Mar 14, 2021
NHL Best Bets, Score Predictions for Monday Mar. 15
NHL Daily Free Picks & Predictions
VegasInsider.com NHL expert Matt Blunt provides his score predictions and best bets for two NHL games on Monday, Mar. 15, 2021.
Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
- Money-Line Odds: Boston +100 ; Pittsburgh Penguins -121
- Total (Over-Under): 5.5
Score Prediction: Boston 4 Pittsburgh 2
Best Bet: Boston ML
Not entirely sure that Boston's sluggish and lackadaisical performance on Saturday in a 4-0 loss to the Rangers can totally be contributed to the idea of looking ahead to this showdown with the Penguins, but taking that stance at this price with a team that's as good as the Bruins are when they are going is something I'm more than willing to do.
The 4-0 loss also marks the second shutout defeat for Boston in their last four games, and they only scored a single goal in another defeat there as well. So ruling out this being a “slide” for Boston would be hard to do as well, but if that looks more to be the case after this game, you eat the unit lost and assess whether you need to readjust.
Pittsburgh's been running as well as it gets right now with five straight wins, the last four covering the PL, as they've started to connect on both ends of the ice. A run like that can make this price look rather cheap on the Penguins for some (and it undoubtedly will), but the last nine teams to play Buffalo have gone 3-6 SU in their next game against a different team.
Suggests that numerous teams have had an issue stepping up in competition level after playing the lowly Sabres, and the sliding scale in the differences between Buffalo and Boston would be one of the bigger ones in the division.
That makes it a tougher spot for Pittsburgh than most may give it credit for, and with teams value always looking lower after a shutout loss, I'll go to war with a Bruins ticket in pocket today.
San Jose Sharks vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights
- Money-Line Odds: San Jose +200 Las Vegas -250
- Total (Over-Under): 6.5
Score Prediction: Las Vegas 4 San Jose 3
Best Bet: Over
The Golden Knights have scored three or more goals in nine of their past 10 games overall and two games in that fun include wins over San Jose by finals of 5-4 and 4-0. Yet, Vegas is just 5-4-1 O/U during that run, as they've had a few shutout wins in that time.
Obviously one of those came against this Sharks squad, but the Sharks aren't a team I expect to get blanked too often as San Jose has found their own offense since that shutout loss to Vegas.Since that game, San Jose's gone 3-0 SU, scoring three goals themselves in each of those wins.
I'd be skeptical of thinking the Sharks defensive play has improved much though after seeing them allow just a single goal to Anaheim in two games over the weekend. The Ducks are one of the worst offensive groups in the league and it's hard for any defensive perspective to significantly improve after a few games with Anaheim.
With the scoring run the Knights have been on with these 3+ goal efforts, expecting the Vegas to pull their own weight here is actually pretty easy.
And while the Knights defense is a concern relative to the Sharks contributing enough to get this one 'over' the total, San Jose hasn't forgotten about the fact that they are winless (0-3 SU) against the Golden Knights this year. Until that changes, I believe you'll always get an inspired effort from the Sharks in every game against Vegas going forward, so any offensive concerns on San Jose's ends are somewhat mitigated.
Vegas is on a 8-3 O/U run at home as it is, and when returning home after being away for at least a week the last four times, the Knights have gone 4-0 O/U in that first time back. Good spot to expect some goals tonight.
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