Nice to see the Pens come up huge on the road and the Tampa-Toronto game go way under the 6.0 game total en route to a 3-1 night. Too bad the Rangers couldn’t get it done against the Canucks – teams just aren’t shooting against Vancouver. Let’s continue this super strong week with 4 more solid picks tonight! Looking for a great sportsbook site to place your bets? I use and trust Bodog to place my hockey bets but if you are looking for a site where you can bet for free, try CentSports. You always have a minimum of 10 cents to start off and let you bet on the NHL and other sports. When you increase your balance, you are eligible to cash out! Remember that I post these picks for fun and I encourage you to do the same (i.e. don’t bet what you can’t afford to lose). All lines are provided by Bodog and are current at the time of posting.
New York Islanders +170 at Buffalo Sabres -200
Remember that 5-0 thrashing the Islanders gave the Sabres last Saturday? That won’t happen again. Yes, the Islanders have won 4-straight and yes, they are outscoring opponents 15-5 over that stretch. However, the Sabres are a legitimate team this year and a defensive stalwart. Their second-best defense in the league will not be dismantled again, especially at home where they have only allowed an average of 2.3 goals per game. The Isles have only won once on the road and are a brutal 3-11 against the puck line. The Islanders still average 4.0 goals allowed on the road and have already lost 6-3 in Buffalo this season. Buffalo hasn’t lost consecutive games yet this season and it shouldn’t happen tonight.
Pick: Sabres -1.5 +155
San Jose Sharks -120 at Columbus Blue Jackets +100
If there’s one team struggling right now, it’s the Jackets. Despite losing only 1 of their first 6 games, they’ve only won 2 of their last 7. If there’s one team that’s hot right now, it’s the Sharks. The Sharks got off to a cool start but have now won 5 straight and have only allowed 1 goal in each of their last 4 games. San Jose is firing on all cylinders, boasting the 5th-ranked road scoring (3.7 goals per game) and the 5th-ranked road defense (2.2 goals allowed). Columbus is quite the opposite, only managing 2.4 home goals and allowing 3.0 goals per home game. They’ve allowed 4 goals in each of their last two home games after allowing only 1 in their first 3 home games. Steve Mason is obviously struggling, averaging 3.96 GAA over his last 6 starts and will start again tonight. The money is on the hot team with the great odds.
Pick: Sharks -120
Carolina Hurricanes +115 at Florida Panthers -135
These two teams barely know the meaning of Under, each going under in only 5 games this season. In their first meeting this season, Carolina broke out with a 7-2 victory. Since then, they’ve lost 9 straight games. This stems more than injuries to Cole, Gleason, Staal, and Ryan, it’s a Cam Ward problem. In 5 straight starts, Ward has allowed 3 or more goals in each. Unfortunately for the Canes, their backup plan, Michael Leighton, has a 6.04 GAA this season. The Panthers are no success story either but they have managed to put up back-to-back wins against two good teams (Dallas and St. Louis). The Panthers have the 27th-ranked home defense and the Canes have the 29th-ranked road defense. Despite their poor offenses, the main focus here is the lack of defense and both teams should be able to exploit it.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals -110
Phoenix Coyotes +105 at Colorado Avalanche -125
In what could have been a matchup of October’s best goalies, instead we’ll see Peter Budaj get the nod for Colorado after overcoming swine flu. We haven’t seen Budaj yet this season but he could have a tough time dealing with the fact that Colorado allows the 5th-most shots against in the league. Budaj will need to stand on his head in order to keep the Avs playing like their 4th-ranked defense (2nd-best at home). Phoenix has the league’s best defense, only allowing an average of 2.1 goals per game. They’ll have a tough time against the Avs 3rd-ranked home offense, which scores 4 goals per game, but Phoenix might be the toughest team they’ve faced at home all year. It’s a different game if Anderson is starting but Bryzgalov gives the Coyotes a great shot at a road win. Phoenix won 3 of 4 meetings last season.
Pick: Coyotes +105
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 25-29, -20.19
- Puck Line 5-11, -5.5
- Totals 27-15-1, +5.70