Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
9:05 PM EST. OT included. The best thing about the Islanders is that they’re coming off a 7-3 win in Chicago but still allowed 40 shots on net. The Islanders almost always have to score four or more to win because three or less isn’t enough for this weak defensive team with one of the weakest goaltending duos in the NHL. In fact, the Isles have scored three goals or less in a game and emerged victorious just one time over their past 18 games. In other words, if the opposition can score three times, they have an outstanding chance of beating the Isles. Scoring three times or more on this unit is not a daunting task. The Islanders Expected GA (xGA) over the past five weeks ranks dead last in the NHL and it’s not even close. Defensively speaking, the Isles rank bottom three in several categories and dead last in others. Additionally, the Islanders are without several regulars, as Johnny Boychuk and Calvin de Haan remain out on the back end while Andrew Ladd, Shane Prince, Casey Cizikas and Nikolay Kulemin remain out up front. The Islanders are a defensive mess and therefore cannot be favored on the road.
The Coyotes poor record and weak following has them as the NHL’s most undervalued team and while they could not buy a victory in the first half, things tend to even out over time so the Coyotes could very well be a profit machine the rest of the way. Do not sleep on this team, as the analytics strongly suggest plenty of wins over the next few weeks. Arizona ranks 8th in the NHL in xGA since December 15. They rank 22nd in 5v5 Corsi For % over that same span but they were a bottom three team for the first three months so that’s some significant improvement and they also rank higher than the Islanders 28th place ranking. Arizona has lost seven of its last nine games and now has a lousy 11 wins in 48 games. That’s sweet because once again that’s pretty much all this market cares about. Arizona is playing well without the results. They have been on the bad side of so many bounces. The ‘Yotes have picked up points in four straight games with three OT losses and one victory. They have picked up points in six of their last seven games with only regulation loss over that time occurring against the Oilers. They have allowed two goals or less in regulation time in five of those seven games. Antti Raanta is also playing at a high level recently too. All the signs are all there that point to some positive results for this team and we will not hesitate to get behind them when it’s warranted like it is here.
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ARIZONA -106 (Risking 2.12 units - To Win: 2.00)