Andrew Berkshire's picks for Thursday's action include wins for the Canucks and Panthers.
Can the hottest teams in the league stay hot? The Vancouver Canucks, Vegas Golden Knights, and Florida Panthers are all in action tonight, looking to expand on their incredible starts to the season. On the other half of the equation, some of the worst teams in the league so far are also in action, highlighted by the 2-13-1 San Jose Sharks. Can we count on these teams to continue being what they have been, or are they ready to regress a little to the middle?
Josh Anderson to score anytime vs Vegas Golden Knights 3.50
Speaking of regression, we’re doubling down on this one. Josh Anderson is so beyond due for a goal, that even against a team that barely gives up more than two goals per game in the Golden Knights, I think he’s going to score one.
Anderson sits 34th in the NHL in expected goals right now with 6.35 according to evolving-hockey.com, firing 38 shots on net and not scoring once. There are only two other players in the top-100 in individual expected goals who are yet to find the net; T.J. Oshie and Rickard Rackell, at 5.04 and 4.71 expected goals respectively. What’s crazy is that Anderson’s chances have been of high quality too, his expected shooting percentage is a stellar 16.7 per cent.
Connor Bedard to score anytime vs Tampa Bay Lightning 2.55
The Tampa Bay Lightning are always seen as cup contenders, but so far this season they’re surviving on talent more than structure, and with Andrei Vasilevskiy not back from his surgery quite yet, they are very vulnerable defensively, where they have given up the fourth-most goals against in the league so far, a big reason for their middling record.
Bedard meanwhile, has gone from dangerous to extremely dangerous, scoring four goals in his last two games, including a four-point night against these very same Lightning. Doubt him at your peril.
Vancouver Canucks to beat Calgary Flames 2.15
With the hot run the Canucks are on right now, any matchup where you’re given good odds for them to win a game, you should take that bet. Same goes for hitting the over. If you want to get an even better return, you can bet the money line + over 6.5 goals for the Canucks to win, since they’re averaging nearly 4.5 goals per game on their own as the highest scoring team in the league.
This run for the Canucks won’t last forever, but while it’s going, it’s a great opportunity to make bank on some bets that frankly aren’t usually going to hit under normal circumstances.
Florida Panthers to beat Los Angeles Kings 2.05
The LA Kings are a great team that shouldn’t be underestimated, especially at home, but the Florida Panthers are pretty great too. Winners of five straight games and 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, the Panthers have turned around a 2-3-0 start in a big way, positioning themselves once again as one of the best teams in the entire league.
Being on the road makes the Panthers the underdog here, but they’re absolutely worth the risk here, especially while everything Sam Reinhart touches turns into a goal. While the Panthers are a very good even strength team, they’re even more dangerous on special teams, so LA will want to keep this game clean if they can.