Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. Erik Karlsson's impact on the Senators cannot be overstated, and it will be a sad day for the franchise when he's prematurely shipped out of town after owner Eugene Melnyk alienated his superstar player with his inability to keep his fat yap shut. Karlsson is the lifeblood of the Senators, but he will not make this trip to Raleigh, which makes the Sens a less appealing play tonight than they probably already were, which is saying a lot for a team that has lost three straight games. The perception in the market is that the Sens are tanking for a better draft pick, but this is not the NFL where the last place team is automatically rewarded with the #1 selection. The NHL's draft lottery is a farce and rarely do the bottom feeders get rewarded. Remember when Winnipeg jumped four spots to steal Patrik Laine from Vancouver? When these two team's played in Ottawa on Saturday, the Sens admitted there was a bounce in their step as Karlsson made a surprise return to the lineup and they still lost 5-2 to Carolina, but that most recent result will only further deflate Ottawa's low standing in the market. That W was the 'Canes second in a row, and now they suddenly have a playoff pulse with seven games to go.
The "must win" angle is one of the most overrated around, but it does provide us with an opportunity, as teams that are still in it are often overvalued over those who are not. This game fits that to a T, as the Hurricanes are spotting their biggest price in 20 games. Betting the Hurricanes at prices like this is playing with fire, as either Cam Ward or Scott Darling is capable of giving up goals in bunches, as they've allowed four or more in six of the last 10 games including seven against the Oilers and six to the Bruins, Rangers and Wild respectively. Even with back-to-back wins, http://SportsClubStats.com still have the Hurricanes playoff chances at 0.0 although they have not been mathematically eliminated. As for tonight, if you're comfortable laying nearly 2-1 with either Ward or Darling, then you my friend must carry your balls around in a wheelbarrow. Weak goaltending cannot be trusted at a price like this. Sister Jean could undress either of those guys on her worst day and Carolina very simply must be faded when they’re priced in this ridiculous range.
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Ottawa +179 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.58)