FREE NHL Picks; December 29, 2018

Minnesota Wild vs Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are atop the Central division while the Wild are slowly falling out of any playoff chance right now. The Jets are 7-3-0 in their last ten and 13-5-0 on home ice, they are coming off a loss to Calgary on home ice. While the Wild are on a five-game losing streak, 3-6-1 in their last ten and 7-10-0 on the road. It has been a tough month and some for the Wild, they went from contenders to pretenders real quick. The Jets are going to handle this game with ease I say, with the Wild banged up a bit on the back end and possibly the Jets back up net minder going tonight, the Jets may score 4+ on the Wild. The Jets average around 3.46 goals to the Wild’s 2.92 goals and the Wild allow 2.86 goals to the Jets 2.81 goals per game. Minnesota’s second ranked penalty kill in the league will have their hands full vs the NHL’s third best power play in the league. I see this game being a 4-2 finish. The over/under is six which can hit but I never usually go o/u for NHL play, the Wild are +1.5 and +165 while the Jets are -1.5 and -165. I would go Jets -1.5 probably.

San Jose Sharks vs Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton is on a current four-game skid while the Sharks are finally starting to come together and be the team we imagined them to be. The Sharks are 2nd in the Pacific as the Oilers are sixth. The Oilers could use a big win here tonight on home ice vs a good Western Conference team. The Oilers are 10-7-1 on home ice and 5-4-1 in their last ten while the Sharks are 8-8-3 on the road and 6-2-2 in their last ten. If both starters go tonight for both teams (Jones vs Koskinen) we will see a relatively low scoring game. Both teams defend fairly well, the Sharks allow 2.92 goals per game vs the Oilers 3.11 goals per game. But the Sharks out score the Oilers for sure with a 3.28 goal per game average vs the Oilers 2.78 goals per game. On a four-game skid the first major losing streak under Ken Hitchcock, the Oilers battling for a playoff spot, on home ice, I think you know where I am going with this. I am feeling Oilers money line tonight. Oilers are +100 and +1.5 as the Sharks are -120 and -1.5, for sure going Oilers money line.

Boston Bruins vs Buffalo Sabres

Since the Sabres win streak they have been extremely sub par, they ae 4-4-2 in their last ten games and coming off a loss to the Blues in St. Louis they now head home where they have had most of their success this season. The Sabres are 12-4-2 at home this season, they average 2.87 goals per game and allow 2.84 goals per game on the year. They have the 5th best penalty kill in the league but also the 18th ranked power play, therefore special teams will be a factor in tonight’s game. Boston is also coming off a loss to New Jersey at TD Garden, the Bruins 6-4-0 in their last ten and currently 5th in the Atlantic and three points behind the Sabres for a top-three spot. The Bruins score 2.79 goals per game but allow 2.66 goals per game. They are the opposite of the Sabres with a 5th ranked power play and 19th ranked penalty kill. The Bruins are coming into this game off a tough loss on home ice and could use these two points to gain some ground on the Sabres right now. The Sabres on the other hand are in the same boat, they have Montreal and Boston creeping up behind them and after a bad loss to St. Louis they need to bounce back. The line is favored in the Sabres hands at +1.5 (-265) and +105 money line, as the Bruins are -1.5 and -125 the over/under of 5.5 looks like a solid option too but with very little offense from these two I am not sure. I would say go Bruins straight up to be honest.

New York Islanders vs Toronto Maple Leafs

This will be the first time the Islanders play the Leafs since John Tavares left the Islanders over the summer. The Leafs are coming into this one on a back to back as too are the Islanders. The Leafs played Columbus in Columbus and now have to head back to Toronto to get ready for a physical game vs the Islanders. The Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said he wants his players to take Tavares departure personally so we can probably see a physical game tonight. The Leafs are one of the best in the league and their current five-game win streak, 6-2-2 record in their last ten and 12-5-1 record at home says so as well. The Islanders are coming off a big come from behind win vs Ottawa Friday night, the Islanders are 6-3-1 in their last ten and 10-8-1 on the road. The Islanders score 2.92 goals per game vs the Leafs 3.79 goals per game. The Islanders allow 2.72 goals per game vs the Leafs 2.76 goals per game. The only way the Islanders have a chance in this game is if they score 5 plus goals and keep up with the Leafs offense. I don’t see the Islanders winning this one, going Leafs.

Detroit Red Wings vs Dallas Stars 

This game screams slam the Stars. After the ownership came out and ripped apart Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn I think we can expect a great game from the two, plus on home ice in Dallas the Stars need to win this game. The Stars are 11-5-0 on home ice, 4-6-0 in their last ten as the Red Wings are 7-9-3 on the road, 2-6-2 in their last ten and on a three-game skid. The Stars are currently in a playoff spot and battling for a top three-spot in the Central division. They can easily be a playoff team if they just stay consistent and Seguin and Benn pick it up. The Stars score 2.66 goals per game the Red Wings score 2.79 goals per game, the Stars allow 2.68 goals per game the Red Wings allow 3.26 goals per game. This game with the line it has right now really does favor the Stars, the Stars are -1.5 (+125) and -225 as the Red Wings are +195 and +1.5, I know I am 100% going the Stars to cover the spread. After the outburst from the Stars ownership Seguin and Benn are aware of it and will come out flying this game. Going Stars puck spread.

Other games on tonight: 

Washington vs Ottawa: Capitals. (to cover 1.5 as well)

Montreal vs Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay (no line right now)

Philadelphia vs Florida: Panthers (no line right now)

Pittsburgh vs St. Louis: Penguins (wouldn’t gamble on this one, no reward)

Rangers vs Predators: Predators (stay away, bad lines)

Chicago vs Colorado: Colorado (stay away)

Arizona vs Anaheim: Anaheim (no lines right now)

Vancouver vs Calgary: Flames (not worth the headache though)

Parlay for tonight: 

Jets (-1.5), Stars (-1.5), Oilers +100 or Jets (-1.5), Capitals (-1.5), Stars (-1.5)

 

 

 

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