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Best NHL Bets Today | NHL Picks, February 21

Written by: Michael Hanich
Published February 21, 2024
8 min read
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim and New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt vie for the puck

Today’s set of games is mild compared to the rest of the games earlier this week. That doesn’t mean some games have great value in terms of sorting out the playoff race or in the sports betting industry. Two nationally televised games have great value to place bets on at DraftKings. One game is closer than it should be, facing one of the worst teams in the league. Another has the potential to be a preview for the Stanley Cup Finals.

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. Bet $5, Get the No-Sweat First Bet up to $1,000, act fast!

My Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (PHI)

The first of two nationally televised games tonight is set as the Philadelphia Flyers (29-20-7) go on the road to take on the Chicago Blackhawks (15-38-3). The Flyers are coming in as favorites, but not by much that other teams facing the Blackhawks should be.

The Blackhawks are only ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the list of the worst teams in the NHL, but there is momentum with the team due to the return of star rookie center Connor Bedard. The return of Bedard was a big push for the Blackhawks, as his goal and assist were essential for the 3-2 home win over the Ottawa Senators last Saturday to shed an eight-game losing streak. Chicago followed that game with a 6-3 road loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

One month ago, the Flyers were quietly one of the most dangerous teams in the Eastern Conference. After a huge road trip and a big 5-1 home win over the Dallas Stars, the Flyers went on a five-game losing streak against a brutal slate of opponents. They have been dominant defensively in the month of February, outside of their two consecutive losses to Toronto and New Jersey.

Before the losses to the Maple Leafs and Devils, the Flyers only gave up six goals in the four wins. Philadelphia is coming into this game with the 12th-ranked scoring defense (2.91 goals allowed per game). Chicago, on the other hand, is ranked 29th in the league in goals allowed per game (3.54), due to their roster lacking high-caliber talent.

Other than Bedard, there isn’t a confident scorer for the Blackhawks that can take a game over. That is the reason they only average 2.09 goals per game, along with the San Jose Sharks. While the Flyers are not an explosive offense, they have enough productivity to get them consistently on the board.

Boston Bruins vs. Edmonton Oilers

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My Pick: Boston Bruins (BOS)

If there is a game that is worthy of being nationally televised tonight, it will be the Eastern Conference versus Western Conference battle between the Boston Bruins (33-12-11) and the Edmonton Oilers (33-18-1). This game has the potential to be a preview for the Stanley Cup Finals due to the elite play of both teams coming out of the NHL All-Star Break.

At one point in the season, the Oilers were one of the most disappointing teams in the league. They made a significant coaching change, improved their defensive play and started on a 16-game winning streak that lasted from December last year to an entire month. Since that streak, the Oilers have won four of their last seven games, but are on a two-game winning streak with wins at Dallas and Arizona.

The Bruins are one of the most consistent teams in the league based on their play on both sides of the ice throughout the season. The most difficult stretch Boston has experienced this season was a four-game losing streak this past week, where they also won one game in six matchups. The Bruins ended that losing streak by defeating the Dallas Stars at home with 4-3 in a shootout.

The Oilers have the edge offensively, as they average 3.56 goals per game (fifth in the NHL) compared to the Bruins, who average 3.32 goals per game (13th). The Bruins, however, have the edge defensively, as they allow an average of 2.64 goals per game (fifth in the NHL) compared to the Oilers, who allow an average of 2.88 goals (11th).

The Bruins are more championship-ready, despite the Oilers being incredibly close. If there is a team to trust more, even if it is barely there, it will be Boston. Either way, this game will be fun to watch.

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Michael Hanich

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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.

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