NHL best bets and expert picks
The hockey gods were incredibly cruel to me last night. I had the Oilers and the Canucks to win in regulation, and wouldn’t you know it. They both won 4-3, but both games needed overtime. That is just insanely unlucky if you ask me.
Tonight is a new night, with nine different NHL games, but I will stick with my recent theme and focus on one or two of them. I like the board a lot tonight, but the action starts early as the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings are set to face off in Sweden.
The Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators will participate in the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. So, even if this is technically a home game for the Senators, I wouldn’t necessarily say there is any home-ice advantage.
The Senators and Red Wings are very offensively gifted teams, and one factor that will play into their favor today is the wide ice sheet used overseas. European leagues play on Olympic-sized ice sheets, which have more space for skill, allowing teams to benefit offensively.
The Senators enter this game as the third-highest scoring team in the NHL, averaging 3.85 goals per game, while the Red Wings are sitting in sixth, averaging 3.67 goals per game. Both teams have been playing a tad inconsistent as of late. The Senators are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games, and the Red Wings are 4-4-2 in that same span. This is a very important game for both teams, but they’ve also been struggling mightily in their own end.
Detroit allows 3.27 goals against per game, and Ottawa allows 3.38 each night.
Both teams have strong underlying offensive numbers. The Red Wings are skating to a 55.88% in expected goals, and the Senators are at 53.73%.
This game should have a ton of offense, and I am looking for players like Dylan Larkin, Alex DeBrincat, Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stutzle to bring the action.
Bet: Over 6.5 -130 (play to -145)
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been a disaster as of late. They have now lost six straight games and scored one power-play goal in their last nine games. The Blue Jackets have scored on one of their last 25 attempts on the man-advantage, and the power play struggles are starting to hurt them.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes’ power play is buzzing, converting in six straight games. They have been the league’s best unit since November 2nd, scoring at 42.1% in that time.
The Blue Jackets have been struggling in their own end, allowing 3.56 goals against per game, the sixth highest in the NHL. This past week alone, they’re 0-3-1, giving up 4.50 goals against, third-most in the league. Columbus is going through it right now, and I don’t trust Elvis Merzlikins or Spencer Martin in goal. They’ve allowed 23 goals against in their last five games. The Coyotes have been able to fill the back of the net, scoring 17 goals in the same span.
Clayton Keller has been on fire. He has tallied three goals and four assists in his last five games. I’m hoping for him to stay hot and for the Blue Jackets’ struggles to continue, as this will be their fourth game in the last six nights.
I’m going with the ‘Yotes on the road.
Bet: * 3 units Arizona Coyotes ML -120 (play to -140)