Computer Picks: 03/03/2010—Everybody Back to Work

Updated: March 3, 2010 at 8:20 pm by Jeff Tay

The post-Olympic goal rush appeared to be on again this year, as 9 out of the 12 games played on Tuesday went over their posted totals. This Wednesday though, appears to offer some less explosive matchups, and with that, perhaps some far less playable Overs. However, Tuesday was also an exceptional day for the underdogs, which overall went 8-4 on the moneyline (for some big time plus-units), and although Wednesday may not see a repeat of that level of profitability, legitimate cases could be made for taking a look at some of the underdogs here as well.

At least, the computer analysis sure seems to suggest so:

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Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

There was a lot of pre-Olympic hype around two weeks ago, so Washington’s 3-game losing streak might have slipped a bit under the radar. The bottom line though, was that Washington was not playing good defense. Over their last 6 games before the break, the Capitals allowed 26 goals against, and faced 35 or more shots on goal in 5 out of those 6 contests. At that rate, any solid home team has a reasonable chance at beating them, and Buffalo would certainly qualify.

Vancouver Canucks vs. Detroit Red Wings

The Canucks continued to play that dangerous game on Tuesday of falling into an early deficit and then pushing back late. They are capable of doing well in that situation, but one has to wonder how many times they can use that trick before the magic wears out. Meanwhile, Detroit is finally healthy again, and will look to continue battling for their playoff lives. The Red Wings have already beaten the Canucks three times this season, and a fourth time would not be too much of a stretch here with the Canucks playing in a back-to-back. However, -145 may or may not be the price you want to pay for the 8th place team in the conference (the math here says that it isn’t).

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Florida Panthers

The question here is whether or not Florida will ever score more than 2 goals in a game again this season. Against Philadelphia, this will be a tough task, as the Flyers have not allowed more than 2 goals to an opponent since January 28th—a span of 9 games. Florida has produced some good results against Philadelphia this season, but they have currently lost 7 straight games, and their GAA has slipped significantly since the end of January. At this moment, Philadelphia is the far superior team.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Needless to say, this is a bizarre and outlandish prediction. In almost every statistical category, the Blackhawks have a significant advantage, but Chicago has not looked good against any of their last 4 opponents which consisted of the Stars, Thrashers, Blue Jackets, and Islanders. The Oilers could be yet another opponent that the Blackhawks will take a little too lightly, and the Oilers, who hung tough against the Predators on Tuesday, could hang tough here again. The very rare offering of +325 on the moneyline has to at least garner some attention.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks

Colorado may be one of the biggest surprises of the season, but most of their success has come on home ice for them. The Avs are a respectable 15-12-4 on the road, but the Ducks offer them a really tough test, sporting a 19-8-2 record at home.  The Ducks have actually won an amazing 11 consecutive home games, and have scored at least 4 goals in 9 of those 11 wins. Colorado, meanwhile, has played 12 of their past 15 games on home ice, and did not look comfortable in any of the 3 games that they played on the road during this stretch. Anaheim looks poised to take this one.

Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flames

Neither of these two teams were playing all that well going into the break, but there could be a number of minor advantages that go to Minnesota. For one, the Wild have done very well against the Flames this season in their two meetings so far. Calgary managed to score just 1 goal in each game and was outshot significantly on both occasions. Minnesota is also the higher-scoring team in this matchup, which is a great advantage to have in a potential tight-checking affair. The first team to score 2 goals could very well be the winner in this one.