Another fantastic day on the NHL yesterday, going 7-3 for +5.94 units, my fourth winning day in a row, increasing my run to 20-7-1 for +14.52 units since Tuesday when the NHL came back from the one week Christmas break. Today there’s a huge slate of games to start the new year with a nine game slate including the Winter Classic! Let’s keep winning.
Bruins vs. Sabres (1:00)
The Sabres haven’t been a good team this season, which was exactly what I expect out of them every year. They’re 10-17-5 and came out of the break with back to back losses on Wednesday and Thursday to NJ and the Islanders. They’ve scored the seventh fewest goals in the NHL, an average of 2.63 goals per game and allowed the fifth most, an average of 3.47 goals per game. The Bruins haven’t been spectacular either, they are 14-10-2 on the year and haven’t played a game since December 16th as they had their own covid issues prior to the league shutting it down for the Christmas week. They haven’t scored much either, averaging a ninth fewest 2.69 goals per game. They’ve been good defensively though, allowing an eighth fewest 2.62 goals per game. The Bruins have historically killed the Sabres, including this season with 5-1 and 4-1 wins against Buffalo. I don’t expect anything any different out of this game. I’m not laying the -340 moneyline on its own but I will parlay it with the the Panthers ML and Leafs ML for a unit and a half. Even the regulation lines, puck line and alternate puck line aren’t worth looking at here. I do like the Bruins TT though and will take that for half a unit. I’d also lean the under here but not enough to bet on it.
Panthers vs. Canadiens (1:00)
This is the biggest betting line we’ve seen on a hockey game all year and really as long as I remember with Florida coming in at an astounding -540 and for good reason. Florida should obliterate the Habs today. The Panthers are 20-7-4 on the year and come into this game with back to back wins coming out of the break, with a 4-3 win against the Rangers and a 9-3 blowout against their in state rival Lightning on Thursday night. They’re averaging the second most goals in hockey, an average of 3.74 goals per game and allowing an average of 2.94 goals per game. Montreal’s one of the worst teams in all of hockey. They’re 7-22-4 on the year, coming into this game with back to back road losses, 5-4 to Tampa’s third string goaltender and then they got shut out Thursday night 4-0 in Carolina. This team is pathetic. They’re averaging the second fewest goals in the league, just 2.12 per game and allowing the fourth most in the league, 3.58 goals per game. The Panthers likely smoke the Canadiens today in a very easy game. There’s no value in betting this game on its own on the ML, regulation line or with these lines looking like it’s Bama blowing out a cupcake team and not a hockey game. Along with my parlay on the Panthers with the Bruins and Leafs, I’ll take the Panthers TT over 4 (such a high line) in regulation for half a unit.
Blue Jackets vs. Hurricanes (1:00)
This slate has a ton of big mismatches and I think that trend continues on this game as well. Carolina’s been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. They’re 22-7-1 and came out of the break on Thursday with a 4-0 shutout win against Montreal for their seventh win in their last eight games. They’ve allowed the fewest goals in the NHL, an average of only 2.07 goals allowed per game and scored the eighth most, an average of 3.3 goals per game. Columbus hasn’t been great but came out of the break with a 4-3 win in a shootout at home against Nashville on Thursday. They’re 15-13-1 on the season. They haven’t been bad offensively at all, averaging an eleventh most 3.17 goals per game but they’ve been terrible on the back end, allowing an eighth most 3.35 goals per game. In the first meeting between these teams this season, Carolina blew out the Jackets 5-1 in Columbus on October 23rd. Although I don’t expect as much of a lopsided game, I think the Canes win this one without much effort. I’ll take Carolina in regulation for a unit, the Carolina TT over 3.5 for a unit and the over for half a unit.
Islanders vs. Oilers (2:00)
Yesterday the Oilers took their second straight loss coming out of Christmas break, 6-5 in overtime to the NJ Devils after giving up the tying goal with just 32 seconds left before Jack Hughes ended it in OT (I ended up going 2-1 but losing .5u on that game). They’re now 18-12-1 on the season. Edmonton is averaging 3.42 goals per game, sixth most in the NHL but have been bad defensively, allowing an average of 3.23 goals per game. The Islanders came out of the break Thursday with an easy 4-1 win against Buffalo but have still been quite the disappointment this season with a 9-12-6 record. The Isles have barely generated any offense this year, averaging only 2.26 goals per game, third fewest in the NHL. They’ve been decent defensively, allowing an average of 2.78 goals per game. I think this should be a good spot for McDavid, Draisaitl and their Oilers to bounce back with a win here and I’ll take them for a unit at the pick em price.
Predators vs. Blackhawks (2:00)
Nashville came out of the break with back to back road losses to the Capitals and Blue Jackets on Wednesday and Thursday, but they’ve been decent this year at 19-11-2, lead by their stellar goaltending from Juuse Saros. They’ve allowed the eleventh fewest goals in the NHL, an average of 2.72 per game and have been averaging 2.84 goals per game. Chicago’s been terrible this year. They’re 11-15-4, losing three of their last four going into the break. They’re averaging the fourth fewest goals in the NHL, an average of only 2.3 goals per game and allowing the tenth most, an average of 3.23 goals per game. With Fleury and Lankinen both out, the Blackhawks are starting their third string goaltender Collin Delia today likely against Saros, which makes me like the Preds at home a lot bouncing off of those two losses. The two previous times these teams played this season both went to overtime with the Hawks winning 2-1 and the Preds winning 3-2. I’d think this game comes a bit easier for Nashville and I’ll lay the juice here for a unit on the Predators. I’d lean the under as well, but with Delia starting, I’d rather lay off that.
Maple Leafs vs. Senators (7:00)
Already have action from earlier on this game with pretty much even money on the Leafs for a unit and a half after the Bruins and Panthers won for the first two legs of that parlay in the early slate. Neither of these Canadian teams have played in a few weeks. The Leafs are having a great season. They’re 20-8-2 with a 12-4-1 record at home in Toronto, although now they’ll have a limited capacity in their barn. They went into the break with three wins in their last four games. They have the ninth highest scoring offense in hockey, averaging 3.27 goals per game and they’re allowing the fourth fewest goals in the league, an average of 2.5 goals per game mainly on the incredible play in goal from Jack Campbell, who has a 1.94 GAA and a NHL leading .937 save percentage. Ottawa’s been pretty terrible this season. They’re 9-17-2, averaging 2.79 goals per game and have one of the worst defenses in the NHL, allowing a third most 3.61 goals per game. These teams split their two games so far this season, with Ottawa winning 3-2 in Ottawa and the Leafs answering back two days later with a 3-1 win at home in October. The Leafs were slumping at that time and I think this win should come much easier for them here. At -335, I wouldn’t bet the Leafs straight and probably wouldn’t even lay the -210 on the regulation line but I love my even money on them to close out this parlay from earlier so I’m just going to let that ride and hopefully add another 1.5 units to this successful day. I’d lean the Leafs TT over but its too high for me to want to bet and would lean the under that contradicts that a little bit, so I’m just riding the parlay with no additional bets here.
Wild vs. Blues (7:00)
The Winter Classic! One of the best events that the NHL puts on every year comes to Minnesota as we take hockey back to its roots, outdoors for the Wild to face off against the Blues. Both these teams have been having great season and sit atop the Central Division just a point apart. The Wild are 19-9-2 and shockingly lost four in a row going into the Christmas break. Their offense is the third highest scoring in the NHL, averaging 3.63 goals per game and they’re allowing an average of 3 goals per game, outscoring their defensive and goaltending issues to win. The Blues have been very good this season too at 18-9-5, came out of the break with a 4-2 win at home against Edmonton on Wednesday night. Their offense has been buzzing too, averaging an eighth best in the NHL 3.38 goals per game. Their defense and goaltending has been good too, allowing a ninth fewest 2.66 goals per game. If this game was indoors, I’d be all over the over, but the weather changes that. I think the weather in Minny is going to play a big factor here. Although the snow should hold off for a clear night, the windchill could make it feel like -30 degrees out there. I think that creates a slow rolling game and I’ll sprinkle on the under for half a unit here on the water factor alone. I’d slightly lean the Wild win it but not enough to even consider betting it.
Kraken vs. Canucks (10:00)
The Canucks undefeated seven game win streak under Bruce Boudreau came to an end on Thursday night with a 2-1 shootout loss in a shootout in LA. The Canucks are 15-15-3 on the season, averaging 2.45 goals per game and allowing 2.76 per game on the season. Seattle blows. The Kraken are on a four game losing streak, with losses to the Flyers and Flames coming out of the Christmas break to drop to 10-18-4 on the year. Offensively they’re averaging 2.81 goals per game but they’re mainly losing on their poor play on the back end, allowing an average of 3.63 goals per game, second most in the NHL. Earlier this season, even while the Canucks were struggling in October, they beat the Kraken 4-2. I like the Canucks to bounce back from their loss and get the win here and I’ll take them for a unit at the nice pick em price on the road.
Kings vs. Flyers (10:30)
This is an interesting matchup to me. Both of these teams have won three of their last five games and split both games they’ve each played coming out of the break. LA comes into this game off a 2-1 shootout win against the Canucks on Thursday night and they’re 15-12-5 on the season. The Kings have been very good defensively this season, allowing an average of just 2.56 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL but they haven’t been able to score to win games, averaging only 2.53 goals per game, sixth fewest in the NHL. The 13-12-6 Philadelphia Flyers have struggled offensively as well, averaging only 2.65 goals per game, eighth fewest in the NHL and they’re allowing an average of 3.13 goals per game, tenth most in the NHL. I’d lean the under here but not enough to bet on it at 5.5. I think the Kings get the win at home and will take LA for half a unit.
1.5u parlay: Bruins ML/Panthers ML/Leafs ML (+102)
.5u Bruins TT over 3.5 (-132)
.5u Florida TT over 4 in regulation (-157)
1u Carolina in regulation (-125)
1u Carolina TT over 3.5 (-120)
.5u Carolina/Columbus over 6 (-120)
1u Oilers ML (-110)
1u Nashville ML (-200)
.5u Wild/Blues under 6 (-110)
1u Canucks ML (-110)
.5u Kings ML (-165)
Record (Regular Season): 229-183-10 (-8.32 units)
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