Hockey picksApril 8, 2021

Thursday NHL Betting Preview

Thursday NHL betting tips

The Thursday NHL betting lineup is absolutely stacked, with 10 matchups on the board. Florida and Carolina are going at it in the Central, with first place on the line. The top six teams in the East division are all in action, and I have trends and tips for each contest. And then in the North, the Montreal Canadiens will try to keep pace after their loss to Toronto.

Central Division Showdown

The Florida Panthers and Carolina Panthers are getting used to their new role as division rivals. They’ve also had to learn what it takes to stay on top. Each finished fourth in their respective division last year but without the Capitals, Penguins and Bruins to contend with, these two have moved into the penthouse with Tampa Bay and the fight for first is on.

Florida at Carolina
Thursday, 04/08, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Hurricanes -145 and 6 UN -120

Each of these teams posted double-digit wins in March, with consistent winning records in every month to date. Florida is 12-7 on the road and had its six-game win streak snapped here on Tuesday, 5-2. The score sounds more lopsided than it was. Florida led 2-1 after 40 minutes but the Canes came to life in the third. After two empty netters, Florida’s record this season when leading after the second fell to 18-1-1.

  • Teams with three-straight wins over an opponent that is playing its eighth game in 14 days, are 357-197 (64%) since 1996.

The Hurricanes are .500 or better against every team in the Central. They’ve won four of five against Florida and are 13-4 is this series since 2016.

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East Side Brawl

In terms of Points Percentage, the top of the East has easily turned into the league’s most crowded house. The Islanders and Capitals are tied for sixth overall at .692, followed by the Penguins (.641) and Bruins (.639). The Rangers and Flyers are then tied for 16th overall with identical .538 records in terms of Points Percentage. For Thursday NHL betting, this division is a one-stop shop.

Pittsburgh at New York Rangers
Thursday, 04/08, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Rangers -120 and 6 OV -115

New York has struggled to find consistency this season but it helps having Artemi Panarin in the lineup. The Russian had a goal and three assists in a 8-4 blowout win against the Pens on Tuesday, hitting 40 points in just 27 games. The loss was Pittsburgh’s second in a row and they’ve allowed 15 goals in those two, including 7-5 to Boston on Saturday.

  • Pittsburgh’s record after losing two of three games is 22-9 (71%).

The Rangers are 10-3 UNDER this year in back-to-back situations, but the Penguins firepower can’t be underestimated. Teams like the Pens are 117-90 off a blowout loss and 28-13 (68%) after getting lit up in back-to-back games.

Boston at Washington
Thursday, 04/08, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Capitals -120 and 5.5 OV -120

Jeremy Swayman became the fourth Bruins goalie to notch a win this season, making 40 stops in his NHL debut, a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Bruins went up early on a pair from Patrice Bergeron, then used a shorty from Brad Marchand to break a 2-2 tie in the third. The Bruins are 2-0-2 against the Capitals this season, beating them 5-1 on March 5.

  • Washington’s record when avenging a road loss is 27-12 OVER (69%).

The Bruins power play unit has climbed to seventh overall at 24.1%. Against above-average power plays, Washington possesses a record of 36-19 OVER (65%) the past two seasons. These two will meet again on Sunday in the second of four April matchups.

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Philadelphia at New York Islanders
Thursday, 04/08, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Islanders -165 and 5.5 OV -120

The Islanders bolstered their offense for a playoff run this week, grabbing Kyle Palmieri (8 G, 9 A) and Travis Zajac (7 G, 11 A). from the Devils in exchange for two minor leaguers and draft picks. New York is scoring 3.0 goals on the season but they are 16-3 at home, averaging 3.9 goals per game. This is the fifth meeting between these teams in three weeks and the Islanders are 3-1-1 the past four. In three home games, New York scored 3-6-3 goals.

  • The Flyers have a 18-4 OVER record this year in a 4-in-7, and they are 9-1 OVER when playing in a 3-in-4.

At 26-12 OVER (68%), the Flyers have proven to be the strongest play for OVER bettors all season. In March, Philly was 9-0 OVER on the road but they have since played back-to-back away games with lower scores, here on April 3 and Monday at Boston. Philly’s shooting percentage has reached 10% (T-11th with Islanders), and in the past five games the Flyers are firing 34.8 shots. That’s five more than their season average of 29.8 shots per game.

Northern Lights

The Canadiens battled to a 3-2 home loss against Toronto last night, evening their April record at 2-2. Once considered a powerhouse at this time of year, Montreal is now just 12-14 in April the past five seasons. If this team wants to be a serious contender down the stretch, they need to prove they can withstand tests like this on a nightly basis. And with these two slated to meet again on Saturday, this should be a great matchup.

Winnipeg at Montreal
Thursday, 04/08, 7:00 PM ET
Line: Canadiens -140 and 5.5 OV -130

The Jets gave up two goals in the third when these two met on March 17, allowing the Habs to steal a point before Winnipeg’s 4-3 win in overtime. In six meetings this year, the Jets hold a 4-2 advantage but three of six have gone past 60 minutes. The OVER is also 5-1 this season, and 18-9 the past 10 years.

  • When the Jets score 3-plus goals this season, they are 21-3 SU (88%) including a current win streak of seven-straight games.

Home on zero rest, Montreal has allowed three-plus goals six consecutive times when coming off a home game. Teams off the Leafs are also just 12-26 this season, and teams that lost to the Leafs by a one-goal margin are 7-3-1 to the OVER.

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