NHL weekend betting preview: Unpacking a loaded schedule
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Sometimes a game plays out in such disheartening fashion that you can't help but swear off betting a team for a while.

That's what happened Thursday when the Columbus Blue Jackets played so well for 30 minutes against the Philadelphia Flyers to build a seemingly impenetrable 3-1 lead before utterly collapsing and completing the debacle in overtime. All this on home ice, with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance.

That relegated us to a 1-2 finish, leaving some ground to make up heading into the weekend.

GOATs and scapegoats

Frederik Andersen had a nice bounce-back effort last night in shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Matt Murray did his part to help our cause. At least one game went our way.

The Blue Jackets are a lock for our scapegoats. That was the last time we'll bet on them in this space for at least a couple of weeks - screenshot this if you wish.

Friday notes

The New York Rangers' six-game road winning streak (1.7 goals allowed) will be on the line Friday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes, who've won four of their last five contests in Raleigh. The Rangers are playing strong defensive hockey and three of their previous four games in Carolina have gone under, as well as four of their last five meetings overall.

Offense has been hard to come by for the New York Islanders, who've scored just two goals in their last four games. However, they return home from their road trip in a great spot to break out against the Detroit Red Wings, whom they've scored 22 goals against in their last four meetings at home. The previous five contests between these teams on the Island have gone over, averaging 9.8 goals.

The Chicago Blackhawks have scored just 10 goals in their last seven games at home against the Nashville Predators, tasting defeat in five of them. The Calgary Flames snapped a five-game home losing skid Monday and are well-rested as they prepare to welcome the streaking Boston Bruins. The Minnesota Wild will aim to build on their impressive record in Edmonton, having won 14 of their last 17 road contests against the Oilers. Similarly, but not to the same extent, the Anaheim Ducks have had the Colorado Avalanche's number of late, with the Avs losing four of their previous five visits to Anaheim and eight of their last 11 against the Ducks overall.

Friday bets:

  • New York Rangers/Carolina Hurricanes under 6.5
  • Detroit Red Wings/New York Islanders over 5.5
  • Islanders' team total over 3.5
  • Calgary Flames

Saturday notes

Saturday's festivities begin with a matinee as the Winnipeg Jets aim to snap a seven-game losing skid in Philadelphia, during which they've averaged less than two goals per contest. The Flyers will hope to keep cruising, having won five of their last six on home ice while limiting opponents to one goal or fewer in four of those.

The Hurricanes will dress for a second game in as many nights when they visit Scotiabank Arena, where the Toronto Maple Leafs are on a 10-1 run against opponents playing on no rest. Heading east in Ontario, the Ottawa Senators host the Montreal Canadiens having lost five of their last six to the Habs and scoring two or fewer goals each time.

The Predators host the Blue Jackets on the second night of a back-to-back. Nashville has won two straight on no rest but was defeated in eight of nine in this spot before that, but if you think I'm playing Columbus again, you've lost your mind. I could be talked into betting the Vancouver Canucks, who have, uncharacteristically, lost two in a row at home. They've won seven of their last 10 over the Bruins in Vancouver, though, and Boston will be coming into this game having played Friday in Calgary.

Saturday bets:

  • Philadelphia Flyers -1.5
  • Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Montreal Canadiens/Ottawa Senators under 6
  • Vancouver Canucks

Sunday notes

A massive Metropolitan Division showdown is set for Sunday as the Penguins visit the Washington Capitals, each having played Saturday as well. Excluding games against the lowly Red Wings, Pittsburgh is on a 2-7 run in road games on no rest, while the Capitals are 5-3 in the second leg of back-to-backs this season.

Speaking of back-to-backs, the Jets are a modest 4-4 in second legs this season, but that's a massive step up from the Buffalo Sabres, who've lost 10 of their last 13 home games on no rest. Winnipeg visits Buffalo on Sunday.

The Vegas Golden Knights travel to Anaheim, having won four of five all-time visits there and posting a 9-2 record against the Ducks overall. But that doesn't hold a candle to what the Los Angeles Kings have managed to do against the Oilers in California, as Edmonton has lost 15 of its last 16 games in L.A.

Sunday bets:

  • Washington Capitals
  • Winnipeg Jets
  • Los Angeles Kings

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

NHL weekend betting preview: Unpacking a loaded schedule
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