For today, we have some heavy chalk to contend with in three of the four Stanley Cup playoffs games and I have already written about Minnesota and Dallas here at sportsbookreview.com, which you can read.
Thus far in making NHL picks on all the games, I am 7-4, with a couple of nice upset winners on San Jose and Chicago. On my own personal wagers against the NHL odds, I am 24-12 +8.88 (4-0 this year) since last season in postseason, which is documented at Cappers Monitor.
Enough about me, let’s get to what you care about. Because we are still very early in the Stanley Cup playoffs, all the home teams have been favorites and they are 7-4, +1.27 units. Will they keep winning today?
Third string goalie Jeff Zatkoff was nicely dialed in for Pittsburgh in their 5-2 opening game win, making 35 saves. With starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury still iffy with a concussion, Zatkoff is still a backup and will need greater protection, because the barrage of New York shots will continue if left unimpeded and all they want to find is one weakness than attack.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is expected back after taking stick in the eye from teammate and he had permitted on goal in 11 attempts shots at home. The Rangers are listed as +158 road underdog at BetonLine and have to not only solve Zatkoff, but take advantage of miscues by the Pens, who has 10 giveaways on Thursday.
No doubt in my mind this will be a much closer game and will not even argue the value is with New York, however, prefer the hotter team on home ice with more able bodies who is 16-3 having won four of their last five games this season.
Free Pick – Pittsburgh wins
Washington closed as -230 home favorite in Game 1 and defeated Philadelphia 2-0 and has been bumped up to -245 for today. That is a big number in the regular season and really large in the playoffs. Personally, big numbers don’t scare me (though I do have my limits), if you are right you take home the money if you’re wrong, you have to win your next three picks to make a profit.
Washington has been in the best team in the NHL since late November and they were bored late in the season, they are the most complete club still standing and can stand up to the Flyers rough and tumble style and have more scoring options up and down the roster. No question the puck line is a variable, but in these team’s last nine meetings, six have been decided by one goal. With Philly 2-13 in away games off a road loss by two or more goals, either lay the lumber or stay away.