Saturday’s NHL Picks: Bet The Over In The Battle Of Alberta
With the emotionally-charged week in sports that we just had (Black Mamba forever), focusing on some hockey for the day and making some picks is exactly the kind of thing I think a lot of us can use right now. With a stacked 14-game schedule, it’s the perfect kind of a day to get lost in the game we love.
The NHL campaign is now officially past the half-way mark, and with playoff races tightening across the league, we’re in store for what should be a very exciting stretch run. From the wild-card race in the Eastern Conference that has four teams separated by a single point, to the Pacific Division that currently has three Canadian teams sitting one, two, three, there is no shortage of enticing storylines to keep an eye on.
Fourteen teams were in action Friday night, so be sure to check-in on starting netminders before placing any wagers. Good luck and enjoy.
Side bets: 17-14
Overall total record: 31-29-1
Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Pick: Maple Leafs -1.5
The Toronto Maple Leafs seesaw season has seen the club bounce from second place in the Atlantic only three wins short of the Boston Bruins to being a few points short of even holding down a playoff position in only a three-week span. But with wins in their two games since the All-Star break and the Ottawa Senators in town tonight, the Buds have an excellent opportunity to string a few wins together and climb back into the top of the division.
There’s no denying the Sens are in a complete rebuild, but the fact remains that this team is just downright bad. Lacking in talent up-and-down the lineup, Ottawa has only two wins in its last 13 games. Furthermore, Ottawa has only one win in its last eight contests away from home, so I’m obviously loving this spot for Toronto.
Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been leading the Leafs’ high-powered offense of late (the duo combined for 16 of Toronto’s 40 total goals in January) with some seriously impressive performances and I see that trend continuing tonight. Hammer the Leafs on the puck line (-1.5), my Gold Pick of the week.
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames (Over/Under 6.5) – Pick: Over
If you haven’t been paying attention to the resurgence of the Battle of Alberta this season you have seriously been missing out. High-scoring contests, good scraps, you name it, this rivalry has provided it. But, for the purposes of this piece, we’re going to focus on the high-scoring aspect.
The last three meetings between these two clubs haven’t exactly been a ton of fun for netminders, with a total of 20 goals being scored – the last two both going over the number. Not to mention, when you take a look at how both Edmonton and Calgary have been trending of late, you can’t help but notice that both teams have been involved in a number of high-scoring contests.
Aside from the potential fisticuffs that should keep this game interesting from the jump, you can also expect the scoreboard to be getting a workout in this one, both early and often. Take the over, good for my Silver Pick of the week.
St. Louis Blues @ Winnipeg Jets – Pick: Blues
Things in Winnipeg haven’t exactly gone to plan this season for the Jets. A powerhouse and true Cup contender in the West only a season ago, Winnipeg is currently a shell of its former self with only three wins in their last ten games. Currently riding a five-game losing streak, the Jets sit four points adrift of the last wild-card spot and are struggling to put wins together.
Enter the reigning Stanley Cup champs in the St. Louis Blues. Who, by the way, have five straight victories when visiting Bell MTS Place. However, it has to be pointed out that the Blues have not exactly been consistent on the road this season (14-9-4). But given the recent success in Winnipeg, I’m more than comfortable with taking St. Louis in this spot.
This is a classic scenario of two teams trending in opposite directions and I can’t help myself from wagering on the better squad in the more favorable situation. The Blues take this one and the Jets continue their tailspin (sorry, I had to).
Tampa Bay Lightning @ San Jose Sharks – Pick: Lightning
Dallas Stars @ New Jersey Devils – Pick: Stars
Chicago Blackhawks @ Arizona Coyotes –Pick: Coyotes
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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