Computer Picks: 01/02/2010—Pick’em Up on Monday

Updated: February 1, 2010 at 7:42 am by Jeff Tay

The moneyline odds for this Monday’s set of 4 games will all feature payouts fairly close to even money, and this is somewhat indicative of how vulnerable the participating home teams currently appear.  The biggest Monday home favourites of Pittsburgh and Calgary, both opening at -130, will each be facing their own unique set of challenges, as Pittsburgh takes on a strong Eastern Conference contender on the second night of a back-to-back, and Calgary attempts to win consecutive games for the first time in almost a month, right after making a significant player trade. Whether either of these teams will be able to win their games is, of course, up for debate, but the level of uncertainty that their situations provide should certainly give second thought to those who would consider backing them as favourites. If any further argument is needed for not betting on the home teams this Monday, then also allow me to once again mention (as I did last week and may potentially mention again next week) that Monday has been by far the worst day of the week for home teams this season, where they have combined all season long for a .446 win percentage (the overall win percentage for home teams this season has been .555).

Meanwhile, with the aforementioned factors aside, the Computer Picks are also leaning towards 3 out of the 4 road teams this Monday, as they too have keyed in on some other important stats which favour the visiting sides. Let’s take a look:

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Moneyline Play of the Day: Philadelphia Flyers +110

Despite their frequent big offensive outbursts, the Flyers have not been that reliable of a team to count on to score enough goals on a nightly basis, and they have been particularly up and down with regards to that on the road this season. However, one trend that has favoured the Flyers as of late has been their ability to score plenty of goals in games following games in which they have been held to 2 goals or less, and they have also not been held to 2 or less goals in consecutive games since December 21st. Philadelphia will look to continue that streak here against a Calgary defense that has held strong at home all season, but was not sternly challenged in its last appearance against Edmonton. Meanwhile, if the Flyers can get to even 3 goals here, then this game may become well out of reach for the Flames, as they have scored more than 2 goals in just 5 of their last 22 home games, and 4 of these 5 occasions were actually just 3 goal performances against some fairly weak opposition. Philadelphia has also been plenty capable of shutting down unproductive home offenses on the road this season, as they have maintained a 2.08 GAA against home teams that have averaged less than 3 goals per game. The Flames, of course, fly way under this average, at just 2.43 goals per game at home this season, so Calgary will either need to post back-to-back 3+ goal performances, which they haven’t done since January 5th (13 games) and only done once in the last 2 months, or they will need to hold Philadelphia’s offense to 2 goals or less, which 6 out of the Flyer’s last 9 road opponents have failed to accomplish. It just seems like a lot is being asked of Calgary in order for them to win this game.

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Over/Under Play of the Day: Anaheim Ducks vs. Florida Panthers Under 5.5

Statistically, this might be one of the easiest Under 5.5 plays that we’ll see in a long time, provided that Tomas Vokoun gets the start for Florida. The Anaheim Ducks have quite simply been stifled by good goaltending on their current run through the Southeast Division, and they may be facing arguably the hottest opposing goaltender yet on this road trip in Vokoun. Furthermore, the Ducks have also averaged just 2.10 goals per game on the road this season, and despite recent great offensive outputs at home, they have rarely been able to carry that over onto the road, where they have averaged 1.80 goals per game in their last 10. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers are no offensive machine themselves, having scored just 9 goals in their last 7 games overall and just 7 goals in their last 4 home games. Amazingly enough though, the Panthers have actually won all of their last 4 home games, and Tomas Vokoun has had shutouts in 3 of them. Eventually, all good things must come to an end, but Anaheim doesn’t appear too likely to be the team to put a Florida game over the total for the first time in 7 games.

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Other Games:

 

– Ryan Miller and Marc-Andre Fleury make one strong case for the Under 5.5. Pittsburgh also hasn’t been great in games following wins recently.

– Many people have gone broke now, betting Edmonton’s losing streak to end. Record-wise, they will be playing their weakest opponent yet, but Carolina’s recent turnaround has been something to take note of. Definitely can’t bet on Edmonton here.

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