Computer Picks: 09/03/2010—Beyond the Numbers

Updated: March 9, 2010 at 7:28 am by Jeff Tay

For as long as I have been writing these articles (about 2 months?), I have been making my best efforts to support the predictions put out by the computer algorithm with my own write-ups, and although this was an interesting and unique challenge for me, especially in cases where I even personally disagreed with the computer predictions myself, I feel that it may now be time for this project to evolve past this stage. Quite simply, I developed the system as a means of analyzing what was deemed to be the most significant and relevant statistics for each game, and to carry out this task in an efficient and methodical manner, but now that I’ve come to the point where I no longer plan on making any more major changes to the system in the near future, I feel that I should be shifting my focus from thinking about the system to actually thinking about the game.

Admittedly, I have spent a great deal of time over the last little while just looking at statistics (only statistics and nothing else), and in this process, I have probably ended up looking past the other side of the equation on most nights; the side beyond the numbers. As such, I have now made the decision to leave the number-crunching to the computer from here on out, and to be more active in incorporating non-technical forms of analysis in my write-ups.

Hence, you will no longer be hearing me go on-and-on about how many goals Tampa Bay averages on 3 days of rest and so on and so forth—that will all be reflected in the computer projection. Instead, I will be making my best efforts from here on to write about what won’t be reflected in the numbers.  The ‘Computer Picks’ section has just become the ‘Computer Picks + Real Human Analysis’ section. Let’s just call it “Computer Picks” for short though.

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Today’s Play(s):

With a total of 9 games on the board, it may be reasonable to assume that there are at least a few good plays available on the board tonight. Although, I wouldn’t try to talk anybody out of taking the Under 5.5 (-145) in BOS/TOR, or even the Oilers on the moneyline as a live home dog, I do feel that there is one game that stands out above the rest. Hence, I have decided to only write about that one game for today.

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Tampa Bay Lightning +120 vs. Montreal Canadiens

The first game back from a long and successful road trip is generally the kiss of death for any sports team, and that includes the Montreal Canadiens. To make matters worse for Montreal, the Habs touched down from their cross-country flight from California on Monday, which leaves them even less time to recover from jetlag, and the Lightning last played on Saturday, giving them the extra day of rest. Montreal does have one of the league’s best powerplays, but Tampa Bay has not given them very many opportunities this season in head-to-head contests, holding the Canadiens’ PP to just 1 for 7 in their prior 3 meetings combined. Quebec natives Martin St Louis and Vincent Lecavalier have also been extremely productive in their last 2 games, and have also played some very good games this season against their provincial home team. The situation sets up very nicely for Tampa Bay, who have had limited success on the road this season, but will be confronted by a Montreal squad that should be a step behind their usual pace, and who the Lightning have gone 2-0-1 against this season, while allowing a total of just 3 goals in those 3 games. Tampa Bay is offering a great deal of value in this game at +120.

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Other Games and Projected Scores: