NHL Picks: Finding Betting Value In Nashville vs. Anaheim

Dana Lane

Sunday, April 17, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2016 3:00 PM UTC

The Predators have stolen home ice advantage away from the Ducks. Can they take a surpring 2-0 lead today? Join us as we break down the game to bring you a profitable NHL Pick for tonight.

Playoff Record: 9-9-4

When Philip Forsberg's third period goal got past Brian Elliot to give the Predators a 3-2 win and a 1-0 lead in the series many called it a fluke and surely things will be different today.  Anaheim opened up as a -150 favorite and have been bet up to as high as -165 on NHL Odds in some spots.  The problem is if you watched game one there wasn't as glaring of a separation between these two as the standings might indicate. 

I've said all year the Ducks were not as good as people have made them out to be.  I can't put my money behind a team that can't find a player to lean on offensively.  

Let's go deeper than that though.  Anaheim is 25th in the league in five on five time time on the ice meaning that most of their offense and opportunities are power play related which is reflected in the Ducks having the 4th ranked power play.  

In game one the Predators got away with not winning the special teams battle mostly because they limited Anaheim to 17 second and third period shots while generating pressure on John Gibson. It's amazing to me how big of an advantage the Ducks had in the face-off circle but yet not that big of an advantage in shots.  This would indicate that Nashville , at least on this night, may have been equal to the Ducks defensively which provides a huge problem because of the Ducks inability to generate consistent offense.  Consider this the tables being turned if Anaheim gets down early in game two.  

There's a little dent in the mental armor for Anaheim as the Ryan Kesler, Andrew Cogliano, Jakob Silfverberg line was scored on 35 seconds into game one. A line that prides themselves on defense.  Nashville had very little problem getting clean shots on John Gibson especially James Neal who had nine shots on goal. 

It was evident a few weeks ago against the Winnipeg Jets that team speed would be a question mark even though the Jets name may indicate that they should be fast.  Winnipeg, who are watching the playoffs on television, stole a road game and looked to be the better, quicker team.

Fast forward to game one of this series where the Predators used their speed to penetrate the offensive zone which created scoring chances. Here's the problem with teams that like to stand three players up at the blue line, when you don't have the speed advantage it's difficult to win the dump and chase game especially when the attacking team already has a momentum advantage through the nuetral zone. 

In game one Peter Laviolette's team was fortunate because they didn't win the special teams advantage wins usually plays right into the Ducks hands.  In game two it's imperative that they come out and forget the physical play because they can always come back to that.  Get that first goal then impose your physical will while I think the Ducks will be more focused on sending a physical message. 

So this is what I'm doing in this one.  For our NHL Picks, we are putting our trust behind Nashville in the first period at a generous +130 at most books and then betting the 'under' 5 at even money. Let's put ourselves in a position to get the plus money to start the game so at the very worse you'll walk away with a little profit if the second play doesn't hit.  

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NHL Pick:  1H Predators +130 & Under 5 +105
Best Line Offered: at BookmakerHeritage


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