Pittsburgh battles Montreal and Dallas takes on the St. Louis Blues in two of the biggest matchups in NHL on Saturday.
Check out analysis and picks for those two massive games along with analysis and picks for other of the best matchups this weekend.
[Saturday, March 2]
Edmonton Oilers +200 at Columbus Blue Jackets -240
(1:00 pm ET)
With a 17-14-1-1 home record, Columbus doesn’t often find an advantage on their own ice. The trends do point to Columbus taking this, though: 22-4 SU in their last 26 as a favorite of -201 or greater, 21-4 SU in their last 25 as a home favorite of -201 or greater, and 4-1 SU in the last 4 meetings versus the Oilers.
Nothing about Edmonton implies they win on Saturday. The Oilers are 3-13 SU in their last 16 versus a team with a winning record. Take Columbus on the puck line if you don’t like the short odds.
NHL Free Pick: Blue Jackets -240
Chicago Blackhawks -110 at L.A. Kings -110
A few seasons ago, the Blackhawks and Kings dominated. If the Kings didn’t win the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks did. Not anymore. Neither one of these teams will even make the playoffs.
It’s a matchup that should go to Chicago. The Blackhawks are 9-1 SU in their last 10 versus a team with a losing record, 5-1 SU in their last 6 on the road, and 11-4 SU in their last 15 overall. While the Blackhawks have at least been competitive, the Kings have just been bad, going 1-10 SU in their last 11 overall.
Chicago should win easily.
NHL Free Pick: Blackhawks -110
Pittsburgh Penguins -120 at Montreal Canadiens +100
Pittsburgh’s got a .500 away record. The Penguins are 16-10-4-2. They’re often competitive on an opponent’s ice, but they are by no means the juggernaut they once were (or should be).
Montreal is in the second of a back-to-back. On March 1, the Pens battle Buffalo on the road. What’s interesting is that this is also the second of a back-to-back for the Canadiens. The difference is that Pittsburgh lost against both Buffalo and Montreal while the Canadiens beat their Friday opponent, the NY Rangers, and their Saturday opponent.
Montreal offers great odds while having gone 5-1 SU in their last 6 home games, and 4-0 SU in their last 4 in a 4-in-6 situation. They’re the team to back.
NHL Free Pick: Canadiens +100
Dallas Stars +140 at St. Louis Blues -160
On Feb. 28, Dallas beat L.A. 4-3 in overtime. They now take on the Blues after a day of rest, a team they beat 5-2 back on Feb. 21. Dallas might just have St. Louis’s number, but the trends point to a Blues victory.
St. Louis is 6-0 SU in their last 6 games on Saturday, 7-0 SU in their last 7 home games, and 9-1 SU in their last 10 games as a favorite. The Blues takes on Carolina on March 1. So, this is the second of a back-to-back, but the trends are too powerful to ignore. St. Louis all the way.
NHL Free Pick: Blues -160
Minnesota Wild +160 at Calgary Flames -180
Calgary’s one of the top squads in the NHL. They’re really difficult to beat at home where they’ve gone 20-5-3-2. The Flames are 6-0 SU in their last 6 after allowing 2 goals ore less in their previous, 6-1 SU in their last 7 home games versus a team with a winning road record, and 5-1 SU in their last 6 at home.
Although everything points to a Calgary win, it might be a good idea to take a shot on the Wild. Minnesota is 4-0 SU in their last 4 overall and 4-1 SU in their last 5 road games. The Wild are also 7-3 SU in their last 10 road games as an underdog. Minnesota gets the nod. Nothing wrong with swinging for the fences once in a while and playing the Wild over the Flames is one of those shots. I’m willing to take it.
NHL Free Pick: Wild +160