Saturday’s NHL Picks: Pick The Over In Philly
How’s it going, hockey heads? Long time no bet. Apologies for the void in picks over the past two weeks. Santa was a little bit too good to me and I needed some time to reset and get my head right for the second half of the season.
The post-Christmas-break fog that a lot of teams wade through in January has dissipated. Now, clubs across the league are capitalizing on this crucial portion of the NHL schedule when the best teams in the league start to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. From Dallas and Calgary surging in the West to the Maple Leafs and Lightning racking up points in the East, there is no shortage of streaking teams to keep an eye on.
With only six teams in action last night we should have a majority of teams playing their No. 1 goalies, but make sure you know who’s between the pipes before placing a wager. A total of 11 games await us on the NHL board today, so good luck and enjoy!
Side bets: 15-13
Overall total record: 28-26-1
Tampa Bay @ Philadelphia Flyers (Over/Under 6.5) – Pick: Over
After an up-and-down start to their season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last month. Aside from rapidly ascending up the Eastern Conference standings, the Bolts have impressed with a balanced scoring attack that has the club sitting in fourth in overall scoring (159) only three goals off the league lead.
This matchup screams over to me. Maybe it’s the fact the Flyers perennially lack a bona fide starting netminder (even though Carter Hart looks like he has what it takes), or maybe it’s because I think the Lightning alone might go over the total here, but this game has all the makings of a high-scoring showdown. Not to mention, six of Tampa’s last seven games on the road in Philly have gone over the number. Oh, and these two clubs combined for a whopping 28 goals over their last three meetings overall.
I don’t know what else you need to hear to love a wager on the Over. The line opened at 6 but with money coming in on the Over, you’re likely to have to bet it at the 6.5 mark. Lightning-Flyers goes Over the total, my Gold Pick of the week.
Dallas Stars @ San Jose Sharks – Pick: Stars
The tale of two clubs heading in two completely different directions is just one of the intriguing storylines to keep in mind for this one. The Stars are rounding into form as a true contender with wins six straight games, climbing into second place in the tough Central Division. While on the other hand, things are going from bad to worse for the Sharks.
In addition to only sitting five points adrift from dead-last in the West, San Jose is still dealing with the news that its captain and leading scorer, Logan Couture, will miss at least six weeks with a busted ankle. The Sharks have been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2019-2020 campaign, and with holes up and down their lineup, the team has been one of the groups that I love to bet against this year. Not to mention, Sharks starting goaltender Martin Jones has been downright bad, posting a 13-15-2 record to pair with a 3.19 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. (Editor’s note: Aaron Dell is the confirmed starter for this game, as per Goalie Post.)
The Stars have been winning for me all year and I love this spot for them to grab another two points here. Hammer the Stars, good for my Silver play of the week.
Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders – Pick: Bruins
As much as it pains me to bet on a team that gives my favorite club such a hard time (Leafs homer over here, don’t forget), this is shaping up to be a favorable matchup for a Bruins group that is starting to play better hockey after a sloppy three-game losing skid that saw the B’s manage only four goals over that span.
Meanwhile, the Isles have been somewhat pedestrian of late, posting a 5-4-1 record over their last 10 games while struggling to light the lamp (six total goals scored over their last four contests). Furthermore, Boston has dominated the Islanders in recent meetings, boasting a sparkling 8-0 record over its last eight meetings in New York, so I think you can see where I’m going with this.
This might end up being a really tight-checking, low-scoring tilt that probably won’t be a lot of fun to watch, but I still like the Bruins for a win here. Bruins by a goal in a low-scoring affair, my Bronze Pick of the week.
New York Rangers @ St. Louis Blues – Pick: Blues
Boston Bruins @ New York Islanders (Over/Under 6) – Pick: Under
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames – Pick: Oilers
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
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