As the first week of the NHL shortened season comes to a close, we are seeing teams finally find their groove. Since we are now a few games into the regular season, we can better judge which teams will make a run at the postseason and who the favorites will be on a daily basis.
Thursday boasts an impressive 10-game slate in the NHL and with only a few NBA games going on today, the ice is where bettors will want to be. Here is a look at each match-up and our quick picks.
New York Islanders +1.5 at Toronto Maple Leafs -1.5
The Islanders’ previous road woes could haunt them on the five-game trip that they start tonight in Toronto. Look for the Leafs to improve to 3-1 on the season and earn the home win by covering -1.5.
New York Rangers +1.5 at Philadelphia Flyers -1.5
With both teams off to a very disappointing start, it will come down to a matter of will in this match-up. The Flyers will hope to avoid an 0-4 start, while the Rangers will look to build off their first win of the season and even on the road, they should. Ilya Bryzgalov has struggled mightily against the Rangers, going 0-5-0 since 2009, so look for New York to take advantage and win outright, also covering +1.5.
Montreal Canadians +1.5 at Washington Capitals -1.5
The Capitals are still adjusting to a new coach and a new system, but don’t think they are about to drop to 0-3-0 at home against the Canadians, who are making their first road visit of the season. Take Washington to cover -1.5 in the win.
Buffalo Sabres +1.5 at Carolina Hurricanes -1.5
With Buffalo playing extremely well coming out of the gate, outscoring opponents by two goals per night, and with Carolina struggling, look for the Sabres to stay hot and earn a third consecutive victory by covering +1.5.
Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers
Considering the Senators are coming of a 4-0 shutout win against the Panthers on Monday, there’s no reason to think they can’t do it again and improve to 3-0-0. Take the Senators to win this one straight up.
Nashville Predators +1.5 at St. Louis Blues -1.5
Here’s another match-up featuring teams that have already met in the past few days. St. Louis earned the victory the first time around and has won the last three games between the clubs dating back to last year. It’s hard to go against that kind of track record, so take the Blues to cover -1.5 in the win.
Chicago Blackhawks -1.5 at Dallas Stars +1.5
Both teams are playing well coming out of the gate, but there’s a reason why the Blackhawks are favored even on the road. They are outscoring opponents by two goals per contest and should have a significant edge against a team that has allowed nearly 40 shots against per game. This one could get ugly, but pretty for you if you take Chicago to cover -1.5 on the road.
Columbus Blue Jackets +1.5 at Colorado Avalanche -1.5
There were almost no expectations for the Blue Jackets coming into the season, so a 1-1-1 start should be considered a win. However, Colorado should still have a significant edge against the Jackets, who are still getting outscored 3.33 to 2 on average so far this season. Take the Avs to win, covering -1.5.
Los Angeles Kings -1.5 at Edmonton Oilers +1.5
So far the title defense hasn’t gone as planned for the 0-2-0 Kings, but a game against one of the worst teams in the league could be just what the doctor ordered. Both teams are allowing 4 goals per game, but look for the Kings to begin to right the ship with a win covering -1.5 today.
Phoenix Coyotes +1.5 at San Jose Sharks -1.5
The Sharks haven’t had much competition so far this year, winning each of their first two games by 3 goals. Look for them to continue the trend and shred the Coyotes by covering -1.5.