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Tipico Sportsbook & FTN: Thursday 2/18 NHL Preview

Tipico Sportsbook & FTN: Thursday 2/18 NHL Preview

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There are nine games scheduled in the NHL for Thursday, so there’s plenty of action on the board. Below you’ll find a few of my favorite picks for Thursday from Tipico Sportsbook.

New Jersey Devils (+200) @ Boston Bruins (-250) — O/U 5.5

The Devils are back at it for just the second time in 18 days as they look for the upset in Boston. The Devils are the second-biggest underdogs on the slate and for good reason, as Boston enters with a 10-2-2 record and have yet to lose at home (4-0). In fact, the Bruins are the only team remaining in the NHL without a regulation loss on home ice.

New Jersey looked strong Tuesday as they took care of the New York Rangers by a score of 5-2. MacKenzie Blackwood returned to action and turned aside 37 of the 39 shots he faced. Blackwood has won three of his four meetings this season and he was stellar against the Bruins in New Jersey’s first two games of the season. He only allowed three goals on 65 shots and he held Boston without a 5v5 goal. Blackwood carries a 1.92 GAA and .948 SV% into this matchup proving last season’s rookie campaign wasn’t a fluke.

It’s hard to back the Devils here despite New Jersey’s 2-1 OT win against the Bruins Jan. 16. New Jersey played Boston tough in both games and we only saw eight combined goals in those two matchups. Blackwood and Tuukka Rask are good enough to keep this under the 5.5 total.

Prediction: 3-1, Boston
Best bet: Under 5.5

Buffalo Sabres (+140) @ Washington Capitals (-170) — O/U 6.5

The Capitals have taken three of four against the Sabres this season and they have at least a point in all four meetings. All the games have been close, so I wouldn’t consider the Capitals on the puckline (-1.5), but they are a strong play on the moneyline.

Buffalo has been held to three or fewer goals in eight of their 12 games. The Sabres have only scored more than three goals in regulation once this season and the Capitals have scored at least three goals in 12 of their 14 games. Washington has too much firepower for Buffalo to keep up as they rank second in the NHL in goals per 60 minutes at 5v5, according to Natural Stat Trick. Meanwhile, the Sabres rank dead last in goals for per 60 minutes and they’ve allowed the 10th-most at 5v5.

Prediction: 4-2, Washington
Best bet: Washington

Nashville Predators (+105) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (-130) — O/U 5.5

The Predators return to the ice after having their past two games postponed in Dallas due to bad weather. The Predators have yet to show me anything this season despite winning their first two games of the season against the Blue Jackets.

A lot has changed for Columbus since then, as newly acquired forwards Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic have combined for eight goals and 16 points over the past couple of weeks. The addition of those two has really sparked Cam Atkinson’s game as he comes in riding a four-game goal streak. Atkinson has 17 shots and eight points over that span. The Preds have lost six of their past eight games and have been held to two or fewer goals in four of their last five games.

Prediction: 4-2, Columbus
Best bet: Columbus

Others to consider:

  • Sides: Boston Bruins; St. Louis Blues; Minnesota Wild
  • Totals: Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks U 5.5

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