Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM
NHL Playoff Picks and Predictions for Saturday August 15
Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL Best Bets
Games set for Satursday, August 15, 2020
To be played in Toronto and Edmonton
NHL Favorite Best Bet
- Matchup: Boston vs Carolina
- TV-Time: NBC, 12:00 p.m. ET
Whether or not David Pastranak is good to go really doesn't affect my selection on the Bruins here, although him suiting up is obviously a huge plus.
The thing is, we've yet to really see a “good” game from the Bruins during their entire stay in the Toronto bubble so far and I doubt that lasts too much longer. This team has a core group of players who have built their careers on playing their best in the playoffs, and I do have faith that that much larger sample size will start to pay fruition in this series soon.
Even far from their best, the Bruins have still controlled the majority of play through two games, and although anything can happen in playoff hockey, this is a bit of a cheap price on this Bruins team that is much better than what they've shone so far.
NHL Underdog Best Bet
- Matchup: Las Vegas vs Chicago
- TV-Time: NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET
Chicago ML +175
This is not a play I'd take the elastic band off the bankroll for, but it's essentially do-or-die for the Hawks in this series in Game 3. Chicago only had three winnings streaks of at least four games during the regular season, so expecting to have a chance to do so against the same team who just happens to be the #1 seed in the conference just isn't realistic.
It's got to be all about getting this game for Chicago, and after trying to play a more defensive style in Game 1 against the Knights, the Hawks high-flying ways of trading goals back-and-forth in Game 2 proved to be a much better strategy. If this were a “true” home game for the Hawks I'd expect them to be flying around everywhere to try and climb back in this series, but outside of not being able to feed off a home crowd's support, seeing the Hawks play a similar style to Game 2 in that they become ultra-aggressive again is what I expect to see.
And at this price, with a team that's got their backs against the wall, I'll bite on the Hawks grabbing this Game 3 and going from there.
NHL Over-Under Total Best Bet
- Matchup: Arizona vs Colorado
- TV-Time: CNBC, 3:00 p.m. ET
Arizona/Colorado Over 5.5
Weren't able to get there with this play on Friday, but these two did make it a 2-2 game with about 15 minutes left in the 2nd period, so not getting two more tallies from there can be considered a bit of a tough beat. But this quick turnaround for a back-to-back in this series is a situation that's already proved quite kind to 'over' bettors during this bubble games.
In the qualifying round there were six instances of teams playing back-to-back contests and every single one of them finished with at least five goals scored. Put them all together and the average goals scored per game in these back-to-back spots was 6.5 goals per game, a full goal over this total that's already juiced 'under.'
I'm still confident there will be multiple 'overs' cashing in this series if the Coyotes don't get swept now, and in a spot like this where the majority of the market will look at an 0-2 O/U record in this series and not want to step in front of that, I've got no problem doing exactly that.
NHL Prop Best Bet
- Matchup: Tampa Bay vs Carolina
- TV-Time: NBCSN, 7:30 p.m. ET
Nikita Kucherov to score a goal
The Tampa Bay Lightning are one OT goal away from being down 0-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets again, as they've run into another hot goalie this year and just aren't getting the type of production they are used to, and expect to get from their top names. Obviously not having Steven Stamkos available has hurt that production, but it's not like the Bolts are dominating the chances in this series, they are just not finding the back of the net.
Kucherov got the Lightning's lone goal in Game 2, and for Lightning fans that's a hopeful spark that's just waiting to be ignited. Whether it was fatigue or something else, the Lightning did not look good from the time they got that goal though, and if Kucherov lights the lamp again in Game 3, I would expect that to be more of a rallying point for this team this time around.
Kucherov is the main guy though with three points on Tampa's four goals so far in this series and I don't see that changing. He's got to be the one scoring with Stamkos out, and at this price he's worth a look in this Game 3.