Today the weekend kicks off with a loaded slate of 100-plus college basketball games, 8 NBA games and 12 NHL games. For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher, Mike Palm, Thomas Gable and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups, the top lines moves and breaking down late sharp action across all the major sports.
In the meantime, let's discuss some of the top line moves and betting system matches for today's NHL action.
1 p.m. ET: New Jersey Devils (3-3-1) at Buffalo Sabres (3-3-2)
Both of these East Division foes are looking to rebound from losses. The Devils just dropped two straight to the Flyers while the Sabres just fell to the Rangers. This line opened with Buffalo listed as a -140 home favorite. We've seen respected money hit the Sabres, pushing this line up to -150. Buffalo has value as a home favorite (48-16, 75% this season) and a favorite off a loss (28-10, 74%). The total is 5.5 with the over juiced to -120, signaling some liability on a higher scoring game.
7 p.m. ET: Nashville Predators (4-3) at Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-1)
This Central Division showdown features two teams trending in opposite directions. The Predators have won two straight, sweeping Chicago at home. Meanwhile, the defending champion Lightning has lost two straight, first to the Blue Jackets and then the Hurricanes. This line opened with Tampa Bay listed as a hefty -165 favorite and the line has edged up to -170. The Lightning are a home favorite (48-16, 75% this season) and match several buy-low systems, including favorites off a loss (28-10, 74%) and a favorite off a loss vs an opponent off a win (23-7, 77%). Nashville is 0-2 as a dog this season and 0-2 on the road.
7 p.m. ET: Florida Panthers (3-0-1) at Detroit Red Wings (2-5-1)
This is one of the most lopsided matchups of the night. The Panthers remain undefeated in regulation, but lost to the Blue Jackets in a shootout 3-2 their last time out. The Red Wings, on the other hand, have the second-worst record in the NHL and have dropped four straight. This line opened with Florida listed as a -165 favorite and the line has jumped up to -170. The Panthers have value as a favorite off a loss (28-10, 74% this season). Florida is + 4 in goal differential while Detroit is -13, the second worst in the league.
9 p.m. ET: St. Louis Blues (4-2-1) at Anaheim Ducks (3-3-2)
The Blues hold several distinct advantages in this West Division clash. St. Louis is well-rested and hasn't played since Tuesday while the Ducks just played on Thursday. Favorites with at least three days off between games are 12-6 (67%) this season. When they face a tired team (only one or two days off) they improve to a perfect 7-0 (100%). This line opened at -160 and is creeping toward -170, signaling respected money backing the well-rested Blues. We might be looking at a low scoring game in this one. The total is 5.5 with heavy -130 juice to the under. The under is 6-1-1 in Ducks games this season.
10 p.m. ET: Vancouver Canucks (5-5) at Winnipeg Jets (5-2)
No team has played more hockey than the Canucks, who lead the NHL in games played with ten. Vancouver is riding a three-game winning streak, having just beat up on the lowly Senators. The Jets just split the Oilers, earning a 6-4 victory their last time out. This line opened with Winnipeg listed as a -120 home favorite and the line has crept up to -125. The Jets hold a distinct rest vs tired advantage, having last played on Tuesday while the Canucks played Thursday. Favorites with at least three days off between games are 12-6 (67%) this season. When they face a team with only one or two days off they improve to a perfect 7-0 (100%). The Jets also have value as a home favorite (48-16, 75%). The Jets are 3-1 at home this season while the Canucks are 1-3 on the road. The total is 6 with -120 juice to the over, signaling some liability on a high scoring game. The over is 7-3 in Canucks games and 5-2 in Jets games.