Even though my Buffalo Bills disappointedly lost last night in pathetic fashion, at least my hockey picks went well as I went 3-1, winning 1.84 units. Tonight a big ten game NHL slate!
Maple Leafs vs. Blue Jackets (7:00)
I fell directly into the trap line on the Leafs on Sunday night with a line that was too good to be true. I saw that ESPN had listed Joseph Woll on the injury report and didn’t bother checking Left Wing Lock for the starting goaltenders (by far the best site for this information) on that game, just assuming that Campbell was in goal. That obviously wasn’t the case as the Jets beat them 6-3 for their second loss in a row. Toronto at 17-7-2 is playing some of the best hockey in the NHL right now. Prior to their last two games they were on a roll with only three losses in eighteen games. They are averaging 3.08 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.35 goals per game, the third fewest goals allowed in the league. Columbus comes into this game off a 6-4 win over SJ on Sunday that ended a four game losing streak for them. They’re averaging an eleventh most 3.22 goals per game but allowing an eighth most 3.26 goals per game. With Jack Campbell confirmed back in goal tonight, I’m all about the Leafs in this one. The -250 moneyline I think is too expensive here so I’ll parlay them for 1.5 units with the Lightning ML and I’ll take the Leafs in regulation for half a unit.
Canadiens vs. Lightning (7:00)
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a very good team at 15-5-4 and they come into this game on a three game winning streak and have won nine of their last twelve games. They’re averaging an eighth most in the NHL 3.29 goals per game and allowing a seventh fewest 2.63 goals per game. The Habs have been shit all season with a record of 6-17-3. They’re going to look even worse now with most of their key players including Toffoli, Gallagher, Anderson, Petry, Armia and Edmundson all out of the lineup. They have a pathetic offense, averaging a fourth fewest 2.27 goals per game but they’re allowing a fourth most 3.58 goals per game. I can’t see the Canadiens hanging around with Tampa here, the Bolts should roll. In addition to my parlay with the Leafs ML, I’ll add another unit on Tampa in regulation here. I like the puck line too but at +117, there’s not enough value to it for me.
Senators vs. Islanders (7:00)
What a complete shit game this is gonna be. The 5-10-5 Islanders are on an eleven game losing streak, with those last three games taking longer than regulation to lose in. They’re the most disappointing team in hockey this season, considering that I expected this team to compete for the cup coming into the season. The Sens surprisingly come into this game on a three game winning streak, but prior to that they only had one win in 13 games. This team blows too at 7-15-1, averaging an eighth fewest 2.57 goals per game and they’re allowing the most goals in hockey, an average of 3.83 goals per game. The Isles are the better team here but no chance I’m laying -155 on a road team with an eleven game losing streak. I think the best play on this game is actually the Sens +1.5 but that’s not worth the -215. I’m laying off this game entirely. I want nothing to do with this game.
Red Wings vs. Predators (7:00)
I think both of these teams are pretty average but they’ve both played good hockey this season. Detroit, coming into this game on five game winning streak, with three of those wins coming in overtime or a shootout. They’re 13-9-3, averaging an eleventh fewest 2.8 goals per game and allowing an eleventh most 3.12 goals per game. The Predators are 13-10-1, pretty much winning every other game they’ve played the last couple weeks. They’re averaging a tenth fewest in the NHL, just slightly less than Detroit 2.79 goals per game but their defense and Juuse Saros goaltending is significantly better, allowing an average of 2.83 goals per game. I’d lean the Preds win this one on the road to spoil the Red Wings winning streak, but not enough to bet on it.
Sabres vs. Ducks (7:30)
My Sabres suck, at 8-13-3 and with only one win in their last ten games (coming at home against shitty Montreal) and just three wins in their last 17 games. They’re allowing a second most 3.75 goals per game on average and averaging 2.88 goals per game. Tonight they’ll start their fifth different goalie this season, giving prospect Ukko Pekka Luukkonen his first start of the season. Last year he wasn’t great in his NHL debut, going 1-3 with a .906 save percentage and a pretty shitty 3.88 GAA. He goes against an overachieving Ducks team that comes into this game at 13-8-5. They have a pretty good offense averaging a seventh most in the NHL 3.31 goals per game. They’re allowing an average of 2.89 goals per game but tonight are projected to start backup Anthony Stolarz in goal, who isn’t great. When these teams played on October 28th in Anaheim, the Sabres won 4-3 in overtime. I think the script flips on this one with the Ducks getting the win in Buffalo on the road. I’ll take the Ducks ML for half a unit and the over on this game, which is trending for both teams for a unit.
Blues vs. Panthers (8:00)
Florida’s one of the best teams in the NHL at 17-4-3 and coming into this game on a three game winning streak. They have the second highest scoring offense in the NHL, averaging 3.83 goals per game and they’re allowing 2.71 goals per game. The Blues are 12-8-4. They have a pretty good offense as well, averaging a tenth most 3.25 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.83 goals per game. When these two teams played on Saturday, these teams traded goals back and forth before the Panthers won 4-3 in a shootout. I’d expect similar results tonight and with Ville Husso starting for the Blues with Binnington still out on COVID protocol. I’ll take Florida for half a unit and the alternate over 6 here for half a unit as well.
Jets vs. Hurricanes (8:00)
I think this will be a pretty interesting game. The Hurricanes are 16-6-1 but come in this game with only two wins in their last five games (against the broken Sabres and Flyers). They’re running into a bunch of injury issues lately but they’re a good team. They’re averaging a ninth most 3.26 goals per game and allowing a second fewest in the NHL 2.26 goals per game. Winnipeg is 12-8-4 with three wins in their last four games. Their offense has averaged 2.92 goals per game and allowing a tenth fewest 2.67 goals per game. I’d lean Carolina here on the road but not enough to bet on it so I’ll just skip this game.
Blackhawks vs. Rangers (8:30)
The Rangers are one of the best teams in hockey at 16-4-3 and they’re on a six game winning streak with only one loss in their last eleven games. They are averaging 2.91 goals per game and allowing the fifth fewest goals in hockey, just 2.48 goals per game. But with Igor Shesterkin on the IR, they’re stuck with Alexandar Georgiev, who sucks, with a 3.58 GAA and .876 save percentage. Tonight they play their second game in a row against Chicago. The Blackhawks kept it close with the Rangers on Saturday night in a 3-2 loss in MSG. Chicago hasn’t played back hockey recently, with eight wins in their last twelve games moving them to 9-13-2 on the season after their lousy 1-9-2 starts. Chicago still isn’t a good team though. They’re not scoring, averaging a third fewest in the NHL, 2.13 goals per game and haven’t been great defensively either, allowing a tenth most 3.13 goals per game on average. I’d lean the Rangers should win this one but its hard to beat a team, no matter how shitty two games in a row and having to start Georgiev is a pretty big step back for a team that wins on goaltending and defense. I’ll just skip this game tonight.
Oilers vs. Wild (9:00)
This should be a very fun game to watch between two of the top four offenses in the NHL. The Oilers are 16-7 coming into this game with back to back losses against Seattle (4-3) and LA (5-1), their first back to back losses of the season. The Wild are 17-6-1 and come in on a six game win streak. Edmonton is fourth in the NHL in goals per game, averaging 3.65 per game and Minnesota’s slightly better, third in the NHL, averaging 3.71 per game. Both defenses aren’t as great though though with the Oilers allowing 3.04 goals per game and Minnesota allowing 2.92. I’d slightly lean the Wild here on the road but not enough to bet on them. I do expect a lot of goals in this game though with both teams generating a lot of offense and having their defensive holes. Even at a high total of 6.5, I like this over a lot and will take it for a unit.
Sharks vs. Flames (10:00)
Calgary’s been playing real good hockey this season at 15-5-5 and come into this game with seven wins in their last nine games. They’re averaging 3.16 goals per game and allowing the fewest goals in hockey, an impressive average of only 2.04 per game. San Jose has been trending slightly better than .500 at 13-11-1 with three wins in their last five games. They’re only scoring a ninth fewest in the NHL 2.64 goals per game but have been decent defensively and in goal, allowing a twelfth fewest 2.68 goals per game. I’d lean Calgary wins this one but with both teams likely starting their backups in goal tonight (Vladar likely for the Flames, Adin Hill confirmed for the Sharks), I’ll skip this one. With both starters in net I would’ve gone with the under here but with both backups I’d lean the over. Not betting this game at all.
1.5 parlay: Leafs ML/Lightning ML (-109)
.5u Leafs in regulation (-157)
1u Lightning in regulation (-132)
1u Ducks/Sabres over 6 (-120)
.5u Ducks ML (-135)
.5u Florida ML (-165)
.5u Florida/Blues over 6 (-132)
1u Wild/Oilers over 6.5 (-120)
Record (Regular Season): 159-137-7 (-10.82 units)