Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Predators Odds
by George Monroy - 2/7/2014
The Anaheim Ducks finally came crashing down to earth after setting a ridiculous pace through December and January. Anaheim went through a stretch where the team won 18 of 19 games, including an eight- and 10-game winning streak. The team, however, has since fallen on harder times and dropped four of its last five matchups and three straight home games. The Ducks are still clinging to the top spot in the Western Conference, but they have Chicago and St. Louis nipping at their heels. Anaheim will be looking to get back on track Saturday when it visits Nashville to face the Predators.
Nashville is still at the bottom of the Central Division, yet it remains within striking distance of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The battle for the eight seed will probably remain hotly-contested until the end of the season as five teams are currently within three points of the final position. The Predators, however, have lost four of its last six matchups and will need to start winning now if they plan on staying in contention for that last spot. Let’s take a closer look at Saturday’s matchup with predictions and analysis.
Ducks at Predators Betting Story Lines
Anaheim was bound to hit a rough patch entering 2014 as it was almost impossible to continue that torrid pace. The squad has been completely shut down over its last three matchups and managed to score only two goals during those games. The Ducks were also held scoreless by both Dallas and Chicago over the past week. The most troubling aspect of the team’s slump, however, has been the fact that it came during the beginning of a home-heavy stretch in Anaheim’s schedule where the squad will play 10 of 11 games inside the Honda Center.
Anaheim is too good of a team to let a losing streak continue past a few games, but just in case, the Olympic break will probably be a welcomed respite for the team. Starting goaltender Jonas Hiller continues to play well during the Ducks’ recent slump and has allowed only 10 goals in his last five outings. Unfortunately, the team lost four of those matchups because of its sluggish and inefficient offense.
Nashville dropped two road games in a row and is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. The team managed to take only 18 shot attempts for the entire game while giving up a whopping 36 to its opponent. Nashville has been productive on the offensive end of the ice, scoring 17 goals in its last six matchups, but has struggled to keep its opponents in check on defense.
Staring goaltender Carter Hutton has given up 16 goals in his last five starts on 150 shot attempts. Overall, Nashville is ranked 22nd in goals scored with 2.5 and 21st in goals allowed with 2.9 per game. The squad is set to start a six-game homestand against the Ducks on Saturday and will continue the stretch once play resumes after the Olympics.
Ducks at Predators NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Anaheim opened as a -142 road moneyline favorite over the +129 underdog Predators at BetOnline. The total was set at 5.5 goals. Anaheim is 6-1 in its last seven Saturday games and 10-2 in its last 12 road games. The squad is also 10-2 in its last 12 games after scoring two goals or less in its previous game. Anaheim is 0-4 in its last four games versus the Central Division and has gone “under” in six of its last seven games against the Western Conference.
Nashville is 1-4 in its last five matchups against the West and 0-4 in its last four Saturday games. The team has lost 16 of its last 21 home games against teams with winning road records and is 1-4 in its recent matchups against teams with winning records better than.600.
Head-to-head, Anaheim has won the last four overall meetings while the over is 5-2-1 over the last eight games in Nashville.
Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Predators Predictions
Anaheim has been sluggish since its epic 18- of 19-game win streak, which is to be expected. The team’s recent three home losses will probably be enough to wake the squad up and come into Saturday’s matchup ready to play. When the Ducks are on their game, they might be the best squad in the entire NHL. There is only one game left to be played before a three-week break in the season, expect Anaheim to come out and dominate a bad Nashville team. Take the Ducks on the moneyline.
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