Andrew Berkshire's picks for Thursday's action include wins for the Sharks and Panthers.
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A full slate of games is on the schedule tonight with 28 teams in action, along with maybe the funniest bet that I’ll suggest all season long. Along with some wild mismatches, there are some big matchups with playoff seeding implications like the Devils facing the Flyers as both teams attempt to climb up the Metropolitan, or the Penguins and Lightning who are both teams that could be fighting for wild card spots late in the season. These games loom large.
San Jose Sharks to beat Boston Bruins 4.75
Don’t look now, but the Boston Bruins have lost three games in a row, and the San Jose Sharks have won two straight. This is a wild mismatch in every way when you look at it in detail. If these two teams play in a vacuum 100 times, the Bruins might win 85 times. However, the ebb and flow of a season is not in a vacuum.
Don’t bet your savings, but based on how each team’s results are trending, and the absurd payout for a Sharks win, this is just too tempting, and too funny, to pass up.
Connor Bedard to score anytime vs Detroit Red Wings 2.40
Three straight games without a goal for Bedard is tough enough for the Blackhawks, and now they have the controversy surrounding Corey Perry to deal with, along with clearly erroneous rumours about Perry and Bedard’s family.
It’s been a wildly unfair week for Bedard and his family, and frankly I get the impression that if anything, it has kept him laser focused on what he can accomplish on the ice. What better way to put all these distractions out of mind than immediately having a dominant game?
Florida Panthers to beat Montreal Canadiens with total goals over 6.5 2.62
Games between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers have had a tendency to get out of hand over the last few years. Radko Gudas may have been the biggest instigator of the penalty-filled affairs of the past, but even without him in the lineup, Matthew Tkachuk still exists.
The Panthers may be focused on not repeating the ridiculousness of their game against Ottawa earlier in the week, but even if the game isn’t full of powerplay opportunities, they have lit up the Canadiens for a couple years now. All the Canadiens need to do is score a couple to push this game over 6.5.
The Edmonton Oilers’ vaunted offence has finally woken up. Connor McDavid has 12 points in his last three games, and has climbed from 64th in NHL scoring to ninth in that time. Draisaitl is right behind him in 10th. Evan Bouchard, Evander Kane, Zach Hyman, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all floating around a point per game now too.
The Oilers still have goaltending issues though, and the Jets are a dangerous team with a quick strike offence that is capable of piling up goals even when the Jets are being outplayed. This all-Canadian matchup has very high scoring potential.