Picks: Rolling Flyers Kick Off Western Road Trip

Updated: November 24, 2009 at 1:11 am by Brock Seguin

3-5: I don’t know if the Sharks are struggling or if the Predators are streaking – maybe both?  Either way we’re looking at 3 of 5 matchups tonight including the red-hot Flyers getting some great odds on the Kings.  Let’s build off of a solid +165 upset play with the Avs dumping the Flames last night!

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On a side note: I was mistakenly going against my original plan to give 1 unit per bet, regardless of odds and was actually counting losses far greater than they were actually worth.  i.e. I’d bet only 1 unit on any bet that I won but lose 1.5 units if I lost a -150 bet.  Either way it’s fixed now and I can send anybody the spreadsheet who wants to verify.  You’ll see that the totals are far greater than they were before.  Yay.  Thanks to reader James for getting me to double-check my results!

Florida Panthers +180 at Buffalo Sabres -220

The Sabres are riding a 3-game winning streak due mainly to the stellar play of Ryan Miller who was named player of the week last week.  In their first matchup this season, the Sabres dominated the Panthers 5-2 in Florida but for the most part, the Sabres don’t completely roll over their opponents.  Florida has played exceptionally well in 6 of their last 8 games, winning 5 of them, and much of that can be attributed to Tomas Vokoun.  Buffalo’s defense is 2nd-overall and matches up well against the Panthers’ average 2.9 goals per game and 6.3% powerplay on the road.  The Sabres pot 3.0 goals per game at home but shouldn’t have a problem as the Panthers allow 3.7 goals per game.  The Panthers have been scoring lately, though, netting 13 goals in their last 4 games but their defense still remains shoddy allowing 15 goals over that same stretch – even with a Tomas Vokoun shutout.  The Sabres are 7-2-1 at home and shouldn’t have any trouble dismissing the 4-4-1 road Panthers but I’m wary on the puck line here because Florida has kept their past 3 games very close and Buffalo seems to score just as much as they need to.
Pick: Sabres -220

Dallas Stars +145 at Detroit Red Wings -170

So wait, is Detroit good again?  If you can figure these guys out, let me know, because none of us here have any idea what to expect from the Wings this season.  After getting blown out 5-1 by Toronto at the ACC, the Wings have scored 19 goals in 3 games and only allowed 6.  Dallas is rounding out a 4-game in 11 day road trip tonight before a 4-game homestand.  Dallas has gone under the game total in 5 straight games and won 2 and lost 3 by a 1 goal margin through that span so expect this one to be close.  However, you can’t go against Detroit’s scorers who are red-hot right now and the fact that these teams went over in 3 of 4 meetings last season.  Jimmy Howard is getting the nod in goal, who let in 4 goals Saturday to Anaheim on 23 shots and as Kevin Dupuis so eloquently put it, “Howard, being the inexperienced NHL goaltender that he is, could have an awful game on Wednesday or Saturday and we could be back to square one.” It’s always a gamble with the Wings but I like my chances.  The total has gone over in all 5 of their recent meetings at the Joe.
Pick: Wings -170 and Over 5.5 goals -125

Philadelphia Flyers -120 at Los Angeles Kings +100

Philly has gotten a lot of play early this morning and deservedly so.  They are just rolling over opponents, winning 6 of their last 7 games and outscoring opponents 29-12 over that stretch mainly due to solid play by Ray Emery and a healthier group of core forwards.  They are finally living up to their potential (the Flyers have historically been late bloomers) and greet a Kings team that has had some goaltending complications of late.  They rounded their Eastern road trip out with wins against less-than-stellar opponents in Tampa Bay and Florida but in games against real competitors they cowered.  The Flyers bring the 3rd-best offense overall and 6th-best defense into LA while the Kings match it with the top-ranked home offense, 4.1 goals per game, and 2nd-ranked home powerplay, 30%, but a dismal home defense of 3.3 goals per game.  While I don’t doubt the Kings will be relieved to be back home, the Flyers are coming off of a tough win against the Devils and will pick apart the Kings’ sloppy defense and goaltending while LA might find their run-and-gun offense grounded like it has 2 of their past 3 games.  If you like this one, get it while it’s hot – it might move some more.  If Emery doesn’t get this start, the over becomes a better play.
Pick: Flyers -120 Update: Boucher is in fact in net.  I still feel the Flyers can take this game but I’m also adding Over 5.5 goals -125 to the card.  It’s too late to add to the poll, sorry.

Fan Favourite Record: 3-5, -2.35

Betting results by category so far this season:

  • Money Line 44-41, -4.77
  • Puck Line 7-17, -6.1
  • Game Totals 40-26-1, +8.42

Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers