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Our NHL expert Chris Wassel picks his best bets for Saturday's action

The NHL features 14 games on Saturday but we will concentrate on the games starting at 7:00 pm ET or later. That includes an expected wild matchup between Winnipeg and Chicago, Colorado entertaining Arizona, and so much more. Let’s get down to business!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Carolina Hurricanes

 - The Carolina Hurricanes have kept on rolling and won 5-2 on Friday night against the New York Islanders. Columbus comes into town after dropping a 2-1 decision to Anaheim last night.

The Carolina Hurricanes have found many ways to win in the early going. Five straight wins and three of them have come in extra time. It has been a balanced effort for the most part and the team has gotten consistent enough goaltending to go along with the defense. Carolina also evenly distributes their power-play time which has worked quite well so far. The result has been the Hurricanes hitting the moneyline every game and going 4-1 on the over/under. As for Columbus, it has been a predictably painful story given the loss of Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky (among others) to free agency. Joonas Korpisalo and Elvis Merzlikins have had a tough time holding down the fort in net given the drop- in talent plus injuries. Carolina finds a way to not only win but cover here.

1u – Carolina Hurricanes -1.5 @ +145, Carolina Hurricanes ML @ -192

Winnipeg Jets @ Chicago Blackhawks

 - Winnipeg is still missing several players on their blueline while Chicago just keeps on scoring and giving up lots of goals.

The Winnipeg Jets have managed to win two straight games in less than ideal circumstances. They have been without several of their defensemen for most of this early portion of the season. Despite this, the Jets have found a way to win three of their first five contests. Winnipeg has scored 19 goals and yielded 17 so far (an average of 7.2 goals per game combined). Then, there is the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago is 0-2 but has given up eight goals per game combined in their games. Both teams can easily score 3+ goals a game and the expectation is a high-scoring game that could come down to the last goal. According to Statschecker, the over has hit in the last four meetings. The Winnipeg Jets have won the previous five games between the two teams as well. This contest sets up well for lots of goals and offensive fireworks between two of the better top-sixes in the entire NHL.

1u – Winnipeg Jets ML @ -102, Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +110

Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche

 - Colorado tries to keep on rolling against a pesky Arizona team that can often keep goals and scoring chances down.

This is one game that has a little potential to be a trap game. Colorado continues their homestand against a stubborn Coyotes team with an above average goaltender in Darcy Kuemper. Aside from their 4-1 win versus Vegas, Arizona scored just once in the other two games. They have only yielded four goals overall in three contests. Colorado’s top line is one of the best two or three top trios in the NHL. Arizona will have a difficult time containing them. Furthermore, it is Colorado’s depth which has stepped up and played an excellent all-around game for the Avalanche. Colorado is just too good in the elevation and balanced to not pick them on Saturday night. One can take the spread as well at +175 also.

1u – Colorado Avalanche ML @ -150

Philadelphia Flyers @ Vancouver Canucks

 - Philadelphia has played just two games on the young season and now travels West to face a hungry Vancouver Canucks team that can score 3+ goals a game as well.

Vancouver and Philadelphia have attracted a surprising amount of betting interest on Saturday night. Both teams are scoring well enough – Vancouver at 3.3 goals per game and Philadelphia at 4. Watch for some trending on this contest as the numbers are tilting to the over/under at 6.5. Those odds are as high as +145 but carry a greater risk on Saturday night. According to Statschecker, the Flyers have hit the over on nine straight Saturday night games. Vancouver just recently scored eight goals at home against the Los Angeles Kings which included a four-point night from J.T. Miller. Vancouver’s duo of Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat can create a good amount of havoc against a Philadelphia defense that still gives up a high amount of high danger scoring chances.  Ride the Vancouver ML and a lower over.

1u – Over 5.5 Total Goals @ -137, Vancouver Canucks ML @ -111

By Chris Wassel


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