It’s a busy Thursday in the NHL with 11 games on the ice. We’ve sifted through the card and narrowed down our three favorite NHL picks of the night, so read on for the predictions.
Los Angeles Kings vs. New York Islanders
Odds: Islanders -111
The NHL betting odds opened the New York Islanders at -120. It might be an early line as N.Y. continue to fade, they lost again on Tuesday, this time a 2-1 shootout loss at home to the Minnesota Wild. That now makes it five losses in their last six. This team has been tanking over the last month and has been a completely different team than the one that started the season so well.
On Thursday, they’ll be hosting a Los Angeles Kings team that’s been playing pretty well of late. They are 7-2-2 in their last eight and are fighting for their playoff lives. Goaltender Jonathan Quick is trying to guide the Stanley Cup champs back to the playoffs as he’s allowed just 13 goals in his last nine outings. That’s about as good of a stretch as he’s had this season.
With the momentum of both teams going in different directions, I’ll take the Kings as a small NHL betting dog.
NHL Pick: Kings +103 at Bovada
Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets
Odds: Jets -140
There were some bizarre happenings with this line at open as the some books had the Jets at around the -110 mark while others had them in and around -140. That’s probably because someone knows something about Carey Price’s status on Thursday. If he plays, the Habs are probably closer to -110. If he’s out, the Jets will be a bigger favorite. At any rate, I like the under in this spot based on how Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec has been playing recently. He got the night off in the Jets most recent game and it’s no surprise that the team gave up five goals. He’s been on fire this month, giving up just six goals in seven games while posting an incredible .966 save percentage. With him expect back, we should expect another low-scoring affair.
As for the Canadiens, we’d rather have Price in net since we’re aiming for an under but even if it’s Tokarski, so for our NHL pick we’ll go under the number.
NHL Pick: Under 5 at BetOnline
Florida Panthers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Odds: Panthers -165
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been absolutely miserable for a couple of months now but seeing them play at home with a total of five seems a tad low. They’ve lost six straight games overall and nine of 10, but at a closer look, they’ve only gone under five just once in that span. This is still a team who is fourth in home scoring at 3.22 goals per game, although most of that average was built up in the early part of the season. Much of this total is based on the Panthers, who have played over five just once in their last six but given that Toronto is at home and probably has a better chance to dictate the pace, I’ll go over the number here.
NHL Pick: Over 5 at 5Dimes