NHL Picks: How To Bet on Games Before Teams Make Moves

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NHL Picks: How To Bet on Games Before Teams Make Moves
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The NHL heads into the weekend before the trade deadline with at least a half dozen games or more each night. 

Expect a few more moves to happen, which will impact some rosters. It shapes up to feature some eventful slates. 

To get you ready for your NHL betting, here is a look at the weekend.

Schedule Breakdown

Let us do this by the number of games each day. 

  • Friday – 6
  • Saturday – 11
  • Sunday – 7

Saturday comes at us with only three late-night games this time around. Friday and Sunday, see, the games end early with nothing later than an 8 p.m. ET start on either of those nights.

Who plays back-to-back this weekend? Here are those teams below. 

  • Philadelphia (Friday, Saturday)
  • Ottawa (Friday, Saturday)
  • Montreal (Friday, Saturday)
  • Colorado (Friday, Saturday)
  • Washington (Saturday, Sunday)
  • New York Rangers (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Pittsburgh (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Tampa Bay (Saturday, Sunday)
  • Columbus (Saturday, Sunday)

Again, this is easy to follow. The Sunday games begin at 1 p.m. ET. 

Boston Has A Few New Parts For Their Run

The weekend sees many possibilities. For one, the Washington Capitals altered their team by shipping Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to Boston. Washington got a first-round pick this year, a couple more picks, and Craig Smith. Here is a breakdown of the trade. 

  • The draft picks the Bruins gave up fit the trend in the league in the run-up to the deadline (2023 first, 2024 third, 2025 second).
  • Craig Smith was an extra forward for the Bruins.
  • Washington retained 50 percent of Orlov’s cap hit ($2.55 million).
  • Minnesota absorbs 25 percent of Orlov’s cap hit ($1.275 million), purchasing a 2023 fifth-round pick for their assistance. Already retaining the salary of Ryan O'Reilly and now Orlov, the Wild can broker a trade in this way one more time.
  • The Bruins inherit $1.275 million of Orlov’s cap hit.

Again, Boston gets even better as Don Sweeney has gone all in for his Bruins. The Bruins play at Vancouver on Saturday, and it will be interesting to see if the acquisitions are in the lineup. Does Vancouver try to sell even more now? What about Columbus? The Vladislav Gavrikov trade fell through to Boston. Now, what do they do?

The Saturday ABC Doubleheader

ABC/ESPN executives looked at this double dip months ago and probably thought this would be a gem. Now, a little bit of the luster has been taken away. Sure, the Rangers traveling to Washington to play Alex Ovechkin is nice. However, with Washington selling, the only draw the Capitals have is their 800+ goal scorer. Also, New York has more trade ambitions, but at least this matchup got a little easier. 

Expect more goals in both ABC games. Pittsburgh travels to St. Louis as the Penguins almost struggle as severely as Washington. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin can only carry this team so much. Fortunately, St. Louis is selling off pieces too. It showed in a 3-2 overtime loss to Vancouver on Thursday night. 

Pittsburgh figures to see a Blues team that will try and score more and showcase a couple more players. There are rumors that Tory Krug is even on the trade block. Again, a game on ABC helps the Blues’ cause there. 

The road teams are favorites here on Saturday. Does one risk getting some plus money on the Puckline? That is a great question.

More On The Weekend

Hockey bettors are in for a nice Sunday slate, too. However, do not sleep on what figures to be an entertaining matchup in New Jersey as the Flyers play the Devils. Typically, goals are on the docket, and New Jersey will crank up the tempo after their 2003 Stanley Cup Ceremony err anniversary. 

Any Ottawa and Montreal matchup carries its brand of entertainment as well. Can Ottawa keep their momentum rolling, or does Montreal pull off another upset (they beat NJ on the road Tuesday)? Calgary, Colorado, and Dallas and Vegas headline the late games on Saturday. Do not sleep on those. Bet the Over-Under in Colorado. Calgary just blew another two-goal lead in Vegas on Thursday night.

For Sunday, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh could be chaos. There are a few instances of teams playing each other on the back end of a back-to-back. Fans and experts, why scoring stays up. This is why. Toronto and Seattle are the underrated matchup on the Sunday card. If anyone saw last night’s Boston-Seattle game, that was some back-and-forth tussle. 

Some Quick Points To Consider

  • Calgary is still a mess, but it makes for some entertaining hockey.
  • Nashville has no Forsberg or Ryan Johansen now. Goals, again, could be hard to come by.
  • Los Angeles could give up quite a few goals to the Rangers, especially.
  • The late Saturday night betting shifts are becoming a staple. Watch Dallas and Vegas, especially.
  • Jack Hughes versus a less-than-mobile Philadelphia defense and a red-hot Dawson Mercer. Get in those player props.
  • Be aware of more players being scratched for “trade reasons.”
  • See our note below.

Good luck, and once more, thanks for reading! Expect a few more plays and tips via social media later.

Thanks to BetMGM for the solid weekend lines and to TSN, and ESPN.com for the easy-to-follow schedules. 

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