Sweet 2-0 with a push for us last time out on Thursday, moving the record of the free NHL picks to 20-11 on the year.
Both winners (Maple Leafs first period moneyline, Coyotes Team Total Under 2.5) paid close to even money or better, which is something we try to do for any picks on here. A lot of sites will post picks of favourites in the -200 range just to try to increase their winning percentage, but the best value in NHL betting is generally with underdogs or very short favourites.
There are 11 games in the National Hockey League tonight, and we’ve got free NHL betting predictions for 3 of them.
Don’t forget to check out our live odds page if you’re interested in seeing tonight’s NHL betting lines. Otherwise, here’s what we like for tonight:
NHL Betting Picks For Tonight
Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets
Both of these teams are struggling at the moment, but we’re much bigger believers in the Capitals than the Blue Jackets right now. That wasn’t the case at the start of the season as, like many, we expected Washington to regress a bit after losing several top players over the summer, while the Jackets looked to build on the best season in franchise history.
What separates these two teams right now is their abilities (or inabilities) to put the puck in the net. Although Washington’s lost 5 of its last 7 games, the Caps have scored at least 3 goals in 6 of their last 8. Columbus, meanwhile, hasn’t scored more than 3 goals in its last 13 games, a big reason the Jackets have just 2 regulation time wins in their last 16.
Columbus brought everything they had Saturday in New York, firing nearly 50 shots at the Islanders’ awful goaltending – and still losing 4-3. Confidence can’t be very high in Columbus right now, and they’ll be focused even more on trying to generate more offence, leaving the door open on the defensive end for the Capitals to take advantage. Columbus has allowed at least 3 goals in 6 of its last 8 games, and we expect to see it happen again here tonight.
NHL Betting Prediction: Capitals Team Total Over 2.5 -111
Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins
Will Marc-Andre Fleury dominate the Penguins in his return to Pittsburgh? That’s a nice narrative, but it’s also asking a lot. The Pens have been lethal on home ice lately (30 goals in their last 6 home games) and are 19-7-1 there on the year, while the Golden Knights are playing their 5th road game in 8 days.
That said, we know Vegas won’t just roll over and play dead here, either. They gutted out a 4-3 come-from-behind win Sunday in Washington in a tough situational spot, and they’ve continued to prove people wrong all season. The Knights will also be inspired to make Fleury’s return a winning one, no matter how many goals it takes to get the job done.
NHL Betting Prediction: Over 6 +102
San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche
Are the Avalanche coming back down to earth? It might look that way as the Avs have lost 4 of 5 following a 10-game winning streak, but let’s cut Colorado some slack. They earned points in 2 of those 5 games and played all of them on the road in some pretty tough venues like Toronto, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Now they return home to host a Sharks team that is probably running on fumes by this point, playing its fifth straight road game following the all-star break. San Jose players could be forgiven for simply just wanting to get back home, which they’ll do following this game to host Vegas on Thursday. The Avs, meanwhile, will be motivated to get back on track and prove the recent winning streak was not a mirage.
Each team’s first period splits support a play on the Avs in the first tonight. San Jose has been outscored on the year in first periods, including 11-9 over its last 10. Colorado has outscored opponents by nearly a 2:1 ratio on home ice in first periods. And while the Sharks have allowed just 3 regulation time goals in their last 3 games, they were also facing some mediocre offences (Red Wings, Blue Jackets, Hurricanes). Stopping the Avalanche at home will be a step up in class, even without MacKinnon in the Colorado lineup, and we don’t think the Sharks will be up to the task in the early going.
NHL Betting Prediction: Colorado Avalanche First Period Moneyline +100