Bruins road favorites at Flyers on Wednesday Night Hockey

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Boston Bruins have an excellent chance to remedy a small issue with winning when the front end of back-to-back games is on the road.

The Bruins are -140 road favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com with the Philadelphia Flyers coming back at +120 for their matchup on Wednesday night, while there is a 6.0-goals total.

Boston, which will have to jet home immediately afterward for a home game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, is 0-3 this season in road games when it is playing again the next day. However, the recent and head-to-head trends are more promising for the Bruins, who are 6-1-1 in their last eight games and are also 4-1 in their last five games against Philadelphia, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Flyers are 3-5 in their last eight games as a home underdog. Four of the teams’ last five matchups have gone UNDER the posted total.

Boston is 26-15-5 on the season as it vies for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but a concern with the Bruins is a 10-9-4 away record that stems from averaging just 2.28 goals per road contest.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Boston has one of the game’s superior first lines with Patrick Bergeron centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, but will be tweaking the other units, with center David Krejci possibly being united with minor-league call-up Peter Cehlarik. Boston’s power play is converting at a robust 28.6 percent over the team’s last 10 games, while the penalty kill is a respectable 83.3 percent.

The Bruins are giving the goaltending start to Jaroslav Halak, who has a 13-7-2 record with a 2.39 goals-against average and .924 save percentage this season.

Philadelphia is 17-23-6, including an underwhelming 9-10-3 in home games. The Flyers, who have seen left wing James van Riemsdyk get on a modest hot streak with three goals in as many games, have had their moments, most recently in a 7-4 win against the Minnesota Wild on Monday, but they are 3-5-1 this season in games two days after a win in their most recent contest.

The Flyers have also exhibited some patterns that might play into a low-scoring contest. They have scored only nine goals in the last five games started by rookie goalie Carter Hart, and the power play has scored on 16.7 percent of its opportunities in the last 10 games. The penalty kill has been a true problem for the Flyers, surviving only 71.4 percent of its man disadvantages.

Hart has a 4-5-1 record with a 2.70 goals-against average and .913 save percentage this season.

The total has gone UNDER at online betting sites in six of Boston’s last eight road games as a moneyline favorite of -130 or greater. However, the total has gone OVER in nine of Boston’s last 10 road games against Metropolitan teams.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

John Forslund (play-by-play), U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

Predators heavy road favorites at Blackhawks on Wednesday

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Nashville Predators’ recent play and the law of averages should counteract their curious trend as a heavy betting favorite.

The Predators are the -185 road favorite on the NHL odds with the Chicago Blackhawks coming back as a +155 home underdog, while there is a 6-goal total for their Wednesday night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Thanks in part to a tailspin earlier in the season, the Predators are 0-5 in their last five road games as a favorite of -150 to -500 on the NHL moneyline, but they are 4-1 in their last five games. Nashville, which will play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, is also 12-8 in its last 20 games when it also has a game the following day. The Blackhawks are 3-7 in their last 10 games as a home underdog according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Predators are 26-15-3 on the season, which includes an 11-8-3 away record. Nashville has scored 16 goals across its past four games without being overly reliant on one hot line, as right wings Craig Smith (four goals in four games) and Viktor Arvidsson (three) have led the way. Twelve of the Predators’ 22 away games have gone OVER this season and they would seem to have an optimal matchup against a team with the 29th-ranked defensive record.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is 16-10-2 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .921 save percentage, and was not overworked during his last start, recording an 18-save shutout against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

The Blackhawks are 16-22-7 on the season, including 8-10-4 on home ice at the United Center. Chicago is a respectable 7-4-2 over its 13 most recent games, and is still in the middle of the pack offensively, with contributors such as center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane leading an attack that is 17th in the league with 2.9 goals per game, not far behind Nashville in 12th with 3.0.

The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Blackhawks’ 22 home games at online betting sites, with one push. The total has gone OVER in five of Nashville’s last seven games as a road favorite of -150 to -500 on the NHL moneyline. The total has gone OVER in seven of Chicago’s last 10 home games as the underdog.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NHL Betting Preview: Bruins vs. Blackhawks Winter Classic

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NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET from Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Chicago Blackhawks find themselves in unfamiliar territory well down the Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com as they prepare to take on the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Day outdoors at Notre Dame Stadium.

The Blackhawks are well back as +17500 longshots on the latest odds to win the Stanley Cup with Patrick Kane and company having struggled to a 15-20-6 record through the first half of the season. That has them sitting well outside of the playoff picture in both the Central Division and the Western Conference.

However, Chicago has shown some signs of life lately, winning five of their last six games capped by a 3-2 overtime victory in Colorado against the Avalanche in their last game on Saturday night as +180 underdogs on the NHL odds. Kane had two goals and an assist for the Blackhawks in that win giving him a team-high 50 points on the season.

Chicago last played in an outdoor game in January 2017, falling 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. The Blackhawks also fell 6-1 to the Minnesota Wild at TCF Bank Stadium in February 2016, and 3-2 to the Washington Capitals in January 2015 at Nationals Park.

The Blackhawks’ lone outdoor victory came in March 2014 when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field. Prior to that they also lost 6-4 to the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in January 2009.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 1 P.M. ET ON NEW YEAR’S DAY – NBC]

The Bruins are coming off a 3-2 road win at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at -115 on the NHL moneyline, putting an end to a two-game skid and improving their record to 21-14-4 on the season. That has them in the thick of the Wild Card race in the Eastern Conference, and just back of the Sabres for third place in the Atlantic Division.

Boston last played an outdoor game in January 2016, hosting the rival Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium but losing 5-1. The Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime at Fenway Park in January 2010 in their only other outdoor appearance.

The Bruins and Blackhawks met twice last March, splitting the results with each team picking up a home victory. Boston topped Chicago 7-4 at home as -203 favorites on the NHL odds, and the Blackhawks beat the Bruins 3-1 at home as +122 underdogs.

Overall the Bruins and the Blackhawks have also split their last 10 meetings 5-5 dating back to January 2014, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The OVER paid off on the totals for bettors in just four of those 10 contests, and in just one of their past four meetings.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Mike Tirico will host the network’s Winter Classic pre-game coverage alongside the NHL Live studio team of host Kathryn Tappen, and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. Six-time Emmy Award-winner and La Fontaine, Ind., native Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Notre Dame Stadium.

Lightning heavy home favorites vs. Flyers on Thursday

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The Tampa Bay Lightning should not need any reminder about avoiding a holiday hangover against a struggling Philadelphia Flyers team.

The Lightning, who are first overall in the league, are -225 favorites on the NHL odds for Thursday night against the +180 underdog Flyers with a 6.5-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Tampa Bay is 8-2 in its last 10 home games against Philadelphia, but one of the defeats was at about the same point last season, December 29, 2017. However, the divisional trends mesh with the general power imbalance in the Eastern Conference: Tampa Bay is 8-0 in its last eight regular-season home games against Metropolitan Division teams, whereas the Flyers are 2-7 in their last nine away games against Atlantic Division foes.

The Flyers, who are 15-16-4 this season, have underdog value in certain road matchups, given that they are 8-8-2 in away games and have shown a noticeable energy burst after installing Scott Gordon behind the bench as head coach in mid-December. However, Philadelphia is travelling on the day of the game due to NHL policy and is 0-4 in its last four away games as a moneyline underdog of +165 or more.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

Gordon’s line adjustments that have have stars Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux centering the top two lines has paid off, but the Flyers, whose power play (29th) and penalty killing (27th) units are each near the bottom of the NHL rankings, would really need to have everything break right. In goal, Philadelphia may call on 20-year-old rookie goalie Carter Hart, who has a 2.36 goals-against average and .904 save percentage in his first three NHL starts.

The Lightning, who are 28-7-2 this season and 15-4 on home ice, will be playing their first home game in two weeks after finishing the pre-Christmas schedule with a four-game trip through Western Canada where they earned seven of eight available points. A first game back at home often involves a re-adjustment period, but the Lightning are 4-0 at home this season when their previous game was on the road.

Tampa Bay leads the NHL in goals, largely on the margin of their well-balanced firepower; while the Steven Stamkos-centered first line faces opponents’ top lines and defense pairs, units led by Brayden Point, Anthony Cirelli and Cedric Paquette are among the NHL’s very best second, third and fourth lines. Tampa Bay also has the No. 1-ranked power play.

Tampa Bay’s No. 1 goalie, Andrei Vasilevskiy, has a 3-0-1 record, 2.70 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in four starts this month.

The total has gone OVER in four of the Flyers’ last six road games against Atlantic Division teams, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has gone OVER in six of the Lightning’s last eight home games against the Flyers. The total has gone OVER in 11 of the Lightning’s last 13 home games against Metropolitan teams, with one push.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Capitals home favorites on NHL odds hosting rival Penguins

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues as the Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Washington Capitals on Wednesday Night Hockey with coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will cool off at some point, but on paper they have some strong betting trends and are more rested than the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. The Capitals are a -140 favorite on the Wednesday night NHL odds against the +120 underdog Penguins with a 6.5-goal total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Capitals are coming off a three-day break – compared to the Penguins’ one day between games – and are on a five-game win streak. Washington is also 8-2 in its last 10 home games as a favorite of -130 to -150 on the moneyline and 7-1 in its last eight home games against Metropolitan Division opponents. The Penguins are 1-5 in their last six road games against Metropolitan foes.

The Penguins are 15-12-6 this season, which includes a 2-8 record in their last 10 away games, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. Pittsburgh, it goes almost without saying, has one of the NHL’s top offenses led by centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and is averaging 3.4 goals per game, seventh-most in the 31-team NHL.

Pittsburgh’s offensive capabilities are comparable to the Capitals’, but they are allowing 32.9 shots per game with a team save percentage that is below the league average, which seems like a tough combination to take into a matchup with the Capitals. The Penguins do have No. 1 goalie Matt Murray back in the lineup, but their only win in his last six starts was against the lowly Los Angeles Kings.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS 7 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

The Capitals are 20-9-3, including a 12-2 record in their last 14 games and 10-4-2 record in home games this season at Capital One Arena. Washington is second in the NHL with 3.7 goals per game and has been trading chances freely with opponents, as their last 10 games have had an average total of 7.3 goals. Ovechkin is on a 14-game point streak and has scored in both of Washington’s games this season against Pittsburgh.

The Capitals also boast the NHL’s fifth-rated power play (26.3 percent, with the Penguins ranking 11th at 22.8).

While keeping focused as Christmas nears is often a challenge for NHL teams, the Capitals are 9-1 in their last 10 home games in December. Washington is, however, 27th in the NHL in penalty killing (75.6 percent) and goalie Braden Holtby has a 3.38 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in five games in December. Those numbers jibe with the strong OVER trends of both teams.

For instance, the total has gone OVER at online sports betting sites in six of Pittsburgh’s last eight regular-season away games when it was the underdog. The total has gone OVER in 12 of Washington’s last 18 regular-season games at home as a -130 to -150 moneyline favorite. The total has also gone OVER in eight of the Capitals’ last 10 home games in December.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.