Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:45 PM EST.
7:35 PM EST. OT included. The Senators went into California last week and took two of three games, beating L.A. and the Ducks before losing to San Jose. They did so without Matt Duchene and Thomas Chabot. Upon returning home, the Sens buried the Avs 5-2 in Chabot’s return from injury. Duchene also re-joined the team after the birth of his child. Having won three out of their last four with only loss to San Jose over that span, the Sens are priced almost daily like they’re a bunch of dregs. We had em in L.A. but regrettably missed them against the Ducks and Avs but we can’t be gun shy about it. The Sens are so dangerous because they can score goals and when a team can score, it is a decent goaltending performance away from pulling off the upset. When the goaltending is adequate, like it’s been since Anders Nilsson took over, the Sens are more than capable of winning. Nilsson allowed two goals on 32 shots in Wednesday's win over Colorado and he’s now won three of his last four games while giving up two goals or fewer in each.
Carolina will 100% win the puck possession battle here. There is no question about that but one cannot bet on puck possession or who will win the shots on net battle. If we could, we’d be shutting down bookshops all over the globe. Carolina has been outshooting the opposition and winning the puck possession battles for years and have zero playoff appearances to show for it. The ‘Canes are two lousy points ahead of the Rangers this year and they’re very likely going to miss the playoffs again. Why? The Hurricanes and Flyers are the poster teams of why a franchise should go after and spend top dollars on a #1 goaltender. Teams with great goalies contend for a Cup. Teams with good goaltenders win games and make the playoffs. Teams with poor goaltending lose often, miss the playoffs and fire the coach. The Hurricanes have proven that they’re in danger of losing anytime to anyone because they’re goaltending is weak. The Hurricanes also don’t have enough sharpshooters, they lose games often and they lose them far too often to be priced in this range.
Finally, we don’t like the spot for Carolina. It is coming off a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. Curtis McElhinney was injured in that game, which leaves Petr Mrazek as the #1. Additionally, the Hurricanes will fly out after this one to play their final three games before the eight-day break on the Canadian West Coast starting with Edmonton on Sunday. Of course Ottawa can win here.
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Ottawa +211 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.22)