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Chris Wassel's picks for today's NHL action

The NHL hits hard with 11 games on Saturday. We focus on the nine evening games because that is where most of the intrigue is along with some challenging matchups as well. This Saturday night should feature a little of everything. So, let’s dig in!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs

- Toronto has hit the over in their last six games against the Atlantic Division

Two teams that love to score and feature proficient power plays start off this Saturday slate. This game will be brutal to figure out from a moneyline stand point. Both teams can fire the puck from anywhere as a high-event game is expected between the two teams. According to Statschecker, three of the last four meetings have gone to the Boston side and the over as well. Toronto allows 3.5 goals per game overall, but Boston allows two goals a game on the season. Toronto yields more shots and scoring chances at home than they do on the road. All the math signs point to running with the over, especially with top sixes as loaded as what these two teams possess. Add in the potential for a few power-play goals, combined with the fact Toronto cannot stop Boston’s top line and this one looks set for a high scoring game.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +130

Colorado Avalanche @ Tampa Bay Lightning

- Colorado and Florida combined for nine goals on Friday night, so what can Colorado and Tampa Bay do for an encore?

The game itself is risky because Colorado played the night before.  However, Tampa Bay is well rested and averaged nearly four goals a game at home (4.2 goals per game in the first half last season). Both teams carry a 5-2 record when it comes to the over/under and both teams have seen that over/under marked at 6.5 in at least five of their seven games this season. This is only Tampa’s second game of the season at home and they will be eager to enjoy some of that home scoring touch. For those wondering, Florida and Colorado combined for 85 shots on Friday night. While this game may not be quite as high-event -- there will be lots of quality chances among the shots. Let’s also take a risk that Colorado runs out of gas a bit and Tampa covers by winning this one by more than two goals.

1u - Tampa Bay Lightning -1.5 goals @ +145

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +120

Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators

- Nashville lead the league covering the over in all seven games this season.

This game figures to defy the odds but not in ways most expect. Florida has connected on the over, according to Statschecker, in five of their seven games so far. Both teams yield four goals a game, but the biggest surprise is Nashville. They are scoring at a 4.3 goals per game clip and even with Filip Forsberg out, the over is still very possible again on Saturday. Their depth and power-play are two aspects that have improved greatly from last year. The goaltending and defense have dropped some as scoring chances are up 10-15% from 2018-19. Florida is more than capable of going up and down the ice against a team. There should be plenty of chances in this one.

1u – Nashville Predators ML @ -150

1u - Nashville Predators -1.5 goals @ +170

1u - Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +140

New York Islanders @ Columbus Blue Jackets

- Columbus comes off playing a slugging 3-2 overtime loss to Chicago on Friday night, while the Islanders are the rested team.

This game screams take the contrarian pick. However, there is one thing we are zeroing in on. That would be the under in this tilt. Columbus and New York have played to that under in four straight meetings and the last three have featured shutouts. For what it is worth, New York has won three of the previous four matchups. Also, the last six Islanders road games following a win have all hit the under. Basically, take the under here and run away!

1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals @ -110

By Chris Wassel


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