NHL Best Bets Tonight
Best Bets For Saturday, March 10
Although it is not the busiest Saturday of the NHL season, there are still 11 games on the docket, including four between current playoff teams. The day starts off early, with four 1:00 PM EST games and three more games starting between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM EST. The best two games of the evening have later start times and help round out an excellent day of NHL hockey.
Winnipeg Jets At Philadelphia Flyers
Starting the day off with a 1:00 PM EST puck drop, two of the top teams in their divisions clash in a critical East v West showdown. After reeling off ten wins in 11 games between February 6 and February 26, the month of March has not been kind to Philadelphia. The Flyers have lost five straight and now sit three points behind Pittsburgh for the lead in the Metropolitan Division.
On the other hand, the Winnipeg Jets are surging at the right time, winning four in a row and nine of their last 11 games. Winnipeg is now tied with Vegas for the second most points in the Western Conference. As strong of a team as the Jets are, they own just a 17-10-7 record on the road this season and are just 4-3-4 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents.
While Philadelphia lost five straight, they have played two back-to-backs in the first nine days of March, a tough stretch of games for any team. The Flyers should welcome the earlier start against a Western team and use home ice to their advantage to beat one of the best teams in the NHL.
Arizona Coyotes At Colorado Avalanche
Despite owning the worst record in the National Hockey League, the Arizona Coyotes have not been an easy out over the 13 games. Arizona is 9-2-2 in the last month, outscoring their opponents 38-28. The Avalanche, who for much of the NHL season have been a pleasant surprise, are starting to fade down the stretch. Colorado is just 4-2-4 in their last ten and now sit one point out of the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
These two division rivals have a competitive history. They have split their last ten games and split their first two meetings this season. Colorado enters this game as the favourite. This season, as a favourite, Colorado is 9-5-1. They also have much higher success on home-ice, owning a 23-8-2 record (compared 12-16-6 on the road).
Arizona is a dreadful road team. They are only 9-16-7 outside the desert and just 2-5-4 on the road against divisional opponents this season. Look for a low-scoring game (as these two teams combined to average 5.1 goals per game in their last ten) with Colorado picking up a crucial win.
Washington Capitals At San Jose Sharks
The best game of the afternoon sees the Washington Capitals face the San Jose Sharks at 4:00 PM EST. Both franchises currently sit second in their divisions, although Washington is much closer to catching Pittsburgh for the lead.
Washington was the only Stanley Cup favourite (ranking in the top-eight 2018 Cup odds) to not make a move at the trade deadline. Since the trade deadline, Washington is just 2-2-0 and has only a single goal in their last two games. Their lacklustre play could continue in San Jose. Washington is just 3-5-2 against San Jose, getting outscored by 12 games over the same period.
San Jose has fared poorly this season at home against Eastern teams. They are just 6-7-0. However, they have an excellent chance to get back to .500 against Washington, who is a very disappointing 3-8-2 on the road against the West this season.
Look for the San Jose Sharks to claw out a tough win (in a good with a good potential for overtime) over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Pittsburgh Penguins At Toronto Maple Leafs
The big game of the night pits the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 7:00 PM EST puck drop at the ACC. Both teams are dealing with injuries to pivotal pieces, but each team is currently trending in a different direction.
The Leafs are slipping without Auston Matthews, losing four straight. While the Maple Leafs are firmly in playoff position, the 1-2-2 stretch without Matthews has cut into their chances of passing the Boston Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division.
The Penguins are gaining some momentum. While the Penguins lost their starting goaltender, Matt Murray, to injury at the end of February (and lost three straight games), they have righted the ship in March, winning their last three games.
The Penguins and Maple Leafs split their first two meetings of the season (both in Pittsburgh). The Leafs have won the last two games at the ACC, but the Penguins hold a 6-2-2 edge in the series dating back to November 2014.
The most significant advantage for the Leafs right now is they have not played since March 5. The time off should help them recuperate and strategize to end their losing streak. The rest should be wonders for Frederik Andersen, who is often asked to carry the team in Matthews’ absence.
The Leafs did show earlier in the season they could win without Matthews, 6-4-0 before his latest stint on the IR. Look for a rested Andersen to carry the Leafs to a big win over the Penguins.
New Jersey Devils At Nashville Predators
The hottest team in the NHL hosts the hottest player in the league, as Nashville Predators welcome Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils to town on Saturday. Although Taylor Hall’s point streak came to an end on Thursday, the former first overall pick’s registered a point in 26 consecutive appearances.
The problem for the Devils is they only went 12-12-2 in the 26 games. The Devils now sit just two points up in the Wild Card standings with the Panthers and Blue Jackets closing in fast.
The Predators continue to roll, winning ten straight games to move six points up on the next best team in the Western Conference. The Predators have looked like the best team in the NHL over the last month and are gearing up for another long playoff run.
The last ten games between these two clubs have been tight. They split their last ten meetings. New Jersey won in Nashville last season 5-4, despite being outshot by 20. The Devils are a much better team this season and the best underdog to wager to pull off an upset on Saturday.
Minnesota Wild At Edmonton Oilers
The last game of Saturday features two Western Conference teams, looking at the final month of the season very differently. The Oilers are arguably the biggest disappointment in the NHL this season. However, they remain a popular team to wager (whether it be moneylines or totals).
The Minnesota Wild are coming off a game on Friday, meaning the odds are not likely available until early Saturday morning. However, since the focus on this last bet is not which team will win, but on the game total, it is straightforward enough to speculate.
This game represents the 11th time this season the Minnesota Wild have played a back-to-back. In those previous ten games, the Wild’s offence has taken a severe hit. The Minnesota Wild rank ninth in the NHL this season averaging 3.13 goals per game. That number takes a big hit in the second half of a back-to-back. In ten games, Minnesota is averaging a paltry 1.70 goals per game (nearly a 50% decrease from their season average).
While the Wild do not score many goals, they still give them up. They allow 3.5 goals in the 10 games above. The total has been six or higher in four of the ten games. The Wild are also the worst road defence this season allowing 3.62 goals per game.
The Oilers average 3.44 goals at home this season. While these two teams have a recent history of lower scoring games (averaging a combined 4.7 goals per game over their previous ten), the numbers for this game are point towards a higher scoring contest.
Category : Sports
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