With the 2020 NHL restart campaign heating up in a big way with the weekend here, it’s time to take a look at a quartet of the most intriguing matchups on tap for Friday and Saturday night. Pittsburgh and Toronto will both be looking to avoid falling into damaging 3-1 deficits in their respective clashes against Montreal and Columbus respectively while Vegas and Philadelphia will look to extend their red-hot winning ways when they square off against Colorado and Tampa Bay in their respective clashes. Now, let’s find out where the best betting value lies in all four contests so you can make your bets against their NHL odds.
NHL Odds & Picks – Games Highlights, Top Picks, Previews
Pittsburgh (41-24-7) vs Montreal (33-32-9) – Friday, August 7, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh will be in all-out desperation mode after falling into a 2-1 hole against Montreal, thanks to a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 and a 4-3 loss on Wednesday, that sandwiched their 3-1 win on Monday. The bad news is that the Penguins are 1-7 in their last eight playoff games as a favorite, but the good news is that Sidney Crosby and company are statistically better at both ends of the ice and have gone 8-3 in the last 11 meetings against the Canadiens. A whopping 69 percent of public bettors are currently backing the Pens to get it done tonight and I agree – mostly because Pittsburgh is desperate.
Toronto (37-26-10) vs Columbus (35-23-11-4) – Friday, August 7, 2020 at 8:00 PM ET
Like Pittsburgh, Toronto will be completely and utterly desperate to avoid falling into an 3-1 hole after dropping Game 1 via a 2-0 shutout and Game 3, by way of a crushing 4-3 overtime loss that sandwiched their 3-0 shutout win in Game 2. I know the Maple Leafs have gone a discouraging 1-6 in their last seven games against a team with a losing record, but Toronto is also 4-1 in their last five games against their Eastern Conference rivals while Columbus has gone 3-8 in their last 11 games against a team with a winning record and 1-4 in their last five games following a victory. The Leafs have been stunning outplayed in this series, but they also have the third best offense in all of hockey, not to mention a ton of motivation to avoid a huge, two-game deficit.
Vegas (41-24-8) vs. Colorado (44-20-8) – Saturday, August 8, 2020
Vegas will enter this contest absolutely on fire. The Golden Knights have won four straight and 12 of their last 14 games coming into this huge showdown which will decide the top seed in the Western Conference. More importantly, the Knights have put 11 goals on the board in their last two games while coming back from a two-goal deficit in both contests, including their stunning 6-4 win over the defending champion Blues on Thursday night. Colorado has won three straight and seven of their last 10 including an emphatic 4-0 shutout win over Dallas on Wednesday. While Colorado has won four straight in this rivalry and put a mind-boggling 13 goals on the board over the last two meetings, I just wouldn’t bet against Vegas right now.
- Pick: Knights 4 Avalanche 3
Philadelphia (43-21-7) vs. Tampa Bay (45-21-6) – Saturday, August 8, 2020
Philadelphia has looked fantastic in winning both restart contests and a blistering nine of their last 10 games overall. Philly smacked Boston senseless in their 4-1 win on Sunday before backing that up with an equally impressive 3-1 win over Washington on Thursday night. Tampa Bay has recorded a pair of 3-2 wins over Washington and Boston on Monday and Wednesday, but the prohibitive favorites to win the Stanley Cup are just 5-5 over their last 10 games overall. While the Lightning have won a commanding seven straight against the Flyers dating back to 2017, Philadelphia is now a much better – and more dangerous team right now and I believe they are going to continue playing at a high level to stun Tampa Bay in this Game 1 showdown despite going a dismal 20-42 in their last 62 meetings against Tampa Bay.
- Pick: Philadelphia 3 Tampa Bay 2