NHL Picks: Hockey Lines and Betting Odds

Steven Suarez

Friday, April 19, 2013 12:31 PM GMT

Six games are on the schedule tonight as we head towards the end of the regular season. Let's examine the early NHL odds.

Morning NHL Odds Report

Thursday Recap

Only two road teams won out of the 10 matchups last night, with those being the New York Islanders (+110) in Toronto and the New Jersey Devils (+115) in Philadelphia.

The other underdog to cash was the Dallas Stars, who trounced the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 at a price of +115. Swingin' Johnson was right on the money with his selection.

Elsewhere, the New York Rangers won 6-1 over the Florida Panthers, the Ottawa Senators ended the Washington Capitals' winning streak with a 3-1 win, and the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, and Los Angeles Kings all won at home as well.

Friday's Heavy Favorites

The Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Anaheim Ducks are the three considerable NHL odds favorites this evening.

The Blackhawks, on top of the Western Conference by 10 points, will be at home to the Nashville Predators, who have been knocked out of playoff contention already. Chicago has gone 16-3-2 at home and has won six in a row heading into tonight, while the Predators are 5-12-4 on the road and have failed to win in seven straight matchups.

With that kind of gulf in performance and overall talent level, it's no wonder Chicago is favored to the tune of -270 at the top sportsbooks. You may be much better off taking a chance on the -1.5 puck line at +105.

Both Dallas and St. Louis scored home wins last night, but it's the Blues (-170) that get the favorites tag at home tonight. We realize the Blues have won eight of their last ten, but there could be some decent value here on the Stars at +155 or so, given how dominant they looked in their 5-1 over the Vancouver Canucks last night.

Lastly there's the Ducks paying a visit to Calgary as -160 road favorites. The Flames have been eliminated from contention, but they're still a solid 12-9-2 at home this season and they do catch Anaheim in a bit of a tailspin, having lost three games in a row.

Will any of the aforementioned games be included in David Lawrence's NHL picks? He will have four total plays, three of which can be found in his picks of the day article.

Boston Bruins/Pittsburgh Penguins

[gameodds]7/225169/1096-43-19-999996/us[/gameodds]

We will have Mike Richardson dishing out a hockey pick tonight, with his focus on the Bruins/Penguins in what should be a great game.

The Bruins couldn't hang on to their lead the other night in their emotional loss to the Buffalo Sabres, but will try to turn around their fortunes against a surging Penguins team.

Pittsburgh has managed five successive wins, pushing their overall record to 33-10-0 on the year. They're seven points clear of second-place Montreal and have had no issues whatsoever wrapping up the division title.

Over their last four, all wins, the Penguins have scored a total of 20 goals, though they may find it difficult to replicate that kind of success against a Boston team that ranks #3 in goals against (2.2) and #1 in the penalty kill (88.8 percent).

Boston, despite losing three in a row, has recorded an excellent 14-3-3 mark on their home ice, which explains why they're -135 favorites. You can back the Penguins at +115 to get the road win.

Friday night's other games include the Colorado Avalanche (-125) at home to the Edmonton Oilers (+105) and the Buffalo Sabres (+100) doing battle with the New York Rangers (-120).

Check back with us later today to see our final NHL picks and to find out if there's been any line movement throughout the day.