Our resident gambling guru offers his best bets for Thursday's NHL action
We have 11 games on Thursday’s schedule as the NHL season continues to fly by.
I’ll be going over my best bets for today’s matchups and provide reasoning for my picks.
All odds are courtesy of Circa Sports. As always, please play responsibly.
New York Rangers (-114) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (+104)
Best bet: Rangers money line (-114)
Puck drop – 4:08 p.m. PT
The Philadelphia Flyers are in a tailspin.
They have gone 2-5-1 over their last eight games, getting outscored 38-21 over that span. That dismal stretch of play includes a 9-0 loss at the hands of The New York Rangers.
Their goaltending has been abhorrent in 2021, particularly from Carter Hart. The 22-year-old might realistically be the worst goaltender in the NHL this season, posting a league-worst -22.05 GSAx.
Hart will be in the net tonight, while the Rangers see Igor Shesterkin return to the crease. The Russian netminder has not played since March 4, but he owns a 2.31 goals-against average and .921 save percentage through 15 appearances this season.
Shesterkin also has a 3.79 GSAx this season, the 13th best mark in hockey.
The Rangers have a decisive edge in goals and have looked better since Artemi Panarin returned to the lineup. Panarin has 10 points in six games since returning, leading to a 4-1-1 record.
Back the Broadway Blueshirts here.
Detroit Red Wings (+155) vs. Nashville Predators (-171)
Best bet: Under 5.5 goals (-125)
Puck drop – 5:08 p.m. PT
These teams played on Tuesday, resulting in a 2-0 Nashville win. I see little reason for an offensive explosion in the rematch.
Predators goaltender Juuse Saros is playing some of the best hockey of his career. He has stopped 118 of the 120 shots that have come his way across his last three appearances.
While Saros deserves a ton of praise, the Preds have also reclaimed their defensive identity to a degree. They have allowed just five goals across their last five games.
On the flip side, the Red Wings have not scored a goal in more than 130 minutes of game time. They also are one of the league’s worst road teams, averaging just two goals per game away from the confines of Little Caesars Arena.
Narrative suggests that the Red Wings eventually bounce back, but I do not think narratives apply to the team that is 29th in goals per game and power-play percentage.
As long as Saros is starting, take the under.