NHL weekend preview: Panthers to stay hot vs. Binnington-less Blues

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

Thursday was a good night on the ice. We won both shot props and rightfully backed the Colorado Avalanche to win in regulation. Had things gone differently for the New York Islanders in overtime, we'd have swept the board. Alas, a 3-1 night will have to do.

Let's keep climbing as we head into the weekend.

Sharks (+170) at Rangers (-200)
Dec. 3, 7 p.m. ET

You generally want to target strong defensive teams and quality goaltending when looking at unders. This game certainly meets that criteria.

The San Jose Sharks, somewhat surprisingly, have played fantastic defensive hockey of late. At five-on-five, they've given up just 1.77 expected goals per 60 minutes in the last seven games. That's good for second in the NHL behind only the Boston Bruins.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers have certainly found their footing defensively after a horrendous start to the season. They've allowed just 1.89 expected goals per 60 in the last seven, which slots them fourth in that span.

Seven games is a rather arbitrary cutoff, but the point is both teams enter this contest playing stingy defense.

And it's not as if the goaltenders need the help. James Reimer sits eighth among those with 10-plus appearances in goals saved above expectation per start.

Igor Shesterkin grades out even higher in that regard, sitting third at +0.828 GSAE per start.

With both teams limiting quality, and each starter playing at a high level, I don't expect fireworks in this game.

Bet: under 5.5 goals (-105)

Blues (+130) at Panthers (-140)
Dec. 4, 1 p.m. ET

The St. Louis Blues are going to be a common fade for the next couple of weeks. Starting netminder Jordan Binnington is in COVID-19 protocol for around 10 days, which means a lot of Ville Husso. That's bad news for St. Louis.

Though his numbers are solid through five games, Husso posted a .893 save percentage last year and was rather mediocre in the AHL the two seasons prior. There's a pretty long track record that suggests he's nothing more than a fringe NHL goaltender.

The Florida Panthers are certainly going to put him to the test. They lead the league in shot attempts per 60 and sit second - behind only the Toronto Maple Leafs - in scoring chances per 60. They should be able to generate a lot against Husso, and I like their odds of capitalizing.

Back the Panthers on home soil against a Blues side missing key players Binnington and Justin Faulk.

Bet: Panthers (-140)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

NHL weekend preview: Panthers to stay hot vs. Binnington-less Blues
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