I don’t have much time to do these this week. Last week I told you my picks would be garbage because A) I didn’t have much time to do them and B) I didn’t have much to pick from. I was right. This week, Not much to pick from yet again, but the picks are likely a little more solid. Four of five are “puckline” bets which is a lot safer to do this time of year when you know which teams have something to play for and which don’t. I’m expecting two of them to win, and if two win then you win money. And who doesn’t like to win money?!
St.Louis at Los Angeles
Kings -1.5 (+185)
Simply put, the Blues are slip sliding right down the standings, and at this point I’m sure that Doug Armstrong actually hopes they slide right to 25th overall or lower. Why? Because that would guarantee the Blues keep their 2018 first round pick. If they pick lower than 10th in the draft, the Flyers get that first round pick. On the ice they’re trending that way. Jake Allen starts today, he’s been a disaster after a scorching hot start (I think by now it’s a pretty obvious pattern with Allen that he really struggles with the mental aspect of the game because he’s wildly inconsistent). I also believe that they’ve quit on the GM because of the Stastny trade. Couple those things with every game being massive for the Kings right now and I just think the Kings -1.5 is a good play here.
Washington at San Jose
Is it wrong to simply play a hunch? The Caps have lost their first two on their California roadie. So with a good team like them, and a very inconsistent team like them, you’d think they would win one of the three…right? Even with Philip Grubauer getting the nod today, it might be a bonus for the Caps as Braden Holtby just hasn’t been the same guy this season. Plus, as I said earlier, I don’t have much to pick from for the second week in a row.
Pittsburgh at Toronto
Penguins -1.5 (+235)
It’s not no Auston Matthews. It’s really not anything to do with the Leafs as a team. It’s that this is the only game the Leafs have in an eight day stretch. Haven’t played since Monday, and don’t play again until next Wednesday. And what do they currently have to play for? They’re in third in the Atlantic, they’re not going to climb in the standings, and it’s highly unlikely the Panthers will catch them (and even if that happened they’d still be pretty safe for a wildcard spot), so there is no motivation on top of it being the only game they have in an eight day stretch. So at +235, I like the Pens to get an empty netter late and take this one by two.
New Jersey at Nashville
Predators -1.5 (+150)
Nobody seems to notice right now in the midst of Taylor Hall’s tremendous play, but the Devils are sliding. They’ve lost four of five, the only win in there was at home to the Canadiens, and even in that game they did their best to blow the game. Then of course you have the Preds on a 10 game winning streak, and while I haven’t been quiet about not believing in the Preds come playoff time, there confidence is so off the charts right now that they should win this one going away.
Minnesota at Edmonton
Wild -1.5 (+260)
This is insane value. Now, I get what Vegas is thinking here. Wild on the second half of back to backs. But I’ve started to notice this season that the second half of back to backs isn’t the struggle it once was. I’m going to look more into it at some point, but as the league gets quicker and quicker, it gets less and less of a grind. Hence, back to backs aren’t what they once were. A little surprised Bruce Boudreau is starting Devan Dubnyk on back to backs when he has a quality backup to go to in Alex Stalock, but he’s the coach. Add to all this, the Wild are on a major heater right now, while the Oilers are very much so done. -1.5 at THIS kind of value is too good to pass up.
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