NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Bruins vs. Wild (March 16)
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Bruins standout Brad Marchand.
- The Minnesota Wild hosts the Boston Bruins in Wednesday's NHL action.
- The Bruins, who are slight +100 ML road underdogs, enter this game fresh off a 2-1 overtime win in Tuesday's game against Chicago.
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the game below and delivers his top betting pick.
Bruins vs. Wild Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Boston is set to play the second half of a back-to-back set after completely dominating Chicago on Tuesday, but they it had to grind out a 2-1 overtime win.
On the other side, Minnesota is stuck in a very inconsistent stretch right now, losing its previous two games and set to welcome a hungry opponent that has looked almost at its best to its home ice in Wednesday’s NHL showdown.
The last time these two teams met, the Wild got the best of the host Bruins, so the latter side will be out for revenge.
Surging Boston Riding Hot Streak
The Bruins are an incredibly dangerous team right now, as they’re 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. The one key takeaway from this stretch is that their previous five games have all been decided by one goal, where they put together a 4-0-1 record. Despite that one overtime loss, this means they’re consistently finding ways to win close games and against very strong opponents.
The Bruins are starting to creep up the Atlantic Division, as they are less than 10 points out of first place. Boston had a disappointing playoff loss last year, when the New York Islanders ended their season in the second round.
This time of year they seem to always step up their game, as this team knows what it takes to win when it matters most. In this 10-game span, Boston has outscored their opponents by a combined score of 36-22 overall.
Even though their offense has been excellent, what’s been helping Boston win the most is the strong play of goaltenders Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman. They have basically defined the term “dynamic duo,” as they have split time in the blue paint all season. They both won their last start, with the most recent coming from Ullmark. He stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced in Chicago.
It is very likely that Swayman will be the starter, since it is unlikely for goalies to start two nights in a row. Swayman stopped 27 of 29 shots in his last start on Saturday against Arizona. He has been excellent, as he is 17-7-3 on the season with a .926 save percentage and a 11.5 Goals Saved Above Expected.
Minnesota Hoping to Reverse Fortune
The Wild, who are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games, come into this matchup on a two-game losing streak.
A month ago it seemed like the Wild were a sure thing to make the playoffs, but as of now, they currently sit in the first wild-card spot and only five points ahead of Dallas and Vancouver. So, is the pressure getting to them?
Minnesota’s goaltending has been horrendous of late, as they’ve allowed 13 goals in their last three games. Kaapo Kahkonen has gotten the last two starts and lost both, so it’s safe to say that Cam Talbot is the expected starter.
Talbot has been the worse of the pair, but the team needs to figure out who’s going to be their No. 1 guy moving forward. Talbot is 22-12-1 with a .906 save percentage and a -6.4 GSAx this season.
The one thing Minnesota has going for it is the ability to score goals. The team has the fourth-best producing offense, averaging 3.67 goals per game on an average of 32.6 shots on goal. The Wild are going to need a strong efforts from offensive studs Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello as well.
Bottom line, Minnesota needs to score a ton to bail out its goaltenders.
Bruins vs. Wild Pick
The Bruins have been one of the league’s hottest teams this month, and even though they are playing for the second night in a row, they are coming into this game with a ton of momentum after a huge overtime win.
This is a very important game for both of teams as far as standings implications go, since they’re both in fourth place in their respective divisions and looking to get out of the wild-card spot.
Boston’s goaltending has been so impressive and everyone knows what its offense is capable of as well. Minnesota just can’t seem to find consistent performances and its foes have looked very comfortable on the road as of late, winning six of their last seven games away from home.
Both teams are playing their fourth game in the last six days, so neither of them have much of an advantage in the fatigue department. Boston has been the much better team, so getting them at even odds is a steal.
Pick: Boston ML (+100)