Free NHL Bets and Picks: Washington Takes One-Game Road Trip to Boston
Another Saturday night brings a busy NHL schedule. The night offers thirteen games with only the Devils, Oilers, Flames, Islanders and Red Wings without a game. Here are my free NHL picks for November 4. Odds can be found at BetOnline.
Washington Capitals (+106) at Boston Bruins (-117)
The Capitals are coming in off a tight win against the Islanders at home on Thursday night. The Bruins are on a six-game point streak, five of those games were at home. This is the first of three matchups between Washington and Boston on the season.
The Bruins are riding a good point streak, but their 5-3-3 record is less than impressive. The Bruins have been inconsistent on the season and have not looked like a top team in the Eastern Conference. Washington has had their fair share of troubles early as well. The defense has shown to take a clear hit from last season and Ovechkin has cooled off after a red-hot start.
The Capitals have had a night and day’s difference between starting goaltender Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer. Holtby has all six of the teams wins and has posted a .919 save percentage and a GAA of 2.79. Grubauer has gone 0-3-1 to start the year. He has posted a .876 save percentage and a GAA of 4.08. The Capitals are likely to start Holtby, but if Grubauer gets the nod he will need to start performing better if the Capitals want to win their third straight Presidents Trophy.
Ovechkin was off to one of the strongest starts of his career this season. He scored seven goals in his first two games, but in the eleven games since has put up three goals. Ovechkin will need to return to early season form to get the Capitals back in stride.
On the Bruins side, the key to their early season success is Boston’s special teams. The power play has been at an impressive 28.21 percentage. The penalty kill percentage is at 86.36, which is going against a Capitals power play that historically has been great. Ovechkin, even in his slump, will give the Bruins a challenge.
Washington Capitals vs Boston Bruins Prediction
I expect both teams to play a tight game, but as an underdog the Capitals could be a good pick. While Washington is underperforming for now, the Capitals are almost a sure lock for the playoffs. The Capitals could get going against an inconsistent Boston team.
Chicago Blackhawks (+109) at Minnesota Wild (-120)
Both the Blackhawks and Wild ended last season as the number one and two teams in the Western Conference. This season both teams have been off to solid starts, but not like last season. Chicago sits at 6-5-2 and Minnesota is at a less impressive 5-4-2.
Devan Dubnyk is not playing at the same level that led the Wild last season. Dubnyk has posted a .905 save percentage and a GAA of 3.03. Dubnyk has not gotten nearly as good of defense this season and the Wild have been riddled with injury issues.
Corey Crawford has not been the issue for the Blackhawks at all. Crawford has posted a .941 save percentage and a 1.91 GAA. The biggest issue for Chicago is that the offense is no longer producing at the high level they could be.
The Wild are finishing off a six-game homestand, which they have gone 3-2 on so far. The Wild have been close to average on the special team’s side. The Wild’s power play has gone 18.42 percent and they have killed off 80.95 percent of their penalties.
Chicago shut out the Flyers at home last game, which snapped a three-game skid the Blackhawks were on. Now Chicago looks to build a winning streak up. The Blackhawks will need to do better on the power play, which has performed at an embarrassing 13.56 percent. The penalty kill has been stronger though, going 83.64 percent.
This will be the second matchup between the division rivals. In the first matchup of the season the Wild won 5-2 in Chicago. While the game looks like the Wild dominated, Minnesota scored two empty net goals to extend the lead. The game was 1-0 in favor of Minnesota after two periods. I expect the game to be close Saturday night as well.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Minnesota Wild Prediction
With an advantage in net, the Blackhawks will look to pull off the upset in Minnesota. The Wild and Blackhawks have been rivalry teams recently, as both teams have fought for first place in the Central Division in recent years. Last season the Blackhawks went 3-1 against the Wild and will be looking to get their first win against them this year. I believe that as an underdog coming off an impressive victory against Philadelphia, Chicago is the team to pick in this matchup.