NHL 2/13 betting preview

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It’s a 10 game NHL schedule on tap for Saturday and I’m entering this Saturday slate of NHL action on a 7-3 streak with my last 10 recommended plays in the last two NHL betting preview articles here at Line Movement. It’s time to see if we can uncover some more winning opportunities and profits on the ice as we delve into this gigantic Saturday slate.

Vegas Golden Knights @ San Jose Sharks

The Vegas Golden Knights will look to rebound from only their third loss of the season on Thursday night as they were blanked 1-0 by the Anaheim Ducks. Vegas didn’t play their best game as they were outshot and outchanced but I expect the Golden Knights to respond quite well from that setback just as they did by winning in their previous two tries following a loss this season.

Vegas has a +3.54 xG margin this season while San Jose has a -2.23 xG margin so there is a massive discrepancy between these two teams. The Golden Knights have received solid production from their top forwards as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alex Tuch, and Jonathan Marchessault who have combined for 16 goals and 28 points. Vegas has compiled a very deep and experienced blue line this season with the expectations this team can compete for a Stanley Cup. Alex Pietrangelo, Alec Marinez, and Shea Theodore lead the way for a Vegas Golden Knights blue line that is certainly among the best and most depth laden defense corps in the league.

Theodore is day-to-day with an injury that kept him out of Thursday night’s game but there is a chance he may return to the lineup and play here against San Jose. The Sharks are struggling mightily to keep the puck out of their own net. San Jose is 29th in the NHL in goals at 3.75 goals allowed per game and head coach Bob Boughner was very critical of the performance of goaltender Martin Jones in a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. San Jose is likely to have problems again trying to defend this very potent Vegas offense that should be primed for an offensive bounce back after being shutout. It’s worth noting prior to that 1-0 loss on Thursday, the Golden Knights had scored at least 4 goals in four straight games. Vegas is 8-1-3 against San Jose since Vegas entered the NHL as a franchise a few years ago and I like the Golden Knights here to play the role of spoiler in the Sharks first home game of the season in the Bay Area. The over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in San Jose and these teams are a combined 13-7 to the over this season. Expect more of the same here.

Vegas In Regulation -126

Vegas/San Jose Over 6 -125

Real Kyper at Noon

Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Things are suddenly taking a turn for the worse in Habs land as the Montreal Canadiens have lost two straight games and three of their last four as they enter another clash with the North Division leading Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto knocked off Montreal 4-2 on Wednesday night in Montreal giving the Leafs a 2-0 edge in the season series heading into this game tonight. The Canadiens are definitely in dire need of a victory here looking to avoid falling potentially seven points behind the Leafs for top spot in the North.

Montreal’s offense has dried up after they started the season scoring goals in bunches. The Canadiens have scored just six goals in their last four games combined. The focus and emphasis after Thursday’s 3-0 shutout loss to the Edmonton Oilers was definitely geared toward reigniting things offensively. The sentiments being echoed by the team prior to another matchup with their arch-rivals are trying to get to the front of the net and looking to get to the tougher areas of the ice to score goals.

I would expect a much harder and tenacious Montreal effort at the offensive end of the ice tonight against Toronto. On the flip side, there isn’t much wrong with the Toronto offense or the Leafs team in general. The Leafs have managed to score 3+ goals in all but one of their 14 games so far which is remarkable consistency and they are leading the NHL with 3.71 goals per game. Most of the time it’s Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares leading the way for them offensively but we’ve seen depth forwards like Jason Spezza and Alex Kerfoot among others chip into the offensive onslaught and in their most recent win against Montreal, two of the Leafs goals came from defensemen.

The Habs and Leafs are both currently sitting in the Top 5 in the NHL in most high danger scoring chances generated this season and I expect this game to play out that way. The over has cashed in three straight games between these two teams here in Toronto and it is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings overall.

Montreal/Toronto Over 6 -125

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Chicago Blackhawks

The Columbus Blue Jackets have morphed into a higher scoring team that has been cashing overs for their backers repeatedly ever since the addition of Patrik Laine to the lineup in the recent trade with the Winnipeg Jets. Laine is certainly a boost to the Blue Jackets offensively but he remains a bit of a liability defensively as his play away from the puck often leaves a lot to be desired.

Columbus has played five games since getting Patrik Laine and they’ve gone 4-1 to the over during that span with their games averaging 8.6 total goals per game. Even head coach John Tortorella admitted after Thursday night’s thrilling 6-5 comeback win against Chicago that the team would have to find more ways to outscore the opponent fully realizing his team’s defensive play hasn’t been as good but their offense has been bolstered by not only Patrik Laine’s addition but his former Winnipeg Jets teammate Jack Roslovic who has also been a significant force offensively since his arrival in Columbus alongside Laine.

Roslovic has 9 points in only 8 games this season for the Blue Jackets while Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand have a combined 22 points on the season. Chicago has been playing some tight defensive hockey most of the season but the Blackhawks got away from it on Thursday night in the loss. I am sure they will at least attempt to be better in their own zone but I can’t help but wonder if maybe this team’s supposed improvement on defense was just a mirage. Chicago has given up the 6th most high danger scoring chances in the league this season which indicates the defense may not be playing as well as the on the surface numbers suggest.

This has the look of a team that maybe has gotten away with opposing teams being unlucky in terms of finishing their chances around the net and I’m still not entirely sold on any of the three goaltenders on this Chicago team. Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen had given up 3 goals or fewer in seven of eight games prior to the six-goal allowance against Columbus on Thursday and that might be a sign of things to come. I like there to be enough goals in this game to push this game up and over the total.

Columbus/Chicago Over 5.5 -110

Best of the rest of my wagers for Saturday’s NHL card…

  • Winnipeg Team Total Over 3.5 -130
  • Tampa Bay -140 (vs. Florida)
  • Detroit +150 (vs. Nashville)
  • Carolina/Dallas Over 5.5 -110
  • Vancouver +120 (vs. Calgary)
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