The best team in the NHL is on a seven-game win streak and plays host tonight as the Nashville Predators visit the Boston Bruins. It’s time to continue our NHL odds series with a Predators-Bruins pick, prediction, and how to watch.
Nashville has lost two games in a row and now sees their playoff chances fading as they sit five points behind Winnipeg for the final spot. They just split a two-game set with Seattle, but Seattle gained ground, getting a point in their loss. Nashville then went on to lose to Toronto and now faces Boston. With games against Winnipeg and Calgary left on the schedule, the Predators still have a chance, but a win over Boston will go a long way to help those odds. Boston has been dominant as of late. They have won seven in a row, and let in three goals for the first time in those seven games in their last outing against the Hurricanes. The defense is stifling, and the offense is scoring in droves when needed. This will be a hard game for Nashville to pull the upset.
Here are the Predators-Bruins NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Predators-Bruins Odds
Nashville Predators: +1.5 (+102)
Boston Bruins: -1.5 (-122)
Over: 6.5 (+106)
Under: 6.5 (-130)
How To Watch Predators vs. Bruins
Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Predators Could Cover The Spread
Scoring is going to be key to beating Boston. When a team scored four or more goals against the Bruins, they are 8-1 on the season. When they score less, they are 8-56. Four is a lot of goals for a team though. Nashville has managed to hit the four-goal marker ten times since January 1st, which is a span of 37 games. Nashville is also not an elite scoring team, sitting at only 2.75 goals per game, 28th in the NHL.
No singular player on the Predators’ offense is a guaranteed goal scorer. Matt Duchene leads the team in goals with 22 on the season, followed by Forsberg (19), Josi (18), and Niederreiter (18). Forsberg is still on injured reserve and was the primary scoring threat for the Predators before he went down. Neiderreiter is no longer with the team, as he was traded to the Winnipeg jets. Matt Duchene suffered a hand injury against Toronto and is expected to be out. Roman Josi is day-to-day and will potentially sit this one out. That leaves none of the top four goals scorers available, so where will the goal come from?
In recent games, the offense has been sparked by Tyson Barrie. In the last game against Toronto, he had a goal and an assist, contributing to both of the Predators’ scores. He had the same stat line against Seattle in the 7-2 loss there. In the shootout win over Seattle before that, he had an assist. Barrie is going to have to have a repeat performance if Nashville has a chance tonight. Then, they will need solid goaltending from Juuse Saros, and someone else to step up. They are missing a lot, but the Predators are fighting for their playoff lives.
Why The Bruins Could Cover The Spread
With nine games left to play, there is not much left for Boston to do. They have clinched the top spot in their division already. They are four points away from clinching the President’s Trophy for the top team in the NHL, They are 13 points behind Montreal for the most all-time. Maybe passing that marker is the motivation for Boston? They are 8-2 in their last ten games and on a seven-game win streak. They would have to keep up the same pace to make that move.
Since the start of the year Boston has been alternating between Swayman and Ullmark in goal. Ullmark occasionally gets an extra start but has yet to miss any of his. Swayman played against Carolina, so it is expected Ullmark will get to the go between the pipes tonight. That is bad news for a Nashville team that is looking to put up goals. Ullmark leads the league in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage on the year. Since the All-Star break, Ullmark has only let in more than two goals twice. Once was a 4-3 overtime win, and once was a 6-3 loss. He has had one bad night in 11 starts since the break. In there he has performances of 40 saves against Ottawa, and 54 saves against Calgary.
Beyond just amazing play from Ullmark, the defense is not letting many shots on goal happen. They have held teams to 31 or fewer shots in ten of the last 13 games. This will be a tough hill to climb for a Nashville team without a dominant scorer.
Final Predators-Bruins Prediction & Pick
Nashville is just missing too much here. They should have some fight to them, but anyone expecting Boston to start laying off has not seen their last seven games. It seems like Boston wants to catch Montreal for the most points of all time. To do that, they will need to win tonight. With Ullmark in goal, that will happen, and should happen with ease.
Final Predators-Bruins Prediction & Pick: Boston -1.5 (-122)
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