NHL action continues Thursday night, giving us six games to get action on. Recapping Wednesday night, we’re starting to see more variance around the league. Underdogs went 3-2 on the moneyline, indicating positive regression ahead for our most beloved picks – those with plus money. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s coming. With that in mind, my best play on Thursday is a moneyline favorite.
Early this season, there hasn’t been a worse bet than away favorites on the puck line (against the spread). Away favorites are a dismal 6-17 against the spread. I advise staying away unless the spot is too good to pass up. While I hate getting chalky, favorites are still hitting over 61% of the time, so it’s in our best interest to keep betting them.
Ahead is a pick on the moneyline, two on totals, and two on the puck line only for the bold.
Odds via the FanDuel Sportsbook; subject to change.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Columbus Blue Jackets (+142)
The Pick: Lightning (-168)
This is my top play of the night. I know, I know. You’re making fun of me for taking a pretty heavy favorite. It’s chalky, but they should mash the lowly Blue Jackets. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lightning crushes the puck line, too. *Bold Pick Spoiler Alert*
I could bore you with stats to confirm this pick selection, but remember one team is the defending champions, while the other just split a series with the Detroit Red Wings and haven’t scored a single power play goal. The better side is obvious.
Bold Pick: Lightning -1.5 (+168)
New Jersey Devils @ New York Islanders (-168)
The Pick: Under 5.5 (-140)
My deciding factor in this pick is the Islanders’ expected starter at goalie Thursday night, Semyon Varlamov. He has yet to allow a goal this season through two starts, and while that streak is impossible to stay for long, he is making his case for a breakout campaign.
The Islanders are also a defensive-minded team. They don’t score a ton, evident in their 1-0 win over the Bruins on Monday. All three Islander games have gone under so far this season.
The Devils also show value on the under. They have an excellent goalie of their own in MacKenzie Blackwood. Two of their three games have gone under thus far, with all three games decided by just one goal. The game should be low-scoring, so I’m taking the under.
Montreal Canadiens @ Vancouver Canucks
The Pick: Over 6.5 (+100)
Last night’s game was by far the most entertaining game of the season thus far. These teams combined for 11 goals, en route to an overtime shootout thanks to nearly non-existent defensive and goalie play from both sides.
The Canadiens, who trailed four times in the game, put on a shooting barrage in the third period, taking a 5-4 lead almost immediately equalized by the Canucks. The Habs played undisciplined hockey, allowing three power play goals to a Canucks team that hadn’t scored one yet this season.
Both teams are a mess, a mess I can’t wait to watch again. With both backup goalies expected to start tonight, the over should hit.
BOLD PICK: Avalanche -1.5 (+110)
Betting bold picks is like betting long shots at the race track. They don’t always hit, but when they do, the payout is very nice. I know I advised against betting road favorites on the puck line earlier, but the Avalanche are in a solid spot against a vastly inferior Kings team.
This bet would’ve hit when I tipped it on Tuesday, but the Avalanche allowed two third period goals, failing to cover. They went up 3-0 going into the final 20 minutes and only won by a goal. I don’t expect them to play as poorly tonight. I recommend sprinkling a few bucks on them rebounding tonight.
Good luck if you’re tailing! Agree? Disagree? Drop your favorite picks in the comments below!