86, and had good scoring looks. But bad luck and unexpected strong goaltending from 34-year-old Sergei Bobrovsky, who hasn't been nearly that good up to this point of the season, has stymied the Hurricanes.
I see that changing in this Game 3, however.
Florida is on a tremendous roll winning nine of its last 10. But the Panthers haven't been dominant. They are 6-0 in overtime games during this time frame.
Despite the two losses in a row, the Hurricanes are 50-24 in their last 74 games. They also are 7-3 during their past 10 visits to the Panthers.
I'm not convinced that the Panthers are the superior team. I certainly don't see Florida sweeping. This is Carolina's game to win.
|05-20-23||Panthers +137 v. Hurricanes||2-1||Win||137||11 h 47 m||Show|
Price and value. That's what this Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals comes down to.
Florida has played once in eight days. Carolina has played once in nine days. But the last game these two teams played was this past Thursday night/early Friday morning in Carolina. It went within 12 seconds of going into a fifth overtime.
The road underdog Panthers won it.
Now there's a huge randomness factor with the teams not just playing only once in more than a week, but how they react to that epic four overtime game. Florida is on house money leading 1-0 in the series. The Hurricanes have to be down both physically and more important emotionally. They have little time to regroup. And the pressure is all on them.
I see this game as a toss-up. So getting this nice plus price on the Panthers makes sense.
The Panthers have more than proven themselves on the road in the postseason winning seven of eight away playoff games. They are on a seven-game road win streak having defeated the Bruins three consecutive times in Boston and Maple Leafs three times in a row in Toronto entering this series.
Florida is 13-3 in its last 16 road contests. The Panthers also have beaten the Hurricanes six of the past eight times.
|05-09-23||Hurricanes v. Devils -145||6-1||Loss||-145||8 h 18 m||Show|
I'm going to ride the Devils in their Game 4 series matchup hosting the Hurricanes following their 8-4 home win this past Sunday. That win greatly boosted the Devils' confidence after they lost the first two games of the series in Carolina. I'm expecting a strong carryover effect for New Jersey.
I'm not sold on any of Carolina's goalies following that Devils' four-goal victory. Frederik Andersen played so poorly in Game 3 he was pulled. Antti Raanta has been sick. He's also been much worse on the road where he's 1-6 the past seven times in net with an .884 save percentage.
The Devils were able to establish their speed game at home in Game 3, something they weren't able to do in Carolina when they were too tentative.
New Jersey has won eight of its last 10 home games. The Devils also have beaten the Hurricanes seven of the last nine times when hosting them.
|05-08-23||Golden Knights +153 v. Oilers||5-1||Win||153||20 h 9 m||Show|
The Oilers have one of the great power plays of all-time. They are home now and coming off an impressive 5-1 road victory against the Golden Knights this past Saturday to even this playoff series at 1-1.
But I find the underdog Knights an outstanding value play. Las Vegas has proven resilient all season. The Knights are an excellent road team, much deeper than the Oilers and better than the Oilers when the teams are at full strength.
Only twice have the Knights lost two consecutive games since the All-Star break. They are 10-2 after giving up five or more goals in their previous game. Las Vegas tied for the second-most road points during the regular season and are 11-3 in its past 14 away games. The Knights have outscored the Oilers, 5-3, in the series when the teams were skating five-on-five.
The Oilers can't match Las Vegas' tremendous depth. The Knights are one of the few teams with four strong forward lines and three solid defensive pairings.
Edmonton's strength is its tremendous power play unit. The Knights, though, were the least penalized team in the NHL during the regular season. So the Knights have the right antidote to the Oilers' greatest strength.
|05-02-23||Panthers v. Maple Leafs -155||Top||4-2||Loss||-155||19 h 10 m||Show|
It's going to be extremely difficult for the Panthers to be fully up for this Game 1 series matchup against the Maple Leafs. You can't blame the Panthers either. Florida eliminated the Bruins this past Sunday with an overtime Game 7 victory in Boston. The Bruins had set the NHL regular season record with 65 wins and 135 points.
It was a stunning loss for the Bruins and a tremendous victory for the Panthers.
Florida matched-up well to Boston. The Panthers haven't matched-well to the Maple Leafs when playing in Toronto losing nine of the past 11 times there.
Toronto should feel less pressure now after winning their first playoff series in 19 years by taking out the Lightning this past Saturday. It's a great spot for the Maple Leafs. One that should result in a victory.
|05-01-23||Rangers +102 v. Devils||0-4||Loss||-100||9 h 30 m||Show|
The Rangers are right where they want to be - on the road and in a Game 7 playoff series.
The Rangers are 8-3 in their last 11 visits against the Devils. Road teams are 31-18 (63%) in the playoffs this season. The No. 1 seeded Bruins and defending champion Avalanche were just eliminated yesterday on their home ice in Game 7 matchups. The Rangers went 2-0 in the Stanley Cup playoffs last year in Game 7's.
The Devils haven't won a playoff series in 11 seasons.
New Jersey could have won the series this past Saturday, but were soundly thrashed, 5-2, in Game 6.
That sets up this Game 7. I like the Rangers' momentum, track record and goalie edge.
Rookie Akira Schmid finally was exposed in net by the Rangers in Game 6. Devils coach Lindy Ruff pulled him after Schmid gave up five goals on 29 shots. Vitek Vanecek went back in goal. Vanecek was the goalie for the first two games of the series and was terrible, surrendering nine goals on 52 shots. So Ruff has a tough, unattractive goalie choice.
The Rangers, on the other hand, have an elite goalie, Igor Shesterkin, who is playing well. Shesterkin has a 1.79 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in the series.
|04-27-23||Rangers +110 v. Devils||Top||0-4||Loss||-100||18 h 38 m||Show|
Perhaps they feel less pressure. Some teams just play better on the road, especially when it counts the most.
The Rangers are such a team. New York rolled past the Devils, 5-1 in both Games 1 and 2, in this first-round series. Both wins were at New Jersey.
But then the Rangers seemed to play tight and without Stanley Cup playoff intensity when they returned home, losing a pair of close games to the Devils.
Now the Rangers go back to New Jersey - and I'm expecting them to win this Game 5 there.
New York is 4-1 in its past five away contests. The Rangers have defeated the Devils in eight of the last 11 meetings in New Jersey.
Look for a great effort from the Rangers after their coach, Gerard Gallant, ripped them for their poor play at home.
The Devils are braced for a strong Rangers' performance.
"We are going to see their best game," Devils coach Lindy Ruff said of the Rangers. "There is no doubt, by far, we will see their best game.''
I believe him.
|04-23-23||Bruins -148 v. Panthers||Top||6-2||Win||100||5 h 2 m||Show|
The Bruins set the NHL regular season record for wins and points. Until proven otherwise, they are the best team in the NHL. They have taken control of their first-round series against the Panthers going up 2-1 following a 4-2 road win against the Panthers two days ago.
I don't see the Panthers getting back into the series after that loss.
The Bruins exposed 30-year-old career minor league goalie Alex Lyon, who allowed several soft goals in Friday's loss. Lyon had been a major surprise for the Panthers down the stretch. But the team may have lost confidence in him now. That could mean a pivot to Sergei Bobrovsky, who hasn't played since March 27. So there would be plenty of rust if the Panthers go with Bobrovsky in net.
The Panthers may not have their best defenseman, Aaron Ekblad, either. He's questionable after getting hurt in Game 3.
The Bruins are 41-11 the past 52 times when playing on one day's rest.
|04-22-23||Maple Leafs -114 v. Lightning||4-3||Win||100||9 h 47 m||Show|
We know the Maple Leafs' choking playoff history. They haven't advanced past the first round since 2004.
But the buy sign is on Toronto now. The Maple Leafs came back from a 7-3 Game 1 embarrassment to blow out the Lightning, 7-2, this past Thursday.
It's not just renewed confidence for the Maple Leafs. The Lightning are down from years past. They are not in particularly good form having lost five of their last seven games and they could be missing key defensemen Victor Hedman and Erik Cernak for a second straight game. Both were injured in Game 1. Hedman, in particular, is important.
|04-21-23||Hurricanes v. Islanders -114||Top||1-5||Win||100||17 h 27 m||Show|
Surprised the Islanders are favored against the Hurricanes?
Don't be. The oddsmaker has it right. After two close road losses, the Islanders get to host their first playoff game at UBS Arena.
Carolina nipped New York, 2-1, in Game 1. The Hurricanes nipped the Islanders, 4-3, in overtime in Wednesday's Game 2. The Islanders had 12 penalty minutes in Game 2. Carolina wasn't whistled for a penalty.
The Hurricanes scored the overtime winner on a sequence after the referee failed to call an obvious high stick penalty on Carolina's Jordan Martinook.
The Islanders have won their last four home games. They are due to get some breaks.
The Hurricanes' forward depth took another hit when left winger Teuvo Teravainen suffered a broken hand late in Wednesday's game. Teravainen had 37 points playing on Carolina's top line.
|04-19-23||Wild v. Stars -146||3-7||Win||100||21 h 46 m||Show|
The Wild played a gutty game in upsetting the Stars, 3-2, in double overtime this past Monday in Dallas to win Game 1 of this Stanley Cup series.
Dallas had won six in a row prior to Monday's game. I like the Stars to come back and win this Game 2 at home.
The Stars dominated the Wild during the third period and in the overtimes with more shots and scoring chances.
But the Wild were able to withstand the pressure despite missing two key players, defenseman John Klingberg and forward Joel Eriksson, their third-leading goal scorer. Both are questionable for this Game 2.
|04-12-23||Stars -155 v. Blues||5-2||Win||100||9 h 44 m||Show|
The Stars are looking to win the Central Division. I don't see the Blues tripping them up.
Dallas is 6-1 in its last seven games, riding a four-game win streak.
The Stars have a strong history against bad teams going 45-21 the past 66 times for 68 percent.
The Blues, by contrast, are 8-20 the past 28 times they've played above .500 opponents.
|04-11-23||Seattle Kraken v. Golden Knights -145||1-4||Win||100||12 h 26 m||Show|
The Golden Knights have playoff seeding incentive and this spot sets up well for them.
Las Vegas last was in action this past Saturday, losing on the road to Dallas, 2-1. The Golden Knights have been home since.
Seattle, meanwhile, is in action for the fourth time in six days and playing without rest after beating Arizona on the road, 4-1, last night.
The teams meet again in the final regular season game Thursday. That game will be played in Seattle.
The Golden Knights are 11-3 in their last 14 home games. They are 5-1 in their last six games against the Kraken. This is their spot to win.
|04-08-23||Devils v. Bruins -128||Top||1-2||Win||100||22 h 56 m||Show|
The price is low enough to strongly back the Bruins, the best team in hockey. Boston gives up the fewest goals while scoring the second-most.
The line is low because the Devils are a strong team, too, and unlike Boston - which has already clinched the No. 1 seed - are playing for playoff seeding.
So motivation factors. The Bruins haven't taken their foot off the gas winning 10 of their last 11 games. They have incentive. This is a nationally televised game courtesy of ABC and a victory would allow Boston to match the highest win total in NHL history. The Bruins are 61-12-5 on the season, including 32-4-3 at home.
New Jersey is just 2-4 in its last six road contests with one of those victories occurring versus the lowly Blackhawks. The Devils also are 2-5 the past seven times they've played an above .500 opponent.
Boston has defeated New Jersey 17 of the past 22 times when playing at home.
|04-03-23||Golden Knights v. Wild -130||4-3||Loss||-130||9 h 17 m||Show|
The Golden Knights are a strong road team. But the Wild are a strong home team, playing with short revenge and have dominated the Golden Knights at Xcel Energy Center going 7-1-2.
Minnesota coach Dean Evason questioned his team's energy following the Wild's 4-1 loss to Las Vegas on the road this past Saturday.
I'm expecting a great amount of intensity from the Wild here especially from goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, going against his former team.
The Wild have won 16 of their last 22 games. They are 24-11-3 at home this season. Long-term, Minnesota has won 70 percent of its last 108 home contests.
|03-30-23||Golden Knights -158 v. Sharks||Top||3-4||Loss||-158||24 h 36 m||Show|
Getting an elite team off a home loss against a bottom-feeder off a rare home victory sets up a great spot here for taking Las Vegas against San Jose.
The Golden Knights are off a 7-4 home loss to the Oilers this past Tuesday. Las Vegas was 11-2 in its previous 13 games prior to that loss. The Golden Knights have the most points in the Western Conference. Their 17-4-2 record in their 23 games is tied for the second-best mark in the NHL during this span.
San Jose snapped a nine-game losing streak in its last game, beating the Jets, 3-0, this past Tuesday. The Sharks have the worst home mark in the NHL with only seven victories. Before defeating the Jets, the Sharks hadn't won at home since Feb. 20. San Jose, already eliminated from the playoffs, has lost 43 of its past 57 home games.
Las Vegas is a top road team with a 24-7-5 away mark. The Golden Knights have won seven consecutive road games. They consider San Jose an arch-rival. The Golden Knights won't lack motivation. They've beaten the Sharks eight straight times in San Jose.
The Golden Knights are expected to go back to Laurent Brossoit in net after Jonathan Quick struggled in goal against the Oilers. Brossoit has allowed just 11 goals in his last five appearances. Las Vegas is giving up an average of 2.4 goals during its last seven road contests.
|03-22-23||Penguins v. Avalanche -154||5-2||Loss||-154||9 h 27 m||Show|
The defending Stanley Cup champion Avalanche are showing definite signs of peaking. They've won six in a row. The Penguins, on the other hand, have lost four in a row. They are making the long flight to Denver after getting upset at home by the Senators this past Monday. Pittsburgh has lost 13 of its last 19 road games. Colorado has been home the past few days. The Penguins are giving up an average of 4.5 goals in their last four games. Colorado has scored five goals in each of its last three games. The Penguins could be down three defensemen. Colorado shouldn't lack motivation. The Penguins nipped the Avalanche, 2-1, in overtime in Pittsburgh last month. The Avalanche lost superstar defenseman Cale Makar to a concussion in that game after he took a shot to the head by the Penguins' Jeff Carter.
|03-14-23||Lightning v. Devils -130||4-1||Loss||-130||6 h 19 m||Show|
This matchup may look good on paper, but the Devils are in far superior current form. They have won three in a row and nine of their last 10 home games. They catch the Lightning going through their worst stretch.
Tampa Bay is 2-7 in its last nine games. The Lightning's lone wins during this span have come against two terrible teams - the Blackhawks and Flyers.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been cold in net, too, for the Lightning.
|02-24-23||Avalanche v. Jets -102||5-1||Loss||-102||10 h 37 m||Show|
Look for the Jets to play well in this spot back home from a 1-3 road trip. Winnipeg is 20-8 at Canada Life Centre, including winning the past three times there.
The Jets have won three in a row against the Avalanche, too, including twice this season.
Colorado has won three consecutive games, but won't have star defenseman Cale Makar. He's out due to post-concussion symptoms. The Avalanche also hasn't played in four days. That's too much time off this late in the season. So their momentum could be derailed.
Winnipeg is 7-1 at home versus Central Division foes. I'm expecting Connor Hellebuyck to be in net. He stopped 40 shots when the Jets shut out the Avalanche, 5-0, when they last met on Nov. 29.
|02-23-23||Bruins -165 v. Seattle Kraken||Top||6-5||Win||100||22 h 17 m||Show|
The Bruins have a seven-point lead over the Hurricanes for the best record in the NHL. It could prove difficult for Boston to be up for every one of its games. But the Bruins are sure to be heavily motivated for this matchup.
It was the Kraken who dealt the Bruins their first home loss of the season with a stunning, 3-0, victory on Jan. 12. It also was the only time this season Boston failed to score.
The Bruins have had this rematch circled ever since. It's their only chance to get revenge unless the teams happen to meet in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Seattle lost to the Sharks, 4-0, in its last game this past Monday. The Bruins last played on Monday, too, beating the Senators, 3-1, for their fourth straight victory.
Boston is 19-6-2 on the road. The Bruins have won their last three away games beating the Predators, Stars and Maple Leafs by a combined margin of 13-4.
Linus Ullmark is expected to be in net for the Bruins. He's 29-4-1 with a 1.88 goals against average and a .937 save percentage. Those are Vezina Trophy numbers. Ullmark has surrendered just seven goals in his last four games. The Bruins rank No. 1 in scoring defense and penalty killing. They also are the second-highest scoring team in the league.
I would be very surprised if the Bruins lose a second time to Seattle.
|02-19-23||Blue Jackets v. Coyotes -115||2-3||Win||100||8 h 20 m||Show|
It's not often the Coyotes are favored. But it's justified in this matchup.
Arizona is tough at home playing on the Arizona State campus in a small arena. The Coyotes are 12-8-2 at home this season.
Columbus is 6-17-2 on the road. The Blue Jackets just upset the Stars, 4-1, as a heavy road underdog on Saturday. They were 1-5 in their previous six games. This marks their fourth game in six days.
The Coyotes also played Saturday nearly pulling out a win against the Kings after trailing, 5-1. They should ride that momentum given the poor opponent and being home.
|02-18-23||Lightning -120 v. Golden Knights||Top||4-5||Loss||-120||20 h 22 m||Show|
The Golden Knights are 4-0 this month. But the oddsmaker has it right making the Lightning road chalk.
Las Vegas barely edged the lowly Sharks, 2-1, at home two days ago. The Golden Knights' other wins were also against unimpressive foes - the Ducks, slumping Wild and Predators. Las Vegas is not a strong home team.
Tampa Bay should come in highly motivated after being upset by the Coyotes, 1-0, in a shootout this past Wednesday. The Lightning played their backup goalie in that game and also outshot Arizona, 47-26.
Until that loss, Tampa Bay had won three in a row. The Lightning have won the past six times they've faced an above .500 opponent.
|02-07-23||Avalanche +100 v. Penguins||1-2||Loss||-100||17 h 6 m||Show|
Now that they are healthy, the Avalanche are superior to the Penguins. They also went into the All-Star break playing much better than Pittsburgh.
Colorado is 7-1 in its last eight games. Pittsburgh is 1-3 in its last four and 5-12 in its last 17 games.
The Avalanche get a boost to their defense with Bowem Byram expected to play after missing three months with a lower body injury. The Penguins aren't likely to have back their No. 1 goalie, Tristan Jarry.
Colorado has won 39 of its last 58 road games. I give the Avalanche edges in all three areas - offensive, defense and goaltending. So they are an easy choice at this price.
|02-01-23||Hurricanes v. Sabres +145||Top||5-1||Loss||-100||17 h 54 m||Show|
Carolina is playing great. But the Sabres also are playing well with five wins in their last six games. The Hurricanes face a brutal scheduling spot here. So I'm going to take this big price on the home 'dog.
Buffalo defeated the Penguins on the road this past Saturday night. The Sabres haven't played since. They should be well-rested and well prepared.
Not so for the Hurricanes.
Carolina gave its all in pulling out a 5-4 overtime home victory against the Kings Tuesday night after trailing by three goals entering the third period. The Hurricanes had beaten the Bruins in a huge revenge matchup this past Sunday in their previous game. So this marks their fifth game in eight days with three of their past four games having gone into overtime. Flying nearly 500 miles to Buffalo to play without rest is a horrible spot for Carolina.
|01-29-23||Bruins v. Hurricanes -122||1-4||Win||100||14 h 47 m||Show|
Lost in the glare of the Bruins' brilliant season has been the Hurricanes. Carolina is 21-6 in its last 27 games, including 4-0 in its past four games.
The rested Hurricanes host the Bruins, who just suffered a brutal road overtime 4-3 loss to the Panthers on Saturday when Florida tied the game with 2.4 seconds left.
The Bruins are banged-up down a couple of starters and playing for the third time in four days and without rest.
Carolina has had this game marked since a 3-2 overtime road loss to the Bruins on Nov. 25. The Hurricanes have beaten the Bruins five straight times in Carolina.
|01-14-23||Devils v. Kings -110||5-2||Loss||-110||22 h 32 m||Show|
The Kings have won three in a row, averaging five goals a game during this span. They've been idle since Wednesday and won't play again for five more days. So LA should have its full focus to defeat the Devils, who beat the Ducks last night.
The Devils are 7 -20 the past 27 times they've played without rest. Even with that win against Anaheim, the Devils are 6-8-2 in their last 16 games.
Los Angeles has won seven of its last nine home games. The Kings also have defeated New Jersey in four of the last five meetings.
Saturday Free Play
Blackhawks plus $2.15 hosting Kraken
The Kraken are only in their second year in the NHL. Yet they've already accomplished something that hasn't been done since 2015 - win the first six games of a road trip.
Seattle has just one game left on its seven-game, 12-day road swing: this one against the lowly Blackhawks.
The Kraken just upset the Bruins, 3-0, on Thursday thus dealing NHL-leading Boston its first regulation loss of the season at home. It probably was Seattle's finest game of the season.
It also puts the Kraken in a huge letdown spot. At more than 2-to-1 odds, I'll take a shot on the Blackhawks.
Chicago is tied with Columbus for the fewest points in the league. However, the Blackhawks are playing well on a three-game win streak. There's a strong chance the Blackhawks get Patrick Kane back. He's their second-leading points producer despite being out since Jan. 3 because of a lower-body injury.
The Kraken are anxious to come home. They host the Lightning on Monday. Seattle is 2-8 the past 10 times it has played in a four-game, six-day situation.
|12-23-22||Kings v. Coyotes +155||Top||1-2||Win||155||10 h 8 m||Show|
This is a great spot for the underdog Coyotes. They catch the Kings fat and happy after LA just completed a three-game homestand sweep by edging the Flames, 4-3, in overtime last night.
So the Kings are playing for the third time in four days and without rest. This also is the first time they will be playing in Mullett Arena, a college hockey rink much smaller than a normal NHL arena. This gives the Coyotes a huge home ice advantage especially for opponents who have yet to play there like the Kings. The Kings aren't likely to have the luxury of a morning skate there either to get used to the place because they played last night.
The Coyotes have won three of their last five home games, including upsetting the Bruins during this span.
|12-17-22||Sharks +145 v. Kings||2-3||Loss||-100||11 h 54 m||Show|
The Sharks have won two in a row. They are getting healthier and have dominated the Kings in LA winning 15 of the last 19 times there.
LA returns home following a huge upset road win against the Bruins two days ago. The Kings are 0-6 following a victory. They also are 1-4 in their last five home games.
The Sharks are well rested having last played on Tuesday while this marks the Kings' fifth game in eight days.
San Jose could have a goalie edge. James Reimer has been confirmed as its starter. The Kings could go with Pheonix Copley instead of Johnathan Quick.
|12-17-22||Islanders +150 v. Golden Knights||5-2||Win||150||10 h 23 m||Show|
The Islanders are in circle-the-wagons mode with six losses in their last eight games. They've played tough against elite foes - a 4-3 shootout loss to the Bruins on the road this past Tuesday for example - but have played down to the level of their competition. That happened to them last night in Arizona when they to the Coyotes, 5-4.
The Golden Knights return to Las Vegas fat and happy winning both games of their road trip that concluded Thursday night in Chicago. Las Vegas is 14-2-1 on the road, but just 8-7 on home ice.
The Golden Knights are 1-4 in their last five home games with the lone victory during this span occurring in overtime against the Flyers.
|12-13-22||Golden Knights v. Jets -124||Top||6-5||Loss||-124||19 h 41 m||Show|
Winnipeg is home with double revenge. The Golden Knights are dealing with injuries to their best players. The spot is right for the Jets. So is the price.
The Golden Knights are 2-0 against the Jets with both wins coming in Las Vegas, including a 2-1 overtime winner on Oct. 30, where the Jets were playing for the third time in four days.
Las Vegas is down their leading goal and points scorer with Jack Eichel going on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Also out is defenseman Zach Whitecloud with a knee injury. Two other important defensemen, Shea Theodore and Alex Pietrangelo, have been out, too, for Las Vegas. Pietrangelo hasn't played since Nov. 26 due to an illness in his family, while Theodore missed the Golden Knights' Sunday loss to the Bruins with a lower-body injury.
The loss of these players really hurts Las Vegas' special teams both on the power-play and penalty kill unit.
Winnipeg has won 10 of 14 home games. The Jets are 7-2 in their last nine games, but coming off a 5-2 home loss to the Capitals this past Sunday that halted a four-game win streak.
The Golden Knights haven't maintained their hot earlier pace. They are 5-5 in their last 10 games with three of those five victories coming in a shootout or overtime. Las Vegas also hasn't fared well in Winnipeg losing in its last four visits.
|12-08-22||Jets v. Blues +104||5-2||Loss||-100||17 h 3 m||Show|
I see a buy sign on the Blues here as they catch the Jets fat and happy.
The Blue received a huge needed dose of confidence snapping their four-game losing streak with a 7-4 road win against the Islanders two days ago. St. Louis achieved this despite missing winger Pavel Buchnevich and defenseman Torey Krug. Both are questionable here.
The Jets concluded a 3-1 homestand with a highly satisfying 5-2 victory against the Panthers and their former coach Paul Maurice this past Tuesday.
This will be Winnipeg's first away game since Nov. 27.
|12-02-22||Predators v. Islanders -154||4-1||Loss||-154||8 h 36 m||Show|
The juice is high, but this spot lays out great for the Islanders. New York last played on Tuesday when it was upset on the road by the Flyers. The Islanders have had two full days to stew about that defeat. They are 6-1 in their last seven home games. The Islanders catch the Predators playing without rest and in action for the third time in four days. The Predators upset the Devils, 4-3, in overtime last night scoring the tying goal with nine seconds left in regulation. It was a dramatic and huge win for Nashville. I don't see the Predators pulling off a second consecutive huge upset road win against a rested and motivated opponent. Even with that win last night, the Predators have lost 14 of their last 20 road games. The Predators probably won't start their star goalie, Juuse Saros, since he was in net last night.
|11-30-22||Rangers -120 v. Senators||Top||3-1||Win||100||20 h 21 m||Show|
The Rangers are much superior to the Senators. Yet the line is short here because the Rangers have lost three in a row, while the Senators have won consecutive games.
I see the Rangers turning things around against this opponent.
New York lost 5-3 to the streaking Devils this past Monday. New Jersey is the hottest team in the NHL winning 19 of its last 21 games. The Rangers went into their matchup against the Devils having lost 4-3 to the Oilers and 3-2 to the Ducks. The Rangers blew a 3-0 third period lead against the Oilers.
Rangers star goalie Igor Shesterkin wasn't happy with his performance against the Devils. He's primed for a bounce back effort. The Rangers should be able to release their frustrations against an Ottawa club that ranks 23rd defensively and had lost 11 of 13 games before beating the Ducks and posting an overtime victory against the Kings.
This is the Senators' first home game since returning from a four-game West Coast trip that finished this past Sunday. Ottawa is 1-6 in its last seven home games.
|11-26-22||Oilers +129 v. Rangers||4-3||Win||129||14 h 46 m||Show|
Note a very early start time here. It's important in fading the Rangers in this spot.
The Rangers just concluded a four-game West Coast trip late Wednesday night. So they had to fly cross country on Thanksgiving. This will be their third game in five days. It's almost like playing a fourth game in five days, though, because of the early start time.
The Oilers won't be bothered by this. They've been in New York the past few days. They last played at the Islanders on Wednesday.
The Rangers are 2-6 in their last eight home games. The Oilers have defeated the Rangers in five of the past six meetings. The Oilers have a winning road mark.
|11-21-22||Avalanche v. Stars -109||3-2||Loss||-109||7 h 27 m||Show|
If it wasn't for an overtime road loss to the Lightning, the Stars would be on a four-game win streak.
Dallas will have Jake Oettinger in net and catch the Avalanche fat and happy along with being severely short-handed while playing their third road game in five days.
Despite missing numerous key players, the Avalanche are 2-0 on their three-game road trip getting past Carolina in overtime and shutting out Washington this past Saturday night. Those two foes outshot the Avalanche by a combined 36 shots.
Colorado won't be able to get away with that against the Stars in Dallas. The two teams meet again on Saturday night in Denver. That figures to be a better spot for the Avalanche.
|11-18-22||Kings v. Canucks +103||1-4||Win||103||19 h 13 m||Show|
The Kings are one of the better road teams. But they haven't been able to win in Vancouver, losing the past five times there. The Canucks are 7-1 in their last eight overall games against the Kings.
I see the Canucks continuing their dominance against the Kings.
Vancouver received a much-needed victory hanging on for a 5-4 win against the Sabres this past Wednesday to close out a five-game road trip in which the Canucks had lost the first four games. Now the Canucks are back home. They should be up for this game with Bruce Boudreau coaching for his job.
The Kings defeated the Oilers on the road, 3-1, this past Wednesday scoring an empty-net goal during the final minute to account for the final. The Kings had played five straight one-goal games prior to Wednesday.
|11-16-22||Sabres +155 v. Senators||1-4||Loss||-100||7 h 22 m||Show|
This is a case of taking a nice plus price with a pair of struggling teams.
Buffalo has lost six in a row. Before the losing streak, the Sabres had been showing good improvement. They rank sixth in the league in scoring.
The Senators have been even worse losing eight of their last nine games. I don't see any improvement from the Senators. Things aren't going to be any easier for Ottawa during the next week or so because its top defenseman, Thomas Chabot, is out with a concussion.
|11-14-22||Islanders -117 v. Senators||4-2||Win||100||5 h 14 m||Show|
I find this a cheap price to back the Islanders against the Senators, a team they have dominated. The Islanders are 9-1 during the last 10 games in this series.
The Islanders are playing well winning eight of their last 10. That's not the case for the Senators, who are 1-7 in their last eight games. Ottawa has lost four in a row at home. The Islanders are 4-1 in their past five road contests.
New York should have an edge in net as the projected goalies are Ilya Sorokin and Anton Forsberg for Ottawa. Sorokin has a 2.17 GAA this season. He stopped 56 of 60 shots in two games against the Senators last season. Forsberg has struggled during his last five games posting a 4.46 GAA.
The Islanders rank fifth defensively, while the Senators are 26th.
|10-29-22||Penguins -110 v. Seattle Kraken||1-3||Loss||-110||10 h 12 m||Show|
This is a buy-low spot on the superior Penguins. Pittsburgh is at low ebb having lost three in a row. This is the Penguins' finale on a five-game road trip.
Pittsburgh's first two defeats during this losing streak occurred against the Oilers and Flames. No shame in that. But then the Penguins fell, 5-1, to the Canucks last night. Unacceptable and Penguins coach Mike Sullivan called into question his team's effort. That should be a kick in the pants for the Penguins. The energy should be there since they were idle the previous two days.
Seattle is 1-4 at home this season.
|10-25-22||Lightning -120 v. Kings||Top||2-4||Loss||-120||21 h 29 m||Show|
The Kings are one of those rare play-better-on-the-road-than-at-home teams. They had a better away mark last season and that pattern has held up early this season as they are 3-2 on the road, 0-2 at home.
LA just concluded a five-game, eight-day East Coast trip this past Saturday night. The Kings are 2-10 the past 12 times at home following a road trip of a week or more.
Tampa Bay matches up well to Los Angeles. The results prove that. The Lightning have won 11 of the past 12 times.
The Kings are likely to draw star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, too. He's expected to start in goal against the Kings with backup Brian Elliott starting on Wednesday when the Lightning plays at the Ducks.
So not only are the Lightning the superior team, but they have history and situation going in their favor, too. The price is low enough to back Tampa Bay.
|10-24-22||Maple Leafs v. Golden Knights +107||1-3||Win||107||10 h 16 m||Show|
The Maple Leafs are 4-2 the same as Las Vegas. Toronto has won three of its games by one goal. The Maple Leafs are capable of losing to any team. That was proven when they lost, 4-2, to the Coyotes as more than a 5-to-1 favorite.
The Golden Knights are trying to prove they still are a viable playoff team. They've been getting strong goalie play, which was a question entering the season.
Las Vegas lost, 3-2, to Colorado at home this past Saturday. Toronto opened its five-game road trip with a 4-1 victory against Winnipeg this past Saturday.
I find value on Las Vegas in this spot as a home 'dog.
|10-21-22||Red Wings -106 v. Blackhawks||3-4||Loss||-106||11 h 10 m||Show|
The Blackhawks aren't going to win many games this season. But they capped off their three-game West Coast trip with a victory against the Sharks. Now they are in Chicago for their home opener, fat and happy. The Blackhawks last played on Saturday. Six days between games is too long, especially so early in the season.
The Red Wings are the better team. They've been off for three days after suffering a 5-4 overtime victory against the Kings on Monday. Detroit had won its first two games beating the Canadiens and Devils on the road. The Red Wings will be refreshed like the Blackhawks, but not as rusty.
Detroit has improved its depth through free agency and trades. The Red Wings aren't so dependent on just one line anymore. They can handle bad teams such as the Blackhawks.
|10-20-22||Stars v. Maple Leafs -160||2-3||Win||100||8 h 44 m||Show|
It has been three days since the Coyotes stunned the Maple Leafs on the road, 4-2. Toronto was better than a 5-1 favorite in that game.
The Maple Leafs conclude their four-game homestand here looking for redemption following that stunning loss to Arizona.
Dallas is playing well. But the Stars are 2-6 in their last eight road games, going back to last season. Toronto is 40-16 in its last 56 home games.
The Stars have lost in seven of their past nine visits to Toronto.
|10-18-22||Kings v. Predators -150||4-3||Loss||-150||9 h 14 m||Show|
This spot sets up extremely well for Nashville. The Predators last played on Saturday. They host the Kings, who edged the Red Wings, 5-4, in overtime last night. Not only are the Kings playing without rest, but are in action for the fourth time in six days.
The rested Predators should be extremely focused having lost both ends of a home-and-away series to the Stars during their two previous games. Nashville has the offense to take advantage of a weak Kings defense that has allowed 18 goals in their last four games. Predators goalie Juuse Saros is superior to either of LA's goalies, Jonathan Quick or Cal Peterson.
Nashville has defeated the Kings in nine of the past 11 meetings. The Predators have won the last four times they've hosted the Kings.
|10-17-22||Avalanche -118 v. Wild||6-3||Win||100||7 h 23 m||Show|
The schedule maker didn't do Colorado any favors. The Avalanche opened their season rolling past the Blackhawks, 5-2, at home this past Wednesday. But right after that game the Avalanche had to travel to Calgary where they lost, 5-3, to the Flames.
Colorado has been idle since. The high-scoring Avalanche should have plenty of energy and fire power to take advantage of Minnesota's early defensive trouble.
The Wild have surrendered seven goals each to the Rangers and Kings to open their season. Marc-Andre Fleury has looked terrible in net. He was replaced in both games by backup Filip Gustavsson. The Avalanche have been deadly on the power play going 5-for-10 through their first two games.
Free Monday Play
Avalanche-Wild Over 6 1/2 minus $1.07
You better be playing solid defense if you're playing the Avalanche. Minnesota hasn't. The Wild have allowed seven goals in each of their first two games. I've never seen goalie Marc-Andre Fleury start so cold. He's been pulled in both games having given up 8.36 goals per game with a .776 save percentage. The Wild are alarmed enough to start backup goalie Filip Gustavsson today.
Colorado was the fourth-highest scoring team in the league last season. The Avalanche were the No. 1 scoring team during the playoffs. They are averaging 4.0 goals during their first two games this season.
The Avalanche hasn't been getting good goalie work either, though. Their net is patrolled by a pair of backups, Pavel Francouz and Alexandar Georgiev, who likely will draw the start here.
The Wild have scored nine goals in their first two games against the Rangers and Kings.
So it shouldn't be asking too much of each team to produce at least three goals.
|10-12-22||Bruins +133 v. Capitals||5-2||Win||133||9 h 44 m||Show|
There's a certain randomness to this opening night matchup between the Bruins and Capitals because of injuries. Boston won't have Brad Marchand while the Capitals are missing Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and perhaps T.J. Oshie. There are others missing but those are the big names.
Randomness is good for the underdog. So is a strong road record, which the Bruins had last season going 25-13-3. Washington wasn't a strong home team either finishing 19-16-6.
The Bruins are expected to have Jeremy Swayman in net. He played his best on the road with a 13-6-2 record, 2.08 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Darcy Kuemper is set to make his Capitals debut. He had an excellent season last year, but now is with a new team with new defensemen. So there could be an adjustment period.
Boston has defeated Washington in six of the last seven meetings, including going 2-1 versus the Capitals last season.
|06-22-22||Avalanche v. Lightning -105||Top||3-2||Loss||-105||9 h 13 m||Show|
I'm going to ride the rejuvenated two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning at home at this price after their huge confidence-building, 6-2, home win against Colorado in Game 3 of the Cup Finals. Tampa Bay has won eight consecutive home games during these Stanley Cup playoffs. The Lightning came back from series deficits against the Maple Leafs and Rangers. They have faced stronger competition during the playoffs than Colorado - and proven themselves. Nikita Kucherov is expected to play. The Lightning also hold a monster goalie edge with Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Avalanche's sub-par goalies Darcy Kuemper, who was pulled during Game 3 for his shoddy performance, and Pavel Francouz.
|06-20-22||Avalanche v. Lightning -106||Top||2-6||Win||100||15 h 50 m||Show|
We've been down this 0-2 playoff path before with the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning and recently, too. Tampa Bay came back from a 2-0 playoff deficit against the Rangers in their last series to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.
I'm not blind, though. The Avalanche are the strongest opponent Tampa Bay has faced during its three-year Cup run. The Lightning nearly pulled out Game 1 in Colorado, losing in overtime. But the Avalanche dominated at home, especially in their 7-0 Game 2 victory over Tampa Bay this past Saturday looking faster, hungrier and more disciplined than the Lightning.
It was a humbling beatdown of the Lightning that's for sure.
But I'm not going to ignore, nor discount, the Lightnings' playoff pedigree, goalie edge with Andrei Vasilevskiy and heart. Tampa Bay has always been resilient and able to make the necessary adjustments. The Lightning's 18-2 playoff record following a loss is proof of that. Tampa Bay has won 40 of its last 55 home games, including going 7-1 in this season's Stanley Cup games.
The Avalanche is as good as advertised. However, I don't see the Lightning getting swept. They are at home now. Their season and pride are on the line. They've come through before. It's not a leap of faith to back them in Game 3.
|06-15-22||Lightning +145 v. Avalanche||Top||3-4||Loss||-100||47 h 35 m||Show|
Tampa Bay is a mid-sized road 'dog. But there are a number of factors that point to the Lightning grabbing this Game 1.
Here are three of them:
Andrei Vasilevskiy. He's the hottest and best goalie in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy has allowed one or fewer goals in seven of his last 10 games. His GAA in the playoffs is 2.27. The Avalanche can't come close to matching that in net.
Quality of competition and championship experience. Both strongly favor Tampa Bay. The Lightning went against much tougher competition than Colorado in taking out the Maple Leafs, Panthers and Rangers to reach this point. Tampa Bay knows how and when to peak, having won the Stanley Cup the past two years. The Lightning are in peak form now.
Rustiness. The Lightning will have not played in four days when this game goes on Wednesday. But that's nothing compared to Colorado. The Avalanche last played on June 6 so they will have been idle for nine days!
|06-06-22||Avalanche -122 v. Oilers||Top||6-5||Win||100||21 h 44 m||Show|
The Avalanche have dominated the Oilers for most of this Western Conference Final in building a 3-0 series lead. That includes a 4-2 road victory in Game 3 this past Saturday.
Colorado is now 6-0 away from home in the playoffs. The Avalanche have outscored their opponents by 15 goals during these six away victories.
I see no reason to go against the Avalanche. They have outscored the Oilers by eight goals in the series. The Oilers must realistically realize their cause is hopeless. Teams that have lost the first three games in the conference finals and semifinals are 0-44 when it comes to winning a series.
The Avalanche are in a great rhythm. They are 40-18 the past 58 times when playing on one day's rest. Colorado is 6-1 during the last seven meetings against Edmonton.
Making things even worse for the Oilers is Evander Kane won't play because of suspension. Kane is the No. 1 postseason scorer with 13 goals.
|06-03-22||Lightning -122 v. Rangers||Top||2-3||Loss||-122||18 h 29 m||Show|
The Rangers upset the Lightning, 6-2, in the opening game of this Eastern Conference Final. We know what Tampa Bay does following a playoff loss. If you need a reminder this is it: The Lightning are 19-0 following a Stanley Cup loss.
The oddsmaker doesn't believe in the Rangers either making them a home 'dog despite their convincing Game 1 victory.
Kudos to the Rangers for not only taking out the Hurricanes with a Game 7 road victory, but also their win against Tampa Bay. But do keep in mind, the Lightning hadn't played in nine days following their four-game sweep of the Panthers in the second round.
Don't expect the prideful two-time defending Stanley Cup champions to be flat against the Rangers for a second straight game. The rust is off. Star goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, stud defenseman Victor Hedman and Tampa's many scoring threats should be primed now with their pride on the line.
|05-30-22||Rangers +135 v. Hurricanes||Top||6-2||Win||135||21 h 24 m||Show|
Let's get this out of the way right now. The Hurricanes are 7-0 at home in the playoffs. They are 3-0 at home against the Rangers in this series.
So why take the underdog Rangers besides getting a plus price?
Several reasons starting with the goalie matchup. Igor Shesterkin isn't just the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in hockey, but he's also a strong Hart Trophy candidate, too, as the MVP of the league. Shesterkin has allowed two or fewer goals in five of the six games in the series. He's a difference maker.
The same certainly can't be said for Carolina goalie Antti Raanta. He's a backup forced into the spotlight because of an injury to Frederik Andersen. Fatigue could be hitting Raanta. He's made 12 starts in the postseason after making only 26 starts during the regular season. Raanta surrendered two - if not three - marginal goals to the Rangers in Game 6 with New York winning, 5-2. Raanta played so poorly he was pulled after 13 shots.
It's rare to get an underdog this large that holds such a monster goalie edge. All three of the Rangers' losses in Carolina were close. This stage and challenge isn't too big for the Rangers. They proved that in their first playoff series winning Game 6 in Pittsburgh and finishing off the Penguins in seven games.
Adam Fox gives the Rangers a Norris Trophy-winning defenseman. The Rangers have the point producers with Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad. The Hurricanes can't be as aggressive as the Rangers because of the goalie discrepancy.
The Rangers were a lot faster and smoother than the Hurricanes in the last game. That should carry over. It's the Hurricanes who are playing with all the pressure.
|05-28-22||Hurricanes v. Rangers -106||Top||2-5||Win||100||21 h 45 m||Show|
We've been down this path before with the Rangers. They faced elimination down 3-1 to the Penguins in their first-round Stanley Cup matchup and prevailed. Now they need to win this home game to stay alive against the Hurricanes down 3-2 in the series.
The Rangers have the resilience, goaltending and home ice necessary to win this game. Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad are due to step up bigger than they have in this series. Igor Shesterkin has regained his touch as the best goalie in hockey this season.
The price is more than right to back the Rangers against a Carolina squad that has shown strength at home, but weakness on the road. The Hurricanes are 0-5 in their Stanley Cup away games. All of those losses were by more than one goal. They have been outscored by 13 goals on the road in the playoffs during those five games.
Carolina doesn't have a good history at Madison Square Garden either, losing 20 of the past 26 times there.
|05-22-22||Hurricanes v. Rangers +105||1-3||Win||105||4 h 2 m||Show|
I like getting the Rangers in this price range knowing they are in must-win mode and their defense and strong goaltending is back. New York has held the Hurricanes to three goals in regulation during the first two games of this series.The Hurricanes lost all three of their road games to the Bruins in their last series. Carolina was outscored by eight goals in these road defeats. The key for the Rangers is if their offense will come around. I think it will now that the Rangers are back home. New York scored 14 goals against the Penguins in three home games during their previous series.
|05-18-22||Oilers v. Flames -149||6-9||Win||100||12 h 34 m||Show|
This is a much anticipated series. Calgary is the better team and I see the Flames getting this Game 1 victory at home. I thought the price would be higher on the Flames so I'm getting involved. Calgary beat Edmonton the past two times they met - back in March - by a combined six goals. The Flames finished with the best shot attempt percentage in the NHL. Calgary had to deal with a hot Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger in its last series. The Oilers don't have that type of stellar goaltending. Edmonton superstar Leon Draisaitl is dealing with an ankle injury. So he's unlikely to be 100 percent.
|05-17-22||Blues +196 v. Avalanche||2-3||Loss||-100||13 h 45 m||Show|
Colorado has shown some vulnerability during the second round of the playoffs the last few seasons. It wouldn't surprise me if the Blues stole this first game of this series. So at this price, I'm throwing down on St. Louis.
The Avalanche could be dealing with serious rust having last played on May 9.
The Blues have won nine of their last 11 road games.
Colorado only outscored St. Louis by one goal during three regular season meetings.
|05-17-22||Lightning v. Panthers -153||4-1||Loss||-153||10 h 0 m||Show|
Look for the Panthers to get this opening game, a game they've been pointing to ever since the Lightning eliminated them in the playoffs last season. Florida is much improved from a year ago setting a franchise record with 122 points, most in the league.
The Lightning still could be sucking wind after a hard-fought seven game series against the Maple Leafs that concluded Saturday night. Tampa Bay is 1-4 the past five times when playing on two days rest.
The Lightning also may be minus forward Brayden Point, who is doubtful after suffering a lower-body injury in Saturday's victory against Toronto.
The Panthers, the highest-scoring team in the NHL, are 48-11 in their last 59 home games.
|05-12-22||Maple Leafs v. Lightning -130||3-4||Win||100||10 h 58 m||Show|
The Maple Leafs haven't won a first-round playoff series in 18 years. I don't see them ending that streak with an upset road victory against the Lightning today.
Tampa Bay has won 70 percent of its last 113 home contests. Even more impressive is the Lightning are 17-0 in the playoffs following a loss. Toronto is up 3-2 in the series. The Lightning followed each of their losses in this series with multiple goal victories.
The highly-experienced two-time defending Stanley Cup champions have earned my respect and trust especially at home where they have the final say on line changes.
|05-10-22||Blues v. Wild -144||5-2||Loss||-144||10 h 44 m||Show|
I trust the Wild to beat the Blues at home just like they in Game 2 of this series. That was the last time the Wild hosted the Blues and they won by four goals. Minnesota is 15-3 in its last 18 home games. St. Louis could be down possibly three defensemen with Nick Leddy, Marco Scandelia and Robert Bortuzzo all dealing with injuries.
|05-08-22||Maple Leafs v. Lightning -113||Top||3-7||Win||100||20 h 45 m||Show|
During the past three postseasons, Tampa Bay has gone 16-0 following a playoff loss. That resiliency has been instrumental in the Lighting winning the Stanley Cup the past two years.
I see that streak continuing with the Lightning hosting the Maple Leafs Sunday.
Toronto opened the series with a 5-0 victory. The Lightning were flat that game. They came back to even the series with a 5-3 win on Wednesday, but then lost at home, 5-2, in Game 3 this past Friday. Tampa Bay couldn't overcome a 3-0 deficit.
The Lightning did outplay the Maple Leafs for much of the last two periods, especially the third period, but the damage had been done. Tampa Bay's core, which has been together for around a decade and used to playoff highs and lows, should rebound like they always have.
Toronto goalie Jack Campbell has been playing above his talent level. I can see a drop-off in his play with this game in Tampa. Having home ice also gives the Lightning the last line change. This is especially crucial for Tampa coach Jon Cooper in matching up against the Maple Leafs' upper tier line featuring superstar Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
|05-03-22||Penguins v. Rangers -135||4-3||Loss||-135||6 h 14 m||Show|
I have lots of reasons to like the Rangers at this price. Here are three of them: 1. home ice. 2. greatness of goalie Igor Shesterkin. 3. current form. The Rangers are going to be super pumped for their first home Stanley Cup game in nearly five years. The Rangers are 8-4 in their last 12 games. The Penguins are 7-11 in their past 18 games while giving up the most shots on goal during the last 10 games. This doesn't bode well for Penguins backup goalie Casey DeSmith. He'll be making his first playoff appearance with starting goalie Tristan Jarry out with a foot injury. The biggest key, though, is Shesterkin. He's been a monster this season especially at home where he compiled a 1.85 goals against average and 94 percent save percentage. Shesterkin made four starts against Pittsburgh this season and held the Penguins to four goals in four games.
|05-02-22||Lightning +114 v. Maple Leafs||0-5||Loss||-100||22 h 37 m||Show|
Do you trust the Maple Leafs now that it's Stanley Cup time? I sure don't.
The last time Toronto won a first-round series was 2004. They were upset in the first round by the Canadiens last season, blowing a 3-1 series lead.
The teams just met on April 21. Tampa Bay blasted Toronto, 8-1, at home. The Maple Leafs were without Auston Matthews and No. 1 goalie Jack Campbell. Still, this was a 7-goal win for the Lightning.
Tampa Bay has defeated the Maple Leafs seven of the last 10 times in Toronto.
The Lightning hold a monster edge in net with Andrei Vasilevskiv against Campbell.
|05-01-22||Seattle Kraken v. Jets -180||3-4||Win||100||16 h 45 m||Show|
The Jets are on a three-game win streak. They draw what should be a tired Seattle team at home in what is the final regular-season game of the season. The rest of the teams finished their regular season on Friday. This is a makeup game from an April 13 game that was postponed because of a snowstorm. Seattle concluded its home season with an emotional 3-0 victory against the Sharks this past Friday. That snapped a four-game losing streak. I doubt the Kraken will have much left to prove in this meaningless matchup. Seattle has lost 20 of its last 27 road games. Winnipeg is home and rested after beating visiting Calgary two days ago. Seattle has to make the long 1,154-mile trip with really no incentive. The Kraken aren't capable of pulling a big road upset unless they produce an ''A'' game and I certainly don't see that here.
|04-28-22||Devils +290 v. Hurricanes||Top||3-6||Loss||-100||18 h 38 m||Show|
The major part of this handicap is a letdown factor from Carolina. The Hurricanes have been playing extremely well winning five in a row. The latest victory, 4-3 against the Rangers two days ago, clinched the Metropolitan Division for the Hurricanes.
So that sense of urgency is gone now for the Hurricanes. They accomplished what they wanted to do. Now, playing for the fourth time in six days, I don't see the Hurricanes too motivated for this matchup against the lowly Devils.
New Jersey is capable of pulling off a huge upset on the road. The Devils have done that twice during the last 3 1/2 weeks beating the Golden Knights and Stars at better than plus $2.00 in each game.
The Devils nearly upset the Hurricanes when they hosted them five days ago, losing 3-2 in overtime. The Hurricanes forced the overtime by scoring with less than two minutes left.
|04-11-22||Jets v. Canadiens +125||4-2||Loss||-100||19 h 41 m||Show|
The Jets don't deserve to be a road favorite against the Canadiens.
Winnipeg escaped lowly Ottawa winning, 4-3, on Sunday. Prior to that, the Jets had lost four in a row.
The Canadiens are 4-8 in their last 12 games. However, Montreal has been extremely competitive against upper level competition. The Canadiens lost in overtime to the Bruins and Stars. They also fell by one goal to the Maple Leafs and Panthers during this span.
Montreal has won five of the past six meetings against the Jets and is the more rested team. Winnipeg is playing for the third time in four days and fourth time in six days. The Jets had a tough one-goal home loss to the Avalanche in overtime this past Friday and then had another tough game against the Senators on Sunday.
The Jets also will be without Mark Scheifele, who is second on the team in goals and points. He suffered an upper body injury against the Senators.
|04-10-22||Stars -150 v. Blackhawks||6-4||Win||100||17 h 16 m||Show|
I'm expecting the Stars to produce a big effort after playing terrible in a 3-1 home loss to the Devils on Saturday. Dallas coach Rick Bowness ripped his team following that loss saying not one player had a good game. The Stars were 7-3 in their previous 10 games. They are 9-2 the last 11 times they've been a road favorite. The rebuilding Blackhawks have dropped their last six games. Chicago has managed just four goals in its last four games.
|03-12-22||Lightning -135 v. Oilers||1-4||Loss||-135||22 h 51 m||Show|
You have to go back to late December/early January to find the last time the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning lost three in a row.
I fully expect the Lightning to take care of business and right their ship against the Oilers. Edmonton is 3-6 in its last nine games. The Oilers are lucky to not be 2-7 after giving up a tying goal to the Capitals in their last game this past Wednesday with less than one second left. Edmonton managed to prevail in overtime.
The Lightning rank seventh in scoring. The Oilers are a below average defensive team with mediocre goalies. Tampa Bay has won the past five meetings in the series.
|02-22-22||Sharks v. Ducks -145||3-4||Win||100||12 h 9 m||Show|
Considering the lopsided money lines in hockey this season, this seems like a reasonable lay price to fade San Jose.The Sharks have lost six in a row. They have goalie problems with Adin Hill dealing with a lower body injury and James Reimer not playing well. The key question here is can Anaheim be trusted? I have some confidence in the Ducks following their last game, a 7-4 road win against the Canucks this past Saturday. The Ducks have had ample time to rest and game plan for this home game, their first in 11 days. The Ducks are 14-5 the past 19 times against sub .500 opponents. They went 3-0 versus the Sharks last season with all three of those games being in San Jose.
|02-11-22||Islanders v. Oilers -136||Top||1-3||Win||100||23 h 36 m||Show|
After racing off to a 16-5 start, Edmonton is just 7-13-3 in its last 23 games.
The bottom fell out for the Oilers in their last game, a 4-1 home loss to the Blackhawks this past Wednesday. The Oilers were minus $1.78 in that game. That loss was so bad the Oilers fired coach Dave Tippett following the game.
This will be Edmonton's first game under new coach Jay Woodcroft. You have to believe the Oilers are going to be super fired-up. It's also must-win time for the Oilers trailing the Flames by five points for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.
So the timing is right for the Oilers to beat the Islanders.
The Islanders have endured a rough season themselves. They played for the first time in a week and beat the Canucks, 6-3, this past Wednesday. The Islanders were shut out by Seattle, 3-0, at home in their previous game.
The Islanders are 1-7 the past eight times as a road 'dog. They also are 6-13 the last 19 times following a victory.
Edmonton has dominated the Islanders at home winning eight of the last nine times, although the last time the Oilers hosted the Islanders was nearly three years ago.
|01-03-22||Oilers +115 v. Rangers||Top||1-4||Loss||-100||21 h 29 m||Show|
The Oilers are in stop-the-pain mode with three consecutive losses, the last two coming in overtime.
The Rangers, on the other hand, are fat and happy having just defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning, 4-0, on Sunday for the second time in three days.
The Oilers have scored five goals in three of their last five games. They can be explosive with superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Rangers aren't likely to have their best player, forward Artemi Panarin. He was placed in COVID-19 protocols on Sunday.
Edmonton is 5-0 the past five times facing the Rangers.
|11-24-21||Maple Leafs -155 v. Kings||Top||6-2||Win||100||21 h 42 m||Show|
Toronto is 11-2 in its last 13 games. The Maple Leafs have accomplished this with defense and strong goaltending. Toronto has permitted just eight goals in its last seven games. The Kings have scored two or fewer goals in four of their last five games.
LA has dropped four in a row, including a 2-1 overtime loss to the lowly Coyotes in its last game this past Sunday.
The Kings are 2-9 the past 11 times they've been a home 'dog.
But don't expect the Maple Leafs to take the Kings lightly, or not be motivated.
Toronto is in full revenge mode for a 5-1 loss suffered at home to the Kings a little more than two weeks ago. Former Kings goalie Jack Campbell is likely to be in net for Toronto. He has three shutouts this month.
Superstar Auston Matthews is due for a breakout game having been held without a goal the past three games despite coming close to scoring.
|11-20-21||Blues +103 v. Stars||1-4||Loss||-100||5 h 57 m||Show|
After four straight one-goal losses, the Blues ended their losing streak with a solid, 4-1, victory against the Sharks two days ago. I see St. Louis following through with another win.The Stars are off a confidence-draining 7-2 road loss to the Wild this past Thursday. Dallas is 3-9 the past 12 times when playing on one day's rest. The Blues have defeated the Stars in six of the last eight meetings.
|11-20-21||Predators -120 v. Canadiens||3-6||Loss||-120||4 h 57 m||Show|
Until the Canadiens right their ship, they are a fade. Montreal has lost seven of its last eight games, including the past four. Proud Canadien fans have turned on their team for their awful performances.Nashville has ample rest and prep time having last played on Tuesday. The Predators have a hot goalie, too, as Juuse Saros has given up just eight goals in his last 14 games. Nashville is 6-1-1 in those games. Saros is 2-0 lifetime versus Montreal holding the Canadiens to three goals in those two games.
|11-17-21||Avalanche v. Canucks +140||4-2||Loss||-100||5 h 58 m||Show|
Colorado is 2-6 in its last eight road games and has key injuries. Out for the Avalanche are star Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher. Bo Byram still may be out, too, being in concussion protocol. Vancouver has rapid revenge for a 7-1 road loss to Colorado six days ago. The Canucks have lost four in a row. If they keep losing it could cost them their head coach and general manager. Both are under fire. Vancouver usually plays Colorado tough at home winning 14 of the last 19 times it has hosted the Avalanche.
|11-09-21||Seattle Kraken v. Golden Knights -110||2-4||Win||100||6 h 50 m||Show|
The Golden Knights have multiple injuries, but the price range is low enough to back them. Las Vegas edged the Kracken, 4-3, on Oct. 12. The Golden Knights were in the minus $2.40 range for that game. Las Vegas is 41-18 as a home favorite. Seattle has lost its past five road games. The Kracken just lost on the road to Arizona. That was the Coyotes' first win in 12 games.
|11-03-21||Hurricanes v. Blackhawks +136||4-3||Loss||-100||3 h 33 m||Show|
The Hurricanes are unbeaten. The Blackhawks have just one victory. Yet I'm going to take this price and back the home 'dog Blackhawks, whose lone victory occurred in their last game. That was a 5-1 dominant win at home against the improved Senators. Patrick Kane scored a hat trick and Marc-Andre Fleury was excellent in goal for a second straight game. Carolina barely escaped winless Arizona in its last game this past Sunday. The Hurricanes nipped the Coyotes, 2-1, with a power-play goal at 2:27 of the third period. The Hurricanes now take to the road for the first time in 12 days. They are fat and happy, overdue for a loss. I expect the Blackhawks to come in with their ''A'' game. That combination should produce a Chicago win.
|11-01-21||Senators +125 v. Blackhawks||1-5||Loss||-100||4 h 24 m||Show|
The Senators are improved this season. They are a respectable 3-4 and just upset the Stars, 4-1, on the road this past Friday. The Blackhawks do not look improved. They look worse. Chicago is 0-9 and has plenty of chemistry issues. The Blackhawks have managed only 12 goals in their last seven games. Patrick Kane is a game-time decision having been in COVID-19 protocol. Maybe the Blackhawks get their first win and the due factor kicks in. But I'll take a plus price to find that out.
|10-31-21||Sabres +118 v. Kings||2-3||Loss||-100||14 h 15 m||Show|
The Sabres have been a big early surprise going 5-2. They last played on Thursday and draw the Kings playing without rest and in action for the third time in four days. The Kings are a bit fat and happy after ending a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 home win against the Canadiens Saturday. Calvin Peterson was in net for the Kings in that game. So that likely means Jonathan Quick will be in goal against the Sabres. LA is 0-4 with Quick in goal as Quick is well past his prime. The oddsmaker is sleeping on the Sabres opening the Kings as the favorite.
|10-18-21||Blues -175 v. Coyotes||7-4||Win||100||7 h 40 m||Show|
Arizona is going to be terrible this season. The Coyotes opened the season with an 8-2 loss to the Blue Jackets and then lost, 2-1, in a shootout against the Sabres, another terrible team like themselves. The Blues looked very good in their opener - at least for the first 50 minutes. The Blues nearly blew a 4-1 lead against the Avalanche on the road, but held on to win, 5-3. Now St. Louis is stepping way down in class. The Coyotes have confirmed Carter Hutton will be in goal. I don't consider him a legitimate starting NHL goalie.
|10-17-21||Stars v. Senators +120||2-3||Win||120||5 h 44 m||Show|
The Senators have won each of the last six times they have been a home underdog. Dallas is 0-4 in its last four visits to Ottawa. The Stars already are dealing with injuries. The biggest injury is to key defenseman John Klingberg. The Stars also are going with backup goalie Anton Khudobin. There's a chance the Senators will have newly signed Brady Tkachuk in the lineup. But I still like the Senators to pull the upset even without Tkachuk.
|10-16-21||Jets -130 v. Sharks||3-4||Loss||-130||4 h 29 m||Show|
The Sharks were terrible last season finishing 3-14. San Jose doesn't look any better going into this season. If anything they could be even weaker in goal. They also don't have Evander Kane.Winnipeg is off a 4-1 loss to Anaheim from Wednesday. The Jets aren't going to lack motivation. They outshot the Ducks, 34-22. Now the Jets get back Mark Scheifele, who finished his four-game suspension by sitting out against the Ducks. The Jets have won the past four times in San Jose.
|10-14-21||Stars v. Rangers -125||3-2||Loss||-125||8 h 1 m||Show|
The Rangers are more physical and better coached this season with Gerard Gallant. They had a tough opener at the Capitals last night. But I expect them to bounce back at home today. This is the Stars' season debut. So the Rangers have the advantage of having played a game already. Fatigue won't matter this being just the second game of the season. Dallas could be minus veteran Alexander Radulov. He missed practice on Wednesday due to non-COVID illness. The Rangers are 7-2 the past nine times when favored, while Dallas is 1-6 the past seven times as a road 'dog.
|10-13-21||Rangers +115 v. Capitals||1-5||Loss||-100||10 h 5 m||Show|
The Rangers hate the Capitals because of Tom Wilson. New York should be tough this season with the coaching switch to Gerard Gallant. The talent and goalkeeping are there for the Rangers. Foes won't be able to physically intimate the Rangers either since New York brought in enforcer Ryan Reaves. Washington is a team that's declining. The Capitals have depth concerns and questionable goaltending. They were knocked out of the postseason early.
|10-13-21||Canadiens v. Maple Leafs -167||1-2||Win||100||9 h 11 m||Show|
The Maple Leafs have waited all off season for this game. Montreal came back from a 3-to-1 deficit to knock the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs last season. So this is monster revenge for Toronto. I'm expecting a Toronto blowout as the Canadiens won't have goalie Carey Price and are down several defensive players. Defensemen Shea Weber and Joel Edmundson. Weber is out for the season with various injuries. Montreal also will be missing defensive-minded center Phillip Danault.
|07-05-21||Lightning v. Canadiens +144||2-3||Win||144||17 h 37 m||Show|
It has been 23 years since there was a Stanley Cup Finals sweep. Tampa Bay has a chance to end that string up 3-0 against Montreal.I don't see it happening, though. The Canadiens are an extremely prideful organization. Montreal has shown tremendous guts and resiliency in reaching the finals especially in knocking off the Maple Leafs and Golden Knights. No doubt the Lightning are the superior team. Certainly not arguing that point. But the Canadiens haven't been dominated in this series even though they've been outscored, 14-5. Montreal has hurt itself with mistakes. The Lightning haven't let the Canadiens get away with that either, taking full advantage. That has been the story of this series. It has been five days since the teams last played. That's a disadvantage to Tampa Bay, which could lose some of its momentum. The Canadiens have had ample time to recover and regroup. I don't know if they can produce an ''A'' level performance against such a strong foe, but I'm certain they will produce an ''A'' level effort. The Lightning aren't nearly in such desperation. They are fat and happy knowing that if they lose they get Montreal at home on Wednesday for Game 5. Subconsciously that could mean a letdown for the Lightning. So I'm going to take a nice home 'dog price backing Montreal.
|07-02-21||Lightning -130 v. Canadiens||Top||6-3||Win||100||18 h 6 m||Show|
The Canadiens did a fantastic job pulling off one of the great playoff series upsets when they eliminated the Golden Knights.But Montreal doesn't match up nearly as well against defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay. The Lightning have defeated the Canadiens in 14 of the last 17 meetings. This includes outscoring the Canadiens by an 8-2 margin to go up 2-0 in this Stanley Cup Final. Switching venues to Montreal isn't going to change that. The Canadiens are limited to just 3,500 fans. The Lightning didn't come close to playing its ''A'' game two days ago in Game 2 yet still won, 3-1. The Lightning are capable of playing far better. Montreal lacks the offense to stay with Tampa Bay. The Lightning not only have their top scorers back, but their defense and goaltending have been superb. Tampa Bay has surrendered just four goals in regulation during its last five games. Andrei Vasilevskiy trumps Carey Price in net.
|06-24-21||Golden Knights -138 v. Canadiens||Top||2-3||Loss||-138||18 h 33 m||Show|
As strange as it sounds, maybe beating the Canadiens, 4-1, in the first game of this series after overcoming the Avalanche in a tough series was the worst thing that could have happened to the Golden Knights.Since that decisive opening game victory, the Golden Knights have lost three of four to Montreal. Now the Golden Knights are on the verge of elimination down 3-2 in the series. How will they respond? Certainly the letdown factor has long since disappeared. Las Vegas is the superior team. But that doesn't mean that much now as the Canadiens' confidence is sky-high, Carey Price has stayed hot in net and Montreal is on house money. Those make for a dangerous combination. Yet I see Las Vegas winning this game and the price finally has come down enough to back the Golden Knights. Las Vegas has overcome adversity. The Golden Knights trailed in their series against the Wild and Avalanche before coming back to eliminate those teams. The Golden Knights are off a 4-1 loss from two days ago. They are 9-1 the past 10 times following a loss of three goals or more. Las Vegas has done the job as a road favorite winning 20 of the past 27 times in that role. Key center Chandler Stephenson is back in the lineup for Las Vegas. That gives the Golden Knights' four solid lines. So they own a depth edge, which increases in importance as the series grows longer. The Golden Knights ranked first defensively in the NHL and were third in scoring at 3.39 goals per game. However, they've managed just seven goals during their past four games. Price has a 2.01 goals above average when facing an average shot distance of 39.82 feet, a metric courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com. Price has played well this entire postseason, but he's far from the best goalie in the league like he was a few years ago. The top six forwards on the Golden Knights have combined for only one goal in the series. Las Vegas is a much better scoring team than that. The Golden Knights are way overdue. They've also had plenty of time to see and adjust now to Montreal's 1-1-3 neutral zone blockage style of play. So I see Las Vegas making the proper adjustments - both on the ice and in their heads - while their overdue scorers finally break out with the season on the brink.
|06-19-21||Lightning v. Islanders +114||2-3||Win||114||5 h 50 m||Show|
This has been an extremely tight series. So taking a plus price with the home Islanders makes sense. The Islanders controlled much of the action during the last two periods of Game 3 on Thursday, but lost, 2-1.I trust Islanders coach Barry Trotz to make a few adjustments, especially at home where he has last say on the lines, to get this series evened up. New York is 7-2 the past nine times when playing on one day rest. The Islanders also are 25-10 during their past 35 home contests.
|06-09-21||Bruins -130 v. Islanders||2-6||Loss||-130||16 h 40 m||Show|
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy may be a crybaby. But I do see the Bruins evening this series at 3-3 having lost the last two games. The oddsmaker does, too, making Boston a road favorite.The Islanders nipped the Bruins, 5-4, in Game 5 two days ago thanks to three power-play goals. Boston dominated, outshooting New York, 44-19, and controlling play for much of the game on the Islanders' side of the ice. The Bruins have taken 53 more shots than the Islanders during the series. A frustrated Cassidy was fined $25,000 for complaining about the Islanders getting more calls than his team. Perhaps the refs might subconsciously favor Boston a bit because of that. Certainly I'm not counting on that. But I do think Boston is going to play well here. So does Islanders coach Barry Trotz, who predicts the Bruins will produce their "A" game.
|06-06-21||Jets +124 v. Canadiens||1-5||Loss||-100||12 h 59 m||Show|
The Canadiens rode the momentum of upsetting the Maple Leafs after being down 3-1 in that series to upset the rusty Jets in Winnipeg in Game 1 of this series. Montreal won that game, 5-3, scoring an empty net goal during the final minute to account for the two-goal final. Still riding their momentum and steaming mad about Mark Scheifele's cheap shot of Jake Evans in Game 1, the Canadiens nipped the Jets, 1-0, in Game 2 despite being outshot. But with the scene shifting to Montreal, I see the Canadiens being a little fat-and-happy returning home as heroes while the Jets are in must-win mode. The series obviously has been very close. So I'm going to take a plus price with the Jets, who have been excellent in this role. They are 6-0 the past six times as underdogs. They've also won 11 of their last 15 road games. Montreal has failed to win six of the last eight times it was favored.
Sunday Free PlayAvalanche at Golden Knights Over 5 1/2 plus $1.09 I understand this is Stanley Cup hockey and that both teams' goalies are playing well. But I see this Game 4 of the Avalanche-Golden Knight series breaking the norm of the past two games where just five combined goals were scored. Colorado is the No. 1 scoring team in the NHL averaging 3.5 goals a game. The Avalanche also were No. 2 in shots on goal. Their top line of superstar Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen gets my vote as being the best line in the NHL They are going to be unleashed here since the Golden Knights have outplayed the Avalanche during most of the past two games. The Avalanche have produced at least three goals a game in 10 of their last 12 contests. They are averaging 4.57 goals in their seven Stanley Cup games. The Golden Knights are going to do their part to get this game to go Over, too. Las Vegas is the No. 3 scoring team in the league at 3.4 goals. The Golden Knights took the fourth-most shots on goal. Getting Max Pacioretty back from injury is huge for Las Vegas. He was the Golden Knights' leading goal scorer during the regular season, while averaging a point-per-game. This will be his third game in the lineup after missing the previous dozen contests. The Golden Knights should have scored more than two goals in Game 2, firing 31 shots on net during the last two periods and hitting the post three times. Las Vegas stayed on the assault in their 3-2 Game 3 victory with 43 shots on goalie Philipp Grubauer, who has held up well this season but who I don't consider an elite goaltender. While the Avalanche have a dominant first line, the Golden Knights are that rare hockey team with four solid lines. Their fourth line of William Carrier, Patrick Brown and Keegan Kolesar have managed 24 shots on goal during the last two games. Having the last say on line changes being the home team has allowed the Golden Knights to effectively mix-and-match getting needed edges.
|06-05-21||Bruins v. Islanders +131||1-4||Win||131||7 h 18 m||Show|
Boston probably is the superior team here. But this is nearly last stand time for the Islanders, down 2-1 in the series and playing at home with Game 5 set for Boston.The Islanders showed their resilience and tenacity in taking out the Penguins. During this series, two of the three games have been decided in overtime. You know with the Islanders you're going to get a well-disciplined defensive effort and good coaching. New York is 23-9 in its last 32 home games. The Bruins also are unlikely to have one of their better defenseman, Brandon Carlo. He suffered a head injury in Game 3.
|06-04-21||Avalanche v. Golden Knights +105||2-3||Win||105||12 h 42 m||Show|
I don't expect the Golden Knights to beat the Avalanche in this Stanley Cup series, but I'm not expecting Las Vegas to get swept either. This is the Golden Knights' game to win, returning home to a full capacity of 18,000 fans down 0-2 in the series.The Golden Knights should have tied the series, but lost 3-2 in overtime to Colorado two days ago. Las Vegas outshot the Avalanche, 31-12, during the last two periods. The Golden Knights had three shots hit the post during the third period. Mark Stone and Chandler Stephenson are overdue to produce points. Both are scoreless so far in the series. Las Vegas has a strong home ice advantage going 21-5-2 at T-Mobile Arena.
|06-02-21||Canadiens v. Jets -132||5-3||Loss||-132||15 h 13 m||Show|
Perhaps the Jets will come out rusty. But I'd much rather have Winnipeg's situation than Montreal's here in this opening round series game. The Jets made quick work of the Oilers. Their reward is they've been idle for nine days. So they certainly will be rested. Yes, rust is a concern. But the Canadiens' are in a terrible spot having come back from a 3-1 series deficit to stun the Maple Leafs with a Game 7 victory two days ago. That rivalry series had to have drained the Canadiens. This will be their sixth game in 10 days. Montreal is 6-15 the last 21 times following a victory. Winnipeg went 6-3 against Montreal during the regular season.
|06-01-21||Lightning v. Hurricanes -110||2-1||Loss||-110||5 h 8 m||Show|
The Hurricanes are extremely tough at home winning 23 of the past 32 times. This includes a 3-1 playoff mark this season. But that one loss came this past Saturday, 2-1, to the Lightning in the opening game of their second-round Stanley Cup series. Carolina fired 38 shots on Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. The Lightning hold a playoff experience edge and an edge in net because of Vasilevskiy. The Hurricanes, however, can match the Lightning's quickness and speed and also have the necessary depth. This is a very even series and I don't see the Hurricanes losing twice in a row at home.
|05-27-21||Hurricanes v. Predators +125||4-3||Loss||-100||19 h 2 m||Show|
To say this is a huge home ice series would be to understate the case. The home team has won the past 11 times! Now it's Nashville's turn to host Carolina.The Predators have won 13 of their last 16 home contests, including both Stanley Cup games at Bridgestone Arena against Carolina. The Predators are in must-win mode down 3-2 in the series. They should get a huge boost from more than 12,000 spectators allowed into the arena and from the return of veteran forward Victor Arvidsson, who has missed the past couple of games with an upper body injury. Carolina has lost the last four times it has played on the road. The past three games all have been decided in overtime. Given the closeness of the series and Nashville having home ice, I'll certainly accept a plus price on the home 'dog.
|05-25-21||Maple Leafs v. Canadiens +151||4-0||Loss||-100||10 h 5 m||Show|
This is strictly a value play. The Maple Leafs lead the series, 2-1, with two of the outcomes being decided by one goal.Toronto nipped Montreal, 2-1, on the road Monday night. The Canadiens were the clear aggressor, though, in the third period outshooting Toronto, 15-2. The Maple Leafs were able to hold on for dear life. The Canadiens hit a post and came close to scoring on several other occasions. I see the Canadiens keeping up that same pressure since they can't afford a second straight home loss and fall down, 3-1, in the series. Toronto has lost six of the past eight times when playing for the fourth time in six days. I think this line should be more in the pick range so I'll go ahead and take a big plus price.
|05-18-21||Lightning v. Panthers +119||3-1||Loss||-100||15 h 39 m||Show|
The Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup champions and have gotten healthy. But they've had trouble with the Panthers. Florida won the last two regular season meetings and nearly beat Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the series two days ago. The Panthers led, 4-3, midway through the third period before falling, 5-4.Florida outplayed Tampa Bay during regular -5-on-5 action, but gave up four special teams goals. Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Lightning's star goalie, is 1-3 in his last four starts against Florida. He's allowed 4.7 goals a game against the Panthers during this span. This is close to must-win territory for the Panthers because a loss puts them in an 0-2 hole with the next two games at Tampa. The Panthers have won 13 of their past 16 home games.
|05-16-21||Islanders v. Penguins -125||4-3||Loss||-125||11 h 31 m||Show|
This is a fair price to back the Penguins at home. Pittsburgh finally has gotten healthy and is primed for a serious Stanley Cup run.The Islanders don't enter the Stanley Cup playoffs with momentum, losers of seven of their past 10 games. They are 2-8 in their past 10 road contests and lost six of eight times to the Penguins during the regular season. Pittsburgh is a dominant 39-14 in its last 53 home games for 73 percent. The Penguins haven't forgotten the Islanders sweeping them in the first round of the playoffs two years ago.
|05-15-21||Canucks +180 v. Oilers||4-1||Win||180||7 h 59 m||Show|
Vancouver managed to upset Edmonton, 6-3, on the road nine days ago. But this handicap is all about taking a huge price going against the Oilers, who are locked into their playoff spot and thinking more about the Stanley Cup than this meaningless matchup.This is a day game for the Oilers. They have their focus on meeting the Jets in their first-round Stanley Cup series starting Wednesday. The Canucks have endured a bizarre schedule and season because of COVID. But they've had a full day to rest and prepare after losing, 4-1, to the Flames this past Thursday. The Canucks still are playing hard. They may run out of gas with games Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday against the Flames. But they should be somewhat fresh here.