Computer Picks: 18/03/2010–Test Drive

Updated: March 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm by Jeff Tay

In a lot of ways, this will actually be like your typical test-drive at any car dealership–a new model with a ton of unfamiliar gadgets and gizmos, taking a leisurely spin around a relatively uneventful block, while trying to figure out if everything feels right. I declare today’s ‘block’ of games to be “relatively uneventful” in the sense that just about all of them appear to be virtual coin-flips, as implied by the betting lines. This has actually been quite a rare occurrence this season, and it doesn’t appear to afford much opportunity for the system to really step out and make any bold predictions–at least, that’s what I’m hoping is the cause for all these seemingly close calls.

A quick rundown of the new features before we begin:

– “Projected 5on5 goals” and “projected PP goals” are self explanatory enough.

– “SOG” is the projected shots on goal for the corresponding team, and x for x is that team’s projected powerplay output.

– “As advertised”: the concept of getting what you pay for. It might be a fair price to get a -120 favourite and have them win a 3-2 nail-biter, but it’s certainly not the same deal when you have your -180 favourite winning in that same fashion. This is a rating of whether a team is currently over-valued or under-valued by the betting market. “100%” means you are getting exactly what you pay for. Less is less, more is more. 

– SOG chart: similar to the goals chart. The more orange on the right side, the better, and the more blue on the left side, the better.

– PP efficiency chart: same deal. If a team’s got high-orange on the right side of both charts, then they are really cooking on offense. Similarly, deep-blue on the left would mean good defense.

Let’s hit the road:

Ottawa probably feels more pressure to win here than Atlanta. It’s too bad that they haven’t faired well under that pressure lately. I’ll say “no thanks” to Atlanta though.

Washington actually plays really well without Ovechkin, and they can still score plenty. Over 6.0 seems pretty reasonable.

The Rangers are set to get beat here in both SOG and on special teams. However, the win might just mean a little more to them than it does to the Blues. Tough call.

The Pens are getting plenty of pucks to the net, just not so many to the back of it. Boston allowed 4 goals to Montreal after their last week-long road trip though, and they allowed 5 to Ottawa after their long trip before that. It could really go either way.

Are the Coyotes making a legitimate push for the Pacific Division title? What also stands out is the 5.5 total. Last week, it probably would have been a 5.0.

Buffalo doesn’t really have winning on the road figured out yet. Tampa Bay doesn’t have winning at all figured out, but they are a dangerous home team.

Don’t look now, but both teams have actually won 4 of their last 5 games. The season series has also been tight.

Minnesota is playing loose, now that their playoff hopes are slim, while Nashville looked very tentative in their last game against the Flyers. -160 is a bit too hefty. Three high-scoring head-to-head meetings so far this season though.

Michael Leighton is actually questionable for this game. In that case, take a look at the Over 5.5.

Both coming off bad losses. San Jose is probably angrier though. I don’t think you’ll like them when they’re angry. The Over 5.5 is worth a look.

Brian Campbell out, and Brent Seabrook questionable. The Kings should be in better shape to win here at home.

Done! 12:30 ET/9:30 PT.