NHL Handicapping Guide- December 22
- Updated: December 23, 2011
NHL Handicapping Guide- December 22
The long winter grind through the NHL’s 82-game regular season continues its marathon run to this spring’s Stanley Cup Playoffs with a good majority of the 30 teams in the league jockeying for position within their division. However, a few teams have already separated themselves by their play on the ice as well as their return on investment when it comes to wagering on the games.
The team at the top of this list is the Detroit Red Wings. Despite Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to Vancouver as a 117 road underdog, Detroit has provided the best return so far on the money line at +2015 and is a profitable 21-12 against the puck line. It is now 6-4 in its last 10 games and 21-11-1 overall. The Red Wings trail Chicago by five points in the Central Division with a total of 45 points.
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The Boston Bruins started the season 3-7, but the defending Stanley Cup Champions quickly returned to form and are currently one of the hottest teams in the league with a five-game winning streak and an 8-2 record in their last 10 games. The Bruins lead the Northeast Division with 45 points and have an overall record of 22-9-1. Their real claim to fame this season is a +1637 return on the money line. They have been less profitable against the puck line with a 17-15 record.
The third-best money maker this season has been the Winnipeg Jets. Since taking their act north from Atlanta, the Jets are right in the thick of the Southeast Division race with 35 points and a record of 15-13-5. Winnipeg is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games which has helped to boost its return on the money line to an impressive +1394. The Jets’ 24-9 record against the puck line is the most profitable in the NHL.
A couple of other teams that have provided a healthy return this season are the Minnesota Wild and the New York Rangers. The Wild are +1318 on the money line and 23-12 against the puck line and the Rangers are +1185 on the money line and 18-13 against the puck line.
This Friday night, the Philadelphia Eagles travel to the Big Apple to face-off against the New York Rangers in a key Atlantic Division showdown. The Flyers are coming off a 4-1 victory over Dallas this past Wednesday night as a 135 road favorite. They are now 8-1-1 in their last 10 games and 21-8-4 overall. The Rangers head into Thursday night’s game against the Islanders with a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games including wins in their last two games. They are 19-8-4 overall.
The first time they met this season, New York came away with a 2-0 victory as a 128-home favorite. They have now won the last three games of this series after Philly won the four previous games dating back to November of last year. Claude Giroux’s return to the lineup against the Stars gave the Flyers an immediate boost with a goal and three assists. Look for him to also be the difference in this one as Philadelphia halts the Rangers’ three-game streak. The Free NHL Pick: Philadelphia 3 New York 2
Friday’s nightcap features an All-Canadian matchup between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks. The Flames 2-1 victory over Minnesota this past Tuesday as 145 home favorites snapped a four-game losing streak and raised their record to an even 15-15-4 overall. Vancouver’s 4-2 win over Detroit as a 127 home favorite was its third straight and seventh in its last 10. The Canucks are now 21-11-2 overall.
Calgary will be coming off a tough home match against the Red Wings on Thursday night at home before going the road to Vancouver. The Flames are just 6-10-2 on the road this season while the Canucks are 10-4-1 at home. Add in the fact that Vancouver has won the last five games in this series including the first two this season and is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings and it all equals another win for the Canucks. The Free NHL Pick: Vancouver 3 Calgary 1
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