Remember last Saturday when I said betting on the start of the NHL was a tricky thing to do? Well, turns out I was right on that front – unfortunately, not so much on the pick front. Last week my Gold, Silver, and Bronze picks all went bust. But the thing about making weekly picks is, you show up every week and take it on the chin, regardless of how things went the week before.
The start of the 2019-2020 campaign has already offered up a number of intriguing storylines. From James Neal (who has already matched his goal output from a season ago) and the red-hot Edmonton Oilers to the sputtering San Jose Sharks (who have only one win), the unpredictability of the start of a new year has already been on full display.
Despite that and the tough start last Saturday, I’m pushing forward and sticking to my guns. 14 games on tap today including two afternoon tilts to make some coin. Cheers to a big bounce-back week upcoming and let’s get this paper.
As always, good luck, enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian readers out there.
Side bets: 2-1
Philadelphia Flyers @ Vancouver Canucks (O/U 6 total goals) – Pick: Over
It’s not very often that I make an Over/Under bet with my Gold pick of the week, but I’m seriously feeling this one and will have to learn the hard way if it doesn’t bang.
Let’s take a quick look at this, shall we: the Canucks are fresh off an eight-goal outburst and tout some of the best young offensive players in the game in Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser. As for the Flyers, the team is loaded up front with snipers (Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, etc.) and is just starting to click on offense with four goals scored in back-to-back wins.
I know Flyers netminder Carter Hart is coming off the first shutout of his career and is one of the brightest young goaltenders in the league, but these two teams score a lot of goals and both are starting to gel at the offensive end. This matchup screams high-scoring, so I like it for my Gold play of the week.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Detroit Red Wings – Pick: Maple Leafs
I know, I know. Here goes the Toronto guy betting on the Leafs again. Well, before you start mashing characters and throwing shade on Twitter (if you’re following along, I’ll throw some back), you can’t deny the talent Toronto has upfront. With the likes of such elite forwards as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares in the fold, the Leafs are a very dangerous team.
Detroit, on the other hand, is still in the midst of a complete rebuild. And while the team does have some nice young pieces developing, the organization is still a few years away from being a true contender.
Look, I get it, Toronto got their asses handed to them Thursday night against a fired-up Tampa Bay Lightning group. It was one of the worst performances I’ve seen from a Mike Babcock-led club. However, the entire team has been basically called out in the media in Toronto over the last few days, so I very much expect the Leafs to respond in a big way in Babcock’s old barn.
Hammer the Buds tonight for a big bounce-back win.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Minnesota Wild (O/U 5.5 total goals) – Pick: Under
Let’s get weird, people. Another bet on a goal total? Why not, it’s a long weekend and spirits are high.
The Penguins head into Minny tonight without a handful of key offensive pieces, as the likes of Nick Bjugstad, Alex Galchenyuk, and superstar Evgeni Malkin are all out with injury. As for the goal-strapped Wild, who have managed only six tallies combined in their first three games, the team lacks scoring depth and has finished near the bottom of the league in team scoring the last few seasons – I think you see what I’m getting at here.
The total has gone under the number in five of Pittsburgh’s last six contests in Minnesota, and I fully expect that trend to continue tonight. Try and shop around a bit if you are betting online, and see if you can get the total number at six. If it’s still 5.5 at puck drop, sprinkle a small wager or add it to a parlay with the above two picks.
Either way, the under in this matchup is my Bronze pick of the week.
Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche – Pick: Avalanche
Winnipeg Jets @ Chicago Blackhawks (O/U 6.5 goals) – Pick: Over
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Carolina Hurricanes – Pick: Hurricanes
Flip Livingstone is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Narcity Media, Postmedia, and Hockey Night in Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @FlipLivingstone and @Flips_Picks