Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
8:00 PM EST. OT included. Win or lose here, the price being offered on the Panthers is somewhat outrageous and is once again based on results and not the performance on the ice. Nashville is first in the Western Conference Central with 60 points and they’re coming off back-to-back wins over Vegas and Arizona after their bye week. The Preds have won four in a row but could easily be 0-4 over that same span if one bounce went the other way. All four games were one-goal victories. Against Vegas, the Preds were outshot 43-27 but won 1-0. Against Arizona, Nashville needed a goal with its goalie pulled for another attacker with under a minute left in regulation to tie it before winning it in a shootout. The Preds are still without Flip Forsberg and Victor Arvidsson, which makes up two thirds of their best line. The Preds have scored three goals or less in 10 of its past 11 games and two goals or less in seven of those, yet they keep racking up one-goal victories, which is not a skill. If the Preds' success in close games is a reflection of their true talent rather than just a really lucky hot streak, where is that skill the rest of the time? The Preds' success in close games is dramatic but it is also unsustainable.
In the world of hockey analytics, the dominant theory has been that a team's record in one-goal games is almost entirely unpredictable. This was first established by Gabriel Desjardins of Hockey Prospectus after the 2008-09 season. He ran a regression analysis on every team's data from 1979-80 through 2010 and found that the season-to-season correlation of a team's record in one-goal games was an almost nonexistent. Nashville is not a bad team by any stretch but they are priced like an elite team or one of the best when that is not true at all.
By contrast, the Panthers are considered to be one of the NHL’s weaker teams because of its poor record but that’s not true either. The Panthers have one of the NHL’s best lines and will absolutely feature the best line in this game. Florida plays a fast, aggressive style and they play it well. Playing the seventh toughest schedule in the NHL, Florida is 8-6 against top-10 teams and 12-12 against top-16 teams. The Panthers came off their bye last night with a 4-3 OT win over Vegas and while they were outshot 36-26, they never trailed in that game and did not look nearly as flat as other teams coming off their byes. That’s a good sign of a team wanting to get back to it and they figure to be even better here with that one game under their belt after the bye. The Panthers are an enthusiastic, talented and very dangerous dog that is being offered a great price in a game they absolutely can win.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
Florida +175 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.50)