Apologies for the lack of picks last week, but I am back, people. No, I wasn’t trying to avoid facing the music when it comes to a rough 4-8 start to my weekly picks, so don’t even go there. I know what you are thinking: Only four correct picks through two weeks doesn’t exactly have me prepped for retirement. But we’re still in October with plenty of opportunity to right the ship (and wallet).
As mentioned, the first two weeks have not exactly gone according to plan, and after some initial research into tonight’s matchups, we have another tough slate of games ahead of us to make some cash. But it can be done.
A relatively light schedule of nine games on the board for today, with one matinee and eight nighttime games to take in. Good luck and enjoy another Saturday full of – hopefully – profitable puck.
Side bets: 3-3
Overall total record: 4-8
Anaheim Ducks @ Colorado Avalanche – Pick: Avalanche
After a hot start to the 2019-2020 campaign that saw them go 5-2 over their first seven games, the Ducks have fallen back to earth in a big way, losing the last three in a row while managing only one goal in each of those losses. On the other hand, the Avs look to be the real deal, even without star forward Mikko Rantanen who is out week-to-week with injury. Colorado is currently the toast of the West, sitting atop the conference with eight wins and points in nine of its 10 games this season.
It should be noted that Anaheim does own a solid record against the Avalanche with wins in seven of their last 10, but this is a very different Colorado club that now owns one of the most dangerous offensive lineups in the league (only the high-powered Maple Leafs and Capitals have more total goals this year). Meanwhile, the Ducks are a shell of their former selves.
Betting on the Avs here straight-up won’t exactly net you a big return, but throw this pick on a parlay with another bet or two and you’re in business. Colorado rolls in this one, my Gold pick of the week.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens (Over/Under 6.5) – Pick: Over
These two Original Six franchises renew their rivalry tonight in what should be yet another high-scoring tilt between two teams that tend to score in bunches against one another.
Also interesting to note when it comes to considering an Over bet here: Toronto head coach Mike Babcock will continue with his bizarre trend of always going with his No. 2 goalie in the second night of a back-to-back, regardless of the team his group is up against. So you can expect backup netminder Michael Hutchinson to be manning the blue paint for the Leafs (for starting goalie information, see Goalie Post). Hutchinson has allowed 13 goals across his three starts this season and enters tonight’s game with a crooked 4.02 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. Woof.
Montreal and Toronto have combined for a total of 38 goals over their last four meetings, with the total score going over the number in all four of those matchups. This game could be over before the second period finishes, so don’t be shy about hammering this one. Take the over 6.5 goals, good for my Silver play of the week.
L.A. Kings @ Minnesota Wild (Over/Under 5.5) – Pick: Under
I got burned two weeks ago when I bet the under in what looked to be a perfect scenario for a low-scoring game that also featured Minnesota, but I can’t help myself from looking at this game the same way. These are two teams that lack offensive talent and have a seriously tough time putting up goals. Especially the Wild, who sit second-last in total goals scored with only 21 through their first 10 games.
The total in the last three contests between these two clubs have all stayed under the number and I expect that trend to continue tonight in Minny. I’m not overthinking this one: Two teams that lack scoring punch who tend have low-scoring games against one another sounds like the perfect spot to sprinkle a wager on the under.
I could see this one ending in a 3-2 shootout, so if you’re getting a little degenerate, throw the under pick on a parlay with the shootout and let’s get weird. Kings-Wild stays under the number – book it.
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Dallas Stars – Pick: Stars
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Philadelphia Flyers (Over/Under 6) – Pick: Over
Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets – Pick: Flames
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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