Expectations for the Wild and Hurricanes have certainly been high, which both teams have delivered on to this point of the season. The visiting Wild enter this matchup with three straight victories and a 6-2-2 record over their past ten games, while the Hurricanes are sitting at 5-3-2 over that same sample size. Each team continues to sit comfortably in a playoff position, and the pieces there could lead them to a deep playoff run.
The Wild and Hurricanes already met once back at the end of November, which saw Minnesota pick up a low scoring 2-1 victory. These teams are both strong defensively, and in goal, so it was hardly surprising to see this type of game environment. These teams have consistently played to their strengths, which could make some value present here.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Wild are expected to start Filip Gustavsson, while the Hurricanes should do the same with Frederik Andersen. The Wild netminder has posted an 11-6-1 record, paired with a .926 save percentage, while Andersen is sitting at 7-3, along with a .903 save percentage. Minnesota should have a slight advantage in goal tonight, but don’t discount what Andersen can bring to the Hurricanes crease.
The Canes are one of the top teams in the NHL for a reason and should be treated as such. Still, the Wild are playing some strong hockey and have already demonstrated they have the recipe for defeating the Hurricanes. In addition, there’s also a lot to like about the Wild’s moneyline price of +142, which warrants consideration tonight.
Best Bet: Wild moneyline (+142)
With these teams already combining for just three goals earlier, the total set for tonight at 5.5 should hardly be a shock. The Wild and Hurricanes each sit in the top ten in goals allowed per game, while neither offense scores at a very high clip either. Over the Wild’s past five games, two matchups have seen six or more goals scored, while four of the past five have seen that transpire for the Hurricanes. Even with those recent trends for the Hurricanes, these teams facing off together doesn’t exactly scream goals, meaning there’s value here in backing the under 5.5 at -106.
Best Bet: Under 5.5 (-106)
There’s a lot of talent on this Minnesota Wild roster up front, but there’s certainly some value here tonight in targeting one of their veterans. Mats Zuccarello spent a big chunk of his career in the Metropolitan Division and is familiar with how the Hurricanes play, leading us to like his price a lot tonight to score. The shifty forward has already tallied 44 points in 41 games and is a play driver offensively for the Wild. With Minnesota coming in hot, there’s definite value in backing Zuccarello to score tonight at +260.
Best Prop: Mats Zuccarello to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+260)
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