There is a lot at stake during all four games on the NHL playoff schedule today. Philadelphia and Montreal meet in the East with the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead in that series. Calgary and Dallas are tied at 2-2 as they play a pivotal Game 5 in the West. The Islanders can sweep the Capitals with a win today as New York has a 3-0 lead over Washington in the East. Vegas is up 3-1 on Chicago and can end their West series with a victory in the late game on Tuesday.
Moneyline favorites won all four games yesterday and have an 18-12 edge over straight up underdogs. Colorado and St. Louis both covered as puck line favorites but dogs are still ahead with 25-5 record against the spread. One goal has decided 17 of the first 30 quarterfinal contests and the average goal total is 5.13 per game. UNDER is ahead of OVER by a 19-11 margin on game total bets. After a profitable 3-1 run on Monday - here are my Tuesday NHL picks.
NHL Quarterfinal Playoff Picks Tuesday, August 18
Philadelphia at Montreal – 3:00 PM ET Scotiabank Arena
Slightly behind a few quarterfinal series, Montreal is the designated home team for Game 4 of their series with Philadelphia. Flyers rookie goaltender Carter Hart stopped 27 of 28 shots and the Flyers opened this series with 2-1 victory. Montreal bounced back in a big way as the Canadiens posted a 5-0 win in Game 2. Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi both scored twice for Montreal and Carey Price made 30 saves to earn his second shutout over seven starts.
Both teams went back to a defensive style of play in Game 3 and Philadelphia won 1-0 to take a 2-1 series lead. Jakub Voracek scored 5:21 into the first period and Carter Hart made 23 saves to earn his first career NHL playoff shutout. This is the lowest scoring quarterfinal series as there have been just nine total goals during the first three games. Both goaltenders have played well and I expect that trend to continue in Game 4. Bet on the Philadelphia moneyline.
Game 4 Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (-135)
Calgary at Dallas – 5:30 PM ET Rogers Place Arena
Dallas and Calgary have traded wins during the first four games of their quarterfinal series in the West. The Flames posted a 3-2 win in Game 1 as Dillon Dube scored twice and Rasmus Andersson potted the game winner with 3:59 left in the second period. Dallas kicked their offense into gear and outshot Calgary 36-26 during a 5-4 victory in Game 2. After allowing five goals the night before, Can Talbot stopped 35 shots to lead the Fames to a 2-0 win in Game 3.
Game 4 was tied four times before Dallas posted a 5-4 victory in overtime. The Stars outshot the Flames 62-40 and Alexander Radulov scored with 3:55 left in the first OT period. Alternating low and high total scores (5, 9, 2, 9) the Flames have won two games by a 5-2 count while the Stars two wins have been by 10-8 margin. Game 5 winners, in best-of-seven series that are tied at 2-2, have a 211-58 series winning record. The offense on both sides will push the total OVER.
Game 5 Pick: Over 5.5 goals (+120)
Washington at New York - 8:00 PM ET Scotiabank Arena
New York has outscored Washington by an 11-5 margin to take a 3-0 lead in this East quarterfinal series. T.J. Oshie scored two first period power play goals for the Capitals before the Islanders responded with four straight goals during a 4-2 win in Game 1. Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring for Washington before five different New York players scored during a 5-2 victory in Game 2. The Islanders outshot the Capitals by a 59-51 margin during the first two games.
Both teams tightened up on defense but the result was the same as the Islanders took a 3-0 series lead with a 2-1 OT win in Game 3. Anders Lee put New York up 1-0 in the first period before Evgeny Kuznetsov tied the score for Washington in the middle frame. The third period was scoreless and Mathew Barzal scored the game winner 4:28 into the first overtime. Three lines are scoring for New York and Semyon Varlamov has a solid 1.71 goals against average.
Game 4 Pick: New York Islanders -1.5 (+250)
Chicago at Vegas - 10:30 PM ET Rogers Place Arena
One of the hottest teams in the NHL playoffs - Vegas built a 3-0 series lead before Chicago won Game 4 to stay alive in this Western Conference quarterfinal. Vegas led 2-1 after two periods and Reilly Smith scored twice in the third frame as the Golden Knights posted a 4-1 win in Game 1. Dylan Strome scored for Chicago, with 14 seconds left third period, to send Game 2 into overtime. Reilly Smith scored 7:13 into the OT period and Vegas won 4-3 to take a 2-0 series lead.
William Karlsson and Patrick Brown put Vegas up 2-0 after two periods and Vegas took a 3-0 series lead with a 2-1 win in Game 3. Despite being outshot by a large margin (49-25) Chicago kept their season alive with a 3-1 win in Game 4. Drake Caggiula, Matthew Highmore and Alex DeBrincat scored for the Blackhawks. The Hawks playoff veterans have been largely silent during this series. Betting on Vegas closing out Chicago - I am laying the Game 5 puck line.
Game 5 Pick: Las Vegas Golden Knights -1.5 (+135)
SI NHL gambling analyst Roy Larking has been posting game day playoff predictions since August 3rd, 2020. His overall record is 18-19 (+99.67) through Monday, August 17th, 2020.