Two games on deck for NHL betting this Wednesday night and both should be spirited affairs despite the online betting lines from the online sportsbook. The Nashville Predators host the Chicago Blackhawks in a Central Division game while the Vancouver Canucks welcome the Ottawa Senators in the North Division.
The Predators will face the Blackhawks who have been hit hard by quarantine while the Canucks finally get a team that allows more goals than they do. Two NHL matchups, two close games. The NHL betting odds seem off so let’s take a look.
Nashville Edges Short-Handed Blackhawks
The Preds will be moderate favorites here and it’s hard laying juice on a team that got blown out 7-0 by a team that was just making its debut even if it’s the Stanley Cup runner-ups. The difference was in special teams and exposed Nashville’s achilles.
Nashville went 0-for-5 on the power play and allowed five of Dallas’s seven goals from their own PP. They have scored the third-fewest PP goals and have given up the most.
Fortunately for them, the Blackhawks will be missing several key figures to their special teams including captain C Jonathan Toews (illness), LW Alex DeBrincat (quarantine), and D Adam Boqvist (quarantine).
But even without several of their key players, Chicago should still be superior on special teams. The Preds were never good in this department, ranking in the bottom third of the league for both categories last season. And on 5-on-5, they’re next to each other in corsi for percentage (CF%). With these lines, it’s best to side with the dog here as you can’t trust the Preds and their sickly special teams.
Double-Header Pick: Chicago Blackhawks puck line +1.5 (-160)
Canucks Overcome Sens in a Thrilling Affair
Yet another game where there is a moderate favorite in a matchup that could be close despite the previous result.
It’s hard to trust the Canucks, a team that has allowed more goals per game (4.45) than any team except for the Sens (4.50), simply because they dropped seven on them. So it could be another high-scoring affair then with the totals at +6.5.
Both Vancouver and Ottawa have had bad goaltending, but their defense is more to blame. On 5-on-5 play, Vancouver is 28th in shots for percent (45.6%) and Ottawa is 25th (47.3%). They’re also getting outplayed and held to their own zone judging by their CF%: Vancouver is 25th (46.9%) and Ottawa is 29th (45.4%).
Vancouver’s stats would be worse had they not blown out the Sens in their first meeting but this is hoping that’s the spark they needed. Their sloppy play and suspect goaltending could still bite them, but the Sens are hardly the team to exploit that weakness.
Double-Header Pick: Vancouver Canucks to win (-165)
Chicago puck line +1.5 (-160) and Vancouver (-165) at +160
There’s a theme with these NHL betting predictions: don’t bet on teams that allow seven goals. Sure, it could happen to even the best teams in the league but the blowouts revealed some true problems for the Predators and Senators, who I’m fading.
Nashville’s special teams continue to be bad and I’ll take a short-handed Blackhawks with a one-goal leeway.
On the other side, the Senators are just bad. Goaltender Matt Murray isn’t behind the Pittsburgh Penguins anymore. The Sens’ inexperienced skaters can’t hope to protect him even from a Canucks team that sometimes sputters.