OK, ladies and gents, I am back in the lab and working on cooking up some winning picks for a super Saturday stacked with tantalizing matchups. Apologies for the two-week hiatus, but thankfully this is the perfect day to bounce-back with a loaded NHL board featuring four matinee games and eight evening tilts.
Given the shortened season and unpredictability of playing through a pandemic, checking starting netminders and lineups before laying a wager has arguably never been more critical. Coaches across the league are playing a daily juggling act when it comes to piecing a lineup together. I know I say it a lot but do your research and stay up-to-date with any last-minute scratches that could potentially alter betting lines and totals. Goalie Post will help you keep track of which goalies are starting each day.
Whether it be the Battle of Alberta or Pennsylvania or even New York (ok, maybe not that last one), enjoy today's packed schedule and good luck.
Side bets: 5-7
Florida Panthers @ Nashville Predators Pick: Panthers
Before we get too deep here, the Panthers deserve some serious credit for a stellar start to the 2021 campaign. Despite a season that kicked-off with a COVID hiccup that saw the club's first few games of their schedule get pushed, Florida has been one of the best teams in the league and currently sit only two points adrift of the juggernaut Tampa Bay Lightning atop the Central Division standings.
Onto today's tilt against a disappointing Predators team struggling to find its identity. Not only does Nashville have a tough time (the team's 54 goals are good for fifth-worst in total scoring) putting the puck in the back of the net on most nights, but the franchise's once stingy backend is a shell of its former self – only six teams have given up more goals this season than the Preds' 78. Enter a Florida team that is one of the league's best on the road and this is shaping up to be a great spot for the Panthers to continue to get points away from home.
The Cats own a sparkling 7-1-1 record on the road this year and are 5-1 in their last six games playing in Nashville's barn. It should be noted that these two teams played to a 5-4 finish in Florida's favour two nights ago, but two of Nashville's goals came in the third period when the Panthers clearly took their foot off the gas, so