Home | News | Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 5th, 2024

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 5th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

As the NHL comes out of its All-Star break on Monday – although some teams won’t return to the ice until the weekend – the books favor a Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers Stanley Cup Final with the Oilers slight overall favorites to become the first Canadian team to hoist the Cup since 1993. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups, including Edmonton trying to tie a league record.

Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week (February 5th, 2024)

New York Islanders vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

  • When: Monday, February 5th, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada
  • Radio: 88.7FM WRHU FM (Islanders) // TSN 1050 (Maple Leafs)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: Islanders (+1.5) // Maple Leafs (-1.5)

All eyes will be on Leafs star Auston Matthews as he resumes his chase to reach the 70-goal plateau. Matthews leads the league with 40 and Toronto has 35 games remaining — he’s +200 to get there. Matthews set the Leafs franchise record two seasons ago with 60 goals to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goalscorer for the second time in his career.

The 70-goal plateau has been reached just 14 times in NHL history by eight players. Wayne Gretzky holds the record with 92 goals and scored at least 70 in three other seasons. Brett Hull scored at least 70 goals three times, and Mario Lemieux twice. Five other players got there once. It last happened in the 1992-93 season, when both Alexander Mogilny and Teemu Selanne scored 76.

Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness recently saw how dominant Matthews has been up close as he scored the winner in overtime against the Jets last Wednesday in Toronto before scoring his 40th in the Leafs’ victory in Winnipeg on Saturday.

“He has that chance (to score 70),” said Bowness, one of the four coaches for Saturday’s All-Star Game in Toronto. “The way he plays the game and how he sees the ice, how he can disappear and (teammates) know where he is, it’s in the net before you can blink. “He has the release, he has the hockey IQ, and he has the confidence. He’s a natural goalscorer.”

Team Auston Matthews won the All-Star Game on Saturday and he was named the MVP. Team Matthews beat Team Connor McDavid 7-4 in the finale. Three of Matthews’ teammates with the Maple Leafs — Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly and William Nylander — were all part of Team Matthews and contributed to the title on their home ice at Scotiabank Arena.

“The whole weekend in itself is special for all of us,” Matthews said. “Especially the host city and the hometown guys. It was nice to cap it off with a win, and everybody goes home happy. We wanted to win, for sure.”

The Leafs lost at the Islanders 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 13. Bo Horvat scored 46 seconds into overtime as New York recovered after giving up a two-goal lead. Brock Nelson and Kyle Palmieri each had a goal and an assist and Ilya Sorokin finished with 36 saves. Matthews had the game’s first goal for Toronto. Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves.

NHL Betting Pick: Maple Leafs

Edmonton Oilers vs. Vegas Golden Knights

  • When: Tuesday, February 6th, 2024, 10:00 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, NV
  • TV: ESPN+
  • Radio: 630 CHED AM (Oilers) // KKGK 98.9 FM (Golden Knights)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NHL Betting Odds: TBA

The Oilers come out of the break having won 16 straight games, one shy of the NHL record set by the Pittsburgh Penguins from March 9, 1993 to April 10, 1993. That Pittsburgh team featured six future Hall of Famers: Lemieux, Ron Francis, Larry Murphy, Joe Mullen, Tom Barrasso and Jaromir Jagr.

The Oilers’ winning streak began on Dec. 21, 2023. During this streak, the Oilers have allowed two or fewer goals in 14 consecutive games (a franchise record). A coaching change from Jay Woodcroft to Kris Knoblauch and the addition of Hall of Famer Paul Coffey to coach the defense has made the difference.

Since becoming the boss behind the bench, the Oilers have boasted a plus-50 goal differential, leading the league, and their average of 3.84 goals per game ranks third — a statistic unsurprising given their offensive talent. What’s even more impressive and almost out of character, however, is that they’ve only given up an average of 2.28 goals per game against in that span, ranking second in the NHL.

Before the coaching change, the Oilers’ penalty-killing unit was 30th in the NHL, clicking at a 70% rate. Throughout Woodcroft’s tenure, there was no fixed set of forwards, resulting in a mix of players up front on the unit. When Knoblauch took over, he put assistant coach Mark Stuart in charge of the penalty kill and the team generally has had forward unit combinations: typically, Ryan McLeod with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Mattias Janmark with Connor Brown, and McLeod with Warren Foegele. This has resulted in more chemistry among the group. Since Knoblauch took over, the Oilers’ penalty kill has ranked first in the league, clicking at an 89.3% success rate.

It’s ironic that the Oilers can tie the record against Vegas, as the Knights knocked the Oilers out of the 2023 playoffs. They have met once this regular season, a 5-4 shootout victory by Edmonton at home on Nov. 28. Star Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists, and added the shootout winner. Sam Gagner, Mattias Janmark and Evander Kane also scored for the Oilers.

Should the Oilers get past the defending champions on Tuesday, they can break the consecutive wins record on Friday at Anaheim. They’ve outscored the Ducks 15-4 over two games this season.

NHL Betting Pick: Oilers

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READ MORE: Top NHL Betting Picks of the Week – February 12th, 2024