Free NHL Picks: Bruins at Predators Odds
by George Monroy - 12/23/2013
The Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins have one road game left before they take a much-deserved holiday break. The team recently split home-and-road meetings with the Buffalo Sabres, but is still sitting on 50 points in the standings and only trails the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Eastern Conference lead. The Bruins have been dominant behind the excellent play of goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has only allowed an average of 1.87 goals this season and has a save percentage of .936 on the year. As a result, Boston has the stingiest defenses in the NHL and is on the short list of teams favored to win next year’s Stanley Cup.
The Nashville Predators are sitting at the bottom of the Central Division with 36 points on the season, but they are only eight points out from the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If Nashville can refocus over the holiday break and forget about its recent struggles—losing eight of its last 11 games—the team might be able to stay competitive in the upcoming playoff race. Let’s take a closer look at the last hockey game before the holiday break and figure out which team has the most value to bet on
Bruins at Predators Betting Story Lines
The Bruins haven’t lost a regulation game inside the TD Garden since before Halloween and have gone 12-0-2 in that span. The team dominated the Sabres to the tune of a three-goal victory during its last matchup on Saturday, and Boston’s left winger, Milan Lucic, said after the game that the team takes pride in playing at home and wants to make the TD Garden a “tough building to play in”.
Boston scored two goals in the third period of Saturday’s game to close the door on the Sabres, but it did allow Buffalo to take 39 shots in the matchup. The Bruins typically allow only 28 shots per game, but they struggled a bit against a Sabres team that had just beaten them two days earlier. Boston has built its reputation this season on being one of the best defensive teams in the NHL by allowing the second-fewest goals in the league at only two per game.
Nashville is on a three-game losing streak where it allowed 11 goals on only 86 shot attempts. The team’s goaltender, Carter Hutton, has given up 2.88 goals per game this season, and he allowed a whopping four goals on 14 shots during a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. The Predators offense has been one of the worst in the league as they average only 2.3 goals per game, which is ranked 25th in the league. The team’s points leader, David Legwand, has only 25 points for the season, while Nashville’s top scorer, Shea Weber has only nine goals on the year. During the Predators last outing they gave up four goals on 23 shot attempts
Bruins at Predators NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Boston opened up as a -133 road moneyline favorite over the +121 Predators at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “under” being favored at -116. Boston has a 6-1 record over its last seven games against teams with losing records and is 10-4 over its last 14 games played on one day of rest. The team has struggled against the Central Division and is 0-6 over its last six matchups versus those teams.
Nashville is 3-8 over its last 11 overall games and 2-6 in its last eight home games. The team is 3-13 over its last 16 home games against teams with a winning road record. Head-to-head, the home team is 6-0 over the last six matchups, while the Bruins are 1-4 in the last five games played in Nashville. The under has also come in 10 times over the last 13 games.
Free NHL Picks: Bruins at Predators Predictions
The Bruins are getting an excellent price as a road moneyline favorite. The team has won six of its last eight games and has been dominant on the defensive end. The Predators do not take many shots per game and will probably have a difficult time getting a goal into the back of the net against one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. Rask has been a stud over his last few starts and should be able to keep Nashville in check for most of the night. Take the Bruins on the moneyline.
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