Friday’s NHL betting card features just five games on the menu but we have still found the edge, as we’ve narrowed our picks from the games, so read below for our previews and predictions.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Odds: Blue Jackets -120
The Flyers and Blue Jackets are both employing backup goaltenders these days and that should lead us to an over in this spot. Curtis McElhinney has been filling in for the injured Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus and he’s been confirmed for Friday. Although he held the St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators to just one goal in matchups earlier this month, he’s still allowed at least three goals in four of his last six outings. On the year, he has a lofty 2.84 GAA that balloons to 3.20 when he’s at home. As a team, the Blue Jackets cough up 3.30 goals per game at home, which is the most in the NHL.
At the other end of the ice, we’re not 100% sure who we’ll see but we know it won’t be anyone that good. It could be Ray Emery, who has started two straight for the Flyers. He has a 3.25 GAA that climbs to 3.58 on the road. Or it could be Rob Zepp, who has a 2.92 GAA.
Five of the last seven meetings have gone over the number, so look for that to trend to continue on Friday.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at The Greek
San Jose Sharks vs. Arizona Coyotes
Odds: Sharks -145
The Sharks are a medium-sized road favorite in this spot on Friday but I’m more interested in the total in this spot. My concern is the goaltending in this spot as the Coyotes give up 3.15 goals per game at home. That’s the second-worst number in the NHL. As for San Jose, they’ve given up 3.67 goals per game overall this month, which is the second-worst number in the league. They’ve given up at least four goals in four of their last six.
Traditionally, this is an under series but given how both teams are playing these days, I’ll place my NHL pick over the number.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at Bodog
Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks
Odds: Canucks -125
The Bruins have lost two in a row and three of four, but had been playing pretty well before that. There’s a decent explanation for their two-game losing streak, so I’m going to give them a bit of a reprieve and take a shot with them as underdogs on Friday night's NHL odds in Vancouver. The Bruins lost on Sunday to Montreal, a team that has always had their number, and then lost to Dallas when they tried to give Tuukka Rask the night off. At any rate, they’ve been off since Tuesday and should do well against a Canucks team that has alternated wins and losses for eight straight games (and is coming off a win).
So far this month, Rask has a .941 save percentage and that’s on the heels of January where he posted a .949 save percentage. I’ll take a shot with the Bruins in this spot.
NHL Pick: Bruins +105 at Bookmaker