NHL Betting Picks For Thursday, February 22

It was a 1-1 split for our free NHL betting picks on Tuesday, winning on the Lightning moneyline but losing the Devils Team Total over 2.5.

The record on the season now stands at 27-14 for approximately 11 units of profit. With 11 games on Thursday’s schedule in the NHL, we’re looking to pad those totals with a trio of NHL predictions for tonight.

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

New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens

It’s not easy betting on a Montreal team that has lost 6 straight games and just got back from a 4-game road trip. Yet, oddsmakers opened the Canadiens as -135 favourites on the moneyline at home to the Rangers, and that line had steamed up to -160 by mid-afternoon.

That strongly suggests that the Habs have a great chance at snapping out of their funk tonight, and we completely agree. Montreal was a few minutes away Tuesday from earning a road upset of one of the hottest teams in the NHL, the Flyers, before allowing a late equalizer and losing in OT.

The Canadiens now return home, where they’ve earned points in 20 of their 30 games, to host a New York team that has been awful on the road all year and has already thrown in the towel on the postseason. The Rangers are starting rookie goaltender Alexei Georgiev, and even if he’s decent in his NHL debut, he’s no better than Henrik Lundqvist. New York’s been torched for at least 3 goals in 8 of its last 10 games, and that trend probably continues tonight, even against a mediocre Montreal attack.

The moneyline’s a little too much for us to back here, and with Niemi in net for Montreal, we’re not completely comfortable backing the Canadiens to win in regulation or on the -1.5 puck line (which pays +185, FYI). Instead, we’ll go the conservative route by taking the Canadiens -1 (you can make this bet at Pinnacle or 5Dimes) at plus money, knowing that an OT win will at least push this wager.

NHL Betting Prediction: Canadiens -1 +106

Buffalo Sabres at Detroit Red Wings

If the Canadiens are hard to back, then what can we say about the Sabres? Buffalo showed a bit of life earlier this month but has since stumbled back to its old ways, losing 3 straight and 4 of 5. They’re low-scoring at the best of times, and playing without Jack Eichel doesn’t help.

But we’re on the Sabres here to at least get this game into overtime because Detroit has simply been so bad at home that the Wings don’t merit the lofty moneyline price tag they’re carrying. The Red Wings have a losing record on the year in their new arena, where they’ve lost 8 of their last 10, and they also struggle to score goals. Detroit’s also been playing a ton of hockey lately (4th game in 6 days and haven’t had more than 1 day off in the last 2 weeks) while the Sabres haven’t played since Monday.

In what will likely be a low-scoring affair, we’ll challenge the Red Wings to take care of Buffalo in regulation.

NHL Betting Prediction: Sabres +0.5 (regulation time) -123

Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes

Here’s one more situation where we appear to be going against the hotter team. Arizona is 5-0-1 in its last 6 games and has allowed just 4 goals in its last 4, playing its best hockey of the season. Meanwhile, Calgary is licking its wounds from a 7-3 beatdown last night in Vegas, when it allowed 5 goals for the third time in 5 outings.

But any momentum the Coyotes have built has likely been interrupted by the 5-day layoff they’re dealing with. That’s right, Arizona hasn’t played since a 1-0 win over the Oilers on Saturday afternoon. We see them struggling to match the intensity of a hungry Flames team that has been terrific on the road this season and also has a solid track record when coming off a bad loss.

Calgary has scored at least 3 goals in 8 of its last 10 games, and we don’t think this Arizona defense can continue holding opponents down. With concerns about how the Flames are struggling to keep the puck out of their net right now and with the Yotes actually playing with confidence, we’ll simply ask for Calgary to score at least 3 goals tonight.

NHL Betting Prediction: Flames Team Total Over 2.5 -130