NHL Betting Tips On Wednesday
Best NHL Game Day Wagers
By Bob Duff
The St. Louis Blues are positioned to sweep the Minnesota Wild, and the Toronto Maple Leafs skate on home ice with the chance to take a 3-1 series stranglehold over the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals.
Jake Allen is stopping everything and the Blues are scoring just enough to win. The truth is the Wild could just as easily be the team up 3-0 in this set instead of St. Louis. It’s been that close. Through three games the Wild have scored three goals, while Allen has stopped 114 of 117 shots for a .971 save percentage and the Blues have blocked 63 shots.
St. Louis has done a good job of taking away the middle of the ice from the Wild, forcing them to shoot from poor angles. Minnesota has yet to hold a lead in the series. The Wild, who led the NHL with 187 five on five goals during the regular season, have one in the playoffs.
Pick: The Wild (-105) and the under
Toronto generated 10.1 scoring chances per game during the regular season, which was second-best in the NHL. The Leafs have upgraded that number to 10.8 per game through the first three games of this series. Meanwhile, when the Caps are in the attacking zone, the Leafs are utilizing their quickness to scuttle Washington’s cycle game.
It may be time for Capitals coach Barry Trotz to shorten his bench, give the Leafs a much stronger dosage of Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and try to put Toronto on the back foot.
Toronto’s rookies are outplaying Washington’s veterans. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen and Mitch Marner have all scored for Toronto, the first time the Leafs have gotten goals from four rookies in the same playoff year since 1947.
Pick: The Capitals (-139) and the over (5.5)
The Blues cast goalie Brian Elliott adrift because of his playoff failures, and the Flames are coming to realize the reality of that situation.
With Calgary up 4-1 in Game 3, Elliott muffed an easy sharp-angle save on a Shea Theodore that opened the floogates to Anaheim’s rally for a 5-4 OT victory.
The Flames fell into a defensive shell, the kind of game a team plays when they have no faith in their netminder, allowing the Ducks to storm back. The Flames, who closed out games they led after two periods at a .971 clip during the regular season, are going to have a hard time rebounding from that emotional devastation.
The Ducks are getting goals from unlikely sources. Theodore scored his first two Stanley Cup goals in Game 3 and fourth-liner Nate Thompson posted the first three-point game of his NHL playoff career.
Pick: The Ducks (-104) and the over (5)
Like Calgary, Ottawa surrendered a 3-0 lead in the second period, but Bobby Ryan scored on a power play at 5:43 of overtime, as the Senators won back-to-back postseason overtime games for the first time in franchise history.
Boston has the captain who towers over the opposition – 6-9 Zdeno Chara – but it’s Ottawa captain Erik Karlsson who is towering over this series. Karlsson has assists in every game and is turning in a dominant performance all over the ice. The Bruins have lost the last five series in which they trailed 2-1.
Pick: The Bruins (+160) and the over (5)
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