Tuesday's NHL Picks: Predicting Straight-Up Winners on ML

Steven Suarez

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 2:29 PM GMT

We've got three games on the NHL odds board tonight & we're honing in on two matchups in particular as we navigate the playoff hockey landscape. Our first stop is in the Windy City.

Monday, 4/20 Recap
The only home team to win? That would be the Wild, who looked excellent in a 3-0 victory. Elsewhere, the Rangers beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh and Anaheim squeaked past Winnipeg with a huge 5-4 win.

 

Predators vs. Blackhawks
The Blackhawks looked in control throughout a 4-2 victory in Game 3 of the series, and they're now holding a 2-1 advantage. They have an excellent opportunity to go up 3-1 in front of their own fans, which would obviously make them massive favorites to advance in the series

However, they know they're going to get a top-notch effort from the Predators, who will come in as +140 favorites on the NHL betting odds board. Nashville let one get away in Game 1, responded in Game 2 in Nashville, but then couldn't generate enough pressure in the loss the other night. Oddsmakers apparently don't love their chances again tonight either.

We see things a little differently however and will be jumping at the chance to go a little contrarian with our pick. Nashville doesn't have the same level of experience as this Chicago team, but the Predators to have the talent and desire.

They've been dealt blows by not having Shea Weber and Mike Fisher around, as they're two of the team's most experienced players and have had success in the playoffs before. Still, this is a deep team and they have a lot of guys that can contribute, so they're not going to go down easy.

The odds aren't in their favor but we see Nashville showing up with a big-time performance in Game 4, which would in turn even up the series at 2-2.

NHL Pick: Nashville Predators +145 at Bovada

 

Capitals vs. Islanders
The Islanders appear to be in a good spot when they host Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in Game 4 of the conference quarterfinals. New York picked up a key road win in Game 1 and then took care of their home court in Game 3 two nights ago. Now they'll be the NHL hockey odds-on favorites to move to 3-1.

Current lines show New York listed at a -130 price to get another win, which would put them in pole position for advancing on to the semis. 

So far, netminder Jaroslav Halak has been at his very best and has been instrumental to the Islanders' success in not only the regular season but the first few games of this series too. We've seen countless times in the past how great goaltending can carry a team in the postseason, so we need to be wary of which netminders have that type of shutdown ability. 

New York will be leaning on John Tavares to do most of the creating on offense, as he's been delivering at a ridiculous level all season long. The Center had 38 goals and 48 assists during the regular season and has already made his presence felt in the playoffs too. He's tallied one goal and two assists through the first three games and will likely be an instrumental part in any success the Islanders find.

Yes, Washington has their own stud in Ovechkin, who can carry the load offensively when locked in, scoring multiple goals in a hurry. But, we think this is another nice spot for a well-rounded New York team, and we expect more great things out of Tavares and company. With your NHL picks , consider rolling with the Islanders.

NHL Pick: New York Islanders -130