Normally I would be thrilled to have nine games with betting odds to choose from in hockey. Yet I am not and let me explain why today’s card has me more confused than trying to figure out Teletubbies.
My conundrum is about is about how teams will react after unusual situations. For example, Boston just gave up nine goals and the most shot attempts in 51 years, are they motivated at Winnipeg or still shell-shocked? Chicago was blanked by San Jose on home ice. With Dallas having won three straight road games and being destroyed by the Blackhawks 5-1 just five days ago, does Chicago bounce back or not? Plus, Buffalo at Philadelphia and Toronto at Edmonton are not exactly contests in which a winner is clearly obvious.
It is just one those days we all face in betting sports, sometimes it seems simple, other times it is not so obvious. After researching the card, I have three NHL picks which have a potential to make you smile, like you have in 19 of the past 25 days against the NHL odds.
San Jose (28-24 SU) has climbed into second place in the Pacific Division and is off a 2-2 road trip that featured big road wins over St. Louis and Chicago. The latter was 2-0 on Tuesday and I believe this will have a positive carry over as they prepare for Calgary (24-28 SU). The Sharks players realize they are underperforming at home at 10-14 SU and as -170 favorites, this provides them an opportunity to knock off a beatable opponent, especially if Martin Jones is between the pipes.
Jones is 9-2-1 with a 2.06 goals-against average since Jan. 9 and though the Flames have won their last two, they are still 8-17 on the road this season. San Jose has won six of past eight versus teams with losing record and is rock solid 9-2 when playing with exactly one day between contests.
Free Pick – San Jose wins
The Kings (32-20 SU) have to be feeling rather invincible, having scored nine goals, all by different players at Boston two nights ago, having last reached that goal total almost 23 years ago on the road. Los Angeles already had a potent power play, ranked third at 23.4 percent conversion rate, but they have scored on seven of last 12 chances. They will be tested if these opportunities arise against the New York Islanders (28-24 SU) who are second in penalty kills at 86.8 percent.