NHL Picks of the Day: Top Duo Plays to Win & Max Out Your Profit

David Lawrence

Thursday, April 30, 2015 11:28 AM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 30, 2015 11:28 AM UTC

The second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs gets underway on Thursday when two of the four series get underway. We’ll see if the extra rest helped out or whether teams will be a little rusty. Here’s our NHL picks of the night for Thursday.

Calgary Flames vs. Anaheim Ducks
Odds: Ducks -175
The Flames are playing with the house’s money as they’re a team that’s overachieving already. As for the Ducks, they’ve finished with a top-three record for three straight years and played in the second round last year, so they’re looking to take things a step further. The Ducks should be very fresh here as they’ve only played seven games in the last four weeks whereas Calgary did get to rest after the first round, but clearly spent themselves a little bit more. On the season, both the Ducks and Flames are 5-2 when playing with three or more days rest.

We’ve all heard the stats about the Ducks at home by now as they’ve won 20 straight regular season meetings at the Honda Center. But I don’t feel like laying a ton of juice, so I’ll go with the over instead. Four of the last five meetings between the teams have gone over. I expect plenty of goals in this series as we should see a free-flowing series with lots of skating and offensive opportunities.

NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at WagerWeb

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Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers
Odds: Rangers -170
The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers meet in the playoffs…again. For the fourth time in five years and the fifth time in seven years, the two rivals will meet up. The key to this series is likely to be offense as both goaltenders are strong and these games typically tend to be low scoring.

The Rangers will be missing a first-line player for this one as Mats Zuccarello is out. That means the Rangers will move up Martin St. Louis up to the top line. However, that’s likely to affect their offense slightly and they haven’t exactly been lighting it up in the playoffs. Their four wins in the first round were by an exact 2-1 margin, so they only scored eight goals in their wins.

These teams have played a lot of matchups recently and the series does trend towards the under. 52 of the last 86 meetings have stayed under. Expect more of the same and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is on fire right now, posting a .939 save percentage in the first round, while Braden Holtby has a strong track record against the Rangers. In 14 career playoff games, he has a 2.06 GAA and a .925 save percentage against them.

It’s a low total in this one but I’m expecting the game to be low-scoring. The Rangers also tend to play low-scoring affairs when having plenty of rest as 14 their last 17 games when playing with 3 or more days rest have gone under including seven of eight this season. Take under with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Under 5 at GTBets.

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