While many hockey fans and bettors are looking towards the outdoor games in Toronto and St. Louis on the first two days of 2017, there is a far more important clash on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
Columbus hits the Twins Cities on a 14-game winning streak and they will oppose Minnesota, who happens to have run of a dozen straight victories of their own. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, these are first two teams in any of the four major North American professional sports to play a game when each has a win streak of at least 12 games.
Besides how well these two are playing, statistically they are amazingly close. The Blue Jackets are the No.1 scoring offense at 3.44 goals a game, with the Wild 4th at 3.14 GAG. Defensively, they are the two best in the sport with Minnesota allowing 2.00 goals per contest and Columbus right behind them at 2.06.
So how do you bet on this for NHL picks? Tough choice with the Jackets a sparkling 11-5 SU on the road, but Minny is even better 13-3 SU on home ice. In reviewing special teams, Columbus has the best power play in the NHL, however, the Wild is 5th as penalty killers.
The good news is this will be on NHLN at 6:00 EST and we will lean with the home team to keep their streak alive.
Doug Upstone wrote this for www.sportsbookreview.com