Predators vs. Bruins NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Over/Under Has Value In Nashville (Dec. 2)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Juuse Saros
- The Boston Bruins are slight road favorites against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night, but Greg Liodice thinks these two very similar teams set up for a bet on the Over/Under.
- Check out which side of the total he likes below.
Predators vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Down in Music City, the Nashville Predators host the Boston Bruins at Bridgestone Arena. Both teams leading into this bout have played a similar style of .500 hockey for the past 10 games. Neither can seem to get themselves into a groove in the early going.
Boston is coming off a disappointing loss at home to the Detroit Red Wings. Granted, the B’s have had a tough schedule, and now their coach, Bruce Cassidy is in COVID-19 protocol, but it is fair to say the Bruins have started this season rather sluggishly.
The Predators can’t seem to get a streak going either. They recently obliterated the Blue Jackets 6-0 at home, and they hope they can continue this hot streak against Boston. They currently place third in a close-knit Central Division, so it’s important to keep winning at all costs.
When Will Boston Find Its Footing?
Even though most people will agree that they’re off to a slow start, it’s not like the Bruins are in panic mode. They’re playing above .500 hockey with a few games in hand, so they could easily gain traction in the Atlantic Division.
When talking about the Bruins, you can’t leave out the Perfection Line of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron – all scoring at a point per game clip. However, it’s a very top heavy roster and that will be tested on Thursday, as Marchand is suspended and Bergeron is questionable.
Boston is known for it’s defensive fortitude, but to have success the B’s will need to improve on offense. The Bruins currently boast the 12th-worst expected goals per 60 minutes with a 2.17 xGF and average the fifth-fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60.
Where the Bruins get most of their production is their power play where they score at a 25.5% rate which is fifth-best in the NHL. Marchand and Bergeron are key components of said man advantage, however, so that could be mitigated
Boston’s goaltending has been OK so far, but that is a step back for a team that is used to being able to rely on Tuukka Rask to steady the ship. Rookie Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have had a hard time picking up where Rask left off, with Swayman posting a .908 SV% and a -1.2 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx), while Ullmark has a .911 SV% and a lowly -3.8 GSAx.
The Preds Struggle to Score
Since making the Stanley Cup a few years ago, the Predators have seemed to be in limbo. They surprised everyone by making the playoffs last year, and are fighting to stay in the playoff hunt this year, but to do that they will need to provide some help for goaltender Juuse Saros.
At the top, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen are finally living up to their contracts, and Mikael Granlund is having a resurgence season scoring at over a point per game, and leading the team in scoring. Filip Forsberg, Tanner Jeannot and Roman Josi are also chipping in with regularity, providing some depth for John Hynes.
Nashville and Boston have had identical seasons essentially. Like the Bruins, the Preds’ power play is helping to cover some offensive inconsistencies. With an xGF per 60 of 2.22, they’re slightly better than Boston, but the Predators average the third-fewest high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes. However, Nashville’s power play is the sixth-best in the NHL, which has gone a long way in keeping this team afloat.
Juuse Saros is expected to start and is continuing to show his merits as a top netminder in the NHL. A dark horse for the Vezina Trophy, Saros has skated to a .922 SV% and a +5.2 GSAx.
Bruins vs. Predators Pick
With both teams struggling to generate scoring chances at 5-on-5, I think this profiles as a tight game. Saros is in form, coming off a shutout against the Blue Jackets, and no matter who goes for Boston, you know the B’s will play well in front of them, as the B’s are near the top of the league in basically every defensive metric.
As long as Saros get the nod in Nashville, I like the Under 5.5 here quite a bit.
Pick: Under 5.5