Another great Saturday of NHL action takes place headlined by Sharks-Blue Jackets, and two of the hottest teams in the league throwing down in Bruins-Blues. Saturday’s an awesome day of action on the ice, so here are my NHL Weekend Free Picks!
[Saturday, Feb. 23]
Washington Capitals -125 at Buffalo Sabres +105
(1:00 pm ET)
The Caps head to Buffalo without a single injury. That’s rare for a team at this point in the regular season. Buffalo’s got a couple of injuries to deal with. Both happened recently with defenseman Marco Scandella suffering an upper body injury and right winger Kyle Okposo suffering a concussion. The Sabres are decent at home, though, with a 17-9-4-0 record.
Unfortunately for Buffalo, the trends favor Washington. The Capitals are 21-7 SU in their last 28 Saturday games, 4-0 SU in the last 4 meetings, and 5-2 SU in the last 7 meetings in Buffalo. Washington is also cruising on the road after a strong statement game in Toronto on Thursday night.
NHL Weekend Free Picks – Capitals -125
Boston Bruins +115 at St. Louis Blues -135
We should take time out of our day to watch Bruins-Blues. Find a hockey bar somewhere near you and check it out. Both teams have been awesome.
The Bruins are 6-0 SU in their last 6 following a win, 5-0 SU in their last 5 on the road as an underdog, 4-0 SU in their last 4 versus a team with a winning record, and 21-5 SU in their last 26 playing on 2-day rest. The Blues are 5-0 SU in their last 5 as a home favorite, 7-1 SU in their last 8 games as a favorite, 7-1 SU in their last 8 playing on a day of rest, and 11-1 SU in their last 12 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
With two hot teams, the home squad naturally gets the benefit of the doubt. Although in this case, the Bruins are the team to back straight up. Boston has been unbelievable on their recent road trip, beating Anaheim, L.A., San Jose, and Vegas while St. Louis hosts Boston off a tough 2-5 loss in Dallas.
The Bruins are playing like the best team in the NHL right now. They’ll make it 8 win in a row on Saturday.
NHL Weekend Free Picks – Bruins +115
San Jose Sharks -105 at Columbus Blue Jackets -115
San Jose continues their road trip on Feb. 23 as a slight dog against Columbus. The Sharks showed up as dogs against Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The day of, though, they ended up offering the same odds as the Pens.
San Jose didn’t disappoint, dominating Pittsburgh 4-0. The trends say they’ve got a shot to do the same thing to Columbus because not only is San Jose 6-0 SU in their last 6 on the road, 5-1 SU in their last 6 as an underdog, and 7-1 SU in their last 7 versus the Metropolitan Division, they’re also 4-1 SU in the last 5 meetings in Columbus.
But, there are reasons to like the Blue Jackets. Columbus is 4-0 SU in their last 4 versus the Western Conference, 4-1 SU in their last 5 versus the Pacific Division, and 11-5 SU in their last 16 games versus the favorite. The team is also going to be motivated by the recent acquisition of Matt Duchene, and you’ll have to check the day-of to see if he makes it in to the lineup with no practice.
Regardless of their new defenseman’s presence or not, Columbus should win this on the moneyline. San Jose did look great versus Pittsburgh, but their form wasn’t overwhelming before that, losing to Boston and Washington and only beating Vancouver 3-2. Too much emphasis is already being placed on San Jose’s victory over the Pens. Backing Columbus is the way to go.
NHL Weekend Free Picks – Blue Jackets -115
Carolina Hurricanes +110 at Dallas Stars -130
(5:00 pm ET)
Wow, Dallas looked great dominating the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night, but should they be -130 favorites over Carolina? Before beating the Blues, Dallas had lost 3 in a row straight up. Not only that, they’re 1-4 SU in their last 5 versus a team with a winning record, 2-5 SU in their last 7 overall, and 2-5 SU in their last 7 versus the Metropolitan Division.
Carolina is 6-0 SU in their last 6 road games and 4-0 SU in their last 4 versus the Central Division. Here’s another where too much emphasis has been placed on the team’s last game.
NHL Weekend Free Picks – Hurricanes +110
Pittsburgh Penguins -115 at Philadelphia Flyers -105
(8:00 pm ET)
For Pittsburgh, the match versus San Jose just got out of hand. The Penguins should step it up versus the Flyers on the road on Saturday. They’ve got a great 15-10-3-2 road record, are 5-1 SU in their last 6 games on the road as a -110 to -150 favorite, and are 8-2 in their last 10 versus the Metropolitan Division.
Not only that, in the head-to-head, the Pens are 6-0 SU in the last 6 meetings in Philadelphia. To make matters worse for the Flyers, they’ve been icy, losing their last couple of matches to Tampa Bay and Montreal a combined score of 10-3 . Pittsburgh should definitely get the win.
NHL Weekend Free Picks – Penguins -115