NHL betting tips: 4 picks and predictions for Saturday
Our expert has picked out four teams to back in the win/draw/win market on Saturday in the NHL.
Check out the Betway Insider's NHL predictions page for best bets throughout the 2020-21 NHL season.
Montreal Canadiens to beat Ottawa Senators
A lackadaisical third period that nearly allowed the Vancouver Canucks to come back in their most recent game seemed to bleed into the Canadiens’ first matchup with the Ottawa Senators this season. Or, maybe they just didn’t take the Senators seriously.
Whatever the issue was, the dominant Canadiens we’ve seen so far didn’t show up in the first half of this series.
With an opportunity to right the ship on Saturday before three days off ahead of a game against the Maple Leafs, Montreal should be a much more motivated squad for this one.
New York Islanders to beat Pittsburgh Penguins
Neither the Penguins or Islanders are lighting the world on fire so far this season, but New York have sort of had Pittsburgh's number in recent seasons.
Evgeni Malkin isn’t going to be scoring on only five per cent of his shots for much longer, so there’s a possibility of an offensive explosion coming for the Penguins, but if anything, the Islanders have been less lucky.
By the quality of their play, the Islanders should be scoring about 53 per cent of the goals at even strength, but they’ve only converted at 44 per cent. That’s a huge gap, even in a young season.
Barry Trotz’s teams seemingly always figure this out, though, and facing an opponent they usually match up well against might be the tonic they need.
Toronto Maple Leafs to beat Vancouver Canucks
The Maple Leafs look better and better as the season goes on, while the Canucks seem intent on proving that they can’t hang with the big dogs of the North Division.
So far this season the Canucks have given up five or more goals on eight occasions - that’s more than half of their games - and a high-scoring team like the Maple Leafs should feast on that.
The Canucks have some high-end pieces to hand around in high-scoring games from time to time, but their defensive play has been bad to non-existent. The lack of depth on defence is just too big of a weakness against good teams.
Calgary Flames to beat Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are beating the tar out of the NHL on the scoreboard, running away with the league’s scoring lead in dramatic fashion.
Despite their stars scoring at unreal levels, the Oilers aren't winning as much as you'd think, though. A couple of games against the Senators gives the illusion of a little winning streak, but Edmonton are just 5-5-0 in their last 10 games.
The Flames aren’t crushing it in the standings either, but on balance they’ve played much better hockey so far, and they have something the Oilers absolutely don’t - consistent goaltending.
Mikko Koskinen has given the Oilers some good games, and some brutal ones, while Jacob Markstrom has been excellent in nearly every start for the Flames.
Montreal, Toronto and Calgary all to win
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