Best Bets, Score Predictions for Wednesday Feb. 17

NHL Daily Free Picks & Predictions NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for two NHL games on Wednesday Feb. 17, 2021.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings

  • Money-Line Odds: Chicago -127; Detroit +110
  • Total (Over-Under): 5.5

Score Prediction: Chicago 4 Detroit 3

Best Bet: Over 5.5

The Blackhawks are a perfect 3-0 SU against Detroit this year, so maybe flipping the outright result may be in order, but 7+ goals is what I expect to see. After all, there were eight total goals scored in the latter half of the first two-game set these two played this season.

But that game on Monday was a little unlucky to not get there for 'over' bettors, as a 2-1 first period died late. However, it's now been five of the nine periods these two have played that have had at least two goals scored in them, and eventually that will lead to an 'over' ticket getting there, especially at 5.5.

Statistically there are reasons to keep this number at 5.5, but in terms of the spot with both sides on 3-7 O/U runs in their last 10 games respectively, this does feel like a nice buy low spot for two teams you can expect won't be shy about opening it up against one another.

They've already played a back-and-forth pace for the majority of the periods played, and seven of the last nine these two have played in Detroit have landed on or above the posted total as well (6-2-1 O/U).

Both defenses are probably grading out a little higher right now than they will come the end of the year given their projected finishing spots, so I'm not ready to fully trust some of those numbers as it is with either team. They've shown me through three games that they don't mind going up and down the ice on one another and let the chips fall where they may in the end.

The offensive success rate improves by a least a goal over that 3-2 OT win by Chicago on Monday, as a 3-3 game gets decided sometime late.

Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers

  • Money-Line Odds: Winnipeg +118, Edmonton -136
  • Total (Over-Under): 6.5

Score Prediction: Edmonton 4 Winnipeg 2

Best Bet: Oilers ML

Was on the wrong end of the 6-5 final score with Edmonton on Monday night, and even with as awful as the Oilers defense looked for stretches in that game, I see little reason not to go back to the well with the Oilers again here.

The defense is always going to be a work in progress for the Oilers, so living with those kind of results is just part of the deal when you back Edmonton. The Oilers offense nearly came back from all those mistakes to pull that one out of the fire, so it's not like there weren't positives in there either.

I'm also willing to give the Oilers a bit of a pass given that the four-day layoff probably came at a bad time for a team that was rolling and had won six of seven. Edmonton played like they had that aura of confidence that they could flick the switch on at any time, but to give up two goals in the first three minutes of the 2nd period was sloppy, and they ultimately couldn't outrun their mistakes.

The break's over now for Edmonton and the fact that the game was so ugly defensively serves as a nice wakeup call to be responsible at that end from the opening puck drop.

Edmonton's got all the right to be extremely confident in their offense being able to win games by themselves, but it will be an emphasis on defense in this return match that has the Oilers and their offense cruising to a comfortable win, extending Winnipeg's 0-8 SU run after allowing 5+ goals in their last game.

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