Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:30 AM EST.
9:35 PM EST. Regulation only. What a great spot for the Hurricanes. As a better than 2-1 favorite over the Senators in its last game, Carolina lost 4-1. The game prior, the ‘Canes lost to the Rangers, 6-2. Combined, over its last two games against two perceived dregs in the N.Y.R. and Ottawa, Carolina is 0-2 while getting outscored 10-3. That resonates in this market and because of it, we get the Hurricanes at a big discount here.
For the ‘Canes, this kicks off a three-game trip in four days that will take them to the break. This is without question a season defining moment for this underachieving group because a bad trip and they are finished. We can almost guarantee that Carolina will win the puck possession and shots on net battle and they’ll likely do it by a wide margin.
Carolina’s record is not good but its underlying numbers are with a possession rate that ranks seventh in the league. Every year the Hurricanes look like they’ll finally put it all together and every year they fall flat on their face. There is no team more frustrating but again, it’s mostly because of weak goaltending. Analytics say that Carolina is unlucky and it also strongly suggests how horrific the team is at finishing. That the Hurricanes have been this bad at converting shots to goals, especially given how good their shot locations are is truly mind-boggling but let’s not ignore the acquisition of Nino Niederreiter. Niederreiter has traditionally been a solid offensive contributor that has reached the 20-goal milestone on three occasions and that set career-highs in 2016-17 with 25 goals and 57 points in 82 contests on a defensive-minded team. Dude has a game under his belt with his new teammates and should be more acclimated for this one.
As for the Oilers? Well, outside of Connor McDavid, this team is a joke. Edmonton had a blowout win over Buffalo last week (7-2). They were outshot in that game, 43-25. The Oil rank bottom three in just about every category both offensively and defensively. Statistically, even their goaltending is worse than Carolina’s. No team in the NHL has created fewer scoring chances than these Oilers over the past six weeks and only two teams have surrendered more scoring chances against. Finally, the Oilers marquee game was last night when their biggest rivals, the Flames, came to town. Edmonton took seven minors in that game and lost 5-2. They’ll now play a far less meaningful opponent in the tail end of back-to-backs after chasing the Flames around for 60 minutes last night.
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Carolina -½ +129 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.58)