NHL Pick 3 – Saturday, February 2
This article focuses on the upcoming 11 game NHL main slate, highlights a few DFS players that stand out, and a few potential wagers against the spread. Feel free to jump in our new sports betting Slack channel for additional information and updates when it comes to tonight’s action.
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The biggest game on the slate
Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7 PM EST – Pittsburgh is one of the better teams in the league at 28-17-6 while Toronto has struggled a bit of late going 4-7-1 in their last 12 games. Toronto comes in with a +0.50 goal per game differential at home while Pittsburgh brings a +0.56 goal per game differential. This is partly why the line only opened at Toronto -150, as the oddsmakers have given Pittsburgh respect in this spot on the road.
The first thing to note is that Pittsburgh has won three of five games (two straight) while Toronto has lost three of their last five. If the value slips back to -140 or lower for Toronto (FanDuel Sportsbook is at -135), that would be a good number to bet. Historically, Frederik Andersen plays well when facing 35+ shots and Pittsburgh is capable of hitting that level.
The only question that exists with both teams is goaltending. Pittsburgh and Toronto played last night so do expect some sloppy play. Frederik Andersen versus Matt Murray presents itself as quite the matchup if it occurs. Please note that Evgeni Malkin (upper body) is out for tonight. That means Nick Bjugstad likely sees some top-six ice time for Pittsburgh. Over his career, he has fared well against Toronto. Toronto needs this win to get back on track while Pittsburgh is trying to gain ground in the highly competitive Metropolitan Division.
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Mika Zibanejad – New York Rangers – $7000 DK – There are plenty of top games to attack and this is one of them. Tampa Bay allows three goals a game (3.5 over the last 12 road contests). However, they roll in as a -165 favorite tonight against the New York Rangers. Zibanejad scored a hat trick against New Jersey and 14 points overall in his last ten games. He averages 3.4 shots on goal a game currently and is dangerous with Chris Kreider on his wing. Overall on the season, the New York center scoring eight goals and 18 power play points is just excellent production. Though Tampa Bay’s penalty kill is nearly 84% on the road, the last two seasons have seen New York play well against a team on no rest like Tampa Bay.
The center is a big reason why New York is 13-7-5 at home. It is why some may risk a tiny portion of their bankroll and place it on New York at +145. Also, keep an eye on the over/under. Does it stay at 6 1/2? It appears as it should. It may be worth it to take the over.
Viktor Arvidsson – Nashville – $7000 DK – Arvidsson has been a shots machine with 43 in his last ten contests on 74 attempted. The left winger scored nine times in that span yet no power-play goals. The price is a solid play given Nashville is one of those teams that play well not rested. Arvidsson should fire 4+ shots tonight and have a few chances on the man advantage as well. The chances Nashville’s top line finds the back of the net is high. The Nashville three or four-goal prop is at +125 which is a reasonable value. This is because Dallas has allowed just seven goals in their last five games. Does the levee break against a Predators team that averages 3.33 in their previous 12 home contests?
Games Against the Spread
San Jose vs Arizona, Under 6 – Arizona has a MASH unit of injuries while San Jose may be without Erik Karlsson. San Jose could easily score three goals but can Arizona score two, even three goals? Martin Jones appears likely in net for the Sharks which can be an adventure. However, he is 14-3-3 at home with a 2.45 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. As for the Coyotes, they give up just 2.85 goals per game on the road. San Jose remembers the last time they were in Arizona as the Coyotes fired nearly 40 shots and four goals past Aaron Dell. This game could be a little tighter defensively that some expect.
Minnesota vs Chicago, Over 6 – Breaking down this game indicates a possible buy at -110 to -115 for the game over. Both teams played last night and Chicago’s pace is best described as frenetic. Besides the ten goals combined, Chicago often bleeds shots and chances allowed in bunches. They yielded 43 shots last night and Minnesota averages around three goals at home while generating 33 shots per 60. Conor Delia likely starts for the Blackhawks. Furthermore, his rebounds per 60 are among the ten worst goalies in the league. Minnesota may play Devan Dubnyk in the net which could be dangerous but good for the over.
An Extra Bonus
New York Rangers +145 – This is a late entrant but only if the value stays around the current line. New York rested and in a good spot against Tampa Bay who played a high-event game last night. The Rangers pace is typically better at home. Henrik Lundqvist expects to get the start and likely should face 30+ shots. That should help him and the Rangers get into a rhythm.
Notable Score And Period Props
Take a look at Nashville -140 to score first. Dallas could give up a quick goal early with ease here. Nashville plays faster at home which does carry some risk. Their top line has a chance machine in Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg on the other side. The period prop (First period O/U 1.5) for the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks is a bit high at -130. However, consider the first period has gone over in four of the last five matchups. This over bet is one which features some appeal.
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