NHL Betting Preview: April 3
The final full month of regular season hockey action has arrived, and the start of the 2021 NHL playoffs will soon be a reality.
The grind to secure a slot for Lord Stanley’s coveted trophy is bound to intensify over the coming weeks. Every game matters, so let’s decipher outcomes for multiple contests on the Saturday slate.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators are battling neck-and-neck in the Central Division for the final wild card position. Nashville, who seemed to be out of contention and a seller come the trade deadline, has propelled from the slums of the division.
The magic may be starting to run out for the Blackhawks. The young, inexperienced Chicago team has its back against the wall. Can Patrick Kane continue to uplift this team and help find a way to make the 16-team playoff field?
It will be difficult sledding for the Hawks as the Preds have dominated the season series up to this point. Nashville is 4-0 against Chicago and will look to keep its record clean against the Hawks.
Play: Nashville Predators Moneyline
The Buffalo Sabres finally re-entered the win column Wednesday night after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1. The Sabres host the New York Rangers at KeyBank Center in a matchup where the Rangers lead the series 3-1.
New York continues to battle for a playoff position in the crowded East Division. The offensive firepower has been on display as of late for the Rangers, and defenseman Adam Fox has led the way.
Fox has 12 points in his last five games heading into the series against Buffalo. The young defender gets plenty of ice time on a nightly basis. Fox should find his name on the scoresheet following the game. Ten assists in five games are no joke in the National Hockey League.
Play: Adam Fox over 0.5 assists
One of the more surprising teams this year has been the Minnesota Wild. Led by rookie sensation Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild should find themselves in the playoffs barring a significant falloff. Minnesota heads to Las Vegas to take on the Golden Knights in a tremendous matchup.
The Wild are attempting to chase down Vegas to potentially have home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Vegas is 3-3-0 in its past six games, which is disappointing considering its overall 24-9-1 record.
Minnesota knows the implications of this series, and the first four games in the season series were split between these clubs. It is not certain that the Wild will win this matchup come Saturday night; however, the approach Minnesota takes to the ice will lead to a tight game.
Play: Minnesota Wild +1.5
The Colorado Avalanche are the hottest team in hockey over the past month. The Avalanche have not lost a game in regulation since Mar. 8. The Avs play host to the St. Louis Blues, who continue to slide down the standings.
Colorado, during the previous month, has been clinical on offense. The Avs lead the NHL in goals scored and goals against. In other words, this team has the best scoring offense and defense throughout the League.
Look for the Avalanche to continue to roll against the struggling Blues. These clubs still have five meetings against each other for the rest of the regular season, not to mention a potential playoff series.
Play: Colorado Avalanche -1.5
Evan Popalis is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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