Blaine Spence looks at the much anticipated opening day slate and picsk out the best NHL Betting Picks for Wednesday, August 5
Welcome to day 5 of the NHL restart with all six games featuring Game 2’s and some Game 3s for teams. Several teams have the opportunity to close out a series today if they can handle their business. Let’s take a look at the best picks of Wednesday, August 5.
All odds are from Draftkings Sportsbook.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens
Pick: Pittsburgh (-167)
The Penguins were able to even the series against the Canadiens to one game apiece with a 3-1 victory on Monday night after being stunned in Game 2. Look for the Penguins to control the game early like they did in Game 2.
The Canadiens struggled in Game 2 looking flat and did not score until there were a few minutes remaining in the game. Carey Price was not as solid as he was in Game 1 by giving up an early goal to Crosby.
Sydney Crosby has been the focal point for the Penguins to ensure their success and look for the team to continue to run through their superstar to be successful. I like a Game 3 victory for Pittsburgh to take a 2-1 lead.
Colorado Avalanche (-125) vs Dallas Stars (+108)
Pick: Colorado (-125)
Under 5.5 (-132)
In Game 2 for these clubs in the Western Conference Round Robin for the number 1 seed, we have Colorado and Dallas.
Colorado is coming off as close of a walk-off victory a team can get in regulation. Nazem Kadri scored the buzzer-beating goal with just 0.1 seconds on the clock to beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Sunday night. Colorado was the more dominant team all-night forcing 38 shots on Jordan Binnington of St. Louis.
Dallas is coming off a 5-3 defeat to Las Vegas where they gave up 4 goals in the final period and blow a 3-1 lead. It was much to everyone’s surprise where Dallas is one of the stoutest defenses in the league.
This matchup features two top defenses so expect a low-scoring matchup. I like the star play from Colorado offensively and the momentum of the buzzer-beating win to come out with the victory.
Edmonton Oilers (-136) vs Chicago Blackhawks (+118)
Pick: Edmonton -136
Lastly, the Game 3 matchup of Edmonton vs Chicago which has been the series to watch if you are fan who loves to see goals. So far through two games, there have been 10 goals and 9 goals respectively in each game. The series has seen the star play being showcased offensively with lackluster defense leading to a series at one game apiece.
Edmonton’s Connor McDavid netted a hat trick in Game 2 to defeat the Blackhawks and with his perennial talent being showcased. He will have his say in Game 3. While the Blackhawks have been led by Jonathan Toews who netted two goals in their Game 1 victory.
I like Edmonton in Game 3 as they are deeper offensively, but this is a game and series that has been and will continue to be showcasing plenty of scoring chances.
As we have embarked onto Day 5 of the NHL restart, we have seen everything from buzzer-beaters, outstanding defensive and offensive performances already. The restart has failed to disappoint. For today, I like Pittsburgh to flex its muscles against Montreal to go up 2-1 in the series. Secondly, I like Colorado’s confidence after the buzzer beating victory to continue the momentum in a low scoring affair against Dallas. Then, I like Edmonton to continue their offensive prowess in Game 3 against Chicago. Let’s see what happens!
All odds are from Draftkings Sportsbook.
Florida Panthers vs New York Islanders
Pick: New York (-125)
Under 5.5 (-150)
The Islanders look to push the Panthers to the brink of elimination. Game 1 resulted in a 2-1 victory over the Panthers this past Saturday. Semyon Varlamov led the way in the net with 27 saves.
Florida did get better as the game went along but they dug themselves too big of a hole so expect them to instigate the pressure early. They will come out firing and if New York can weather the storm look for them to ease their way to taking control of the game.
Both teams are solid defensively so expect another low-scoring affair like in Game 1.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Pick: Toronto (-150)
In game 1, Toronto came out flat and it was showcased immensely in their 2-0 defeat to Columbus. Columbus played scrappy and took advantage of their opportunities when they were provided.
Joonas Korpisaolo neutralized one of the best scoring teams in hockey stopping 28 shots with the help of lines who knew they had to dig in for themselves to have chance of winning.
Toronto on their home ice for the bubble thought this series would be a walk in the park and now they’re going into a battle. Expect Toronto to match the intensity and keep Columbus under constant pressure. Toronto’s series’ have gone the distance the past two seasons, so I don’t expect anything different.
Look for Austin Matthews to play a key role in Game 2 to give them the victory.
Arizona Coyotes vs Nashville Predators
Pick: Under 5.5 (-139)
Arizona and Nashville played in a Game 1 thriller where Arizona won 4-3. It was quite unexpected from two teams who are usually solid defensively. Arizona is especially good defensively where they yield only 2.5 goals per game.
Nashville is also solid defensively but their issue is on the power-play where teams score against them 25 percent of the time on the power play. If Nashville can limit the penalties, expect a low scoring affair. Nashville may have to go to playoff goaltender Pekka Rinne for Game 2 with his experience.
Going into Game 2 of the NHL playoffs for everyone. These first round series are best-of-5 so many teams are trying to go for the 2-0 lead and end the series as soon as possible. This makes game 2 of series significant important. I like the Islanders over the Panthers for a 2-0 lead as well as the under for two solid defensive teams. Then, Toronto to beat Columbus to even up the series and Arizona-Nashville to be another low-scoring affair. Good luck!
Dallas Stars vs Las Vegas Golden Nights
Pick: Vegas (-130)
Dallas and Las Vegas will start of their playoff action in the West Qualifying Round Robin for the number one seed. This matchup is an intriguing one by how both teams operate. Dallas is a much more defensive side only yielding 2.5 goals per game while Vegas averages over 3.1 goals per game.
Dallas will try to make the matchup ugly with hard hitting and solid defense. While Vegas will want to go up and down the ice. Dallas was struggling down the stretch before play was halted so they’ve had in their minds going into the restart.
So far, these games have showcased some sloppy play and plenty of scoring chances which will be a significant advantage to Vegas. I like them to take this victory.
New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes
Pick: New York (+132)
In game 1, Carolina set the tone early with a goal on their first shot and immediately setting the intensity that New York never matched. The game ended 3-2 but it seemed the difference between the two teams was greater than that.
Expect New York to come out much more aggressive as it seemed they were trying to adjust to the bubble and realizing this a playoff series. They were much better after the 1st period.
New York had beaten the Hurricanes five straight before Saturday’s loss. Look for a significant bounce back, New York will come out fast to look to ensure to not go down 2-0.
Washington Capitals vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Pick: Over 5.5 (-150)
Washington and Tampa Bay will be entering their first playoff action in the East Qualifying Round Robin for the number 1 seed. I think this game will see plenty of goals and the 5.5 should easily be hit in this matchup.
Two of the top teams in hockey both average roughly 3.4 goals per game and averaging 31 shots. The teams are led by bigtime offensive superstars on both sides. For the Capitals, Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson make themselves a brutal combination. While the Lightning have Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov. You will have goal scorers on all 4 lines for each team which will create plenty of scoring opportunities.
So far the first games of the playoffs have showcased games where there are plenty of scoring opportunities on both sides. I like Vegas to take advantage in that regard as it will be Dallas and Vegas’ first game since the restart. As for New York, I like the underdogs to win Game 2 as they were the better team later on in the game against Carolina. Lastly, take the over on Capitals vs Lightning because 5.5 is a low number for these two powerhouse offenses.
Philadelphia Flyers (+112) vs Boston Bruins (-130)
Pick: Boston -130, Under 5.5 goals
Boston is led by disputably the best line in NHL with Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron. These three combined for 238-points during the regular season. Also led by only allowing 2.21 GAA. Boston has been the best team in hockey by a landslide and this team is created for playoff hockey.
Philadelphia was one of the hottest teams going into the ending of the season winning 9 of 10. However, it is all depended by the X-factor of the play of goaltender Carter Hart.
Look for the depth of Boston to be crucial and don’t expect many goals in this matchup. Take the under with it being a defensive slugfest. Both teams do not yield more than 2.5 goals per game.
Minnesota Wild (-105) vs Vancouver Canucks (-112)
Pick: Minnesota (-105)
Over 5.5 goals
These two teams are very similar in profile. Both ranked in the top half of the league in 8th (Vancouver) and 12th (Minnesota) respectively. The Wild are led by Kevin Fiala and team full of playoff experience. Defensively the Wild are led by Ryan Suter, Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin which allows them to be ranked 11th in shots allowed per game.
The Canucks are led by a couple emerging stars in Elias Patterson and Brock Boeser. These teams are lower tier in the in goals allowed so do not be surprised with plenty of goals.
This matchup is relatively a pick’em. I like the Wild in Game 1 due to the veteran presence and with the significant advantage of shots allowed per game.
If you’re looking for your best investment. I would probably do a same-team parlay for both games. I would take Boston and the under, then take Minnesota and the over. Or if you want, bet the matches individually. Good luck.
Saturday August 1
New York Rangers (+112) vs Carolina Hurricanes (-129)
Many may seem this as a surprise pick with the Rangers sweeping the Canes’ this season. However, the postseason is a new beginning, especially after a four-month layoff. Carolina made a great run last postseason so look for them to build off of that success.
The Rangers are led by Hart Trophy finalist in Artemi Panarin up front who can take over a game by himself. The Rangers have the advantage in goaltending by having three solid options led by Henrik Lundqvist.
The Hurricanes have a more balanced approach with four solid lines offensively and defensively. Defensively they will have a significant advantage with one of the deepest defensive corps in the league.
For game one, both teams will be trying to get back into the flow of the game as well as the transition to playoff hockey. Look for the balance to be more significant than the star power which will give the Hurricanes game one.
Chicago Blackhawks (+130) vs Edmonton Oilers (-150)
Look for goals here with the offensive firepower both team possess and the similar makeup with a lack of depth which will showcase mistakes and goals.
Edmonton is led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Art Ross Trophy Winner.
Chicago is led by superstar Patrick Kane along with teammates Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. Both teams are middle of the pack defensively while allowing plenty of shots on goal with both teams in the bottom third.
So look out for goals in this series.
Montreal Canadiens (+140) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (-165)
This matchup appears to relatively one-sided. Pittsburgh is led by Sidney Crosby – who’s decent, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. They were a top-10 offense this season despite a myriad of injuries that would cripple most teams. They also get back center Jake Guentzel who was supposed to be lost for the year after shoulder surgery.
The only flaw the Penguins have is goaltending with the indecision who will be selected to be in goal. Murray should get the nod with his playoff experience. The Canadians would not be in without this extension of playoff teams and Price is the only advantage being the goaltender. However, recently he has not been outstanding but he is better than the two Pittsburgh goalies.
Winnipeg Jets (-105) vs Calgary (-115)
Prediction: Winnipeg (-105) FanDuel Sportsbook
Expect another close series when these Western Conference rivals square off. Although the Flames were the second-highest scoring team in the NHL in 2018-2019, they ranked 20th in the league in goals this season. The Jets actually scored nine more even-strength goals than Calgary, thanks to a balanced offense Led by Blake Wheeler, and Kyle Connor.
In nets Winnipeg has Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebucyk who has gone 31-21-5 with a .922 save percentage. That’s a distinct advantage over Calgary who has the unimpressive duo of David Rittich and Cam Talbot between the pipes. Back the squad with the superior goaltending.
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