Computer Picks: 25/01/2010—A Case of the Mondays

Updated: January 25, 2010 at 10:08 am by Jeff Tay

If you are currently leaning towards betting on any one of the three road teams that are in action this Monday, then I am going to suggest for you to just let it fly (go for it). First of all, Mondays this season have been uniquely unfavourable to home teams, and a total of 54 out of the 98 games scheduled on Mondays this season (55.1%) have actually been won by the road teams. Furthermore, this Monday’s games feature a pair of struggling teams playing at home, in the New York Rangers and Calgary Flames, and a Vancouver Canucks squad that is coming off a big emotional home win. Finally, even without taking the day of the week into consideration, there are enough favourable stats in all 3 of these matchups to lead the Computer Picks to lean towards all 3 road teams.

Here is a special Monday edition of Computer Picks, which doesn’t feature an Over/Under of the Day (since none of the O/U bets are projected to be that profitable), and instead features 3 cases for 3 noteworthy road teams:

Road Team #1: Pittsburgh Penguins -125

Key Factors: The Rangers are currently 0-6 this season at home against division rivals, and 0-3 overall against the Penguins. New York may have scored a total of 14 goals in their last 2 home games, but these spectacular offensive outbursts also had something to do with the very unspectacular opposition provided by Montreal and Tampa Bay. The Rangers will definitely be dealing with a step up in competition here, facing a Pittsburgh team that is 17-11 on the road this season—a record that is even better than New York’s 12-11-4 at home. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is also coming off a win, in which they held the Flyers to just 1 goal and 28 shots, and New York’s offense doesn’t figure to fare any better. In 27 home games this season, the Rangers have actually been held to 2 goals or less on 14 separate occasions, so even if the Penguins figure to score just 2 or 3 goals in this game, it may actually be more than enough to get the win.

Road Team #2: St Louis Blues +145

Key Factors: Fans of the Calgary Flames must be at the end of their patience by now, as they have witnessed their team score just 2 goals or less in 9 of their last 10 home games. The prediction that the Flames will score just 1 goal in this game is actually quite reasonable when considering both their offensive woes and the fact that St Louis was able to hold the Flames to just 1 goal during their last visit to Calgary on December 23rd. This game might simply come down to whether or not Calgary can hold St Louis off the score sheet, which hasn’t been too much of a challenge for St Louis’ recent road opponents, Columbus and Ottawa, but the Blues are coming off a disastrous home loss in which they blew a 3-0 lead to Anaheim, so a determined effort is in order from them here. Calgary has also conceded exactly 3 goals in 4 of their last 5 home games, to teams that have similar offensive statistics to the Blues, so not even the Calgary defense looks to be in that strong of a position. Take the Blues and the plus money.

Road Team #3: Buffalo Sabres +125

Key Factors: I actually double-checked the calculations when I first saw this prediction, thinking that there had been some kind of mistake. For all the success that Vancouver has had recently, they are actually projected to lose this game, based on some flat performances that they’ve put forth following some recent blowout victories. Furthermore, Vancouver has also not been an exceptional win streak team this season, as they have experienced multiple 2 and 3 game win streaks up to this point, but have often failed to extend these streaks any further (they are currently on a season-high 4 game win streak). Buffalo, on the other hand, is actually on a rare losing streak right now, as they have looked worn down from their travels to the west, but a couple of situations do work in their favour here. A 5-2 loss after outshooting San Jose 40-24 on Saturday should be a big motivational factor for them, and after conceding 13 goals during their 3-game stint in California, this should be a game where they really put forth a concerted defensive effort. Once again, the plus money in a tight game should be the way to look in this one.

(A home team sweep would really be a rough way to start the week.)