Back to the NHL, where we’ve dropped a few in a few in a row, but still waiting for some basketball lines, so will get caught up on some trends that have developed.
Home teams are 339-286, with overtime losses just counted as losses, since if you wager on those teams you don’t care how they lose – it’s still a loss. Betting blindly on all home teams would have yielded an ROI of -4.4%, while blindly betting away teams would have resulted in an ROI of -1.1%.
Home favorites are doing even worse from a profit/loss standpoint, going 268-204 with an average lay price of nearly -160, they’ve yielded an ROI of -5.7%, while taking away underdogs has practically been an even proposition, with a flat-bet loss of $35 and an ROI of -.1%.
Home underdogs have shown a small profit of +1.9% and are 62-74 for the season.
Favorites of -200 and more are 62-32, so they’ve yielded an ROI of -4.1%, while favorites of -250 or more are 18-5 and have shown a 7.2% ROI, but much like baseball, where the huge favorites have been profitable the last few years, it’s tough to lay those types of prices.
Totals are 302-297-26, so a solid job by the oddsmakers there and there really hasn’t been any difference regardless of who is favored, as totals are 227-224-21 when the home team is favored and 66-67-3 when the away team is favored.
Totals of 5.5 and lower are 91-95-2, while totals of 6.5 and greater are 105-119-1. Totals of 6 have gone 106-83-23. Games involving two teams who were in action the previous day are 23-15-1, while games in which one team was rested and the other played the previous day have seen a 55-69-6 record.
Washington at Carolina: The Hurricanes opened -125 and the Caps have received two-thirds of the early wagers in this one, yet the line is still holding at Hurricanes -125. Carolina won 6-4 here less than a week ago and won the first meeting between the two 3-2 in overtime back in October. While the Caps are 9-4 after a loss and 10-6 in revenge games, they’re 5-6 after losing the last two to a team. Carolina is 15-8 after a win, however, so conflicting trends there. The total opened 6 and is now 6.5-under with more than 85% of the early wagers on the over, most likely due to the score last week, but with Samsonov expected to start, will take the under in this one.
Detroit at Dallas: The Stars opened -300 and are still there while getting 75% of the wagers. The total has moved from 5.5-under (-125) to 5.5-under (-115) with two-thirds of the wagers on the over. Detroit is 4-5 after a win, while the Stars have gone 15-7.
Record: 18-19-1 -2.97
END OF JAN. 3 PICKS
Lots of basketball games still without lines, so we’ll hop over to the NHL where we have four games on the schedule, with a couple of decent matchups.
Dallas at Florida: The Panthers opened -135 in this one and are now -125 in a game that has seen pretty good two-way action. The total opened at 6-under and has dropped to 5.5-over with a few more wagers coming in on the under. The Stars won in Tampa last night and make the trip to Sunrise to face the Panthers and Dallas has been a pretty solid team after a victory, going 13-6 and 5-14 in totals. Florida has struggled to string wins together, going 6-9 after a victory and 9-5-1 in totals, which is due to the poor goaltending they’ve received so far this year. Dallas is 4-2 playing with no rest this year and away underdogs who won the previous night as an away underdog have gone 11-8, good for an ROI slightly above 40%, so will take the Stars +105 in this one.
Toronto at New York Rangers: The Maple Leafs opened -170 and the line is down to Toronto -155 with the Rangers getting close to 60% of the early wagers. Toronto has won its last two, while New York has dropped its last two games. The total is 6.5-under after opening at 6.5. The Rangers are 10-6 after a loss this season, while Toronto has gone 8-8 after a victory. Georgiev is expected to get the start for the Rangers.
Washington at New Jersey: The Capitals opened -155 and the line is all the way up to Washington -190, as the Caps have received 90% of the early wagers in this one. Washington is 7-3 after a loss, while the Devils have gone 4-6 after a victory. The Devils defeated Anaheim in their first game since trading Taylor Hall and have gotten decent goaltending from Blackwood the past few games, which is why they’ve won a couple in a row.
Pittsburgh at Edmonton: The Penguins and Oilers get together here and Pittsburgh opened -125 and the line is now Pens -120 after the Oilers received 57% of the early wagers. The total opened 6-under (-115) and has stayed there with pretty good two-way action. The Penguins are 12-7 after a win and 8-10-1 in totals, while the Oilers have gone 10-7 after a loss and 8-9 in totals.
Record: 18-18-1 -1.97
END OF DEC. 20 PICKS
Back to the NHL today, where we have four games on the schedule, although nothing too terribly exciting from a fan’s standpoint.
Philadelphia at Winnipeg: The Jets opened -136 and have now hit -150 after getting 57% of the early wagers in this one, while the total opened at 6-flat and has since moved to 6-under (-115) with the vast majority of the wagers coming in on the under. The Flyers come into this one off a pair of losses and are now playing the final game of their three-game road trip. The Flyers have just one goal in each of their last two games. The Jets are coming into this one off a 5-2 loss at Detroit and the Jets have shown a tendency to bounce back after a loss, going 10-2 so can see the reason for the line move. The Jets have also played better defensively after a defeat, going 4-7-1 in totals and with games involving two teams off of losses going 47-61-5 (41.6%) so far will take the under 6 in this one.
Los Angeles at Detroit: Ugly one here, as the Kings opened -125 and the number has stayed there with the Wings getting the majority of the wagers. Detroit is 4-4 after a win, while the Kings are 8-11 after a loss. The total stayed pretty steady at 5.5 and LA is 6-11-2 in totals after a defeat. Los Angeles dropped its only other game this season as an away favorite.
Minnesota at Chicago: Chicago opened -110 and have moved to -115 even with the Wild getting more than 60% of the wagers in the game. Minnesota has gotten itself back into playoff contention by winning seven of their last nine games, while Chicago has dropped four in a row. The total has climbed to 5.5-over (-120) with 60% of the wagers on the over, as Chicago has allowed 4 or more goals in each of the four games they’ve lost. This is the first meeting of the year between the two teams.
Vancouver at Vegas: The Knights opened -185 and are still there, while the total has moved from 6-under to 5.5-over (-120), which is a little surprising given Vancouver’s 11-5 totals mark after a loss, while the Knights are 8-8 in totals after a win.
Record: 18-17-1 -.82
END OF DEC. 15 PICKS
Trying to get to everything today, so we’ll begin with the NHL, where we have just three games on the slate, although a few of them are decent games, along with a clunker North of the Border.
As usual, when we have smaller slates, we can take a look at a few of the trends that have developed so far in the NHL season, where we see that home teams are 261-221 (54.1%) but with an average lay price of close to -140 have yielded a flat-bet loss of $3100 and an ROI of -4.4%. Home favorites have fared a little bit worse from a price standpoint even though they have a 208-161 record (56.4%) but are laying more than -155. Home dogs are 44-55 and show the slightest of losses.
Home favorites of -200 or more are winning at a 65% clip, but show an ROI of -5%, although favorites of -250 or greater are 13-3 and are yielding an ROI of +11%.
Totals are 225-238-19, with totals of 5.5 and under going 61-71-1 and totals of 6.5 or greater posting an 88-106-1 record. Totals of 6 are 76-61-17, so a bit of an advantage to the over there.
Boston at Washington: The best game on Wednesday’s schedule has the Bruins visiting the Capitals and Washington opened -116 and are now -125 although Boston is getting more than 56% of the early wagers in the game. The Capitals won the first meeting between the two teams 3-2 in Boston last month, but did lose last time out. The Caps are 6-3 after a loss, while the Bruins are 4-6 after a setback, so will go ahead and take the Capitals -125 in this one.
Ottawa at Montreal: The Canadiens appear to have righted the ship after their losing streak and have won three of their last four, including wins over the Islanders and Penguins, and find themselves -180 in this one, although not everybody has it posted. The Senators are coming off a win, which hasn’t been a very good role for them so far this season, with a 4-8 record, while the Habs are 6-7 after a victory.
Philadelphia at Colorado: The Avalanche opened -160 and the line is pretty much holding steady with Colorado getting a little more than 60% of the wagers. The Flyers are 10-6 after a victory, while Colorado has gone 5-5 after a setback.
Record: 17-17-1 -1.82
END OF DEC. 11 PICKS
Back to the NHL on Sunday, where we’ve been going back and forth the past week. We have just three games on the slate today and none of them look all that great from a fan’s standpoint, although we do have an Original 6 matchup in Boston and the game between the Oilers and Canucks isn’t a bad one.
Home teams were 118-102 in November, showing a flat-bet loss of just over $2,000 at an average price of -141.5 and an ROI of -6.3%. Away teams were pretty much break-even, showing a flat-bet loss of $40. Home favorites were just bad, going 89-80 at an average price of -160 and showed an ROI of a little more than -11%, while away dogs showed a flat-bet profit of $1,500 and an ROI of nearly 9%.
Home underdogs were a solid 23-21 and had an ROI of nearly 16% with an average price of +124.
Totals were 100-115-15, with totals of 6.5 or higher just 41-58-1 and totals of 5.5 or less 23-33.
Dallas at Minnesota: The Wild opened as slight favorites here and now the game is -110 in both directions even though the Stars are getting close to 70% of the wagers. Dallas has been on a run lately, but are just 4-7 after a loss, although the Wild are an even worse 3-7 after a victory. Dallas thumped the Wild 6-3 in Dallas at the end of October.
Montreal at Boston: The Canadiens are in a bit of a freefall, losing their last seven games, and things don’t figure to be easy against the Bruins, who are 13-4 after a victory, while Montreal is 6-8 after a loss, with most of those losses coming in their recent slide. The Bruins opened -175 and are now up to -185 after getting more than 70% of the early wagers, while the total has moved from 6.5 to 6.5-under (-120) with 62% of the early wagers landing on the under. Montreal is 9-4-1 in totals after a loss, while the Bruins are 10-6-1 after a victory, so will go ahead and take the over 6.5 at even money in this one.
Edmonton at Vancouver: The Canucks opened -120 and the line is still there with Vancouver getting a little bit more than half the wagers in this one. The Oilers have gone 7-4 after a loss, while Vancouver is 6-6 after a victory.
Record: 17-16-1 -.82
END OF DEC. 1 PICKS
Big slate of National Hockey League games on tap today, so we’ll take a look at a few of them, which we’ll do with the larger schedules.
New York Rangers at Boston: The Bruins opened -250 and the line is down to -230 with the Rangers getting close to 40% of the wagers in the game, so a little more New York money than sportsbooks were expecting. The Bruins have been tough after a win, going 12-4.
Toronto at Buffalo: Hutchinson is starting for Toronto and the Leafs are -160 and the total has moved to 6.5-over from 6.5-flat with more than 80% of the early wagers on the over. Toronto is 0-5 when Hutchinson starts and are 4-1 in totals in those games.
Winnipeg at Anaheim: This one opened -110 both directions and now the Ducks are -115 with the Jets getting 70% of the wagers in the game. Anaheim is 10-4 in totals after a loss this season.
Ottawa at Minnesota: The Wild opened -177 and the line is now Minnesota with the betting coming in on both teams pretty evenly. The Senators have been able to go 7-6 after a loss, while the Wild haven’t been able to string wins together very well and are just 2-7 after a victory.
Tampa Bay at Washington: Pretty good game here, as the Capitals opened -130 and the line has since dropped to Washington -120. The total has moved from 6.5-over (-115) to 6.5-over (-125), although Tampa Bay is just 3-6 in totals after a loss. The Capitals are 12-4 in totals after a victory.
Pittsburgh at Columbus: The total on this one opened at 6-under (-115) and is now 6-flat after 70% of the early wagers came in on the over. The Pens have held at -125 after getting two-thirds of the wagers. Pittsburgh is 8-5 after a win and 5-7-1 in totals, while the Blue Jackets have gone 6-7 after a loss and 4-9 in totals, so will take a shot on the under 6 in this one.
St. Louis at Dallas: The Stars opened -135 and the line has climbed to Dallas to -150 after the home team received 55% of the wagers, so a bigger line move than the betting would indicate. The Blues are 10-4 after a victory, while Dallas has gone 4-6 after a loss. The total has moved to 5-over (-140) after opening at 5.5 and seeing pretty even betting.
Record: 17-15-1 +.28
END OF NOV. 29 PICKS
Massive slate in the NHL today, so we’ll take a look at several of the games on the schedule.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay: Pretty decent game here, as the defending Stanley Cup champions look to make it two in a row over Tampa Bay after winning at home against the Lightning last week. The blues are coming off a loss and are just 4-6 in that situation this year, while going 3-7 in totals, but Tampa Bay is 9-2 in totals after a victory. Tampa Bay opened -170 and the line has dropped to Lightning -155.
Boston at Ottawa: The Bruins opened -170 and are now down to -155 even though three-quarters of the wagers have been coming in on Boston. Pretty difficult to go against the Bruins after a win, however, as they’re 11-4 in that spot and 10-4-1 in totals. The Senators are 7-5 after a loss so far this season.
Calgary at Buffalo: This one opened even and is now Calgary -120 even though the Sabres have received 75% of the wagers in the game. The total opened 5.5-flat and is now 5.5-under (-115) with 60% of the early wagers coming in on the over. The Flames have gone 8-7 after a loss and 3-12 in totals after a setback, while Buffalo is 5-7 after a loss and 5-7 in totals, so will go ahead and play the under in this one and lay the -115.
Vegas at Nashville: Malcolm Subban expected to get the start here for the Knights and he has been very good this season, costing us the under against Dallas a few nights ago in his quest for his first win of the season. The Preds opened -135 and the line is still there despite more than three-quarters of the early wagers coming in on the home team.
Anaheim at Arizona: The Ducks are getting a little bit of play in this one, as the line has moved from Arizona -153 to Coyotes -138 and the home team getting a little more than 70% of the wagers. The Coyotes have bounced back pretty well after a defeat, going 7-3 in that role, while they’ve also played decent defensively, going 3-6-1. The Ducks are 4-6 after a win and 4-6 in totals after a victory, but with the total hovering around 5.5-135 or -140 will stay away.
Record: 16-15-1 -.72
END OF NOV. 27 PICKS
Decent-sized slate of games for Monday on the ice and we’ll look at a couple of them, beginning with our lone play for the day.
Vegas at Dallas: The Stars opened -123 and the line has dropped to Dallas -120 with the Stars getting close to two-thirds of the early wagers, so a bit of action on the Knights in this one. Both teams are coming off victories and each has shown some under tendencies after a victory. The Golden Knights are 5-7-1 in totals after a win, while the Stars have gone 4-9. The total opened 5.5-flat and is now 5.5-under (-120) even though the majority of wagers have come in on the over, so will go against the grain and take the under 5.5 at -120.
Minnesota at New York: A fairly big move in this one, as the Rangers opened -113 and now the Wild are favored -120 even though the bulk of the wagers in the game have come in on New York. The Wild are 7-6 after a loss, while New York is coming off its comeback victory against Montreal and is just 3-6 after a victory, so can see the line movement in favor of the Wild.
St. Louis at Nashville: The Preds are getting a little bit of action here, as the line has moved from Nashville -135 to -140 even though 65% of the wagers are coming in on the Blues. The Blues are 4-5 after a loss and 3-6 in totals, while Nashville has also gone 4-5 after a win but are 6-3 in totals.
New York Islanders at Anaheim: The Ducks return home after a road trip that started off in fine fashion, with a win at St. Louis, but ended with a thud, as the Ducks lost their last three games and allowed 5 or more goals in each game, which isn’t what you’d expect out of Anaheim. But the Ducks are 10-3 in totals after a loss, allowing 3.7 goals per game, while the Islanders are 1-3 in totals after a loss, so will just stay clear of this one.
Record: 16-14-1 +.48
END OF NOV. 25 PICKS
Just three games on the ice today, as the league has been alternating between large schedules and small ones for the past week or so. That’s perfectly fine with me, as it does give us a bit of an opportunity to look at trends that have developed in the early going of the season, which is now a little more than one-quarter of the way complete.
Today, we have several teams who were in action on Saturday, so we’ll spend a minute looking at how teams have performed with no rest. Overall these teams are 49-60 and show a flat-bet loss of $815, although blindly betting against them has also yielded a flat-bet loss, although not quite as much at -$315.
Some of those games involve two teams playing back-to-back games and if we eliminate those, teams with no rest are 30-42, including a dismal 3-11 mark at home. These teams actually show a decent profit on the road, as their 27-31 record is at an average take price of +134, so they’ve yielded a flat-bet profit of $430 and an ROI of 7%.
Buffalo at Florida: The Panthers were in action Saturday and were on the losing end of a 4-2 game to the Carolina Hurricanes and opened -160 and the line here is now down to Florida -140 with the Sabres getting 52% of the early wagers. Buffalo is just 4-7 after a loss, while Florida is 7-3 after a setback, but awfully hard to ignore that dismal 3-11 record of home teams, so just going to stay clear of this one even though I wanted to take Buffalo.
Carolina at Detroit: The Hurricanes knocked off the Panthers and not hit the road to play the Red Wings, but bettors aren’t put off by the ‘Canes’ travel, as they opened -165 and are now up to -185 even though they’re getting slightly more than 40% of the wagers. Carolina is 9-4 after a win, while the Red Wings are an ugly 3-14 after a loss, but not about to lay those types of odds in the NHL.
Edmonton at Arizona: The Coyotes opened -135 and the line is down to Arizona -125 after the home team received more than 70% of the early wagers. The Oilers are 7-7 after a win, while Arizona is 7-6 after a victory, but will follow the slight move and take Edmonton +105 in this one.
Record: 15-14-1 -.52
END OF NOV. 24 PICKS
Huge slate of games on the ice today, so we’ll just take a look at a few of them.
Vancouver at Washington: The Capitals opened -185 and the line is still there with the Caps getting more than three-quarters of the early wagers in the game. Washington is 5-2 after a loss, while the Canucks are 5-5 after a victory.
Toronto at Colorado: The Avalanche opened -120 in this one and now the Maple Leafs are -115 on a game that has seen decent two-way action. The Leafs are 4-5 after a win, while Colorado is 4-4 after a setback. As bad as Toronto has been, they’ve fared well as an away favorite, so will take a shot on Toronto in this one and lay the -115.
Detroit at New Jersey: The Devils opened -150 and the line has inched up slightly to New Jersey -155 even though Detroit is getting more than two-thirds of the early wagers in the game. Blackwood will sit this out for New Jersey and Domingue will get the start. Can’t see laying that price with the Devils, but would want to part of Detroit in this game, either.
Anaheim at Tampa Bay: The Lightning are hefty favorites, as you’d expect, although the line has moved from Lightning -225 to Tampa Bay -200. The total opened at 6.5 and has now moved to 6-over (-120) at the majority of sportsbooks. Anaheim’s last game against Florida was the first time since Dec. 8, 2006 the Ducks played to a total of higher than 6 and it ended up a 5-4 game. Wanted to take the under here, but Anaheim is 3-2 after allowing five or more goals, so will just sit this one out.
Nashville at St. Louis: The Blues opened -125 in this one and the line has dropped slightly to St. Louis -120 even though the Blues are getting close to two-thirds of the early wagers in the game. The Preds are just 4-7 after a loss and have gone 7-4 in totals, while the Blues are 10-3 after a victory.
Edmonton at Las Vegas: The Knights are getting hit pretty hard in this one, as the line has moved from Knights -170 to Vegas -190 even though the wagers in the game are pretty much split right down the middle. The Knights won three of four last season from Edmonton and should be able to slow down the Oilers’ top line, but the price is too rich for my blood.
Record: 14-14-1 -1.52
END OF NOV. 23 PICKS
Was off the mark last time and now we have another two-game slate of games in the National Hockey League for Friday and neither of them can really be what you would call exciting games. As promised, we’ll take a look at some totals trends that have developed this season and for the most part, oddsmakers are doing a solid job, as all games are 169-164-12 and there isn’t much of a difference in regards to there being a home favorite or an away favorite.
Looking at totals by the number:
So a slight tendency for games with a total of 6 to go over the total, but that’s really about it.
One thing that we have seen a little bit is momentum, both good and bad, as teams who scored 5 or more goals in their previous game have gone 74-52-5 (58.7%) next time out and teams who scored at least goals are 29-21 (58%), while at the opposite end of the spectrum, teams who scored one goal or less last time out are 51-56-5.
Teams who allowed 5 or more goals their previous game have shown a slight under tendency, going 55-67-8, while teams who allowed at least 6 goals last time on the ice have gone 22-29-1.
In games involving two teams who lost their last game, totals have gone 30-47-3, while games involving two teams coming off wins are 39-38-2, so it looks to be a case of two teams playing a bit more defensive after losses.
New Jersey at Pittsburgh: The Penguins opened -170 and the line is now down to Pens -155 with Pittsburgh getting 62% of the early wagers. The total has moved from 6.5-under to 6-over with close to 70% of the early wagers coming in on the under. The Pens are 5-5 after a loss and 5-5 in totals, while New Jersey is 4-8 after a loss and 7-5 in totals. The Devils won 2-1 at home last week, which may have something to do with the total movement. The Penguins are coming off a pair of one-goal losses to the Islanders, both of which were high-scoring games, so will take a shot on the under at even money in this one.
NY Rangers at Ottawa: The Senators opened -112 and are now -120 after getting a slight majority of the wagers. The Rangers are 3-5 after a win, while Ottawa is 3-6 after a victory, with one of those wins coming last time out.
Record: 13-14-1 -2.52
END OF NOV. 22 PICKS
Back to the NHL, where we have just a pair of games on the schedule for Wednesday, so we’ll take a look at some of the trends that have developed during the 2019-20 season so far.
Home teams are 180-150 on the season, which translates to 54.5%, so there is a slight advantage to playing at home, but flat-betting either all home teams or all away teams would have resulted in losses. Betting on home teams would have yielded a -4.2% ROI, while the ROI would be -3.7% if you had blindly wagered on the visiting teams.
Home favorites are 140-114, but with an average lay price of close to -157, betting home favorites would have resulted in a loss of more than $3000 and an ROI of -7.9%. Flat-bets on away underdogs would have grinded out the smallest of profits at +$550 and an ROI of just over 2%.
Home favorites of -150 or greater have been even worse bets, although they have a 66-46 (58.99) record, the average lay price is greater than -190, so the ROI is -8.7%, while taking the underdogs has also yielded a profit of roughly $550, but with few plays the ROI is higher at +4.9%.
Away favorites are just 42-41 for the year, so home underdogs have also been decent wagers, nothing an ROI of close to 7.3%.
We’ll look at some totals trends on Friday, which is the next day we have just a couple of games on the slate.
Ottawa at Montreal: The Canadiens are -210 and the total on this one is 6.5-over (-120) although not every sportsbook has this one posted. The Senators won their last game and they’ve had trouble putting together any type of sustained winning streak, going just 2-6 after a victory and 3-5 in totals. Montreal is coming off a loss and the Habs have gone 6-3 after a setback, but the price is on the steep side. Craig Anderson and Keith Kinkaid are the expected starters.
Washington at Rangers: The Capitals opened -165 and have climbed to -175 after getting more than 70% of the early wagers in the game. The total opened at 6.5 and is now 6.5-over (-130) after a little more than two-thirds of the wagers have come in on the over. Holtby and Lundqvist are the likely starters in this one. The Caps are 10-5 after a win and 12-3 in totals, so will go ahead and take the over 6.5 in this one and lay the -130.
Record: 13-13-1 -1.22
END OF NOV. 20 PICKS
Five games on the NHL slate for Friday, with another rematch between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs as the marquee game of the evening.
Montreal at Washington: Fair match-up here, with the Habs making the trip to face the Capitals and Washington opened -160 and are now up to -165 after getting 57% of the early wagers in the game. The total opened at 6.5-under and is still there with roughly two-thirds of the wagers landing on the over. It’s the first meeting of the two teams this season.
St. Louis at Columbus: The Blues opened -135 and are now -125 after getting two-thirds of the early wagers in the game. St. Louis won 4-3 at home earlier this month and both teams are coming off of overtime losses, a situation that has favored home underdogs in the past, as they’ve gone 25-18 with an ROI greater than 25%. Will go ahead and take a shot on the Blue Jackets +105 in this spot.
Boston at Toronto: These two are meeting for the third time this season, with the home team winning each of the first two contests. Toronto won 4-3 in the first meeting between the two in what was a bit of revenge spot, while the Bruins returned the favor when the teams traveled to Boston.
Pittsburgh at New Jersey: The Pittsburgh Penguins visit New Jersey and will do so without Sidney Crosby, who is going to miss close to six weeks and the Devils threw in a clunker against Ottawa in the first home game after an extended road trip, something that can be a bit of a struggle for teams at times, although it’s been pretty much a break-even proposition over the years. The teams haven’t met yet this season, but the Devils did manage to win three out of four against the Penguins last season. The Penguins opened -116 and the line is holding pretty close to that even though Pittsburgh is getting close to 70% of the wagers in the game.
Philadelphia at Ottawa: The Flyers opened -145 and the line has fallen slightly to Philadelphia -140 even though the road team is getting 70% of the early wagers. The total opened 6.5-under (-120) and is still in that ballpark, with 55% of the wagers coming in on the under.
Record: 12-13-1 -2.27
END OF NOV. 15 PICKS
Been crunching some numbers in the NBA, as I’m gearing up to start this weekend, but back to the NHL today, where we have five games on the schedule including a couple of decent contests.
Ottawa at New Jersey: The Devils opened -180 and the line has dropped to -170 as the Senators are getting the majority of wagers in the early morning hours. The Senators are coming off an 8-2 thumping at the hands of the Carolina Hurricanes in the second game of a back-to-back situation, while the Devils are returning home after a five-game road trip that was ugly at times, but saw them finish with a 3-2 record. New Jersey is 4-1 in totals after playing an under, with the lone loss happening last time out, so I’d expect them to return to their higher-scoring (and allowing) ways, so will take a stab on the over 6.5 t even money in this one.
Toronto at NY Islanders: The Islanders opened -125 and the line has dropped to New York -115 on pretty even betting so far, while the total has remained at 6-over with decent two-way action coming.
Washington at Philadelphia: The Capitals opened -120 and the line is holding pretty steady with Washington getting 57% of the early wagers in the game. The total opened 6.5-over (-120) and has held steady for the most part with two-thirds of the early wagers coming in on the over so far. The Caps have played three straight overs, while the Flyers come into this one having played four straight unders, including three straight 3-2 games. The Flyers have won all four of the under games, so look for them to try and play more of a defensive game, as there’s no point changing something that’s working.
Dallas at Calgary: The Flames opened -150 and the line has dropped to Flames -140 even though Calgry is getting close to three-quarters of the early wagers in this one. The total opened at 5.5-flat and has moved to 5.5-under (-120) despite seeing three-fourths of the early wagers come in on the over. The Stars are 3-14-1 in totals this season so can definitely see the reason for the movement.
Chicago at Vegas: The Golden Knights opened -230 and the line has dropped a little bit to the Vegas -210 range with the early betting being pretty split, but would expect Vegas to have the majority of the wagers as the game gets a little bit closer.
Record: 12-12-1 -1.27
END OF NOV. 13 PICKS
We got the split on Saturday, which when you’re taking underdogs is what you’re hoping to do, but a little disappointed in Buffalo’s efforts these past two games, where I thought they’d at least get a split instead of being swept in the brief two-game series. Decent-sized slate for Sunday.
Florida at Rangers: This one is off-the-board at most places, while those who do have it have Florida -125 with a total of 6.5-under (-125). The Rangers are playing a little better and have won four of their last five, including wins over Tampa Bay and Nashville, although their loss came against Ottawa. New York is catching Florida in a decent spot, with the Panthers having played the Islanders Saturday.
Dallas at Winnipeg: The Jets are -115 over the Stars, who have won four straight and are starting to play like people expected at the beginning of the season. There really isn’t a whole lot of value either way in this one.
New Jersey at Vancouver: The Canucks are -165 and the total is 6-over (-120) after opening at 6.5-under. The Devils are in a bit of a free-fall once again and depending on the outcome, this could be the last game John Hynes coaches, as the Devils wrap-up a five-game road trip and are off until Wednesday. The Devils defeated Vancouver 1-0 in New Jersey earlier this year and away underdogs who won the previous meeting between two teams by a 1-0 score are 59-83-18 in totals, so will go ahead and take the under 6 at even money in this one.
Vegas at Detroit: The Golden Knights opened -175 and have been bet up to -190 at the few sportsbooks who have a line posted on this one, while the total has moved from 6-flat to 6-over.
Toronto at Chicago: The Maple Leafs opened -145 and the line has dropped to -130 even though this one isn’t posted at all sportsbooks. The Maple Leafs did lose Mitch Marner to an ankle injury on Saturday and he isn’t traveling with the team for this one, but nothing else has really been announced.
Philadelphia at Boston: The Bruins are -220 and the total is 6-over (-120), both of which are pretty close to the opening numbers.
Edmonton at Anaheim: The Ducks are -115 in what could be a battle of the backups, as Ryan Miller is expected to start for Anaheim and Koskinen is listed for Edmonton, although he and Smith have pretty much split the starts this season.
Record: 11-12-1 -2.27
END OF NOV. 10 PICKS
A split on the ice Friday and now we have a pretty good-sized number of games on the slate for Saturday. We’ll look at some of the games on the slate for Saturday.
Buffalo vs. Tampa Bay: We lost with the Sabres on Friday and will come right back to them today, as the two teams complete their back-to-back games in Sweden. We took +140 on the Sabres yesterday and will be getting +165 here, as Tampa Bay opened -180 and the line has climbed a bit this morning.
Florida at Islanders: We’re seeing a little bit of smart money come in on the Panthers here, as the Islanders opened -120 and are now -115 after getting two-thirds of the early wagers. New York saw its winning streak snapped by Pittsburgh last time out.
Philadelphia at Toronto: The Maple Leafs opened -180 and are now down to -160 after getting 61% of the early wagers in the contest. The total has moved from 6.5-flat to 6.5-over (-125) with close to two-thirds of the wagers coming in on the over.
Carolina at Ottawa: The Hurricanes opened -205 and the line has dropped slightly to Carolina -190 after the Senators received 45% of the wagers. The Sens won last time on the ice and are 0-4 after a victory this season.
Vegas at Washington: Pretty good game here and the Knights are showing some sharp money once again, as the Capitals opened -138 and are now -125 after more than 70% of the wagers came in on Washington. The Knights are 5-2 after a loss this season, while the Caps are 8-3 after a victory. Washington is also 8-3 in totals after a win, while the Knights are 2-4-1 after a setback.
St. Louis at Calgary: Decent game here, as well, as the Flames are getting a bit of sharp action, as Calgary opened -135 and the line has climbed to Flames -150 even though St. Louis is getting the bulk of the early wagers in the game. The Blues are coming off a victory and they’re fared pretty well in that role this year, going 8-2 overall and 5-2 on the road. More impressive is St. Louis’ 4-1 record as an away underdog after a victory, where the Blues have gone 4-1. The Flames are coming off a beatdown of the Devils, but have problems so far following up a strong performance with another one, as Calgary is 3-6 after a victory and 2-2 at home, including an ugly loss to the Kings. Will follow the trends here and take the Blues +130.
Record: 10-11-1 -2.57
END OF NOV. 9 PICKS
Back to the NHL today, where we have just a four-game schedule, including the first of back-to-back games in Sweden between the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tampa Bay vs. Buffalo: The Sabres are technically the home team here, so they should have last changes, although the Lightning are -160 and the total on the game is 6.5-over (-115). Both teams have key players from Sweden on their roster, although the Sabres have more of them, with Hedman the lone player from Tampa Bay. That could turn out to be a slight advantage for Buffalo in a game that will have some distractions for the players. The Lightning opened -165 and the line is holding pretty steady and the Sabres have gotten 43% of the wagers in the game. Have to believe that the teams split these two games and the Sabres are playing better than Tampa Bay right now, so going to go ahead and take Buffalo +140 in this one.
Boston at Detroit: The Bruins are -260 in this one and the total is 6-over (-115). More than 80% of the early wagers have come in on Boston and it’s hard to argue with those taking the Bruins. The Red Wings are 2-10 after a loss, while Boston is 2-1, but a game I’d just stay away from due to the line.
Vancouver at Winnipeg: The Jets opened -125 and the line has stayed there with the Jets getting a little more than 60% of the wagers in the game. The Canucks lost at Chicago last night by a 5-2 final, just the third time they’ve allowed more than two goals all season. The total here opened 6.5-over and is now 6.5-under (-115) and the Jets have clamped down defensively after a loss, going 1-5-1, with just their early-season victory over the Devils the lone game to go over. Will follow the trends here and take the under 6.5 and lay the -115.
New Jersey at Edmonton: The Devils also lost last night by a 5-2 score and are expected to turn to Cory Schneider in goal for this one and he’s been bad. It’s difficult to say if it’s physical or mental, but he’s not playing well. The Oilers opened -155 and we’re seeing a couple of Edmonton -165 out there and the total is 6.5-under (-120). The Oilers have a huge advantage in the top line and New Jersey has a deeper bottom six so will stay clear of this one.
Record: 9-10-1 -2.57
END OF NOV. 8 PICKS
Two goals in the final two minutes – including the infamous empty netter – and a shootout loss by New Jersey sent us to an 0-2 day on Friday. Pretty big slate of games today, with a number of teams right back in action and a number of teams playing their third game in four days.
With the size of the slate, we’ll just take a look at a couple of the games.
Toronto at Philadelphia: The Flyers may have come away with the win last night, but they were anything but impressive against a New Jersey team that should be making a coaching shortly unless there’s a huge turnaround. The Maple Leafs have also been a bit of a disappointment so far this season, at least in the goaltending department, where Toronto is giving up an average of 3.5 goals and have allowed 3 or fewer goals in just 4 of 14 games. The total here is 6.5-over (-130) and we could see our first 7 of the season.
New Jersey at Carolina: The New Jersey Devils are a bit of a dumpster fire right now, not able to hold leads to save their lives and they’re not playing with any defensive structure right now. They have plenty of talent offensively, but the team is completely lost right now. Things don’t figure to be easy against the Hurricanes, who are coming off their best offensive game of the season when they potted seven goals against Detroit. The total is 6-over (-120) and will take a shot on the over here, as I think the Devils can get a few goals, but not sure they can keep Carolina in check unless Blackwood stands on his head.
Vancouver at San Jose: The Sharks are another one of the early season disappointments, coming into this one with a 4-9-1 record, including a home loss last night to Winnipeg. The Sharks are in a decent situation involving teams who have scored two goals or less in each of their last four games, as these teams are 335-212 when the favorite, good for a 5% ROI and they’re 105-61, good for a 6.9% ROI if they’ve lost those four games and are now home favorites. If the visiting team also lost its last game, the home team is 62-34, good for a 9.1% ROI, so will go ahead and take the Sharks -135 in this one.
Record: 8-9-1 -2.22
END OF NOV. 2 PICKS
Back to the NHL tonight after the Kings let us down last time out, going 1 for 6 on the powerplay, but allowing Vancouver to go 4 of 6. Decent-sized slate of games for this Friday night and we’ll look at a few of them.
Philadelphia at New Jersey: The Devils can’t hang on to a lead to save their lives, blowing another two-goal lead in a 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, as New Jersey fell to 2-5-3 on the season and with a lengthy road trip beginning tomorrow this is pretty much a game the Devils need. The situational aspects of the game favor the Devils as teams who score 6 goals and lose are 23-16 next time on the ice and 11-6 when favored. Since the start of the 2017 season, home teams are 51-32 if about to embark on a five-game road trip and this will be their last home game until Nov. 13. The Devils opened -125 here and the line is down to NJ -115 with more than 70% of the wagers coming in on the Flyers, but will go the other way and take the Devils -115.
Buffalo at Washington: The Capitals opened -175 and the line just moved to Washington -180 even with the Sabres getting more than 60% of the wagers so far.
Tampa Bay at Islanders: The Lightning are -115 in this one after opening at -125 and the total has held at 6-over (-115) with more than 60% of the wagers. Tampa Bay is going up against a completely different team than New Jersey here, as the Islanders play a sound, structured defensive game compared to the dumpster fire they just saw. The Islanders are 10-20 since the start of last season at home when the total is 6 or higher, so will go ahead and take the under 6 in this one at -105.
Dallas at Colorado: The Avalanche opened -145 and the line has nudged upwards slight to Colorado -150 in a game where they’re getting 70% of the wagers. The Stars really struggled out of the gate, but have won four of their last five, while Colorado has lost their last two games, both of which were at home.
Vancouver at Anaheim: The Ducks opened -118 and this one just moved to -110 both ways, while the total climbed from 5.5 to 6-under (-115) with close to 70% of the bets on the over. Anaheim is another team that typically plays under at home when the total is 6 or higher, going 2-6-1 since the start of the 2016 season and interestingly, Anaheim is just 1-8 in those games.
Record: 8-7-1 -.02
END OF NOV. 1 PICKS
Back to the NHL tonight even though there are still no lines on a couple of the six games that are on the schedule tonight.
Tampa Bay at New Jersey: The Lightning fell apart in the third period against the Rangers last night and now look to be going to McElhinney in goal, where he’ll be opposed by Blackwood. Both teams are off to disappointing starts, but the Lightning are 5-4-2, while New Jersey is 2-5-2 and last in the NHL in points. There’s no line out on this one.
Edmonton at Columbus: The Oilers have cooled down after a fast start and aren’t get anything out of their third and fourth lines, which is going to take its toll eventually. Columbus opened -130 in this one and the line has climbed to Blue Jackets -155 even though the betting percentages are pretty even. The total has stayed pretty steady at 6-under (-115).
Minnesota at St. Louis: The Blues opened -172 and the line is now -175 with St. Louis getting more than 80% of the early wagers, although that should balance out a little bit as the day goes on. The total is 5.5-under (-130) after opening at 5.5-under (-115) and seeing a few more over wagers come in than under bets.
Montreal at Arizona: Another game with no line, the Coyotes are playing pretty decent hockey, while the Candiens were overlooked a little bit at the start of the season. Arizona is 7-2-1 over its last 10 games and returns home after going 3-1 on a four-game Eastern swing that saw them win both games that went to overtime.
Florida at Colorado: The Avalanche opened -140 and the line just hit Colorado -145 after dropping earlier. The Avalanche are getting more than 70% of the early wagers in this one. The Avalanche are 4-1 at home this season, while the Panthers are 3-2-3 away from home.
Vancouver at Los Angeles: The Canucks opened -130 and this one is now -110 both directions even with Vancouver getting close to 70% of the early wagers in the game. Vancouver is 7-3-1 on the season and 3-3 on the road. The Kings were blasted pretty good by coach Todd McLellan after a 5-1 loss to Chicago last game and the team is in last place against with a 4-8 record and 2-3 at home. But the Canucks are in a poor situational spot, as away teams off a 7-goal or more performance are 36-48 when facing a team that lost it’s last game on the road, so will take a shot on Los Angeles -110 here.
Record: 8-6-1 +1.08
END OF OCT. 30 PICKS
Back to the NHL today after our little run came to an end last time out. Seven games on the slate with a few decent games, but none that are likely to make you want to go out of your way to watch.
Florida at Edmonton: The Oilers opened as favorites but now the line has dropped to -110 both ways with the Oilers getting more than two-thirds of the wagers, so a little action coming in on the Panthers, who have gotten pretty bad goaltending from Bobrovsky so far. The total moved from 6.5-under to 6-over with close to 60% of the wagers on the over, so a few people betting on Bobrovsky to have a decent outing.
St. Louis at Detroit: The Wings ended our streak last time out, as they outplayed the Sabres, but saw all 41 shots stopped, which brought their losing skid to seven games, which would normally be another wager on them, although the Blues were blanked last time out, so we have some conflicting trends. St. Louis is down to -147 in a game that has surprisingly seen pretty equal betting on both teams.
Boston at Rangers: The Bruins opened -140 and are now -165 after getting three-quarters of the wagers, so nothing too unusual there.
Philadelphia at Islanders: The Islanders are -125 with a total of 5.5, as the Flyers have won three straight and the Islanders have won six in a row. The trends say New York, but the Flyers are getting some sharp money in this one, so will stay clear.
Los Angeles at Chicago: Chicago opened -135 and the line has dropped slightly to Blackhawks -130 after 70% of the wagers have come in on the home team. The total opened 6-over (-115) and is now 6-over (-120) with 55% of the bets coming in on the under. Home favorites who have scored one goal or less in their last three games are 42-73-12 in totals, so will go ahead and take the under 6 at even money in this one.
San Jose at Ottawa: A return home for Erik Karlsson, who plays his old team and the Sharks opened -160 and are still there after getting two-thirds of the wagers.
Anaheim at Vegas: The Knights opened -200 and are up to -230 after getting 80% of the early wagers, which is definitely a bit on the high side.
Record: 8-6 +1.08
END OF OCT. 27 PICKS
Six games on the ice tonight with a couple of decent match-ups on tap, so we’ll take a quick look at all six tonight.
Colorado at Vegas: The Knights opened -140 and the line has climbed to -165 with Vegas getting 57% of the wagers, so a little more movement than would expected and the line does appear to be a little on the high side. The Avalanche do have one decent trend in their favor regarding teams on lengthy road trips who are playing their final away game before returning home, but do have to respect the line movement in this one and will stay clear.
San Jose at Toronto: The Maple Leafs have been getting bet pretty good in this one, garnering more than 70% of the wagers and the line has jumped 20 cents and Toronto is now -185. The Sharks won in Montreal last night.
Arizona at New Jersey: The Devils opened -130 and the line has dropped to Devils -125 with New Jersey getting 58% of the wagers. The Devils have been off since Saturday and won’t return to action until Wednesday. Home favorites with at least five days of rest haven’t been very good wagers over the years, going 120-104, but showing a 10% loss.
Buffalo at Detroit: The Sabres were thumped by the Rangers last night, while the Red Wings are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and this one is -110 both ways. The Sabres are getting two-thirds of the wagers, but the line has dropped after Buffalo opened as the favorites. The Wings have a pretty good situational trend coming into play regarding home teams who have lost at least six games in a row. These teams are 90-64 when +110 or less or favored, yielding an above average 4.2% ROI. Several places have the Sabres -115, but will use the -110, as that line seems to be more prevalent than the Buffalo -115, so will go ahead and take the Red Wings -110 in this spot.
New York Islanders at Ottawa: The Islanders have won five in a row and are now in a slight negative situation, having taken to the road after a home victory with no rest,, but no real interest in taking an Ottawa team that is 10-20 after a victory dating back to the start of last season.
Washington at Vancouver: The Caps lost in overtime last night and this one is -110 both ways with the Canucks getting the bulk of the wagers in a game that doesn’t have any major situational edges.
Record: 8-5 +2.18
END OF OCT. 25 PICKS
A much bigger slate of games for Thursday, but just a single play, as we have conflicting trends on a couple of games and will just end up sitting them out.
Buffalo at New York Rangers: The Sabres are playing some pretty good hockey and the Rangers aren’t, but this is the NHL and things don’t always go according to plan. The Sabres opened -125 and the line is still holding there for the most part with Buffalo getting close to 60% of the wagers. We should have seen a little odds movement based on the betting percentages, but you can make a situational case for Sabres as away favorites on a three-game or more winning streak are 44-26 when the opponent has dropped at least five straight games, so will just stay clear of this one.
Arizona at New York Islanders: Decent game here with both teams on modest winning streaks, which puts the Islanders in a decent situation, as home teams are 40-15 when both teams have won at least four straight games, which has yielded a +23.2% ROI over the years. When the favored team is -120 or less, which is the case in this one as the Isles are -115, the record is 13-4 and a 48.8% ROI, so will go ahead and take the Islanders in this spot and lay the -115. The total is 5-over (-135) at the majority of sportsbooks, making today the first time we have seen totals of 5 this season.
Minnesota at Nashville: The Wild look to be getting a little bit of sharp money in this one, as the Predators opened -180 and have fallen to -165 after getting 66% of the wagers in the game.
LA Kings at St. Louis: The Blues opened -210 in this one and the line has fallen to St. Louis -175 after the Kings received 38% of the wagers in the game.
Anaheim at Dallas: Another game with a total of 5, this one opened 5.5-under (-140) and the total is now 5-over (-135) even though the majority of the wagers have been on the over.
Washington at Edmonton: The Capitals are -128 after opening at -120 and seeing the Oilers get the majority of wagers. Edmonton has been shutout in back-to-back games, which puts them in a negative situation, as home underdogs are just 6-13 after being blanked in consecutive games.
Record: 7-5 +1.18
END OF OCT. 24 PICKS
Back to the NHL tonight, where we have just two games on the slate, one of them a pretty decent match-up and the other one being a pretty ugly affair.
Detroit at Ottawa: No question which one of the two games this one is, as the Red Wings bring a five-game losing skid into the game. The Red Wings started out the season well enough, winning three of their first four, but haven’t won since then. They’ve allowed five goals in four of the five losses and haven’t scored more than twice in the midst of their skid. The Wings have been dogs in every game this season and it will continue here against an Ottawa team that is just 1-6-1 with a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the first time the Senators have been favored all season and Ottawa opened -115 and are now favored -125 after getting 40% of the early wagers, while the total has shifted from 6.5-under to 6-over with a little more than half the bets coming in on the under.
Ottawa’s recent struggles put them in a decent situational spot, as home favorites of -125 or less on at least a four-game losing streak are 91-74 (55.2%) and show a 2.3% ROI, while home favorites on at least a four-game losing streak are 30-18 when playing a foe who is on the same four-game or greater losing streak for an ROI of +3.7%, so will take the hapless Senators -125 in this one.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay: Even though the Penguins have a few injuries there’s still plenty of star power in this one, as Crosby isn’t among the wounded for the Pens and you have the usual cast from the Lightning, who have stumbled out of the starting gate a little bit, at least in relation to what was expected out of the team. The injuries may have caught up to the Pens a little bit, as they’ve dropped their last two and Tampa Bay is just 4-3-1 on the season and were thumped 6-2 by Colorado at home in their last game. Tampa Bay opened -200 and are now up to -215, while the total has moved to 6.5-over after opening at 6.5-flat. This is the first time since the 2010-11 season the Penguins have been this large of an underdog, but will stay clear of this one.
Record: 6-5 +.18
END OF OCT. 23 PICKS
Kind of a strange day yesterday, as all seven games that we were involved with were decided by one score, either against the spread or total, or one goal in the two NHL games. Much smaller slate of games in the NHL today.
Vancouver at New York Rangers: For the second straight day the Canucks have an early afternoon game, this time against the New York Rangers. The Canucks lost 1-0 to New Jersey on Saturday and teams in that spot haven’t fared the greatest, with away teams losing 1-0 the previous day on the road just 14-22 and 10-20-6 in totals, but hard to go under 6 in this one, as Henrik Lundqvist is off to a slow start, something that’s happened a little bit in recent years. New York is -130.
Montreal at Minnesota: The Habs may very well go with Keith Kinkaid here and that’s a big reason why the line has moved from Montreal -140 to -110 both ways. The Wild are off to a brutal start, but it’s hard to get excited about anything until we have another 10 games in the books, or so.
Edmonton at Winnipeg: The Jets are getting some play in this one, which opened Winnipeg -123 and the line is now Jets -135 even with the Oilers getting two-thirds of the wagers in the game. The Jets have dropped three straight, which puts them in a decent spot, as home favorites who have lost at least three in a row are 348-221 when playing a team coming off a victory, which has yielded an ROI of +3.0%. If the road team has won at least two in a row, the record climbs to 194-103 and an ROI greater than 10% so will go ahead and take Winnipeg -135 in this spot.
Washington at Chicago: The Capitals opened -120 and the line is now up to Washington -135 after the Capitals received a little more than three-quarters of the wagers. The total is at 6.5.
Calgary at Anaheim: The Ducks have moved from -115 to Anaheim -125 after 55% of the early wagers came in on the home team. Anaheim is surprising a few people with their 6-2 record. After playing five straight unders to start the season, the Ducks have went over their last three games. So far this season, totals of 5.5 are 17-20.
Record: 5-5 -.82
END OF OCT. 20 PICKS
We fell to 0-2 in overtime games last night, as the Florida Panthers piddled away a couple of leads and ended up losing 5-4 to the Avalanche.
Huge slate of games on the schedule today, but just a couple of plays, beginning with the early game between the New Jersey Devils and the Vancouver Canucks. We’ll probably be involved with quite a few New Jersey games over the course of the season, as that’s the NHL team I follow most.
Vancouver at New Jersey: A 1 p.m. start for this one, as the Devils finally broke into the win column even though they really didn’t look that good in doing so. But, a huge weight off the team and the coaching staff and now the Canucks come visiting in a battle of the Hughes brothers. Vancouver is off to a decent start, having won four straight games after dropping their first games of the season, but the Devils are still -125 in this one with the Canucks getting a slight majority of the wagers. This is an early start and even more so for the Canucks, who came away with an overtime win at St. Louis last game. But NHL teams on winning streaks of at least four games and are still made underdogs haven’t been the best of wagers over the years, going 289-467 and showing a -13% ROI, while betting against these teams has shown a profit of 6.1%, so will take the Devils in this one.
Boston at Toronto: Decent game here and the Maple Leafs have moved from -110 to -125 in the past 30 minutes in what is obviously a huge revenge game for Toronto, who have been eliminated by Boston from the playoffs the past couple of years. The Bruins are 5-1-1 this season and are coming off their first loss of the season, while the Leafs have been a little above average and are 4-3-1 on the year and coming off a 4-3 loss. But this is obviously a big game for the Leafs, who went out and made a few offseason moves so they could compete with the Bruins. While Boston would like to show Toronto they still aren’t good enough to beat them, have to believe the Leafs will come out with a little more fire for this one and we should get the best effort Toronto has, which is all you can ask for. Will it be good enough? Difficult to say, but think the Leafs are the side to play in this one.
Record: 3-5 -2.82
END OF OCT. 19 PICKS
A split on the ice last night, as two goals in the final five minutes did us in with the Bruins under 6. Tonight, a good-sized slate of games, although the schedule-makers’ incompetence is making itself evident, as Winnipeg has played nine games, while Chicago and the Rangers have just played four.
Colorado at Florida: The Panthers opened -115 in this one and the line has moved to Panthers -130 even though Florida is getting less than 20% of the wagers in the game. Florida is returning home after a three-game road trip, which usually isn’t a great spot, but Florida hasn’t played since a day game in New Jersey on Monday, so have had plenty of time to get back home and prepare for this one. The Avalanche started off 5-0, with their first four games at home, and then defeated Washington before losing in overtime last time out. The Avs do have a game with the Lightning tomorrow, so this could be a bit of a flat spot for Colorado and will tag along with the Panthers -130 in this spot.
Dallas at Pittsburgh: The Stars have floundered out of the gate, but are getting a little respect in this one, as the Penguins opened -145 and are now -135 after getting more than 60% of the early wagers.
New York Rangers at Washington: The Caps opened -165 and are now all the way up to -200 after getting more than three-quarters of the wagers. It could be a bit of an over-reaction to New York’s dismal showing in New Jersey last night, as the Devils didn’t look very good, but NY looked worst.
Columbus at Chicago: Chicago opened -143 and is now -140 after Columbus received 60% of the early wagers.
Detroit at Edmonton: The Oilers opened -225 and the line has dropped a little bit to Edmonton -200 with the Oilers getting 60% of the wagers. Edmonton is off to a fast start, although it’s still less than 10 games into the season. Underdogs of +170 or more on a three-game losing streak are just 179-435 (29.2%) over the years, but no desire to lay those type of odds in this one.
Carolina at Anaheim: The Hurricanes opened -125 and the line is holding steady with Carolina getting more than 60% of the wagers. Both teams are off to solid starts, so will just stay clear of this one.
Record: 3-4 -1.52
END OF OCT. 18 PICKS
Back to the NHL tonight, where there’s a decent sized slate of games.
New York Rangers at New Jersey: The rivalry between these two was supposed to come back this season, but after the Devils have gone six games without a victory, it may have to wait another year. New Jersey is in complete disarray right now and the rumors of a coaching change are beginning to pick up steam after the Devils blew another big early lead last game. The Rangers have only played three games this season, but do have five games in the next eight days, so Lundqvist won’t get the start in this one, which isn’t all that bad for New York fans. If there’s one team that can wake-up the Devils, however, it could very well be the New York Rangers, who are bound to have some fans at the game tonight. These two have had a tendency to play over recently, with totals going 6-0-1 in their last seven, but will focus on the side, where we see home favorites who have lost at least six straight games are 64-44, good for a modest profit. The line is also a bit of a deciding factor here, as the Devils have moved from -117 to -125 after getting less than half the wagers, so will take one more shot on the Devils, who aren’t as bad as they’ve looked so far.
Tampa Bay at Boston: Decent game here, with the Lightning visiting the Bruins and the Bruins are now up to -125 and the total has moved to 6-over (-115) after opening 6.5. The Lightning have won four of the last five non-playoff games played in Boston, so obviously the Bruins are out to change that. The Lightning did win a few convincingly, so it’s not going to be an easy task for the Bruins, who most likely don’t want to get into a high-scoring affair with Tampa Bay, as the Lightning are 12-2 against Boston the last 14 regular season games where they scored 4 or more goals. In regular season games where Tampa Bay scored 3 or fewer goals, the Bruins have posted a 33-5 record. Of course, shutting down Tampa Bay is much easier said than done, but the Bruins are one of the few teams who is capable of doing it. Will go ahead and take the under 6 at -105.
Record: 2-3 -1.47
END OF OCT. 17 PICKS
A split on the ice Wednesday, with the Sabres getting the win and the Devils letting me down, although their dismal effort has me back in action today, as it does bring up a couple of decent situational plays.
Edmonton at New Jersey: John Hynes is quickly becoming the favorite to become the first coach fired this season, although with just three games played, it could be a little over-reaction. But there’s also most likely a bit of truth to it and if the Devils don’t start putting it together soon, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Shero pull the plug, as his job will also be on the line. The Devils have played terrible seven periods in a row and are 0-2-1 to start the season and now welcome the Edmonton Oilers, who are 3-0 on the season.
The Devils opened as -133 favorites and are down to -125 at 5Dimes after 70% of the early wagers have come in on Edmonton, which is a decent situation for the Devils, as home favorites who have lost at least their last two games are 199-125 when facing a team that has won at least three in a row. The ROI is 5% in that one, while the Oilers have to overcome a negative situation that shows undefeated road teams with at least two victories are 31-46, so will give New Jersey one more shot in this one.
It looks as though we’re also seeing a bit of money come in on the under of this one, as the total opened 6.5-over and is now 6.5-under (-115) even though 65% of the wagers have come in on the over and you can’t find fault with those who like the over. The Oilers have won their last two games 6-5 and 5-2 and teams with at least 5 goals in each of their last two games are 47-34-1 (58%) when playing to a total of 6.5 or higher.
The Devils are coming off a 4-0 loss at Philadelphia last night and New Jersey was dismal on the power play and on the penalty kill, going 0 for 5 with the man advantage and allowing the Flyers to score twice in four attempts. But home favorites who were blanked the night before have gone 40-21-4 (65.6%) in overs, so will also go ahead and take a shot on the over 6.5 at (-105).
Record: 1-3 -2.47
END OF OCT. 10 PICKS
Another slow start to the NHL season, but guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, as slow starts to a new season are becoming a bit of a pattern here lately, something that I’d definitely like to get corrected, but it’s not as much about where you start as where you finish. That said, I’d rather start out a little better and finish better, for that matter.
Montreal at Buffalo: The Sabres opened -115 and they’re now up to -120 even though the Canadiens are getting the majority of the wagers in this one. Part of that could be due to Kinkaid getting the start in goal for Montreal. This one is a bit of a tough spot for the Habs, who are coming off a victory as away underdogs in overtime, while the Sabres lost in overtime last time out. Away underdogs in that role are just 33-63, so will go ahead and take the Sabres -120 in this one.
New Jersey at Philadelphia: My Devils have limped out of the gate after some high expectations, but that’s worked a little bit to our advantage in this one, as they’re offering a little bit of value in this after the Flyers opened -125 and have inched up to -130 at 5Dimes after getting more than 60% of the early wagers. The Devils were on their way to victory against Winnipeg when Cory Schneider was injured and a 4-2 lead turned into a 4-4 game in a couple of minutes, as New Jersey piddled away a 4-0 lead and lost in the shootout. New Jersey didn’t really bother showing up the next night at Buffalo and it’s not all that unusual to see a team come out flat after letting a game that was in the bag get away from them. With a few days to regroup and getting Schneider back, will go ahead and take New Jersey +110, as away underdogs who lost last game as away underdogs and allowed 7 or more goals have come back with a flat-bet profit of +960 and a +7.0% ROI.
Los Angeles at Vancouver: The Canucks opened -150 and are up to -160 after getting more than 70% of the wagers in this one. That’s a pretty hefty number to lay with a Vancouver team that hasn’t really put it together yet, but no rush to go against Vancouver in their home opener.
END OF OCT. 9 PICKS
Three games in the National Hockey League today, where several teams are playing their third game in four days, which used to be nearly an automatic bet against, although that’s changed a little bit the past few years.
Tampa Bay at Carolina: The Lightning opened -115 in this one and the number hasn’t changed despite Tampa Bay generating more than 80% of the early wagers in this one, where McElhinney is expected to get the start for the Lightning, who were in action last night. The Hurricanes are going with Mrazek. The Lightning lost to Florida 4-3 last night and Tampa is 5-2 off a loss and no rest, while going over the total in 6 of 7 games. The ‘Canes are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the Capitals, so this is a bit of a tough game to get a handle on.
Winnipeg at New York Islanders: The Islanders opened -130 in this one and the line is up to -137 with the betting being pretty well split down the middle. The Jets are coming off a 5-4 shootout win over New Jersey in which they trailed 4-0 and saw Devils’ goalie Cory Schneider go down when the score was 4-2. New Jersey backup Blackwood allowed two quick goals after coming off the bench to allow Winnipeg to tie it and they came away with the win. The Islanders dropped their opener 2-1 to Washington and this is just their second game of the season.
Dallas at Detroit: The Stars have started out the season 0-2, while the Red Wings are returning home after upsetting Nashville last night in their first game of the year. Dallas started the season with Boston and St. Louis, so they should find the Red Wings a bit more to their liking and are -137 in this after getting a shade less than 60% of the wagers in the game. Dallas has a couple of trends in its favor, as away favorites playing their third game in four days have gone 90-49 the last two years and away favorites who lost the previous night as an away underdog are 24-15 when playing a team off a victory.
For Detroit, home underdogs off an away victory as an underdog of +180 or greater are just 80-136 and 12-24 if their victory came the night before, so will go ahead and take the Stars in this one.
END OF OCT. 6 PICKS
We’re back with another NHL season and that means another year of our NHL Spot Plays, which fared pretty well during the regular season and tailed off a bit during the playoffs. Basically, we look for games where have a historical edge and they don’t happen every day, but we do have an above average situation on Wednesday, so we’ll jump right into the new season.
Ottawa at Toronto: The Maple Leafs opened -300 in this one and the line is holding pretty steady, although the Maple Leafs are getting more than 70% of the early wagers, which you would have to expect. Bettors are hitting the over pretty good, which is no surprise considering the offensive firepower the Maple Leafs have. But teams often need a while to find their rhythm and games with a total of 6.5 or higher in October are 62-72 over the years and 22-30 the past two seasons.
Big favorites also haven’t fared with overs in October, as favorites of -250 or greater are 11-16-2 in totals dating back to the 2011 season and favorites of -280 and higher are 3-7-1 in October, so will go against the public in this one and start off with the under 6.5 in this game.
Washington at St. Louis: The last two Stanley Cup champions get together for this one and the Blues are getting some sharp action, as St. Louis moved from -125 to -140 even with Washington getting close to two-thirds of the early wagers in this game. The Caps were 11-9 as an away underdog last season during the regular season.
Vancouver at Edmonton: Interesting game here, as the Oilers opened -130 and have dropped to -125 at the majority of sportsbooks, while a few are still holding at -130. The Oilers weren’t the greatest of home favorites last season, going 12-11, splitting a pair of game with Vancouver at home. The Oilers automatically get overpriced a little bit because of McDavid, so probably one to stay clear of.
San Jose at Las Vegas: The Golden Knights are simply overpriced in this one, as the game opened Vegas -200 and the Knights are now -175 after getting 60% of the wagers. Sure, it’s a huge revenge game, but the Sharks are a decent team and don’t deserve to be this big of underdog. That said, not about to take San Jose here, as I do believe the Knights will win, but the odds on Vegas make it pretty much impossible to pull the trigger on the home team in this one.