NHL Betting Preview: Saturday, March 20

Story posted March 19, 2021 in CommRadio, Sports by Evan Popalis

As the NHL enters the back nine of the regular season, crucial points are up for grabs throughout the league. Playoff contenders look to tighten up their game, while teams likely missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs look to play spoiler.

The run down the stretch to the postseason is guaranteed to bring excitement. Let’s jump into this weekend’s betting preview for Saturday.

A matinee matchup on Saturday will include the Boston Bruins visiting the struggling Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres fired head coach Ralph Krueger on Wednesday after the Sabres lost their 12th straight game and dropped to 6-18-4 overall.

The firing comes when the Sabres projected top three scorers—Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Taylor Hall—have played a combined 74 games and have only tallied six goals in total. The distant future is bleak for Buffalo, but the Sabres should be playing with house money the rest of the way this year.

The chance to score against the Bruins is available, considering the B’s are missing half of their original defensive lineup from when the season began. Expect some fire from the Sabres and their top players to arrive finally. Not to mention Boston is very capable of scoring goals with the top forward line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

Pick: Over 5.5 goals

The beat-up Vancouver Canucks will be in Montreal to face the Canadiens in a north-of-the-border matchup. The Canucks sit just outside of the playoff picture, but they are right behind Montreal in the standings. Heading into the two-game set, the Canadiens are 5-0-2 against Vancouver this season.

The issue for this Vancouver squad is the lengthy injury report. While the Canucks have been successful as of late, this game will be the second of a back-to-back against the Habs. Montreal is a young, skilled team that can push the pace and will apply pressure to the depleted Vancouver side.

Also, having two dependent goalies will certainly not hurt the chances of the Canadiens come Saturday night.

Play: Montreal Canadiens moneyline

A surprising recent slide from the St. Louis Blues has them fighting for the final playoff slot in the West division. A team with an outside chance for that fourth seed resides in San Jose. The Sharks host the Blues with an opportunity to narrow the gap in the playoff hunt.

Through six games played against each other, these teams have split the wins equally. San Jose has played competitive hockey as of late and needs points if it wants to have any chance of making the Cup playoffs.

In the first six matchups, all of the final scores were decided by one goal. This particular season series could not be closer, and the Sharks should be viewed as the underdog, which leads to this game’s pick.

Pick: San Jose +1.5

This week’s player prop pick comes from the Central Division. The Dallas Stars head to Little Caesars Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings. Both of these clubs are having seasons they would like to forget.

The one bright side for the Red Wings is defenseman Filip Hronek. In his last five games played, Hronek has seven assists and eight points. Those are some impressive numbers coming from a defenseman on a team with a total of nine wins.

It will be interesting to see if the Detroit blueliner can keep his scoring streak up. A top-two defenseman for the Wings will see a lot of ice time against Dallas.

Play: Filip Hronek over 0.5 points


Evan Popalis is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email epopalis83@gmail.com.

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About the Contributors

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Evan Popalis

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Evan Popalis is a third-year from Lititz, Pennsylvania, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is a writer, analyst, and play-by-play commentator for the CommRadio sports department. His writings include weekly NHL betting previews along with power rankings for the NHL and NFL. He appears weekly on the NHL Podcast as a host and analyst reviewing the previous week’s action. If you would like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).