By my standards, a .500 week. 2-2-1. But technically I had a winning week in that if you bet those games you would have walked away with more money, thanks to Tampa at -1.5 being +170 odds. So that puts my record this season at 19-21-2. Lots of time to get well back over .500, and with these picks so many of them you’re winning over double, so had someone used all of these picks this season they likely wouldn’t be down much at all, and makes me feel a lot less shitty at doing this! I use the term “smart bet” in I believe every write up today, so you’re warned. I know it’s annoying. Not as annoying as the fact that the girlfriend wants to go Christmas shopping today. It’s Saturday, let’s not go places where it’ll be a zoo! That sounds like the absolute worst. Maybe if I go, karma will make sure these picks are great, so I’ll take one for the team and go shop.
Colorado at Florida
Over 6 (-110)
The Avs went on a run for a bit where they were going under every game. Five straight games, under 5.5 goals a game. This was after a 12 game run where they hit seven or more. Lately, they’re back to that. Three straight where they’ve hit six or more. And with James Reimer in net at the other end I believe the smart money has to be on the over here.
Edmonton at Montreal
Oh man, I’m CRINGING at this one! I cannot stand betting an Oilers game, especially these days. But I have a rule that I’ve developed which is take teams coming off embarrassments. The Oilers got humiliated at home to the Flyers, and at least should be desperate. I stress should be, because this team has their collective heads up their asses most of the time. The Habs were a hot team since Carey Price returned, but they did lose at home to the Blues, then in OT to the Flames. The Oilers matchup very well with the Habs too as the Habs don’t have the kind of speed which often gives the Oilers trouble. I see this one going to OT, and if the Oilers do one thing right it is three on three. Another little tidbit for this game is the Oilers have played surprisingly well in Montreal. 5-1 in their last six at the Bell Centre. The Oilers often win in Montreal, and the Habs often win in Edmonton it seems. So with all that factored into a +135, I HATE calling the Oilers to win, but it is a smart bet to make.
NY Islanders at Boston
Over 6 (+100)
I knew this, but didn’t pay attention to it while making my picks until now: The Islanders go over. Six games into the season, the Islanders were scuffling, and not really scoring. Since their seventh game of the season, they’ve gone 18-3-1 if the over is six. 18 of 22 games seven goals or more have been scored. So how can you go against that? The Bruins are a tighter team defensively, but they can be scored on. Tuukka Rask is getting the start tonight and he’s not having a great season. Halak is at the other end, and he’s far from lights out anymore, and then you have the better odds on the over here for some reason. It seems like so many picks I make these days I lay out a shit load of reasons just like this as to why things should go this way, and then the opposite happens. Still, theme today is smart money and the smart money here has to be the over.
Toronto at Pittsburgh
Under 6 (+110)
YEP! I believe this is the first time I’ve taken the under in a Leafs game, at least while making my picks. It’s natural to look at this game and think “over 6, guaranteed”. The Leafs though have really buttoned it up defensively in the last month. If you were taking the over at six in their last 12 you’d be 2-8-2. This is why you have to roll with the punches as the kids say. The Pens don’t have Matt Murray right now, they’re playing Tristan Jarry, and they’ve hit seven in four of their last five at home, but again I stress that when you’re betting you’re looking for the best odds, not being right. The under is paying out over double, and the Leafs are playing much tougher defensively these days and not lighting up goaltenders at near the rate they were, so the under is the smart bet to take here.
Vegas at Dallas
Stars -1.5 (+155)
I’m almost ready to tap on calling Vegas a fluke. And they likely will be that come next season, but when you go into Nashville, and comeback from 3-2 down in the third to win, this team is now believing their own BS. It’s like in 2015 you could see that happen with the Flames. There just comes a point where it doesn’t matter how much of a fluke the team is (by the numbers), once they start believing they’re going to get the bounces, everyone on the team just starts playing a lot more loose and you start seeing career years all over the place. Having said all this….they just played in Nashville last night while the Stars are waiting for them. And the Stars will be ready to go, having lost back to back games to division rivals this week. On top of all this, it’s Ben Bishop who is lights out at home (awful on the road, but awesome at home) against Maxime Legace in goal. Smart bet here is definitely the Stars -1.5 paying out at double and a half.
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