NHL picks: 4 best bets for Saturday night
Andrew Berkshire provides his best NHL picks and predictions for Saturday night's action.
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Remember when the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t score at the beginning of the season? When fans and media openly pondered if the continual playoff disappointments had mentally broken their top stars as they failed to cash on opportunities night in and night out? 15 wins in 17 games later, the Leafs embarrassed a fellow up contender by dropping eight goals on the Colorado Avalanche. Sure, the Avalanche were playing their third string goalie, but it’s still EIGHT goals. Can anyone match that tonight?
The Leafs have been so good lately, they look invincible. However, their current five-game winning streak is matched by the Wild’s own run of five straight victories.
At the end of the day, I think the Maple Leafs are a better overall team than the Wild, but in a matchup between two relatively evenly matched teams who are both red hot and shooting the lights out, the smart thing to do is to bet on the team that’s slightly less favoured. That’s the Wild.
The New York Islanders have been absolutely terrible. They’re one game back from their season suspension after too many players entered the COVID protocols. The Red Wings have been riding the incredible play of rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, and that probably isn’t going to die out any time soon, but the Islanders need to win eventually, right?
Wrong, apparently! The underlying numbers for the Islanders are abysmal, but their pedigree of success is still giving them good betting odds against their opponents. The Islanders and Red Wings have even odds in this one, so go with the team that’s had way more success.
Sid the kid has had a tough start to this season after going through offseason wrist surgery, then catching COVID as soon as he got healthy enough to play, but he’s finally looking like himself as the Penguins start pushing back towards the playoffs.
Crosby’s riding a four-game point streak entering this contest, and the Vancouver Canucks are not exactly known for great defense.
Two very even teams on the surface face off, with the Boston Bruins being slightly favoured due to the litany of injuries the Lightning are dealing with.
While the Bruins have been vastly better by the underlying numbers, the Lightning just keep finding ways to win games, which is the marker of a champion. Having Andrei Vasilevskyi behind your team always gives you a better chance than not, and the Bruins just haven’t seemed able to hit their stride consistently this season.
A team that consistently scrapes wins out of games that looks like losses versus a team that plays great but loses more than they should.