NHL Handicapping Guide- February 16
- Updated: February 16, 2012
With just about two thirds of the NHL’s 82-game regular season in the books, the top teams in the league continue to battle for position for the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs while a good number of mid-level teams are battling it out for a coveted spot in the 16-team tournament.
This guide will take a look at a few teams that have been able to clearly separate themselves from the pack to provide a highly profitable return for anyone who enjoys wagering on the games. It will also provide a couple of free picks for Friday’s games.
The Top Three Money Makers
Another week has gone by but nothing has changed at the top of this list. The Detroit Red Wings have been and remain the most profitable team in the NHL with a +2044 return on the money line and a 31-27 record against the puck line. The Red Wings have been just as good on the ice with a four-game winning streak and a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 outings. Detroit leads the Western Conference with 80 points and has an overall record of 39-17-2. Its home winning streak reached a NHL record-breaking 21 games with a 3-1 victory over Dallas this past Tuesday.
The New York Rangers remain the hottest team in the Eastern Conference and have provided the second-best return on the money line at +1897. They have also won their last four games and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 to open-up a seven-point lead over Boston in the conference. Overall, the Rangers have 79 points and are 37-13-5 on the year. New York has also been profitable against the puck line with a record of 31-24.
The Nashville Predators continue to climb their way to the top of the standings in the West with a 6-2-2 record in their last 10 games. They are 33-18-6 on the year and their 72 points have them in fifth-place in the conference. The Predators’ recent run has translated to a very healthy +1252 on the money line and a solid 32-25 record against the puck line.
The next three-best returns on the money line belong to the Phoenix Coyotes at +1243, the Ottawa Senators at +961, and the Boston Bruins at +872. The Senators still have the best record in the league against the puck line at 37-23.
Friday Night’s Free Picks
The first game on the slate is a huge Southeast Division showdown between the second-place Washington Capitals and the first-place Florida Panthers with the two teams separated by just four points. Washington is just 3-4-3 in its last 10 games and 1-5 in its last six games on the road. The Panthers are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games but coming off a 6-2 loss to Ottawa on Wednesday night as 123 home favorites.
The home team has dominated this series in recent years with an 8-1 record in the last nine meetings. This season, the series is split an even 2-2 with the home team winning every game. Only one of those games was close as the road team has been outscored 11-2 in the other three games. Stick with these trends one more time as Florida extends its lead to six points in the division with another win at home. The Free NHL Pick: Florida 4 Washington 2
The second game of interest pits Nashville on the road against Detroit with the unenviable task of trying to end the Red Wings amazing winning streak at home. The last time that Detroit dropped a game on its home ice was a 4-1 loss to Calgary on Nov.3.
This should be a great matchup considering the current form of each team, but the solid play is actually on the total line if it opens at 5.5. The total has stayed ‘under’ in six of the last seven meetings when the line was set at 5.5. The total has stayed ‘under’ in the last three meetings in Detroit with exactly five goals scored in each game. The Red Wings have given-up more than two goals just once in their last 16 games at home. The Free NHL Pick: UNDER
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