NHL betting is back as the best-of-five qualifying rounds begin this Saturday. Games begin at noon ET with the Rangers vs Hurricanes, and go all the way past midnight with the Jets and Flames. Hockey bettors will have plenty of odds to chew on. Here are our favorite NHL picks and predictions for Saturday, August 1.
NHL Picks for today
When the Panthers signed Sergei Bobrovsky for $70 million in the offseason they were expecting to put their goaltending problems behind them. Unfortunately, Bob has been an absolute disaster posting a .900 save percentage and a GAA of 3.23. That said, he played well against the Islanders at the beginning of the season, stopping 61 of 65 shots in two games.
The Islanders were 22nd in the NHL scoring and just 28th in shots per game. Their moderate success was due to strong defense and goaltending as they allowed the ninth-fewest goals per game in the league. The Under has gone 7-0-1 in the last eight games in the head-to-head between these teams and with the playoff intensity on Saturday we expect it to hit again.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-105)
After a solid performance in Chicago's exhibition game on Wednesday, goalie Corey Crawford looks ready for action. But Crawford isn't as sharp as he used to be and the Blackhawks defense is nowhere near as good as it used to be. Chicago has allowed the second-most high-danger scoring chances at even strength and the most shots overall in the league (35.1 per game).
That's bad news against Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and a high-flying Oilers team that averages 3.14 goals per game. The Blackhawks aren't too shabby up front either, with plenty of scoring ability in their top two lines, and regardless of who the Oilers play between the pipes they should be able to find the back of the net.
PREDICTION: Over 6 (-115)
Oddsmakers are expecting a close series when these Western Conference rivals square off. Although the Flames were the second-highest scoring team in the NHL in 2018-2019, they ranked 20th in the league in goals this season. The Jets actually scored nine more even-strength goals than Calgary, thanks to a balanced offense Led by Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, and Kyle Connor.
In nets Winnipeg has Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebucyk who has gone 31-21-5 with a .922 save percentage and a GAA of 2.57. That's a distinct advantage over Calgary who has the unimpressive duo of David Rittich and Cam Talbot between the pipes. Back the squad with the superior goaltending.
PREDICTION: Moneyline Winnipeg (-105)
Top NHL Consensus for today
Want to know who today's biggest NHL betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top NHL consensus picks.
Today's NHL betting card
- Panthers vs Islanders Under 5.5 (-105)
- Blackhawks vs Oilers Over 6 (-115)
- Moneyline Winnipeg (-105)
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