NHL Wednesday best bets: Bruins to snap losing skid
We only have two games on our final slate in advance of the All-Star break. Thankfully, they're good ones.
Let's dive into the best way to attack them.
Hurricanes (-150) @ Sabres (+130)
The Hurricanes are sizzling hot right now. They've won six consecutive games, eight of nine, and picked up at least a point in 10 of the last 11.
As well as they're playing, the Sabres offer good value to snap the Hurricanes' lengthy winning streak on Wednesday night.
The Sabres are quietly playing some fantastic hockey of their own. They own a 6-2-2 record over the last 10 games and have dominated opponents in that span, controlling 55% of the expected goal share. That's a top-five rate.
It's their offense that has been leading the charge, which is nothing new, especially on home soil. They've netted a whopping 3.78 goals per 60 minutes in Buffalo. Only the Lightning (4.04 per 60) have scored more efficiently at home in 2022-23.
Although the Hurricanes are a strong defensive team, I think they're going to have a hard time slowing down the Sabres in this spot.
They find themselves in the latter half of a road back-to-back, their third game in four nights, and the expectation is Antti Raanta will get the nod in goal. He owns an .897 save percentage this season and is probably the closest thing the Hurricanes have to an Achilles' heel.
Raanta will be tested plenty against this Sabres team - particularly if Jaccob Slavin is unable to play again - and I have concerns he can hold up.
With a win, the Sabres would find themselves in a playoff spot heading into the All-Star break. This is a big game for them, and that should shine through in their performance.
Bet: Sabres (+130)
Bruins (-125) @ Maple Leafs (+105)
The Bruins are in the midst of an epic slide - by their standards, anyway. They dropped just nine of their first 47 games and have since lost three in a row. Unthinkable!
While a road game prior to a 10-day vacation probably isn't the ideal time to bank on a team to really dig in, the Bruins aren't an ordinary team. Their roster is veteran-heavy, and they take their business seriously. I expect them to come out angry and determined to get a result, finishing the unofficial first half on a high.
More important than anything else, though, is the fact Auston Matthews won't play for the Maple Leafs. As much talk as there has been about Matthews not being as lethal as a season ago, he's still producing at a 92-point pace and ranks sixth among all NHLers in average game score.
Matthews leads the league in five-on-five goals since entering and is a lethal shooter on the man advantage. Suffice to say, the Maple Leafs will feel his absence against the No. 1 team in preventing goals at five-on-five and on the penalty kill.
Boston's top six has more juice than Toronto's sans Matthews, the Bruins are arguably the league's best defensive side, and Linus Ullmark leads the NHL in Goals Saved Above Expected.
There appear to be plenty of edges for the Bruins in this spot. I expect they'll be able to parlay those - along with some extra urgency - and get back in the win column.
Bet: Bruins (-125)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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