At least the Leafs know how to keep us on the edge of our seats but they came from behind to contribute to a solid 4-1 night last night. I’m covering some other roles here today so I apologize for the brief analyses. Jump!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.
Nashville Predators +190 at Los Angeles Kings -230
These poor Preds can’t seem to ride any momentum they generate for themselves. They’re the second-lowest scoring team in the league at 2.0 goals per game and boast the second-worst powerplay at 11.3%. Road scoring is slightly better at 2.1 goals per game but road defense is soft at 3.5 goals allowed per game. The Kings are one of the betting teams on the puck line, 7-9, and have improved to the third-highest scoring team in the league at 3.5 goals per game. Goalie Jonathan Quick has been good at home this year, going 5-1-1 with a 3.11 GAA. Dan Ellis is going for the Preds and is only 1-3-1 on the road with a 3.25 GAA. The Preds’ offense has sputtered without their top scorer, J.P. Dumont, and there’s a good chance he’ll sit out this game as well. Preds’ inability to score and the Kings’ ability to score lead me to think the Kings take this one easily. Lines moved down 20 since writing this post as the Kings are getting a lot of play.
Pick: Kings -1.5 +135
Detroit Red Wings -150 at Toronto Maple Leafs +130
Yes the Leafs won when I picked them last night but if anybody watched the game, you saw why the two teams were tied for last place. After the first period the Leafs had only won 3 of 17 faceoffs and they had to rely on Jonas Gustavsson far too much in that game. Detroit shoots the puck the third-most in the league, despite their clamping down on defense, and score an average of 3.00 goals per game. Toronto, led by Tomas Kaberle, has the second best powerplay in the league and has scored a PP goal in 6 of their last 7 games – something the Detroit PK will need to watch out for. Detroit is riding a 3 game win streak against solid opponents like San Jose, Boston and Calgary. Their defense is in check, only allowing 2 goals in those 3 games and Chris Osgood is a main reason for that. When Gustavsson beat the Wings in the preseason, the Wings were starting a roster of AHL players. Ignore the stats and trends and consider this, the Wings beat the Sharks as -145 favourites and on the road they only get -150 against the Buds? Oddsmakers missed one here, make sure you take advantage of it! I’m just going on the moneyline in this because the Wings have taken more of a “shut-down” approach and have such a poor puck line record, 3-11, but believe it or not is still better than the Leafs’ 1-13.
Pick: Red Wings -150
Atlanta Thrashers -105 at New York Islanders -115
Believe it or not, the Islanders have the 5th-best home defense and the Thrashers have the 7th-best road defense. Ondrej Pavelec has struggled of late but has shown he can handle himself when necessary, going 4-1-1 and 2.31 on the road. New York is likely to go with Dwayne Roloson who is 3-0-2 with a 2.12 GAA at home on the year and is riding a 3-game win streak over his last 3 starts. While the Thrashers have been putting the puck in the net lately, at least 3 goals in each of their last 6 games, the Islanders have struggled to only score once in their last two games. The Isles have only managed 2.4 goals per game on the season while the Thrashers boast the league’s third-best offense at 3.5 goals per game. This is a tough call but I’m banking on Roloson to continue his dominant play.
Pick: Under 6.0 goals -110
New Jersey Devils +120 at Ottawa Senators -140
The Devils played last night to a less-than-convincing 2-1 victory but it was vintage Lemaire, juggling his lines to shut down the Isles’ offense and regain the lead. That’s why New Jersey has the second-best defense in the league at 2.2 goals per game and the third best penalty kill with 0.6 powerplay goals allowed per game. The Devils have been dominant at home with the league’s best road defense, 1.7 goals per game, and a perfect 7-0 road record. The Devils are also a perfect 7-0 as the underdog. The Sens are not a walk-over, but their 19th-ranked defense at home, 3.0 goals allowed per game, won’t put up much of a fight. The Sens are going with Pascal Leclaire tonight, 3-2-1 and 2.96 GAA at home, against Martin Brodeur, a perfect 6-0 and 1.77 GAA on the road. Despite the Sens’ decent success at home, 4-2-2, it’s difficult to pick against such a dominant road team like the Devils. Patrik Elias will not be starting for the Devils.
Pick: Devils +120
Florida Panthers +160 at Washington Capitals -180
These teams just played each other in a game where Florida was favoured and the Caps came out and dominate to the tune of a 4-1 victory. Ovechkin or not, Washington is still the better team over the Panthers and they’ll show it again tonight. Washington still has plenty of scoring power with Semin, Backstrom and the recently called-up Tomas Fleischmann as the team rallies to show they can still do it without their MVP. The Panthers have the 27th-ranked defense at 3.4 goals per game and allow 3.7 goals per game on the road. The Caps have the league’s second-best offense and match that 3.6 goals for total at home.
Pick: Capitals -1.5 +165
Phoenix Coyotes +140 at Anaheim Ducks -160
The Coyotes need to be judged on their recent 3-1 win against Chicago, not their losses in their two previous games. Phoenix has been shutting down top-scoring teams day-in and day-out and there’s no reason not to expect mroe of the same tonight against a Ducks team that is only middle-of-the-road when it comes to scoring at home. In their last meeting, the Coyotes beat the Ducks 3-2 on Halloween thanks to a 32-save night from Ilya Bryzgalov. Expect more of the same tonight as Bryzgalov is expected to get the start.
Pick: Coyotes +140
New York Rangers +120 at Calgary Flames -140
Which Rangers team are we going to see tonight? The one that averaged 4 goals in 4 games or the one that more recently scored 4 goals against a flu-ridden Oilers team? It shouldn’t matter because the Flames have the 5th-best offense at home with 2.8 goals per game and the third-best powerplay, at 29.6%. The Rangers, fortunately, match up well with the league’s best penalty kill at 87.3%. Calgary has gone under in each of their last 4 games after going over in 9 of their first 10, appearing to have their defense settled down. Look for the Rangers to come out flat rounding out a tough West coast road trip. The 39 shots for against the Oilers is a mirage as the Oilers have been hampered by injuries. However, the Rangers could only manage 23 shots against the injury riddled Vanucks and Bruins as well as a season-low 20 against the Wild. Production like that will lead to an easy Flames win tonight.
Pick: Flames -140
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 32-32, -17.54
- Puck Line 6-11, -4.0
- Totals 29-18-1, +4.07
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