It’s rivalry night in the NHL which means a small amount of games packed with a ton of entertainment. That’s good news for bettors who get the perfect combination of great betting opportunities combined with exciting action.
With just four games on the schedule each offers a unique opportunity to make some money with close games almost guaranteed when these teams get together. There’s something about rivalries that makes everyone tie their skates a little tighter, check a little harder, and look for any way to get their team in the win column. And just like those players, we’re here to research a little deeper, review a little further and take a few more risks to make sure you get in the win column as well. Let’s get to it!
Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks
Edmonton (+120) at Anaheim (-150)
Edmonton +1.5 (-255) at Anaheim -1.5 (+205)
Total – Over/Under
5 (EVEN over, -130 under)
Our feature game of the night pits two division rivals separated by just three points against each other. Both are coming off road wins and have identical 7-2-1 records in their last ten games.
The Ducks lead the Pacific Division with 63 points and have found an extra gear over the last few weeks. They’re balanced scoring attack and stout defense as left teams scrambling for answers and they continue to find ways to win game after game. They’re 16-5-3 at home this season and an outstanding 8-0-2 in their last ten games against the Oilers.
Still, Edmonton still has a recent result to draw inspiration from. They won the last meeting between the two teams 3-2 and are not the same Oilers team that the Ducks have dominated over the years recently. They have the NHL’s leading goal scorer in Connor McDavid and a deep and hard-working roster that is working well towards a postseason birth.
The Oilers enter the matchup with the league’s 8th ranked offense and scoring leader. Edmonton is averaging 2.94 goals a game this season and doing it a variety of ways.
While Connor McDavid’s 56 points in 49 games are obviously exceptional he doesn’t even lead his team in goals which shows you just how deep this Edmonton team is this season. That distinction belongs to Patrick Maroon who is enjoying a bit of a bounce back season with 18 snipes followed by Leon Draisaitl’s 17. Both those players have scored more than McDavid’s 16 on the season and four other players have scored in double digits this season.
Ryant Nugent-Hopkins is coming along as well this season. He is enjoying a three game point streak and is up to nine goals and 23 points in 47 games this season. The team’s youth is on full display and the Oilers are going to be a menace in the West for many years to come.
A team that’s been a menace in the West forever, the Ducks don’t blow teams out of the water with their offense but they do enough to let their defense and goaltending take over.
Anaheim averages 2.66 goals a game which is only good enough for 20th in the NHL but has been more than enough to have them in first place in the Central Division. The familiar faces of Ryan Kesler, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are all 1,2 and 3 in scoring this season on a deep Ducks team but the production of Rickard Rakell has really kept this team afloat.
Rakell is scoring on an exceptional 22 percent of his shots and now has 20 goals in just 29 games this season. It took him 72 games to score 20 last year and while we expect his torrid pace to slow down with his unsustainable shooting percentage he’s going to be someone to worry about on the ice all night for the Oilers.
Anaheim may not be scoring at a rate they love, but they do have the league’s eighth ranked powerplay operating at 21.47 percent this season. Cam Fowler has been a big reason why. The young defenseman is enjoying an excellent season with ten points as the anchor of the powerplay. If Edmonton takes too many trips to the penalty box the Ducks could open up the scoring in a hurry.
The Ducks don’t worry about their offensive production as much as other teams because their defense is so good. Anaheim is allowing just 2.50 goal a game, good for 6th in the NHL. As long as you average more than you let in, chances are you’re going to win a lot of games which is exactly the situation the Ducks find themselves in.
Sami Vatanen has struggled as of late and was a healthy scratch on Monday after posting a -4 plus/minus rating in his last game out. Expect him back in the lineup and motivated to improve his play as the Ducks need one of their top defensemen to keep their excellent play up.
With Simon Despres and Clayton Stoner both injured the Ducks defense has taken a bit of a hit as of late, but the results haven’t suffered. Edmonton is a much better offensive team and may be able to take advantage of a weakened blueline.
As far as Edmonton’s defense goes, they’d like to see it improve but it still ranks above league average. The Oilers are ranked just 13th in the NHL, allowing 2.67 goals a game. That’s still far less than they score which is always good news for a team trying to make the playoffs.
Oscar Klefbom and Andrej Sekera are both enjoying career years from an offensive standpoint and playing some excellent defense to boot. Sekera has a plus/minus rating of +11 which is good for third on the team. As long as him and Klefbom can stay healthy the Oilers won’t have to worry about their own end of the ice too much.
Connor McDavid and Patrick Maroon are first and second on the team in plus/minus rating and their desire to come back on defense to help out their teammates is a testament to their strong level of play this season. Like any good team, the Oilers’ forwards are a big reason why their defense has been able to stay afloat this season.
Cam Talbot got the night off to watch Laurent Brossoit collect his first NHL win in a 7-3 blowout over the Flames but will be back in net to take on a stronger Ducks team. Talbot is coming off a loss, but it was hardly his fault. He made 42 of 44 saves and eventually lost in heartbreaking fashion in the shootout. He has a 2.41 goals against average and a .919 save percentage and both will be tested against the Ducks’ forwards.
In Anaheim, panic set in when it looked like John Gibson may miss some time, but after Jonathan Bernier kept the ship steady on Monday night Gibson will be ready to return for his date with the Oilers. He has a 2.27 goals against average and a .921 save percentage and is capable of shutting out anyone on any given night. Still, these Oilers aren’t anyone and a guy by the name of Connor McDavid may just have something to say about Gibson’s hot streak.
Connor McDavid against Cam Fowler. Fowler has been excellent all season, but hasn’t had to go against the league’s scoring leader every night. McDavid rides in on a four game point streak and we can’t wait to watch the two stars collide.
Edmonton won a close game the last time they met, but this game is in Anaheim. With both teams playing excellent hockey lately we’ll give the edge to Anaheim playing at home, but we’ll still take the Oilers on the spread in what is shaping up to be another one goal game.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings
Toronto (+120) at Detroit (-150)
Toronto +1.5 (-255) at Detroit -1.5 (+205)
Total – Over/Under
5 (EVEN over, -130 under)
The Leafs and Wings battle in Detroit in a classic Original Six matchup that continues to give us good games regardless of where either team is in the standings. The last time these two teams met they went to over time after the Wings tied the game with just 1.1 seconds left.
That’s where the story of the season for Toronto took over: Auston Matthews. Matthews ripped a shot in overtime to give the Leafs the win and ever since that victory Toronto has continued to succeed at a consistent rate. Toronto is 6-2-2 in their last ten games and coming off a 4-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames.
There’s a new leader on top of the rookie scoring list though. If anyone forgot about Mitch Marner on the Leafs they’re not forgetting now. Marner grabbed a goal and an assist in that win over the Flames and now has 39 points in 45 games. Those 39 points lead the Leafs in scoring and all rookies after he moved a point ahead of fellow newbie Matthews.
The Leafs’ rookies have combined with the hot play of Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk to lead the Leafs into third place in the Atlantic Division. Toronto’s offense is ranked 6th overall with 3.11 goals a game and now get to go up against the Red Wings’ 19th ranked defense.
Detroit is letting in 2.89 goals a game and can’t seem to score the puck either. They entered Boston on Tuesday night losers of two straight in overtime and now have to go back home in time for a date with the Leafs.
Detroit is still very much in the Eastern Conference playoff picture as almost every team is out East but unless they figure out how to close games they’ll be on the wrong side of the picture when the dust settles in the Spring.
Nazem Kadri against Henrik Zetterberg. Kadri scored twice on Monday, including his 100th goal of the year and now has 20 on the season. He’s on fire right now and Zetterberg will have the unenviable task of trying to slow him down. Still, Zetterberg remains one of the premier defensive forwards in the game even in his older years and if anyone can do it he’s up to the task.
The Wings have to play the second night of a back to back with travel time from Boston to Detroit in between against a fresh and high-flying Leafs team. Toronto is getting decent odds on the road and we like them on the spread.
Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers
Philadelphia (+120) at New York (-150)
Philadelphia +1.5 (-255) at New York -1.5 (+205)
Total – Over/Under
5 (EVEN over, -130 under)
Don’t look now but the Flyers are coming off a win. Sure it was in overtime against the Islanders but it will still give a team a bit of confidence that desperately needs it. Philadelphia is just 3-5-2 in their last ten games and own a goal differential of -18. Their big ten game win streak earlier in the season is still keeping them in a playoff spot but the recent trends are concerning.
The Flyers have scored just four goals in their last three games while giving up 11. When their offense isn’t clicking the defense simply can’t keep up. The D is giving up 3.21 goals a game which ranks almost dead last in the NHL at 28th. Part of the problem has been their youth and inexperience. We rag on him a lot here but Shayne Gostisbehere is having himself a brutal sophomore season. While the points are still there, his plus minus rating continues to suffer and he’s even been recently scratched ina few games over the last month.
The Rangers will be dying to jump all over that defense. New York has the second ranked offense in all of hokey, scoring an impressive 3.48 goals a game. They’ve won seven of their last then games against Philadelphia and three straight including a big road win against the LA Kings.
The Rangers are 14-9-1 at home this season and looking forward to a date with the Flyers. Henrik Lundqvist looks like he’s back to his normal self after some time off following a stretch of brutal games. He turned away 36 shots against the Kings and has let in just four goals on 80 shots in three straight wins. He’s improved his record to 21-12-1 and while his goals against average and save percentage aren’t great at 2.75 and .902 it looks like he’s ready to keep improving those numbers.
Claude Giroux against Rick Nash. Giroux broke a 12 game scoring slump on Saturday when he potted the overtime winner and maybe that will spark the offense his team desperately needs. With Rick Nash back and healthy there will be two big bodies both looking to get their teams going. Expect some fireworks.
The Rangers have the Flyers’ number in this recent matchup, and with Philly struggling to get anything going recently we expect them to continue to dominate. The Flyers are just 9-12-3 away from home this season and we see no reason why they’d be able to beat the Rangers. Take New York on the spread and the moneyline, and if you’re feeling adventurous grab the Over. These teams like to score.
Vancouver Canucks at Colorado Avalanche
Vancouver (+120) at Colorado (-150)
Vancouver +1.5 (-255) at Colorado -1.5 (+205)
Total – Over/Under
5 (EVEN over, -130 under)
The Canucks and Avalanche wrap up our last game of the night and while this matchup used to be a great rivalry its lost a little of its lustre over the last few years. Most of the blame can be placed on the Avalanche who are undergoing a serious rebuilding project.
Colorado is dead last in the NHL with a record of 13-30-2. They have an astonishing -62 goal differential and are just 1-8-1 in their last ten games. The Sharks just rolled over them 5-2 and now they have to play against a Canucks team that appears to be pushing for a playoff spot after looking gassed for most of the season.
Vancouver is coming off a loss but are still 5-2-3 in their last ten games and just a point behind Calgary for the second and final Wild Card Spot. Bo Horvbat has been a revelation for the Canucks in just his third year in the NHL. He scored his 14th goal of the season the other night and now has 31 points on the year, just nine short of last year’s career-high.
Ryan Miller is also improving between the pipes, and if the Canucks can just find a bit more scoring they may find themselves in the postseason again. They can start with a much needed road win against the NHL’s worst team. Colorado scores the least and gives up the most goals in all of hockey and Vancouver will be furious with themselves if they can’t capitalize.
Chris Tanev against Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon has picked up his play as of late and with Matt Duchene still battling an illness more may be expected of him on Wednesday night. He gets to go up against a Canucks team missing their top two defensemen in Alexander Edler and Ben Hutton. That leavers Chris Tanev to pick up the slack in a huge matchup.
Call us crazy but the Avalanche are getting good odds at home, get to go up against an injured Vancouver team and are just…due for a win. Oh, they’re also 5-4-1 against the Canucks in their last ten games. Take them on the moneyline!
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