NHL Betting Odds: Thursday Best Bets

NHL Betting Odds

The Washington Capitals are preparing for the playoffs and defense of their Stanley Cup championship. Thursday they will be at an upstart Carolina Hurricanes team that is the surprise of the NHL. The New York Islanders have former Caps coach Barry Trotz leading them into the playoffs and will be at a Winnipeg Jets team favored to win the Western Conference. The San Jose Sharks will be looking to get back into top form when they host the improved but out of the money Chicago Blackhawks. Let’s take a look at the best bets for Thursday in the NHL!

Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m. ET

Following a lackluster first half of the season the defending Stanley Cup champion Capitals have shown well in the second half of the season. Lately however the Caps have been quite inconsistent with just three payouts in their last seven games. Washington now stands at 44-24-7-1 as the top team in the Metropolitan Division but their back end remains a major concern. The Caps rank 20th for goals against and 23rd for the penalty kill. Offsetting that is an offense that ranks fifth for goal scoring and ninth for the power play. Naturally Alex Ovechkin continues to dominate with 38 goals on the season. Nobody saw the Carolina Hurricanes as a playoff team but that is no longer the case after a strong season that caught the NHL and gamblers off guard. Carolina is 43-26-5-2 and in good form with six wins in their last eight games. NHL metrics have the Hurricanes ranked 16th for goal scoring, 24th for the power play, eighth for goals against and eight for penalty killing. Owner Tom Dundon has ignited the franchise with a much-needed fresh approach that has paid off in his first full year leading the team. The goaltending tandem of Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney has proven to be among the best in the NHL. Left wing Sebastian Aho has lit the lamp consistently with 30 goals on the season. Carolina’s more solid defense and good form makes them an appealing choice.

New York Islanders vs. Winnipeg Jets, 8 p.m. ET

When it was announced that Barry Trotz took over as coach of the Islanders it was immediately understood that New York would be vastly improved on the back end. And in fact, the Isles rank best in the NHL for goals against. Offsetting that is an NHL ranking of 21st for goal scoring and 29th for the power play. The departure of John Tavares to Toronto last summer certainly left a void in the lineup and forced the Islanders to focus on a more defensive oriented game. The Isles have won five of their last eight games with seven of their last eight going under the total. New York is now 44-25-2-5 straight up and is right behind the Capitals in the Metropolitan Division. The Winnipeg Jets were the consensus pick to win the Central Division if not the entire Western Conference. The Jets are 45-27-3-1 with impressive offensive metrics of seventh for goal scoring and fifth for the power play. But on the back end they have slipped to 13th for goals against the 20th for the penalty kill. However the Jets have won six of their last eight and are a solid 25-10-3-1 at home.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks 10:30 p.m. ET

The Blackhawks have cooled off with three losses in their last four games and rank a dismal 30th for goals against and 31st fort the penalty kill in the NHL. San Jose is a strong 23-9-3-2 at the Shark Tank and ranks third in the NHL for goals scored and sixth for the power play.

Thursday NHL Best Bets: San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets, Carolina Hurricanes

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