Free NHL Bets and Picks: St. Louis Rides Four Game Point Streak into Carolina
October 27 offers a mix of six games. Multiple teams are on point streaks to enter the night, like the Golden Knights and the Blues. It will be interesting to see if either team can keep it up. Here are my free NHL bets for Friday night. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
St. Louis Blues (+101) at Carolina Hurricanes (-111)*
St. Louis has been stellar to begin the new season. Carolina was a team many thought would improve this year, but the Hurricanes have yet to stand out. The Blues enter the game at 7-2-1 after a win against Calgary on Wednesday night. Hurricanes enter this matchup after playing a difficult Toronto team the night before.
The Blues goaltending duo of Jake Allen and Carter Hutton, are a big reason with the Blues have been good this season. So far, the duo has posted a .920 save percentage and a GAA of 2.56. Hutton’s numbers are slightly better than Allen’s, but Allen has played in six more games.
Another reason for the Blues success has been on Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz has scored seven goals and added seven assists in ten games. St. Louis’ captain Alex Pietrangelo is close with twelve points in ten games.
In Wednesday’s game against the Flames, Alex Steen put up his first four points of the season. Steen has only played in four games, but after last game, could fuel the offense in a big way.
Carolina needs better goaltending. Scott Darling, who was brought in on a trade in the offseason, has posted a .896 save percentage and a 2.64 GAA. If Darling can bounce back with his numbers, the Hurricanes become competitive right away.
The Hurricanes have also had issues with a player leading the offense. No player has been able to put up a point per game performance early in the season. Skinner leads the team in points, but overall the team has only scored seventeen goals in seven games. This stat should be improved upon.
Last season Jeff Skinner put up sixty-three points in seventy-nine games. Skinner has been good this year posting six points in seven games. He will need to continue to step up if the Hurricanes want to beat the Blues on home ice.
I believe the Blues will be able to overpower a Hurricanes team that is coming off less than a day’s break. The Blues should not be underdogs in this game, they have clearly been the better team this season. On the road the Blues have gone 4-2-1, I expect the strong road showing to continue.
*Note: This was written before the Toronto vs. Carolina game
Nashville Predators (+116) at Chicago Blackhawks (-128)
The Predators and Blackhawks meet for the second time this season on Friday night. The first matchup between the two teams was a narrow win in overtime for the Blackhawks. Chicago has gone 1-2-1 since that matchup and the Predators come in losing their last two games.
Nashville and Chicago have posted near identical records, Nashville is at 4-3-2, Chicago at 5-3-2. Now the two division rivals meet, both teams looking to get back on track.
Pekka Rinne has continued to post outstanding numbers this season. He has a .933 save percentage and a 1.99 GAA. Rinne will likely start against the Blackhawks, which is a team he has been successful against in the last few meetings. Rinne swept the Blackhawks out of the playoffs last season and only allowed them one goal in regulation earlier this season.
Chicago’s goaltending has been great this season. Crawford and Forsberg have posted a .935 save percentage and a 2.27 GAA together. This implies that we could be in for another defensive battle.
Chicago has had difficulty scoring in their last six games. In five of those six, the Blackhawks have failed to score more than two goals. Chicago started the season with fifteen goals in their first two games. Chicago needs players like Toews, Anisimov and Sharp to step up to get the offense going again.
In the Predators last five games, they have only scored more than two goals once. The Predators have been led by Filip Forsberg and P.K. Subban on the scoring sheet. The Predators are still looking for players like Johansen and Fiala to step up.
I believe this matchup will be a tight battle to the end, which is why I like the underdog pick. Rinne has been excellent against the Blackhawks, and if the Predators can match that with a solid scoring effort, Nashville could come out on top.