The Chicago Blackhawks are one of the best Over bets in the NHL. So what do you think will happen tonight when they play a Colorado Avalanche team coming off a seven-goal tirade? That matchup highlights an action-packed weekend on the ice at Wannamakeabet.com, including the latest chapter in the Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry and the Winnipeg Jets looking to extend their dominance over Arizona. Here are the top matchups, betting tips and trends to check out this weekend. Here are our NHL predictions for the key games this weekend.
Look Out Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks have been the most high scoring team since the end of the All-Star break but will they meet their match tonight? That’s the question bettors are asking as the Blackhawks – who have averaged 4.9 goals since returning from the break – host a Colorado Avalanche team coming off an impressive 7-1 thumping of the powerhouse Winnipeg Jets. While Colorado is 19-5-2 O/U in its past 26 road games against teams with losing home records, the Blackhawks have an even more impressive Over trend going: they’re 21-5-2 O/U in their last 28 games against sub-.500 teams.
There was a time when the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t buy a win over their long-time rivals from Montreal. But lately, it’s the Canadiens who can’t get the Ws as they visit the hated Leafs in a Saturday night showdown. Toronto has won six straight meetings in the head-to-head series, limiting Montreal to just 10 goals over that span. The Canadiens have been on the other end of the scoreboard for a while, winning 14 consecutive meetings prior to Toronto’s recent dominance. The Leafs have also outscored the Canadiens by an astounding 11-4 margin in the previous three at Scotiabank Arena
The Washington Capitals are catching the Buffalo Sabres as they hit the skids. The Caps visit KeyBank Center having won 11 of their previous 13 trips to Buffalo dating back to the latter stages of the 2014-15 – and if that weren’t enough of a concern for Buffalo, their team is surrendering 4.0 goals per game since the All-Star break, the most of any team in the NHL. Offense has also been a major issue for the Sabres against the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have limited Buffalo to two or fewer goals in seven of their previous 11 outings.’
JET FUEL ON THE COYOTES?
Sunday marks the latest meeting between the franchise that used to be in Winnipeg and the one that resides there now. The current version of the Jets has had its way with the former iteration in a big way. Winnipeg has reeled off 14 victories in the previous 17 meetings with the Arizona Coyotes heading into their weekend tilt at Gila River Arena. That includes a five-game winning streak during which the Jets have racked up 23 goals while only giving up 11. The teams are averaging just under 6.5 goals per game over their previous 13 head-to-heads.
WILD CARD GOALIE
The Stars are holding on to a Western Conference wild card spot as the calendar drifts toward the end of February – but unlike previous seasons, they have their goaltending to thank for even being in the playoff hunt. Bishop has been one of the most underappreciated goaltenders in the league this season, posting a 19-12-2 record with three shutouts while ranking fifth among qualified netminders in goals-against average (2.30) and tied for fifth in save percentage (.924). He’s a major reason why the Stars are a respectable 17-16-3 SU in games in which they’re outshot.
TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
- The Anaheim Ducks have garnered plenty of attention for their woeful scoring and lack of defense since the break – but there’s a team right on their heels in both regards. The Minnesota Wild are averaging the second-fewest goals per game in the second half (2.20), while their average goal differential of -1.50 is also second-worst in the league.
- At the other end of the spectrum, two teams have stood out as dominant forces since the unofficial start of the second half of the season. The St. Louis Blues have the strongest average goal differential in the NHL over that stretch at +2.30, while the Tampa Bay Lightning – the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup – are close behind at +2.09.
- If you’re looking for a sure thing on the totals side, taking the Stars to go Under on the road might be your best path to victory – at least, if past trends continue. Dallas enters the weekend having gone an incredible 5-20-5 O/U away from American Airlines Center so far this season, making it by far the most profitable road Under play in the league.