Saturday NHL Odds & Betting Picks: Bruins-Islanders, Canucks-Maple Leafs, More (Feb. 29)

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Credit: Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jordan Binnington

Feb 29, 2020, 10:15 AM EST
  • Michael Leboff breaks down Saturday's NHL odds and gives his betting picks for the 12-game slate, which begins at 1 p.m. ET with Bruins at Islanders.
  • He's also targeting a few underdogs going up against porous defensive teams.
  • Get Leboff's picks below with EDGE.

Saturday’s 12-game NHL slate kicks off with a 1 p.m. ET showdown at Nassau Coliseum between the league-leading Boston Bruins (-145) and the New York Islanders (+125).

Boston comes into this game in great form, with a 16-6-3 with a 55.8% expected goals rate over its last 25 games. As usual, the Bruins’ defense is the story. The B’s lead the NHL in goals allowed per 60 minutes (GA/60) at 5-on-5 and their underlying metrics are just as strong with a 1.99 expected goals against per 60 (xGA/60) this season.

The Isles don’t have the same kind of statistical portfolio as Boston does, but they have shown glimpses over the past week of a team about to round into form.

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Barry Trotz’s team has had to deal with injuries all over the lineup, but the Isles are beginning to get some bodies back. The Isles’ entire system depends on being able to roll four lines and six defensemen. Despite being forced to play a bottom-six with very few NHL-caliber players, Trotz’s Islanders were able to post a 50% expected goals rate over the past month.

I think the Islanders are a decent bet at +125. The listed odds imply that Boston wins this game 57.1% of the time. That means when you adjust for home-ice advantage (~4.9% in the NHL), you’d get Boston as roughly -170 favorites on neutral ice. I don’t think the gap between these two teams is that wide.

[Bet now at FanDuel. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

The Florida Panthers (-165) dropped a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, putting them in a deep hole in their chase for the playoffs. The loss to the Leafs was the latest in a long line of disappointing results for the Cats, who are 4-6 with a 45.7% expected goals rate in their last 10 games.

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