My first week back from the beach went somewhat according to plan, as my Gold, Silver, and Bronze plays all cashed. Unfortunately, all three of my side bets were wack, and all three went belly up.
With my overall record this season hovering at around the 54-percent mark, I’m hoping for a big week this time ‘round to get back on track for good. Loaded board with 11 games on tap for today, dig in and stick to the below picks to make some bank.
Side Bets: 13-14
Overall combined: 29-25 (54%)
New York Rangers @ Boston Bruins – Pick: Bruins
For the first time all season, the Bruins are enjoying a string of weeks of good health, and with their full roster in tact, Boston has been on a solid run of late, going 7-2-1 while closing the gap on the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division.
If you’ve been watching any hockey this year, you’ll know that the Rangers are just downright bad, and with the trade deadline approaching, this New York team could look very different in a matter of weeks. So you can’t really blame them if their heads just aren’t in it tonight.
The Rangers have played Boston tough recently, amassing a solid 7-3-0 record over their last 10 meetings. However, the Blueshirts are one of the worst road teams in the East, and have only three wins out their last 10 matchups against the Bruins in Beantown, so this isn’t a great spot for New York.
The Bruins continue their upward trajectory and spank the Rangers tonight. Book it as my Gold pick.
Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers – Pick: Flames
If you pegged the Calgary Flames to be sitting at the top of the always-tough Pacific Division with almost half the season already in the books, give yourself a big ol’ pat on the back, because the Flames have been simply sensational this campaign, pacing the entire Western Conference with 67 points.
The goalie situation in Calgary continues to be a talking point, but the tandem of Mike Smith and David Rittich have been getting the job done, with the latter stealing the crease away from the wily veteran Smith. Now, Smith was manning the cage last night when the Flames took down a haggard Detroit Red Wings group, so Rittich will be in between the pipes tonight against the Oilers.
You can never overlook the Battle of Alberta angle, and the Oilers’ tendency to play the Flames with their absolute best game must be considered, as Calgary has lost five straight in Edmonton. However, this is a very different Flames club than in recent years, so I’m not putting a ton of stock into that number.
Sprinkle some loot on Calgary, my Silver pick of the week.
Winnipeg Jets @ Dallas Stars – Pick: Jets
For a team that boasts the likes of such offensive studs as Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov, the Stars are seriously lacking in the goal-scoring department these days. The Stars have managed only seven goals over the last six contests while winning only one game over that span.
On the other hand, the high-flying Jets are starting to look like the squad that many pundits pegged as Stanley Cup contenders at the start of the year, with wins in four straight games and seven of their last 10.
Winnipeg is rolling and Dallas can’t even buy a goal, so this one seems like an awesome spot for the Jets. Hammer them as my Bronze play.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Minnesota Wild – Pick: Blue Jackets
Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers – Pick: Over 6
Florida Panthers @ 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.
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