Saturday’s NHL Picks – December 15, 2018

by Flip Livingstone on December 15, 2018


Rough day at the office last Saturday, with only two of my six picks cashing. Thing is with betting, you never know when you’re right around the corner from that big bounce-back pay day.

With a 10-game schedule on tap for today, I’m feeling good about a few of these matchups that look prime for making some bank. Stick to these plays to make sure we start filling our pockets once again.

Good luck!

2018-19 Record

Gold: 3-3       
Silver: 4-2
Bronze: 2-4
Side Bets: 9-9

Gold

Buffalo Sabres @ Washington Capitals – Pick: Capitals

Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals continue to prove their haters wrong by showing absolutely zero signs of a Stanley Cup hangover. The reigning Cup champs are flying right now with wins in four straight games and eight in their last 10 overall.

The engine driving that bus? Yeah, not exactly a shocker, as Ovi has been tearing it up over the last few weeks. The Great Eight is not only riding an impressive 13-game point streak that’s seen him rack up 16 goals and six assists, but he’s also fresh off back-to-back contests that saw the dangerous Russian sniper rack up consecutive hat tricks to now sit clear in the NHL goal-scoring lead with 28 – five more than Winnipeg Jets star Patrik Laine.

Add in the fact the Sabres struggle mightily when playing on the road in Washington (losses in their last five in D.C.), and this is shaping up to be a very favorable spot at home for Ovechkin and the boys.

Let’s get this train back on track with an easy W for the Caps. Lock it in as my Gold selection.

Silver

Detroit Red Wings @ New York Islanders – Pick: Over 5.5

If there is one Over/Under that you wager on this weekend, this should be it, as this is one contest that screams high-scoring. I know I usually throw down on at least one Over pick each week, and man is this shaping up to be another long night for goaltenders.

The Wings and Isles are two clubs that don’t exactly hang their hats on the defensive side of the puck, as both clubs lack strong defensive cores and a bona fide No. 1 starting netminder. Not to mention the total has gone over the number in eight of Detroit’s last 11 contents against New York, including five of its last six away from Little Caesars Arena.

Let’s not overthink this one: the total is set at 5.5, which is looking like a complete steal at this point as that number could easily be at 6 or 6.5. Jump on this early before the total starts to creep up.

Bronze

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Florida Panthers – Pick: Maple Leafs

Coming into this season a lot of NHL experts pegged the Panthers as a playoff bubble team that could make some noise in a seven-game series with a talented top-six forward group that includes the like of Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. Between injuries and a lack of consistency between the pipes, Florida has seen its record plummet to the very bottom of the Eastern Conference standings at an extremely disappointing 11-13-6.

On the flip side, Toronto is very much for real. And despite getting thumped by Andrei Vasilevskiy and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night, there is no denying the Buds’ talent and recent reputation as one of the best road teams in the league with a stellar 12-5-0 record away from home this year.

The Leafs got it handed to them Thursday by the Bolts, but I expect a big bounce-back showing from them tonight against a reeling Panthers squad that’s dropped seven of its last 10 games.

Toronto takes this one by at least two goals.

Side Bets

L.A. Kings @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Pick: Penguins

Philadelphia Flyers @ Vancouver Canucks – Pick: Over 6

New Jersey Devils @ Nashville Predators – Pick: Predators

Flip Livingstone is a former NHL writer for theScore with past experience at such outlets as Postmedia, Hockey Night in Canada, and the CBC. You can follow him on Twitter @FlipLivingstone.