Skidding Blackhawks odds favorites hosting Blues on Wednesday

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The Chicago Blackhawks will win a hockey game under new coach Jeremy Colliton at some point, but they don’t offer a sterling track record as a slight favorite on home ice.

Despite an eight-game losing streak, the Blackhawks are -120 moneyline favorites against the +100 underdog St. Louis Blues on the NHL odds for Wednesday night with a 6.0 total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Chicago, which is going into its fourth game since Colliton took over as coach after the ouster of Joel Quenneville, is just 5-13 in its last 18 home games as a favorite of 100 to -125 on the moneyline. The Blues, who come into the United Center on two days of rest to the Blackhawks’ one, are 6-3 in their last nine road games against Chicago according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Blues are 6-6-3 this season, having won four of their last six games with both losses coming against the Minnesota Wild. Center Ryan O'Reilly helms a strong first line in between wings Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz, while the Blues power play ranks fourth-best in the NHL at 27.6 percent. Their penalty killing is also ninth at 82.4 percent.

Believing in the Blues bucking a trend of being 4-11 in their last 15 road games against Central Division teams comes down to trusting their goaltending. Backup Chad Johnson has been picking up the slack for struggling Jake Allen.

The Blackhawks are 6-8-4 overall including an 0-2-1 mark in three games under Colliton. The top line of center Jonathan Toews and wings Patrick Kane and Nick Schmaltz is coming off a high-chance night in a defeat against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, while their three-line attack might be firmer now that Colliton has created a new third line led by David Kampf, in between Alex DeBrincat and Dominik Kahun. Chicago will also be getting Brandon Saad back after missing two games with an arm injury.

While the Blackhawks might be worth a hunch play – all losing skids end – it would also mean downplaying the fact they are 29th in power-play efficiency at 12.5 percent and are also 25th in penalty-killing efficiency.

The total has gone OVER in four of the Blues’ last five road games against the Blackhawks. The total has gone OVER in five of the Blues’ last seven games against Central Division teams. The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Blackhawks’ last 12 games as a favorite of 100 to -125 moneyline.

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.

Capitals are betting favorites vs. Penguins in marquee matchup

Neither the Pittsburgh Penguins nor the Washington Capitals are looking like world-beaters, but that has served to keep the moneyline in a range where the Capitals usually make good on their betting value.

The Capitals, led by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin, are -125 betting favorites against the +105 underdog Pittsburgh Penguins on the NHL odds for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Capitals, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, are 8-2 in their last 10 regular-season home games as a moneyline favorite of -120 to -140, with the total going OVER in eight of those matchups. Washington is also 14-6 in its last 20 home games against the Metropolitan Division.

The Penguins are 6-4 in their last 10 regular-season road games as an underdog of +100 to +120 on the moneyline, with the total going OVER in seven of those matchups.

Led by centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are 6-4-3 this season, but have lost their last four games by an aggregate score of 18-6. While they are 5-5 in their last 10 visits to Washington’s Capital One Arena, it’s tough to back the Penguins on anything more than a hunch until they can demonstrate more consistency. Pittsburgh’s power play is also in a 2-for-19 slump that has prompted putting Crosby and Malkin on separate units.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray is 5-4 with a 3.93 goals-against average and .875 save percentage in his career against the Capitals.

The Capitals also have a 6-4-3 record and are looking to win consecutive games for the first time this season. The defending Stanley Cup champions are going into their second game since coach Todd Reirden re-jigged his forward lines. While it meant Dmitrij Jaskin is now the right wing on the Kuznetsov-Ovechkin line, it might give the Capitals, who are 15-5 in their last 20 November home games, some extra secondary scoring.

Washington’s most recent victory, a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, was sparked by its fourth line, now bolstered by left wing Jakub Vrana. The Capitals’ power play is also the league’s best, converting at a 36.6 percent efficiency.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby is 8-9-3 with a 3.10 goals-against average and .906 save percentage against the Penguins.

The total has gone OVER in three of the Penguins’ last five road games against the Capitals. The total has also gone OVER in 13 of the Capitals’ last 20 home games against Metropolitan Division teams. Wednesday’s total is set at 6.5 goals.

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.

Lightning road favorites on NHL odds for Wednesday at Colorado

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are not only a fresher team as the visitors against the Colorado Avalanche, but they’re also a solid commodity as a road favorite.

The Lightning, anchored by defenseman Victor Hedman, are the -140 road betting favorite  on the NHL odds with the host Colorado Avalanche coming back at +120 for Wednesday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The total is set at 6.5 goals.

Tampa Bay is 6-3 in its last nine regular-season games as a road favorite, as well as 14-6 in its last 20 road games against Western Conference teams. The Lightning have had two days off since their last game, while the Avalanche have the shorter turnaround after completing a four-game road trip along the East Coast on Monday.

Tampa Bay is 5-1-1 on the season as it embarks on the middle game of a five-game road trip through the Western Conference. The Lightning are third in the NHL in scoring at 3.86 goals per game. The Lightning, who have won in each of their last three visits to the Pepsi Center, are also solid on special teams, particularly with a penalty killing unit that is operating at an NHL-best 96.6 percent efficiency.

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 2.16 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage on the season.

Colorado is a somewhat surprising 6-1-2 on the season, with the likes of center Nathan MacKinnon and right wing Mikko Rantanen leading the way for an attack that is scoring at a 3.64 goals per game clip. The Avalanche are 8-1 in interconference home games since the last time the Lightning came to the Mile High City, but those kind of trends are hard to maintain, especially in a situation where a team is re-adapting to home climes after a road trip.

Not unlike the Lightning, the Avalanche have one of the league’s most efficient penalty kills, ranking third at 90.5 percent, but they are also allowing a league-worst 4.67 power plays per game and few teams can afford that against the highly potent Lightning.

Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has a 1.64 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. Colorado has one notable injury with center J.T. Compher (concussion) out indefinitely.

The total has gone OVER in six of Tampa Bay’s last eight games when it was favored on the road, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. The total has gone UNDER in four of Colorado’s last six home games against Eastern Conference 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.

Capitals strong favorites on Wednesday Night Hockey

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will need to beat a division rival by a healthy margin to provide betting value on Wednesday.

The Capitals are a -300 favorite on the Wednesday NHL odds with the New York Rangers, who are on the second leg of back-to-back games, coming back at +240 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The total is set at 5.5 goals.

This is only the fourth time in the last nine seasons that the Capitals have been this deep into minus money on home ice. They are 10-3 in their last 13 games as a moneyline favorite of -250 or deeper, with six of those victories by at least two goals.

The Rangers, who are 2-4 on the season, have a quick turnaround after a 3-2 shootout win at home against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. New York peppered Colorado with 43 shots on goal, an encouraging sign for a team that takes an offense-by-committee approach with lines led by centers Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes and Brett Howden, but it is 2-6 in its last eight games when it played the previous day.

Special teams can be a X-factor in an underdog win, but the Rangers are tied for 24th in both power-play and penalty-killing efficiency. New York are 4-16 in their last 20 away games against Metropolitan Division opponents according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who had an extended outing on Tuesday, is 21-12-5 with a 2.66 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and four shutouts against Washington. Backup goalie Alexander Georgiev lasted fewer than nine minutes in his only career appearance against the Capitals last season, getting pulled after allowing three goals on six shots.

The Capitals, who are 2-2-1 on the season, have had three days off to freshen up and fine-tune their game since their last outing. In the here and now, Washington has scored just two goals over the course of two consecutive losses, but they are 10-4 in their last 14 regular-season home games against Metropolitan Division counterparts.

While Washington has elite forwards such as Ovechkin and his linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov, they are struggling to keep the puck out of their own net (3.8 goals against per game, 26th in the 31-team NHL). This could be the type of the game where they focus on becoming more shipshape in the defensive zone, especially since they have a long road trip with limited practice time starting next week. The Capitals come into the contest with the league’s fourth-best power-play, but share 24th spot in penalty killing with the Rangers.

Washington goalie Braden Holtby is 10-9-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average, a .920 save percentage and one shutout against the Rangers.

The total has gone UNDER in five of the Rangers’ last seven road games. The total has gone UNDER in four of the Capitals’ last six home games in October. The has gone UNDER in eight of the Capitals’ last 13 home games as a moneyline favorite of -250 to -500.

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.