Greetings bettors! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and now that the holidays are winding down into the new year, it’s time to finish off 2009’s betting calendar with some positive outcomes heading into the ball drop.
Glad to be getting this one out to you earlier today. I’ll be playing in my high school’s Alumni Game tonight, (Class of ’05) and it should be a real dandy. I’m taking over-15 in that game. Props to fellow DF columnist Ricky Daniels for looking at some of today’s likely outcomes. Again, just to differentiate our columns, you’ll notice that mine are more high-risk, high-reward plays while Mr. Daniels is focusing on low-risk, low-reward plays (aka, I’d never call for a -275 line). Either strategy can be beneficial and make money.
On to tonight’s picks!
LA -1.5 (+225) v. MIN
Love the value on this play. Despite Justin Williams’s horrifying leg injury, the Kings are quite healthy and have beaten up Minnesota goaltending of late. Niklas Backstrom has posted an 0-2-1 with a 3.10 in his last four appearances against the Kings while Josh Harding gave up six goals on 23 shots in his last appearance. Nobody is confirmed yet for tonight.
Jonathan Quick, meanwhile, is 4-0 against the Wild with a 2.20. The Kings offense has been sputtering of late, but it will help to have Ryan Smyth and Wayne Simmonds back in the lineup with a game under their belts. It’s a battle of sputtering powerplays as the Kings are 1-for-their-last-16 and the Wild are 2-for-their-last-20. The under may have good value here also.
Either way, the Kings have been one of the better home teams and the Wild are just 7-14 on the road. It might take an empty netter, but I look for the Kings to put together a good showing tonight.
CGY -1.5 (+235) v. EDM
Man, we’re going balls out on the RLS tonight. Gotta take another spread game here as the Flames and Oilers battle in a provincial rivalry. Coach Brent Sutter is more than displeased with his team’s play of late and that might just fire the fire to light the Flames.
Jeff Deslauriers has been pretty rough at home going 2-5 with a 3.49. Contrast that with being 6-4 on the road. Miikka Kiprusoff is at the opposite end of the spectrum going 9-4 on the road with a GAA barely above 2. He was also pulled in his last game and that gives him something to prove on the rebound here tonight.
The Flames seem to be poised for a turnaround and nearly a month’s worth of frustration might be let out on the hapless Oilers. Love the +235 value and I think it’s a very solid wager for tonight.
MTL +110 @ OTT
The Jaroslav Halak show is back on tonight against the Ottawa Senators. Halak has been downright ridiculous over his last four games allowing just six goals on 186 shots. That’s an average of 46.5 shots per game. It will take a Herculean effort from the Alfredsson-less Senators to put 46 shots on Halak.
Ottawa’s 0-for-their-last-18 with the man advantage while Montreal’s is clicking at over 50% over the last five games. Couple that with a 35% road powerplay and Montreal looks good to pull off the upset in this one.
Good luck tonight, players!