Computer Picks: 09/02/2010—Tuesday’s Fave 5?

Updated: February 9, 2010 at 10:26 am by Jeff Tay

Trends have seemingly come in waves over the course of this long NHL season; at the beginning of it, a number of teams got out to great starts only to eventually fall way back into the pack, scoring during the beginning of the season was also way higher than what it was in mid-December, and there was also a brief period of time in late November when underdogs were winning close to 50% of all the games that were taking place. Many of these early season trends then ended up giving way to a very interesting January, which saw a number of teams go on very extreme winning and losing streaks/stretches. The question is, with many of these streaks now coming to an end, will there soon be a new trend on the horizon?

On Monday, the betting favourites actually went a perfect 5 for 5 on the moneyline; a very rare occurrence when considering that favourites this season have only won 57.75% of all the games so far. Furthermore, just two days before that, a total of 14 games took place on Saturday, and out of those 14 games, 10 of the winners were also the betting favourites. Is it time now to start firing away at the NHL favourites?

There is certainly no guarantee right now that this would be the correct way to go, but it is definitely something worth keeping an eye on for now, and if another 5 favourites should happen to win on Tuesday night (5 are projected here to win), then it may be an open invitation to start betting the chalk.

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Best Moneyline Offer: Tampa Bay Lightning +115

The Pitch: Vancouver might be the worst road favourite in the entire league. The Canucks have amassed a record of 3-8 this season as road favourites, and all 3 of those wins have involved coming back from at least 2-0 down. The “road trip from hell” has also appeared to have taken some effect on Vancouver already, as they have also been down by at least 2 goals in each of the 4 games on the trip so far. Tampa Bay, meanwhile has won 9 of their last 12 home games, and they have only given up more than 2 goals on 3 separate occasions during these 12 games. A vast improvement in net has led the charge for the Lightning.

The Fine Print: Vancouver is probably the better of these two teams, and they have actually been excellent this season at generating mini winning streaks. The Canucks won their last game against Boston this past Saturday coming off a loss, and will be looking to extend that win into a 2-game win streak here; a spot in which they have amassed a record of 10-3 this season. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has been getting excellent goaltending, but their offense has been up and down from almost game to game. Vancouver averages 2.73 goals per game on the road this season, and Tampa Bay has only scored more than 2 goals in 6 of their last 12 at home. Tampa’s margin for error may be very slim.

Final Transaction: Buy it and try it. Vancouver is still getting too much respect on the road and Tampa Bay not enough at home. If this game appears to be anywhere near 50%-50% to you, then the plus-money is definitely the side to lean with.

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Best Over/Under Offer: Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks Under 5.5

The Pitch: The Blackhawks have a reputation for being a high-octane run-and-gun team, and although they certainly have the talent to be that, their stabilizing force this season has been their play defensively.  In fact, Chicago has actually had trouble scoring recently, with just 7 goals to show for in their last 4 games, and they have also managed just 7 goals as well in their last 4 home games. Dallas, meanwhile, continues to be a night-and-day team at home and on the road, and over their last 10 road games they have averaged only 1.7 goals per game. Chicago has a GAA of 1.71 over their last 7 games at home, and so there should be no surprise if they at least manage to hold the fort against the Stars.

The Fine Print: This is where this pick gets completely derailed. In two meetings this season, Dallas has beaten the Blackhawks by final scores of 5-4 and 4-3, the latter of which took place in Chicago on October 17th. Dallas has also allowed an average of 4.00 goals against over their last 6 road games. This could easily be the game for at least one of these two teams to break out of their home/road offensive slumps, and both teams certainly have the talent to score a lot of goals.

The Final Transaction: Buyers beware. Both head-to-head meetings this season have featured at least one 5-goal period, and it appears that this may be the style of play that they both want to play against each other. The Dallas goaltending on the road this season has also been a ticking time-bomb, and has seen some very “safe” leads get blown in an instant. This one is by no means a safe bet.

Special Promo: If you didn’t like the Over/Under play, try sprinkling Dallas on the moneyline. They’ve already done it twice this season (beaten the Blackhawks), and now at +200, thrice would be real nice.

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Also in Stock: 5 other games that could certainly be of interest to many bettors.

EDITOR’S CHOICE: The home team has already won all 4 games in this series this season, and has also won 8 of the last 10 meetings overall. Forida is not even an offensive threat at the moment, so Carolina should take this one handily.

Dead Batteries: The ’09-’10 Islanders are starting to look like the ’08-’09 Islanders again, now riding a 7-game losing streak in which they haven’t scored more than 2 goals in any of those games. The Predators have looked somewhat rejuvenated by their recent home stand, but their once electric road offense has also lost its charge. It’s difficult to bet either team here.

Division Chumps?: This game will probably finish 2-1 one way or the other. The last two meetings were 2-1 finals, with Buffalo winning the most recent meeting on January 29th, but Buffalo hasn’t won a game since then, and their GAA in their last 5 games has been an uncharacteristic 3.60, as opposed to Boston’s last 5 GAA of 2.00. Both offenses, meanwhile, have been scoring close to 2 goals per game.

Angry Senators: The Sens will be fired up to the max after their 5-0 loss to Toronto on Saturday, and they have had very little trouble holding their last 5 home opponents to an average of just 1.20 goals per game, so Calgary will need to perform quite a feat to escape with a victory here. Calgary is also still struggling on offense, while the Sens have certainly not had any trouble scoring at home lately.

Up in the Air: Fifty-fifty seems about right. Both teams have won exactly 3 out of their last 10 games, and their home/away offensive and defensive numbers look almost identical. St Louis will be playing back-to-back while Detroit will be very well-rested, but on the road this season, the Red Wings are just 2-5 this season on multiple days of rest. The Blues have also won 3 of their 4 meetings this season. Flip a coin.

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