NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Coyotes (February 26)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Predators vs. Coyotes (February 26) article feature image

Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Clayton Keller (middle).

Predators vs. Coyotes Odds

Predators Odds-170
Coyotes Odds+140
Over/Under6.5 (+104 / -128)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Nashville Predators will make its first ever trip in to Mullett Arena for a date with the Arizona Coyotes.

Visiting teams have struggled to acclimate to the unconventional setup inside Mullett Arena thus far, as the rebuilding Coyotes have played to a 13-9-2 record at home.

Arizona has been extremely profitable on the betting front at home, as a $100 bettor would be up $1130 with a 47.1% ROI blindly backing Arizona this season.

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Nashville Predators

Choosing to sell at the deadline is never easy for a GM, but ultimately it's very easy to make the case that the Predators are not going anywhere this season.

GM David Poile did the right thing to recognize that, and started selling players off for future assets when he traded Nino Niederreiter on Saturday to the Jets.

Niederreiter is a meaningful loss for the Predators, as he's an excellent forechecker who is reliable at both ends of the ice. Overall, he clearly helps to drive play in the right direction, and has an extremely positive impact on five-on-five play.

Ryan Johansen is out for 12 weeks after being cut by a skate, and Filip Forsberg is still listed as day-to-day.

That's three significant losses for an offense which has generated just 2.86 goals for per game this season, and a team which already does not move more of the overall run of play in the right direction.

Juuse Saros, the greatest strength of the Predators roster, is set to start on Sunday night. Saros has played to a +25.3 GSAx rating and .916 save % in 43 games.

Arizona Coyotes

Since the All-Star break, Arizona has been on a 4-1-3 tear, which prompted this very interesting exchange between Coyotes top forward Clayton Keller and beat writer Craig Morgan.

I asked Clayton Keller about this seven-game unbeaten streak:
“We got a good burst of energy there over the break,” he said, then laughed. “I’m sure the GM’s not too happy about it.”

— Craig Morgan (@CraigSMorgan) February 16, 2023

The problem with the desire to tank in the NHL has never been that players are simply being told to mail it in and following orders, but that general managers are positioning their sides with a lack of talent and forcing bad results.

The issue for the Coyotes right now is that too many young talents on the roster are in strong form, and are moving the needle in what is arguably the wrong direction for GM Bill Armstrong.

Nick Schmaltz and Keller have played like true top liners since the break, as Nashville discovered in a 4-2 home loss on Feb. 13.

Juuso Valimaki is thriving in a bigger role on the Coyotes' blue line, and has helped keep Arizona's defensive core respectable while Jakob Chychrun sits due to trade-related reasons.

The greatest difference of all between the Coyotes and most lottery-bound teams lies in goal, where both of Connor Ingram and Karel Vejmelka have played to above average results this season.

Ingram has been confirmed as the Coyotes starter for this matchup versus his former side. He has played to a +6.8 GSAx rating and .912 save % through 20 appearances.

Predators vs. Coyotes Pick

Nashville has some very meaningful forwards coming out of what was already a very middling offense, with three players now absent from what was an already poor top nine.

It's reasonable to believe Nashville should trend toward league bottom in terms of offensive production, which is a key reason why I believe this matchup is closer than current betting numbers suggest.

Arizona has been extremely scrappy on home ice and has arguably been in better form than Nashville altogether.

It's an easy case to make that +145 to back the Coyotes holds some strong value in this matchup, and it seems that Nashville might be carrying a little too much hype based upon being viewed as a playoff side.

Pick: Coyotes ML (+145) | Play to +135

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