Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM
Best Bets, Score Predictions for Friday Feb. 19
NHL Daily Free Picks & Predictions
VegasInsider.com NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for two NHL games on Friday Feb. 19, 2021.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Carolina Hurricanes
- Money-Line Odds: Chicago +163; Carolina -190
- Total (Over-Under): 6
Score Prediction: Chicago 4 Carolina 3
Best Bet: Blackhawks ML
Carolina might be one of the darlings in the overall hockey betting market again this year, but all these wins they are piling up are making it much easier for most to gloss over some ugly defensive results for the Hurricanes of late.
On the season Carolina's xGA/60 number looks pretty good at 2.64, but they've allowed 3+ goals in nine straight games coming into tonight and they've gone 7-2 SU in those contests. That's not just playing with fire, that's mocking the flames while you tickle it, and you've got to figure that eventually Carolina's going to get burnt.
Conventional wisdom may suggest to wait for someone like Tampa (or other than Chicago) to use in picking that spot to go against this red hot Carolina team on a 7-2 SU run, but I like that it's a Blackhawks team this rolling Hurricanes team is up against here.
That's because it's rather easy for Carolina's confidence from putting together all these wins despite allowing so many goals to turn into cockiness against a lesser opponent. Carolina's expected to win this game comfortably, and with how many goals they've been scoring of late the general consensus will be expecting the same to continue here.
I'm not so sure the tap will be turned on for Carolina's offense from the outset though, and if you believe the Hurricanes are going to get burned sooner rather than later with this leaky defense they've been playing as I do, the price point and the situation/opponent make sense to take a stab.
After this two-game set with Chicago, Carolina's got games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and against that team there will be no consideration of a sluggish/lazy game from the Hurricanes. It might happen sure, but you can't consider it being a much more likely consideration as you can here against Chicago.
The Hawks already beat Carolina at their own high-scoring game (6-4), and were a shootout victory away from being undefeated against Carolina so far. They've already proved they can play with this team, and in this spot, might not be worthy of being such a lofty underdog.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames
- Money-Line Odds: Edmonton +108, Calgary -125
- Total (Over-Under): 6.5
Score Prediction: Calgary 3 Edmonton 2
Best Bet: Under 6.5
The first instalment of the Battle of Alberta was a 6-4 slugfest that saw thh Calgary Flames come out on top. There is no love lost between these organizations, and with the talent they've built up the middle at the center position, both sides are never going to shy away from a game where you need five to win.
But both the Flames and the Oilers would tell you they have far more consistent success when they play sound defensive hockey for the full 60 minutes.
Edmonton is 5-2 SU when their game has a total of five goals or fewer scored this year, including being on a 5-0 SU run in that regard.
Calgary's 4-4 SU in games that have finished with five or fewer goals which is split right down the middle with games that have had more scoring since Calgary's 8-8 SU overall.
But they didn't go out and make it a priority to upgrade in net by getting Jacob Markstrom here if they wanted to continue taking their chances in the coin-flippery of 5-4 style games, because that's style of play has ultimately let them down at the worst times in recent years.
Sprinkle in all the hatred this rivalry brings, and I do think the hostility meter for this game only rises as it goes on with neither side looking to give an inch.
It might seem like the season just started, but we are already through a third of it basically, and these two teams should be in the thick of the playoff race in the North Division the entire way.
It's a huge two points out there for both sides, and with the more consistent path to success for both being to focus on keeping the puck out of the net first and foremost, the 'under' finds a way to get there tonight and cash for the first time in six tries between these two teams.