NHL Picks and Predictions for February 4

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Updated: February 4, 2021

The NHL betting board for Thursday has seen three games postponed due to COVID-19, but there are still eight contests left for us to find some frozen betting value.

We’ve gone into the corners and dug out our best plays for today, highlighted by the league’s top offense facing the NHL’s most horrid defense, two teams that both struggle to keep pucks out of the net, and a former star player having a massive bounce-back season.

Check out our best free NHL picks and predictions for Thursday, February 4.

NHL Picks for Today

Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are the league’s best team (7-1-2 record) and lead the NHL in goals scored and goals scored per game. The Senators, on the other hand, are pathetic, with just one win on the season while giving up an NHL-worst 48 goals and 4.8 goals/game.

Ottawa has been extra bad as of late, coughing up at least five goals in four of its last six contests. Oddsmakers are expecting this game to be so lopsided that the Montreal -1.5 puck line, normally a plus-money bet, is sitting as -113—terrible value.

The total is currently at 6.5 but with Carey Price in goal for the Habs, we can’t trust the Sens to do much scoring, so let’s focus on Montreal’s team total. It’s set at a whopping 4.5 goals, but the league’s highest-scoring offense has tallied at least five goals in five of its last seven contests while averaging 12.82 high-danger chances per 60 minutes on the year.

Combine that with the Senators giving up the eighth-most high-danger scoring against per game and the struggles of expected starting goalie Matt Murray – who has an .849 save percentage and a goals saved above average of negative 10.21 – and I’m willing to bet Montreal puts up another big number tonight… with a nice plus-money payoff.

PREDICTION: Montreal team total Over 4.5 (+134)

Dallas Stars vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Another team that’s absolutely cooking to start the season is the Dallas Stars, who are 5-1-1 and sit second behind Montreal with 4.14 points per game. Powering the Stars offense has been a power play that is clicking at a 40.6-percent conversion rate, with veteran Joe Pavelski being the player to benefit the most.

The 36-year-old center signed with Dallas last season and had the worst statistical season of his career, logging just 31 points in 67 games and averaging under 17 minutes per contest for the first time since the 2007-08 season. But this year, with Tyler Seguin injured, Pavelski is playing almost 20 minutes per game and has been white-hot with seven goals and seven assists in seven games—with nine power-play points.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are one of the more disciplined teams in the NHL, taking the third-fewest penalties this season, but they’ve been a little more sloppy lately with eight infractions called against them over their last three games. That includes three penalties on Tuesday against this same Dallas club… and the Stars converted on two of those opportunities.

Simply put, you cannot give the Stars a man advantage, because they will make you pay. I don’t see Columbus tightening things up against a red-hot Stars team tonight, so I’m betting on that lethal power play cashing in again—with Pavelski again being the benefactor.  

PREDICTION: Joe Pavelski anytime goal (+170)

Nashville Predators vs Florida Panthers

Offense is the theme of today’s picks, as we now jump over to the Florida Panthers, who are 5-0-1 and are tied for fifth in goals/game at 3.5. They also allow the seventh-fewest goals against per game at 2.5.

Now, the goals against is a little deceiving as all six of the Panthers’ games have been against Detroit, Columbus, and Chicago – the 30th, 27th, and 22nd-ranked offensive teams in the league – but thankfully that doesn’t matter now because Florida faces the Nashville Predators, who are 28th in league scoring!

It’s been a struggle for the Preds, to say the least. In addition to their scoring woes, they give up the seventh-most goals per game, but they have been somewhat unlucky if you look at advanced analytics. The Predators are seventh in the NHL in Corsi For (shots on net + missed shots + blocked shots) per 60 minutes, as well as Fenwick For percentage, meaning they are generating offensive chances and have a puck possession advantage.

Where Nashville has struggled is creating quality scoring chances, sitting 18th in high-danger chances for per game. As a team, the Predators are shooting a pedestrian 6.7 percent. Unfortunately, the Panthers have been elite at limiting opponents from getting into the danger zone, giving up just 5.67 high-danger chances per 60—the best mark in the league.

With the Predators unlikely to put up many goals, and their soft defense facing the Panthers’ potent offense, I’m going with the Cats on a very reasonable moneyline price.

PREDICTION: Florida ML (-110)

Top NHL Consensus for Today

Want to know who today’s biggest NHL betting and consensus bets are right now? Check out our top NHL consensus picks.

Tuesday’s picks: 0-2 (-2.0 units)
Season record to date: 17-31-2 (-15.24 units)

NHL Betting Card for February 4

  • Montreal team total Over 4.5 (+134)
  • Joe Pavelski anytime goal (+170)
  • Florida ML (-110)

NHL Parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NHL betting picks, you could win $110.62 on a $10 bet?

Use our NHL parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where Can I Bet on the NHL?

You can bet on NHL odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NHL moneylines, puck lines, Over/Under totals, and a ton of NHL prop odds. Head over to our best-suggested sportsbooks for the top spots to bet on NHL odds in your area.


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