Afternoon, bettors. A couple of early games on the US federal holiday that honors the life of Martin Luther King, but eight games at or after the seven o’clock hour, some of which I will be highlighting in today’s RLS.
Finally a good night on Saturday hitting two puckline plays and a plus value prop bet. John Curry did as expected, likely no fault of his own after being pressed in to duty to a handful of unfortunate circumstances for the Penguins. I’m still shocked that Rick DiPietro proved the “blind squirrel” theory against the Sabres. But I digress.
Six of the eight games feature teams with a lot of familiarity, so there are plenty of good sample sizes to pick from tonight. That being said, I’ll start with two games with very little sample size to go on.
BUF @ PHX u5 (+105)
Goaltending will be on display tonight in the desert as the two front runners for the Vezina Trophy square off in Arizona. In 46 games this season, the Sabres have 26 unders and two pushes. The Coyotes, in 49 games have 30 unders and five pushes.
Buffalo has scored 10 goals over their last four games, while the Coyotes’ offense has been exploding. The likelihood is that the Coyotes will regress to their mean against a tough defensive team like Buffalo and a fantastic goaltender like Miller. The two teams met back in October and the Sabres took the game 2-1, with LaBarbera in net for PHX.
I’m definitely looking at a tight checking affair with tremendous goaltending tonight and would be completely shocked with something different.
NSH -1.5 (+190) v. TOR
Classic case of a team playing well against a team struggling mightily. The Predators have won seven of nine and the Leafs have won just three of their last 12.
A major key to Toronto’s lack of success has been their atrocious penalty killing. They are killing just 67% of road penalties and just 59% over their last five games. Nashville’s PP is 5-for-their-last-20. A few PPGs is all Nashville might need as the Leafs are scoring just two goals per game over their last five. They’re also allowing four goals per game on the road this season.
The prop total for NSH is set at 3.5 tonight. One of the highest I have seen all year. That tells you all you need to know about Toronto’s defensive capability. Nashville should roll easily in this game tonight.
STL +105 @ CBJ
The Blues are rolling, the Jackets are reeling. Under new head coach Davis Payne, the Blues have won four straight and have their sights set on continuing Columbus’s Central Division woes, as well as their lopsided matchup against the Blues.
Columbus is just 2-10 ATS against the Central Division. They are 5-11 against the Blues over the last three seasons. If Garon does in fact go, and keep your eye on the Starting Goalies page for confirmation tonight, it will mark the first time that a Mason-Mason matchup does not occur since Jan. 3, 2009, a seven game span. STL dominated the Jackets a week ago in a 4-1 win that was over pretty much the moment it started.
The Blues have shut it down defensively of late allowing just 1.8 goals over their last five. That’s bad news for a team like Columbus who has been in an offensive funk for two months.
Look for the Blues to take two points on the road tonight.
Good luck tonight, players.