A new name to the site now, and in that I’ve stopped doing NFL picks. I HATE that, because I’m pretty good at it. So I have to fill my gambling addiction….actually I really don’t have an addiction and am actually a huge…you know the word….when it comes to gambling away my money. But I do want to test myself, and do believe I can pick NHL games well if I start looking in depth at them. So here we go. Use these at your own risk, and don’t bet what you don’t have.
Tampa Bay at Florida
I said it in my season preview, EVERYONE is sleeping on the Panthers this season….why?! Because they lost a 45 year old player? Because Jason Demers is a god in the analytics community? I just don’t see it. They had a ton of injuries last season which were the reason why they fell off. They’re healthy now, and pushed the Lightning pretty good last night out shooting them 36-24 (inflated by the Panthers attempting to comeback, but I believe even when the game was tied at two the Panthers were ahead). Panthers are starting a fresh James Reimer tonight, while the Lightning are expected to go with Andrei Vasilevskiy again despite being so busy last night. At -110 at home, I love the Panthers in this spot.
Buffalo at NY Islanders
Moneyline on this one. I know the Islanders will be a little pissed off after last night’s embarrassing showing in Columbus, but the key in all that is last night. The Sabres played Thursday, so they’ll be a little more fresh. Also, while in Brooklyn, the Islanders have drawn poorly and especially early in the season. So there isn’t much of a home ice advantage. After that, where do the Islanders hold a distinct advantage on the Sabres? Up front? No, very similar. On D? I’d say the Islanders are better on the blueline but not much. In goal? Well the Islanders are starting Jaroslav Halak tonight. You can trust Halak at your own risk, I’m not about to after how last season went. I don’t really like either team, but I like the Sabres at even money in this spot.
Nashville at Pittsburgh
My inclination was to go over with this game. EVERYTHING says go over…so I’m saying take the under. You HAVE to think Matt Murray is going to bounce back some game soon. He’s going to come out pissed off and have a 30 shot, 28 save performance. At the other end, the Preds are starting Juuse Saros who I fully believe will be the Preds starting netminder soon. I don’t hesitate to admit, this game should go over. But when I bet anything, I’ve learned to trust the opposite of what I think. Both these teams are going to be looking to button it up defensively tonight, so I’m expecting a 2-1 or 3-2 game here.
Columbus at Chicago
Blackhawks +190 (-1.5)
Did you see what the Hawks did to the Pens Thursday night?! Wow! This team is pissed. This team is pissed because a lot of the media has wrote them off. I took them to win the Cup, so I don’t THINK I’d count as one of the people they’re pissed at (also I’m not in the media). But I’ve read and heard reports of the Hawks being told that some didn’t even have them making the playoffs. This team is a very legitimate three lines deep with ridiculous skill, a much improved blueline, and a top rate goaltender. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets just played last night. I don’t know if you’ll ever see me take a team where one is on the second half of a back to back, even if it is the first week of the season. Add to all of this, it’s Joonas Korpisalo in goal for the Blue Jackets, not Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s always a little scary to take a team to win by two, but I’m willing to roll the dice in this spot.
Winnipeg at Calgary
This one isn’t GREAT odds, but it’s good enough. Both teams are coming off embarrassing performances on Wednesday night, so they’ll be looking to make amends for that. Then it comes down to who the better team is, and that’s simply the Flames. Who would I pull for in this game? The Jets. But the Jets are very overrated because not only is the goaltending bad, but the defensive play is bad. A lot of fans and media believe that because they have a lot of talent on defence then they should be a good defensive team, and that’s just not the case. The game is played five on five, not three on two. The Flames have the better blueline, are a better defensive team, and the better goaltending. Take the Flames here.
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