NHL Betting Picks For Thursday, March 1

After going 3-0 last Thursday, our free NHL betting picks went 0-2 Tuesday to drop to 30-16 on the season.

The Leafs fell 1 goal short of going Over their team total for us, losing 3-2 in OT to the Panthers. The other Team Total Over 2.5 wasn’t even close as Calgary was blanked 2-0 by Ben Bishop and the Stars, despite outshooting Dallas 38-26 on the evening.

We’ll try to get back on the horse tonight with a pair of plays.

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 Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers

Roberto Luongo’s still got it. We were unfortunately reminded of that in our loss Tuesday on the Leafs Team Total Over 2.5, when Toronto’s 2 goals were completely the fault of the Florida defence and not their veteran goalie. With Luongo back healthy and in the crease for the Panthers, they’ve held 3 of their last 4 opponents to 2 goals or less, playing a much lower-scoring brand of hockey than they were earlier in the season.

The Devils have won 6 of their last 8 games, but they’re doing it with defence, not offence. New Jersey’s allowed 2 goals or less in 5 of its last 7, including a 3-2 upset Tuesday in Pittsburgh, and now they get their own #1 netminder, Corey Schneider, back. Meanwhile, Taylor Hall may still be on fire for the Devils, but he and Kyle Palmieri are about all that New Jersey has to offer up front right now, with NJ scoring just 10 regulation time goals in its last 5.

In an important game for both teams, we expect defence and goaltending to steal the spotlight tonight.

NHL Betting Prediction: Under 6 -105

Chicago Blackhawks at San Jose Sharks

We’ve known for a while that there won’t be playoff hockey in Chicago this spring, but it’s not just because of the injury to Corey Crawford and any other defensive issues. The Blackhawks simply don’t score enough goals to win most nights, and they’re in a prolonged offensive slump in which they’ve scored more than 2 goals just once in their last 10.

That probably doesn’t change tonight in San Jose, where the Sharks have allowed 2 regulation time goals or less in 7 of their last 9. San Jose’s been a bit looser on home ice this season than in years past, but the Sharks have tightened things up in their own end considerably as they make a push for the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Chicago hasn’t played since Saturday’s 3-2 loss in Columbus, which doesn’t help the Hawks’ cause either. A couple of days off is ideal, but when you’ve been off for 4-5 days between games, rust can set in and it usually shows itself most on the offensive end of the ice. San Jose should hold the Hawks under 2.5 goals here.

NHL Betting Prediction: Blackhawks Team Total Under 2.5 -106