4-6: Philly rolls into San Jose for an epic matchup between one of the hottest teams in the league and another possibly showing the effects of playing the most games so far in the season. When you look at point-%, both of these teams are .002% apart from each other in the standings.
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Montreal Canadiens +180 at Washington Capitals -220
The Caps have the best home offense, 4.0 goals per game, and the Candiens can’t get anything done on the road, only averaging 2.1 goals per game, good for 2nd-last in the league. The Caps have won 5 of their last 6 games and 4 of those 5 wins were by 2 goals or more. The Canadiens have only won two of their last 5 games but haven’t really been able to generate any consistent offense as 5 of their last 6 have gone under the game total. The Caps are a convincing 7-1-3 at home and have won 4 of 5 games on the season in which their line has been -200 or more – half of those wins beat the puck line. As Washington prepares to play their second game with Alexander Ovechkin in the lineup, the Habs will be without Brian Gionta who will be replaced by Glen Metropolit on the top line – advantage Capitals. Carey Price, starting for the Habs, is 4-4 with a 2.87 GAA on the road this season and 0-0-2 with a 3.82 GAA vs. Washington. If Michael Neuvirth does end up starting, this pick looks a lot less appealing and the over looks much better. Keep an eye out for that.
Pick: Caps -1.5 +140
Florida Panthers +195 at Detroit Red Wings -235
A rare matchup here as these teams have only played 3 times since 2003, Detroit winning 2 of the 3 games. Detroit catches Florida on a night where they picked apart the league’s best performing goaltender, Ryan Miller, for 6 goals in a convincing win as a +185 underdog. Both Florida and Detroit have won 3 of their last 4 and also each have a tendency for scoring goals of late. Florida has managed 14 goals over their last 3 games and while Detroit only managed 1 goal against Dallas (don’t get me started on that one), they had 10 goals total over their two previous home games. Chris Osgood is going for the Wings after returning from injury and the Panthers counter with Scott Clemmensen, who allowed 7 goals to Washington in his last start on November 7. Detroit has every opportunity to take this game but Florida’s dominance over Buffalo on the road makes me wary and the over looks like a much more solid play here.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals -130
New York Islanders +110 at Minnesota Wild -130
This Islanders team has scored 4 goals in each of their last 4 games, winning 2 of them. Minnesota, on the other hand, has dropped 4 straight, 3 of those road games. The Wild have a far better home record, 5-3 and 2-0 against Eastern opponents, while the Islanders have struggled somewhat on the road, 3-4-5 but have won their last 2 road games. Since we saw Dwayne Roloson go for the Isles vs. Boston, it’s more likely that we’ll get Martin Biron in net tonight who is 1-3-2 with a 3.19 GAA away from Long Island. The Islanders are playing their 5th game of an arduous 7 road games in 12 days and fatigue is likely to set in soon, as the Isles have never played more than 2 games in a row away from home outside of this current stretch. The Islanders have gone over the game total in 4 of their last 5 games and the Wild have gone over in 3 of their last 5. The Islanders’ road defense of 3.6 goals allowed per game should give the Wild plenty of opportunities to put the puck in the net. Minnesota is playing without Martin Havlat tonight, adding to their long list of injured forwards, but he’s only had 1 point in his last 7 games and likely wouldn’t have factored into the decision anyway – the Wild are getting plenty of scoring support from their top line.
Pick: Wild -130 and Over 5.5 goals +110
Philadelphia Flyers +130 at San Jose Sharks -150
While it’s clear the Sharks have had one of the more dominant defenses over the course of the season, their 8 goals allowed in 2 games isn’t exactly ideal for the Sharks who return home after a 1-2 Central division road trip. The Flyers could easily be classified as the hottest team in the league right now mainly attributed to a more physical game and solid goaltending from Ray Emery. One dark spot for the Flyers, however, is their poor penalty kill, especially as of late, allowing 5 powerplay goals over their last 4 games. Fortunately for the Flyers, the Sharks’ host the league’s second-worst home powerplay at 10.3%. The Sharks are good at everything else though, mainly their league-leading 1.8 goals allowed per game at home and 93.9% penalty kill but it’s not telling if their recent road play will carry over with them at home. The Flyers have the league’s third-best offense at 3.6 goals per game and play some of their best hockey on the road, going 4-2 on the road on the season. The Sharks are no easy team to beat at home either as they haven’t registered a regulation loss yet on the season, going 6-0-2 and 1-0 against Eastern opponents (Pittsburgh). The Flyers are coming off of two big wins against New Jersey and LA and can catch the Sharks off-guard tonight with another solid game from Ray Emery.
Pick: Flyers +130
Fan Favourite Record: 4-6, -2.52
Betting results by category so far this season:
- Money Line 46-46, -8.032
- Puck Line 7-17, -6.1
- Game Totals 41-28-1, +7.33