After another phenomenal day of action from Edmonton and Toronto, the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll on as a quartet of Game 3’s is set to take place today.
What teams have the edge going into today’s action? Who are the Best Bets of the day? We got you covered in our Saturday NHL primer.
Bruins vs. Hurricanes — Game 3— (Series Tied 1-1)
When: 12:00PM ET
Where: Toronto, ON
Bruins Moneyline: -103
Hurricanes Moneyline: -113
Bruins Puck Line: +1.5 / -295
Hurricanes Puck Line: -1.5 / +240
Total: O/U 5.5 (+112/-137)
With the surprising announcement before the game that Bruins’ goaltender Tuukka Rask would opt-out of the remainder of the playoffs, bettors went scrambling to take the Hurricanes from dogs to slight favorites at -113. While we understand the reaction, we wouldn’t overreact too heavily to this goaltending change as the Bruins have not really looked like themselves, particularly Rask, since the NHL resumed play a few weeks ago.
Boston actually doesn’t have much of a set back under goaltender Jaroslav Halak, and should be just as effective in net for the Bruins, if not more so, than Rask was.
We were leaning on taking the Bruins before the Rask news, and now we’re even happier to ride the B’s and fade an overreaction from the public in the process.
The Hook Predicts: Bruins 2, Hurricanes 1
The Hook Best Bet: Bruins ML (-103)
Avalanche vs. Coyotes — Game 3 — (COL Leads 2-0)
When: 3:00PM ET
Where: Edmonton, AB
Avalanche Moneyline: -177
Coyotes Moneyline: +150
Avalanche Puck Line: -1.5 / +148
Coyotes Puck Line: +1.5 / -177
Total: O/U 5.5 (+114 / -139)
The Arizona Coyotes very nearly pulled off the upset in Game 2, and it took a lucky goal from the Avalanche to finally put the Coyotes away. The Avalanche are showing the world of hockey exactly why they are one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but the Coyotes may have found a way to frustrate the Avs enough to give them all they can handle.
While Colorado is by far the better team, we think a desperate Coyotes team looking to avoid going down 0-3 to the Avs will throw everything they can against a Colorado team they haven’t looked completely outclassed by through two games of action.
We’ll gladly take the Yotes on the puck line to cover 1.5-goals, just in case the Avalanche do pull out another squeaker. But we’ll also sprinkle a little on the Arizona moneyline today, with hopes we get a great price on a Colorado bounce back in Game 4.
The Hook Predicts: Arizona 4, Colorado 3
The Hook Best Bet: Arizona +1.5 (-177); Arizona ML (+150)
Lightning vs. Blue Jackets — Game 3 — (Series Tied 1-1)
When: 5:30PM ET
Where: Toronto, ON
Lightning Moneyline: -177
Blue Jackets Moneyline: +150
Lightning Puck Line: -1.5 / +155
Blue Jackets Puck Line: +1.5 / -186
Total: O/U 5 (-122 / +102)
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo could be the latest goalie to get locked into one of those modes come playoff time. The Jackets netminder has stood on his head in this series, stopping 121 out of 125 possible shots in the first two games of this series.
While there is no longer a true home-ice advantage du
e to playing in the same fanless arena for a series, there is also the benefit of no travel, something that has absolutely helped the Blue Jackets here after a marathon quintuple-overtime thriller to kick-off the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Columbus has simply had Tampa’s number the past two seasons, winning five out of their six playoff game matchups almost inexplicably.
A team with the hot goalie and belief they can prevail is a powerful thing. Tampa Bay might be the better team on paper, and if we lose this wager we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised by it, but we are riding the Blue Jackets until they give us a reason not to.
The Hook Prediction: Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 2
The Hook Best Bet: Blue Jackets ML (+150)
Golden Knights vs. Blackhawks — Game 3 — (VGK Leads 2-0)
When: 8:00PM ET
Where: Edmonton, AB
Golden Knights Moneyline: -177
Blackhawks Moneyline: +150
Golden Knights Puck Line: -1.5 / +135
Blackhawks Puck Line: +1.5 / -162
Total: O/U 6 (+100 / -122)
We’re sensing a theme on this Super Saturday of August Madness across the NHL.
Despite the Vegas Golden Knights absolutely being the better team between these two rosters, and despite the fact the Knights are very much deserving of their co-favorites to win the 2020 Stanley Cup distinction, we are going to go against all analytics and conventional wisdom here and take the Chicago Blackhawks to get a game back from Vegas in this series.
There’s no denying that Chicago does not match up well with the boys from Sin City, and they were able to exploit the many weaknesses on Edmonton’s roster outside of their superstar tandem of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to quickly dispose of the Oilers that do not exist in terms of the Golden Knights.
But there’s a lot to be made about veteran leadership too. And Chicago still has quite a bit of Stanley Cup pedigree in them, enough to where I believe they won’t go out without a fight.
Just like the Columbus bet before it, we would absolutely not be shocked if this goes the other way. But it’s August playoff hockey, and why not have some fun?
The Hook Predicts: Chicago 5, Vegas 4
The Hook Best Bet: Blackhawks ML (+150)