Free NHL Bets and Picks: The Streaking Lightning Visit Carolina as Underdogs
After a busy Saturday, the NHL slowed down for Sunday and Monday with a total of only three games. On Tuesday, the intensity will pick back up with eleven games on. Here are my free NHL bets for October 24. You can find all the odds at BetOnline.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+102) at Carolina Hurricanes (-113)
Tampa Bay enters this game with the NHL’s best record, at 7-1-1. The Hurricanes are sitting at 3-2-1. The Lightning have been tremendous so far this season, while the Hurricanes have not stuck out of the crowd.
The Lightning can attribute a large amount of their success to Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos. Kucherov and Stamkos are producing points at an unreal level, each with seventeen points. Kucherov has scored ten goals, while Stamkos has dished out fourteen assists. Neither Kucherov nor Stamkos have shown any signs of slowing down, which could be a real danger to the Hurricanes.
When you look at the high numbers Stamkos and Kucherov are putting up, you do not expect any other players to be high on the scoresheet. Behind them are Brayden Point and Vladislav Namestnikov each with ten points. That means both Point and Namestnikov are each averaging a point per game as well.
On the Hurricanes side, only one player has been able to average a point per game. Jeff Skinner has put up six points – five goals and one assist – in six games this season. The Lightning have the edge on the offensive side in this game.
The Hurricanes traded for Scott Darling in the offseason and put him in a position to take over as the starting goaltender. Darling has posted a .898 save percentage and a GAA of 2.57. Neither stat is at the level in which Carolina was hoping for.
Tampa Bay has gotten great goaltending from Andrei Vasilevskiy this season. Vasilevskiy has posted a .933 save percentage and a 2.37 GAA. Once again, the Lightning also have the edge in net.
When you look at the stats, it clearly shows why the Lightning are having so much success. I expect it to continue, which makes me think the Lightning should be favored in this game. The Lightnings offensive ability and strong goaltending give them an edge, which makes them a great pick.
Chicago Blackhawks -1½ (+164) at Vegas Golden Knights +1½ (-184)
The Golden Knights have been the talk of the league early this season. After Vegas’s last win, the Golden Knights became the first expansion team to win six of their first seven. The spotlight will continue to be on them as they meet against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
The Golden Knights have been successful, mostly because of the elite goaltending they have been getting. Vegas goalies have put up a .929 save percentage and a GAA of 2.37. The problem now is starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and backup Malcolm Subban will be out for some time. This puts all the pressure on Oscar Dansk.
Dansk has never played a full NHL game. In twenty-one AHL games with the Springfield Falcons, in 2014-15, Dansk allowed sixty-eight goals for a .880 save percentage. He played one AHL game for Chicago this season, allowing six goals on thirty-six shots. His stats below NHL leagues are not impressive, which could leak into Tuesday’s game.
To make matters worse, Dansk will have to play against the high leveled Blackhawks offense. The Blackhawks enter the game 5-2-2 on the season. Patrick Kane leads the team with eleven points on the season. He is followed closely by Ryan Hartman, who has nine points.
Chicago has had great goaltending this season. In nine games, Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg have put up a .941 save percentage and a 2.08 GAA. The Blackhawks could put either goaltender in net and he could have a great game against the Golden Knights.
The Blackhawks are coming off a rough three game stretch, where they went 1-1-1. Chicago will be looking to get back to their elite level, starting against an injury struck Vegas team. I believe the Blackhawks will continue to outshoot the Golden Knights, who have been outshot 239-206 this season. This could lead to many goals against an unproven goalie.