The NHL lines are up at BetRivers.com and it’s time to lock in and break down our NHL betting odds Thursday picks for March 4. With ten games on the Thursday schedule, there are plenty of angles to making your NHL Thursday picks. Longtime broadcaster and gambling expert David Tuchman breaks down his NHL Thursday picks, with the latest information on game odds, picks, and predictions.
Tuck’s Season Record: 34-31-1 (+982 units)
Where are we at? 34-31-1 which is nothing to write home about, but we’re up a solid 10 units (+982) on the season since we tend to bet on more dogs. Will that change tonight with the NHL Thursday picks at BetRivers.com?
With our pre-season predictions in mind, let’s take a look at the NHL season so far.
- We were high on the New York Islanders this season. They are my team, but when it comes to my money, I have no allegiance. I will only bet if there’s value. As for the Islanders, they continue to be an underrated team and with Oliver Wahlstrom shooting the puck the way he is, they are suddenly a dangerous four-line team.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs has had their way in the weak northern division. We all knew they’d score a bunch of goals, but what’s been so impressive is their ability to keep the puck out of the net. They’ve recently come off an impressive three-game stretch against Connor McDavid where they allowed one goal. ONE! In three games…
- The Rookie of the year (Calder Trophy) race has some long shots in the mix, but our guy, Minnesota Wild rookie Kiril Kiprizov is the man to watch. He’s leading the charge for a resurgent Minnesota squad. The addition of Kiril Kiprizov and the emergence of some of their young players (Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek) has fueled this team and they aren’t going away. Ultimately, it could be their goaltending that stops them, but through the end of February, the Wild have been the most profitable team to bet on this season.
- How impressive are the Tampa Bay Lightning? Even without Kucherov, they’re dominating with a league-leading +32 goal differential.
- The Florida Panthers have a ton of talent and we thought they could surprise us if they bought into playing team defense. They aren’t quite as good as their record, but they aren’t going away.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have been a pleasant surprise (mostly because of rookie goalie, Kevin Lankinen) I don’t buy it. Their defense is woefully thin and should eventually be exposed even in the weak Central division.
- Speaking of the Central: It’s awful – Nashville, Detroit and Columbus are just bad. And with that in mind, I do think the Dallas Stars goon a run at some point. It’s a short season, so it could be a case of too little too late, but when it’s said and done, I do think Dallas sneaks their way into the playoffs. Between COVID-19 and the weather in Dallas, it’s been a rough time for the Stars. They just have too much talent to be mired in the basement.
- A good team will miss the playoffs in the East. I was a bit premature in writing the Pittsburgh Penguins‘ eulogy and they’re playing much better hockey as of late.
- The New Jersey Devils have some good pieces in place and Jack Hughes is going to be a star, but in this division, they just aren’t there yet.
- The Buffalo Sabres are a dumpster fire. Good news Buffalo fans, NFL training camp is only 136 days away.
- We couldn’t have been more wrong about the Vancouver Canucks. This is on me. I thought the additions on defense (Nate Schmidt and Travis Hamonic) would bolster their backend and they’d pick up where they left off in the bubble. Braden Holtby has been bad in goal and their team defense couldn’t stop my beer league team from scoring.
- If I owned the Edmonton Oilers, I’d be livid. How on earth can you have Connor McDavid and be mediocre?
- The Vegas Golden Knights are a very good team. I don’t think they are 14-4 good (which is their record), but this is clearly a top 5 team and a contender. That said, they need Lehner back. Fleury has been fantastic in goal, but if he’s overused, the age starts to show. Frankly, with them off to such a great start, I don’t know why Fleury isn’t rested a bit more.
- Vladimir Tarasenko is coming back from injury and the St. Louis Blues need him badly. If Tank can stay healthy, this Blues team is so solid.
- The Colorado Avalanche has been plagued by injuries on defense. When healthy, they can play with anyone.
- The rest of the West is playing out the season. The Los Angeles Kings have out-performed and the Anaheim Ducks will be better. (I love their rookie, Trevor Zegras), but when push comes to shove, this is a four-team division and I don’t see that changing this season.
As for tonight’s NHL games, we’ve got a couple of interesting spots.
Boosted Bets: Thursday NHL Specials
- Steven Stamkos or Patrick Kane to score first goal in TBL-CHI. Was +485. NOW +575
- Stars, Flames, and Maple Leafs all win. Was +301. Now +350
NHL Thursday Picks: Tuck’s Take for March 4
SABRES (6-11-3, 15pts) at ISLANDERS (12-6-4, 28pts), 7 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Islanders -200, Sabres +165
PUCK LINE: Islanders -1 (-122), Sabres +1 (+102)
OVER/UNDER: 5.5 goals (+120/-143)
Click here for the full list of Islanders-Sabres odds.
I am almost always betting on the Islanders when they’re dogs and usually avoiding them when they’re favored, but tonight is different. Buffalo is a mess. Jack Eichel trade rumors in the air, their coach might get fired, and their starting goaltender is out for a month.
Couple this with the Isles playing at home in front of actual real fans for the first time in 51 weeks. If the Islanders play their game, they aren’t losing to a bad Buffalo team and I’m willing to bet on the Isles being highly motivated and not wanting to let their fans down. The Pick: Islanders ML (-195).
RANGERS (8-9-3, 19pts) at DEVILS (7-9-2, 16pts), 7 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Rangers -115, Devils +100
PUCK LINE: Rangers -1 (+160), Devils +1 (-195)
OVER/UNDER: 5.5 goals (-117/-103)
Click here for the full list of Devils-Rangers odds.
The Devils started the season off hot, but the Covid break didn’t help them and recently they’ve resembled the team we’ve seen the last two seasons. Tonight, they face off against the Panarin-less NY Rangers, but even without Panarin, this Ranger’s team has some talent.
It’s best on best in net (Shesterkin vs. Blackwood) and I don’t expect many goals so we’ve got two plays tonight. The Picks: Under 5.5 (-101), Rangers ML (-112).
MAPLE LEAFS (18-4-2, 38pts) at CANUCKS (9-15-2, 20pts), 10 p.m. ET
MONEYLINE: Maple Leafs -156, Canucks +138
PUCK LINE: Maple Leafs -1 (+102), Canucks +1 (-121)
OVER/UNDER: 6.5 goals (-121/+102)
Click here for the full list of Canucks-Maple Leafs odds.
First up, is Toronto. I hate the Leafs. If I’m rating which teams I hate the most in sports, there’s a short list, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are prominently displayed near the top. But, let’s be clear. This isn’t about fandom. This is about money and my wallet LOVES the Leafs.
Vancouver has been better recently when Thatcher Demko has been in net, but it won’t be enough. Our only concern is that the Leafs have a letdown game tonight after beating the Edmonton Oilers so soundly. For the record, Toronto outscored Connor McDavid and company 13-1 over the last three games.
With Toronto suddenly paying attention to their defensive responsibilities and with Austin Matthews back from injury, this line should be closer to -180. At -156, there’s too much value to ignore, take the Leafs. The Pick: Maple Leafs ML (-156)
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