Highlighted by Blues-Sharks, Saturday’s NHL lineup provides plenty of NHL handicapping opportunities.
Check out odds as well analysis for the top matchups on Saturday, March 9.
[Saturday, March 9]
St. Louis Blues +125 at San Jose Sharks -145
(4:00 pm ET)
St. Louis takes a 2-game win streak into their massive battle with San Jose on Saturday, but before we get too excited about backing the Blues as a dog, let’s not forget who they beat: Anaheim and Los Angeles. Those two are awful while San Jose is one of the top teams in the league.
Trends do give the Blues a chance in this: 4-0 SU in their last 4 versus the Pacific, 6-1 SU in their last 7 Saturday games, 5-1 SU in their last 6 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation, and 14-3 SU in their last 17 games playing on a day of rest.
Still, the home team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings while the Sharks have won 3 in a row on their own ice. San Jose wins outright.
NHL Free Pick: Sharks -145
Detroit Red Wings +1 ½ -115 at Tampa Bay Lightning -1 ½ -105
The moneyline only offers value on the Red Wings when Detroit battles Tampa. But the puck line offers value on both Detroit and Tampa. The Lightning beat their last two home opponents, Winnipeg and Ottawa, by a combined 10 goals to 3. Before dominating the Jets and Senators, they struggled in shootout victories over Buffalo and Los Angeles. Tampa Bay only beat Detroit 6-5 in the last matchup. The Red Wings are the play on the puck line. This is a rare suggestion by me so take that for what it’s worth.
NHL Free Pick: Red Wings +1 ½ -115
Philadelphia Flyers +125 at New York Islanders -145
The Flyers beat the Islanders 4-1 in the last match, but they’re up against it on Saturday. Philadelphia might be without leading goalie Carter Hart who has an ankle injury.
Not only that, but the trends point to NYI taking this. The Islanders are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games playing on a day of rest, 6-1 SU in their last 7 home games versus a team with a losing road record, and 9-3 SU in their last 12 home games as a favorite. Islanders beat the Flyers on March 9.
NHL Free Pick: NYI -145
Los Angeles Kings +140 at Arizona Coyotes -160
Sometimes, it’s difficult to make a case for the underdog. Arizona might be an overlay at -160 because they’ve gone 7-1 SU in their last 8 while the Kings are 1-11 SU in their last 12 as an underdog and 1-8 SU in their last 9 playing on a day of rest. The Coyotes have played well without leading shooter Derek Stepan who’s out until April with a lower body injury. They should have no trouble eking out a 1-goal win over the offensively challenged Kings.
NHL Free Pick: Coyotes -160
Chicago Blackhawks +140 at Dallas Stars -160
The Blackhawks are 11-5 SU in the last 16 meetings, but only 1-5 SU in the last 6 meetings overall. Not only that, but Dallas has been on a tear, going 5-1 SU in their last 6. The Stars must deal with some injuries. But, the Blackhawks have been terrible on the road, 8-20 SU in their last 28 as a road dog of +110 to +150, and 7-23 SU in their last 30 road games versus a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600. Dallas wins easily while Chicago’s name value continues to dry up.
NHL Free Pick: Stars -160
Carolina Hurricanes +150 at Nashville Predators -170
This sets up as the top underdog play in NHL on Saturday. Carolina has been great, winning 8-of-10 while the Nashville Predators have struggled, going 3-3 SU in their last 6.
The trends point to a Carolina victory as well: 7-0 SU in their last 7 games playing on 0 days of rest, 6-0 SU in their last 6 versus the Central Division, and 5-0 SU in the last 5 meetings. Nashville is winless in their last 5 on a Saturday and Carolina beat the Predators 6-3 in the last head-to-head match. Carolina all the way.
NHL Free Pick: Hurricanes +150
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