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Blues visit Red Wings as road favorites at the sportsbooks on Wednesday

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The St. Louis Blues typically fare well in the front end of back-to-back games, but will be short-staffed when they face the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The Blues are listed as the -130 betting favorite against the +100 Red Wings with a 5.5-goal total in their Wednesday matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

St. Louis should be refreshed by a three-day break, but will be without top-line center Paul Stastny, whose responsibilities include taking many faceoffs in special teams situations. The Blues are 7-3 in their last 10 games that were the front end of back-to-back contests, according to the OddsShark.com NHL Database. They are also 7-2 in their last nine road games.

The Red Wings have sank to the bottom of the Eastern Conference with 22-24-10 record that includes being 2-5 since the all-star break, and an 1-4 mark in their last five outings on home ice at Joe Louis Arena. Their hopes of a 26th consecutive playoff appearance appear to be slim and none.

Forward Henrik Zetterberg has done everything he can to try to make a young team better. The Red Wings have maintained a reliable penalty kill and depending on which version of goalie Petr Mrazek they get, can surprise teams on a given night.

The Blues are 29-22-5 overall, including a 5-1 mark since Mike Yeo took over as head coach. The shake-up behind the bench began roughly around the same time that goaltender Jake Allen found his form. The Blues have won in four of Allen’s last five starts, during which the goaltender has a 1.40 goals-against average and .953 save percentage.

Stastny, who is on injured reserve, will be missed. He normally flanks RW Vladimir Tarasenko, who is St. Louis’ leader in goals and points. Jaden Schwartz will likely draw in as the Blues’ top center between Tarasenko and Alexander Steen.

Since January 2016, the Blues are 8-2 in road games against Atlantic Division teams.

The total has gone under six of the last seven times the Blues were playing on the road in the first of back-to-back games. The total has also gone under in seven of the Red Wings’ last nine regular-season home games against St. Louis, dating back to the 2011-12 season.

However, the total has gone over in five of St. Louis’ last six road games against the Atlantic Division.

Capitals, Rangers betting favorites for Stanley Cup Playoff matchups on Saturday

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Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals have not lost back-to-back home games all season, and oddsmakers believe they won’t start doing so on Saturday.

The Capitals are the -150 betting favorite against the +120 underdog Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5.5-goal total heading into their Game 2 matchup on Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Washington, which doubled the Penguins in shot attempts in Game 1 of the series yet lost, is 7-3 in its last 10 home playoff games when it was a favorite of -135 to -500 on the moneyline. In other words, they do tend to deliver when installed as a big home-ice favorite.

The Penguins, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Metropolitan Division rival Capitals according to the OddsShark NHL Database, could have LW Carl Hagelin (lower body) in the lineup for the first time in seven weeks.

While Sidney Crosby is Sidney Crosby, the Penguins need more from center Evgeni Malkin and his line, which was shut out in Game 1.

The Capitals, even though they were the less rested team, outplayed Pittsburgh in Game 1. Along with Ovechkin and his longtime center Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov helms a strong second line.

The total has gone over in five of Pittsburgh’s last seven games on the road. The total has gone under in eight of Washington’s last 11 games.

The New York Rangers are a -120 favorite against the -110 underdog Ottawa Senators with a 5-goal total in Saturday’s playoff matinee. Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and the Rangers’ offense-by-committee attack has been vexed by Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, going 0-3 against him this season. If nothing else, the Rangers are due for a breakout against Anderson.

The Rangers were touted as having a deeper group of forwards, but Ottawa was able to go line-for-line with New York during the series opener. Ottawa, which is an excellent 10-3 at home this season against Metropolitan Division teams, will also have the biggest X-factor on the ice in the form of tireless defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Between Anderson in one net and Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes for the Rangers, goals could be at a premium. The total has gone under in four of the Rangers’ last five road games in Ottawa. Each team has seen the total go under in eight of its past 10 games.

Friday NHL playoff slate has Bruins, Capitals set as the betting favorites

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With Bobby Ryan and the Ottawa Senators having won three one-goal decisions in a row to put the Boston Bruins on the brink of elimination, oddsmakers’ lines seem to anticipate that a turnaround could be in the offing.

The Bruins are a slight -120 moneyline favorite against the -110 underdog Senators with a five-goal total for their Game 5 matchup on Friday, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Ottawa, which is up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series, is actually 8-2 straight-up in its last 10 home games against the Bruins.

While the Senators and standout defenseman Erik Karlsson are only 7-10 at home against fellow Atlantic Division teams this season, they have been able to frustrate Boston during this series. They are also 8-1 in the last nine games that goalie Craig Anderson has started against Boston.

The Bruins will once again not have a full lineup since defensemen Torey Krug (lower body), Adam McQuaid (upper body) and Brandon Carlo (upper body) are not expected to play. Up front, Boston is also floundering at drawing penalties, having earned just seven power plays in the last three games.

The total has gone OVER in four of the Bruins’ last six divisional road games, with one push, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has gone UNDER in seven of the Senators’ last 10 home games.

In the other Game 5 of an Eastern Conference series, the Washington Capitals (-210) are heavy favorites at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs (+170) with a 5.5-goal total. The moneyline is significantly lower from where it closed for the Capitals’ first two home games in the series, which was before Toronto banked a win.

The Capitals and their offensive leaders such as Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie were able to seize on some structural breakdowns by Toronto in a series-tying 5-4 win on Tuesday. The Leafs, particularly a fledgling defensive corps featuring the likes of Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev, will have to pare down their mistakes. It does appear that Toronto, with their young guns such as Auston Matthews, will keep getting their share of scoring chances.

Washington is 6-2 in its last eight home games as a favorite of -200 to -500 on the moneyline. However, Toronto is 4-1 in its last five games as a road underdog.

The total has gone UNDER in six of Toronto’s last nine road games as an underdog. The total has also gone UNDER in four of the Capitals’ last five home games in April.