Although most of the sporting world’s attention will be on the college basketball hardwood on Thursday, there’s still a ripe NHL card with nine games on the docket. Read on to catch our daily previews and picks below:
Buffalo Sabres vs. Edmonton Oilers
It might sound crazy but I’m going to add the Oilers puck line to my Thursday sports picks. I can’t remember the last time the Oilers were favored by -190 but they are definitely deserved at this point. This is a team that’s not gone 10-4-3 in their last 17 games and has sorted out its goaltending issues, allowing just 2.18 goals per game over that span.
The Sabres are a mess. They’ve dropped seven straight losing six times by more than one goal, so I’ll take a flier with Edmonton.
NHL Pick: Oilers -1.5 +160 at Bodog
Penguins vs. Detroit Red Wings
The Pens look like they’re worth the price of admission here at about -120 on the NHL odds. Both teams are banged up but the Red Wings are far more hampered, missing their big two in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, and a slew of others too.
Detroit has dropped five of eight and is just 8-13 when at home with a total of 5.5. The Pens are 16-7 when on the road facing a total of 5.5.
NHL Pick: Pens -120 at Pinnacle
Anaheim Ducks vs. San Jose Sharks
I’m tempted to take the Ducks here because this matchup is much closer than the odds indicate. Sure, the Sharks are at home but they’re also fresh off a home loss to the Florida Panthers. They cost you a whopping -325 if took them with your NHL picks. It was the second time in the last five Sharks home games that they cost bettors -225 or more.
The Ducks have feasted on their division this season, going 16-4, although two of those losses were to San Jose. I expect a playoff-like atmosphere on Thursday night in what should be a very tightly contested game. I see the Ducks as having a coin flip chance to win but the odds tilt the scales heavily in the favor of San Jose. Because of that discrepancy, I’ll take a shot with the Ducks as a value play.
NHL Pick: Ducks +128 at Pinnacle