It may be Super Bowl Sunday, but there are five NHL games in the afternoon before the big game, so might as well put some gambling picks in. It’s gonna be a great day of sports!
Season Record: 43-32
Tail or fade with caution!
Blackhawks @ Stars
Pick: Over 5.5 (-110)
The Blackhawks took full advantage of the Hurricanes being without Petr Mrazek, as the Hawks scored nine goals in their two games against Carolina, and put six past James Reimer on Thursday. They have another favorable matchup here, as it has been announced that Anton Khudobin will not be playing on Sunday (discipline), and rookie Jake Oettinger will get the nod. Oettinger has started two games so far in this season, and he gave up three goals in both starts. Those two games were against two of the lowest-scoring teams in the league (Columbus is 27th with 2.50 goals per game, and Detroit is 31st with 1.83 goals per game), and with the talented offensive players Chicago has, I think the Hawks have a good chance to get some pucks past Oettinger. Not to mention that the Chicago offense appears to be rolling this week. Despite giving up three goals in each start, Oettinger picked up two wins, and the Stars scored seven and six goals apiece. So it seems that the Stars offense really kicks it up a notch with the rookie in net, and with Chicago having some defensive struggles so far this season, I think the chances will be there for the Stars as well. Dallas is tied for the league lead in goals per game with 4.0, and also tied for the lead in power play percentage at 40%. I think both offenses will have strong days. I’ll take the Over.
Flyers @ Capitals
Pick: Capitals ML (-105)
I expect this to be a very competitive game, as both teams have lost two games in a row and will want to avoid a three-game losing streak. The Capitals lost 4-2 to the Rangers and 5-3 to the Bruins in their last two outings, while the Flyers lost 4-3 (OT) and 2-1 to the Bruins. For this matchup, I am giving the advantage to the home team. The Capitals have not lost three consecutive games since January of 2019, and they are back at home where they are 4-1-1 on the season. Statistically, they are averaging more goals and shots per game than the Flyers, and their power play is 5th in the league hitting at 34.6% thus far. The Flyers have had some struggles on the PK this season, as they find themselves 27th in the league killing off 72.1% of power plays. I think this talented Washington offensive attack will be sure to capitalize on their man advantages. The Flyers have won four in a row against the Caps, but I think Washington will want to end that narrative on Sunday afternoon. In addition, Sunday games have been kind to the Caps, as they are 10-4 in their last 14 games played on Sunday. I’m taking them to find the win column and avoid a three-game skid. Caps ML.
Red Wings @ Panthers
Pick: Panthers Puck Line -1.5 (+105)
The Panthers have dominated this series against Detroit, winning eight games in a row and they have beaten the Wings twice already this season. The two games between these two teams in January were both 3-2 games, but those were in Detroit, and this one is in Florida. The Panthers are 3-0-1 at home this season, and the Wings are 0-5-1 on the road. Detroit just has not gotten any consistent goal-scoring, as they are dead-last in goals per game with 1.83, and 29th in shots per game with 25.5. They have not generated much of anything offensively, and have been held to just one goal in half of their last eight games. On the other side, Florida’s offense has been one of the best so far with 3.50 goals per game (9th), and they have been better at home with 4.25 goals per game in Sunrise. Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau are playing with a ton of confidence, and they should lead a strong offensive day against a Detroit defense that is allowing the fifth-most goals per game with 3.58. I like the Panthers on the Puck Line here at home.
Best of luck. Cheers.
Title Photo: Getty Images