Saturday’s NHL slate is filled with plenty of repeat matchups as to be expected in a special season that features only divisional games. To no surprise, online sportsbooks have the winners from previous games as favorites and I’ll ride the chalk here.
There are some trends I’m noticing with two of the teams. Tampa Bay and Boston both outplayed their opponents for the most part but had to go past regulation to get a win. That shouldn’t be the case now while Winnipeg further exposes as Ottawa as “who we thought they were.”
Tampa Bay To Remain Unbeaten
It wasn’t too long when the Stanley Cup favorites were swept by the eight-seeded Blue Jackets in the playoffs. Now, Tampa Bay has found a way to get by Columbus even if by the skin of their teeth making them a solid favorite per NHL odds.
The Lightning edged Columbus 3-2 in overtime in their previous outing. Tampa Bay outshot Columbus 37-25 despite only having one power play to Columbus’ four. G Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves for the Blue Jackets and kept them in it.
It will be more of the same this second time around, but the Lightning won’t require overtime. Like the Bruins and Flyers game, the better team will emerge in the long run and that is Tampa, the team that ranks in the top-ten in almost every major NHL statistic.
Tampa should win and will make a great parlay anchor. Additionally, find them on the puck line at +1.5 from the BetUS sportsbook as there is a chance they rout the Blue Jackets this time.
Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning to win (-167)
Bruins Beat Flyers in Another Banger
The best game on paper, should have Boston winning again and this time, more emphatically. The Bruins managed to overcome two two-goal deficits to outlast the Flyers in a shootout.
It was a vintage Bruins game where they outplayed the Flyers controlling the puck 60% of the time and outshooting them 43-26. But they gave up three (two, officially) goals thanks to penalties.
Flyers’ goalie Carter Hart was great, but he can’t stonewall the Bruins all the time. Philadelphia is actually last in the NHL in corsi for percent (CF%) during 5-on-5 and that will come back to haunt them.
Meanwhile, Boston will improve on its 5.2 shooting percent and make it a more convincing victory this time.
Pick: Boston Bruins to win (-160)
Jets Complete Sweep of Ottawa
The Jets have won two straight against the Senators in games that couldn’t be further apart. Winnipeg stole the first game from the Sens with seconds to spare and blew them out the next game.
The baby Sens are a promising team but can unravel and that’s what happened. They’re 29th in the NHL in corsi for percent (43.9%) during 5-on-5 while Winnipeg has been solid all-around as expected.
The Jets have explosive scorers like LW Kyle Connor (3G 7P) while goalies Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit have combined for a gleaming 93.2 save percent including 95.7% on 5-on-5.
Winnipeg is more talented and will outwork Ottawa again to complete the sweep.
Pick: Winnipeg Jets to win (-137)
Parlay: Tampa Bay to win (-167), Boston to win (-160), and Winnipeg to win (-137) at +349
It’s all chalk for these NHL betting picks, but the beauty of repeat matches is the evidence is already in front of us. Both Tampa Bay and Boston are decided favorites despite needing extra time to beat their opponents simply because they’re the better teams.
Winnipeg, despite having the highest odds here, has the best matchup. The Jets are better in 5-on-5 play, stronger on defense, and have better netminders. They beat Ottawa when they were cold and they destroyed them when they were hot.
Still, it’s tough to hit NHL parlays. This is the league where favorites and underdogs are lined more evenly thanks to the nature of the sport. Feel free to adjust the picks to just two teams or parlay another from the BetUS sportsbook.