Xam’s Daily Gems:
Rangers Money Line -170
The Rangers have been hot and are coming into this game well rested. They’ve won 4 straight games, have only played one game since February 7th, and are 17-7 at home. As the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference, they have their eyes set on a legit Stanley Cup run. The Flames have also won 4 straight games, but they have been up and down all year. Both teams have scored a lot of goals this year. The difference in these teams is the defense and goalie play. Jacob Markstrom has been inconsistent recently, giving up 3 goals or more in 3 of his last 6 games. Igor Shesterkin has also had his ups and downs, but he was dominant against the Flames earlier this year, giving up just 1 goal. The Flames are also at a rest disadvantage in this game. This will be their 4th game since February 6th. This is the last game of their road trip, so they may be tired and ready to get home. The Rangers have a home ice edge, the rest edge, and are the more experience team. If Shesterkin can contain the Flames, the Rangers should be able to put some shots in the net tonight.
Devils Money Line -144
Both teams are coming into this game needing a win and not playing their best hockey. The Devils have played 3 tough opponents right out of the All-Star Break. Theyare also under .500 at home this year. Their issue this year has been their defense. They’ve given up a whopping 177 goals this season! However, the Kraken likely aren’t the team to take advantage of this, as they are averaging just 2.78 goals per game this season. The question is what goalie Nico Daws can do for the Devils tonight. He’s been inconsistent in his 8 games played this year. The Devils have been looking for better goalie play all year. Poor goalie play is threatening to keep them out of the playoffs entirely! This is a game they simply have to have. If Daws can settle himself in between the pipes, the offense should be able to get going at home tonight. Jack Hughes, Jesper Bratt, Tyler Toffoli, and Nico Hischier are more than capable of taking over tonight. If they can get some defense and goalie play, the Devils have the talent on offense to get it done tonight.
Knicks Money Line -152
Despite suffering through key injuries, the Knicks have been persevering. They’re coming into tonight having lost 2 straight games, but still winners in 7 of their last 10. The Rockets, meanwhile, have been dreadful this year. They have lost 4 straight games and are sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference. Being without Fred VanVleet has really hurt them. This will also be Houston’s 3rd game in 4 nights, while the Knicks have only played twice since February 6th. The Knicks need to get back to their defensive prowess, and they should be able to tonight. The Rockets are only averaging 113 points per game this year. Their defense has also regressed in the last 10 games. The Knicks have the rest edge, the talent edge, and more to play for in this one. The Rockets have been good at home this year, but the Knicks are on a mission. They should get their offense going and with time off their defense should be better as well. If they can contain Jalen Green and Alperen Sengun, they should be able to do enough offensively to get the job done tonight.
Warriors -1 -110
The Warriors have finally turned it on like everyone expected them to. They have won 4 straight and 7 of their last 10 games. In doing so they’ve gotten back to .500 and now sit in 10th place in the Western Conference. Both the offense and defense has improved. The Jazz, meanwhile, are trending in the opposite direction. They’re 4-6 in their last 10 games and seemingly have only gotten worse. The Jazz do have the rest edge in this game, but with the way Golden State is playing, and the way Utah is playing defensively, the Warriors should have no issues doing what they want to offensively. This game will come down to Golden State’s defense. Utah can score. They’re scoring nearly 118 points per game. If guys like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Jonathan Kuminga can contain Laurri Markkanen and Collin Sexton, the Warriors should be able to do enough offensively to get the win. They have the championship pedigree and know what it takes to get the job done. That experience will be important tonight.
Golden Knights Money Line -146
The Vegas Golden Knights are coming into this game well rested, as they haven’t played since February 8th. The Wild are coming into this game with one less day of rest and having to travel. Vegas has also been downright dominant at home this year, going 19-5-2 at the T-Mobile Arena this year. Their offense has led the way this year, scoring the 4th most goals in the Western Conference. This poses a problem for the Minnesota Wild, who are tied for the 4th most goals given up in the Western Conference this season. Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson has given up 3.19 goals per game on the road this season. That’s not going to work in a game like this. Adin Hill has been a stud at home for Vegas, giving up 1.62 goals per game in front of the home crowd. The Golden Knights are trying to hold off the Avalanche for the 3 seed in the West, and they really need this game. They have eyes on a Stanley Cup Finals run, but to do that they need to win games like this tonight. They are the better team, at home, and have the rest edge. If Hill can play to his usual self, Jonathan Marchessault, Mark Stone, and their friends shouldn’t have any issues scoring tonight.
Timberwolves/Clippers Over 224 Points -110
This is going to be a heavyweight bout between the 2 top seeds in the Western Conference. The Clippers are the hottest team in the league, and they’ve rocketed up the standings thanks to a dominant offense now averaging 118 points on the season. The Timberwolves have done it in the opposite way. Their defense has been good this year, holding teams to 107 points per game. However, their offense has been fine, averaging 113 points per game. Importantly, both teams are coming into this game very well rested. The Clippers have played one game since February 7th, and the Timberwolves haven’t played since February 8th. Given that the Clippers come into this game just 1/2 game back of the 1 seed, this game will decide who ends the night atop the Western Conference. Both teams will show up for this game, and the Clippers should be able to come through offensively with these days off. The key will likely come down to Minnesota’s offense. If Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns bring their offense tonight, we should be in store for plenty of points between all of the offensive superstars in this game.