Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:10 AM EST.
For the most part, our NHL wagers are based on value, goaltending and situations and therefore we’re just going to keep this section running and throw in some notes unless there is some key information that we want to share or a situational advantage that we see. In that case, we'll post a separate write-up.
NHL Add-ons for Monday, December 31
HOME TEAM IN CAPS - all plays are for 2 units unless stated otherwise.
Philadelphia +112 over CAROLINA
6:05 PM EST. OT included. It's hard to win in this league when you can't score and that fact is even truer when you consider the Hurricanes can't stop the puck either. Carolina has been shutout in two of their last four games including Saturday's 2-0 loss against New Jersey with rookie goalie Mackenzie Blackwood in net for the Devils. As the league leader in shots, you might think that a correction might be coming for Carolina, as they average the second worst goals per game mark in the league (2.43), but you'd be wrong. As long as the 'Canes continue to send sub-par goaltending to the crease, they are going to continue to be a very poor favorite.
Pittsburgh +109 over MINNESOTA
6:05 PM EST. OT included. The Penguins are pooch here why exactly? Minnesota has struggled mightily as of late, although they ended a five-game losing streak over the Jets on Saturday afternoon. Even with that W in the Manitoba capital, the Wild are still just 4-10 over their last 14 games. Meanwhile, the Pens are rolling because not only have they underchieved thus far, their goaltending is back to being elite. The Pens are back in playoff contention after ripping off five wins in a row and we don't see that coming to a halt here. When the Pens are playing this well and being offered a price, pencil us in.
BUFFALO -½ + +126 over N.Y. Islanders
6:05 PM EST. Regulation Only. The Islanders rank in the bottom third of many of the key analytics on both sides of the puck, yet they continue to rack up the wins night after night. A 4-0 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night was just the latest smoke and mirrors show by the Isles, as they were outshot by Toronto just as they were in recent wins over Arizona, Colorado, and Detroit. New York is a bad team that has a horseshoe up its collective asses, while the Sabres are the exact opposite, as they are a really good team that can't catch a break after losing four of their last five. Buffalo has outshot their opposition in three of those four defeats and certainly deserved a better fate in Boston on Saturday after dominating the Bruins in a 3-2 OT loss.
DETROIT +113 over Florida
7:35 PM EST. OT included. The Panthers shook things up yesterday after dealing defenseman Alex Petrovic to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Chris Wideman. It certainly says something when you have to look at the Oilers for help on the blueline, but the Panthers real problem, like many teams, starts in the net. Roberto Luongo is just 54th of all goaltenders in goals-against average (3.07) and 49th in save percentage (.902). On the other side of this equation are the Red Wings, who despite a fourth consecutive loss are competitive in every game and just need a bounce every once in a while. Jimmy Howard gives them an edge in net tonight and we're thrilled to get the Red Wings as a dog in their own rink on New Year's Eve.
Montreal +136 over DALLAS
8:35 PM EST. OT included. The Stars responded to CEO Jim Lite saying Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, "have been shit, horseshit". Lite went on to say, "I don't know how else to put it. We pay these players to be the best players on our team and they are consistently out-efforted and outperformed by everybody else's best players." How long that fire will remain stoked remains to be seen, but one game does not make a turnaround and the Stars are still a lousy favorite.
We're very aware that the Habs are playing without Carey Price but what that means is a a hugely inflated takeback on the vastly superior team and that's all there is to it.
Please note - We may be adding games throughout the day, as more info is available after the morning skates.
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NHL Add-ons (Risking 10 units - To Win: 0.00)