January 4 2013 Expert NHL Picks

January 4 2013 Expert NHL Picks


Carolina Hurricanes @ New York Islanders: OVER 5.5 Goals 1.98

What a great price we are receiving on this one. The Islanders have locked in 3 wins in a row, which includes a 3-2 OT victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, a 5-3 victory over the Boston Bruins and a 5-4 victory against the Minnesota Wild. In those 3 games, the Islanders have put 13 goals on the board for themselves, an average of 4.33 goals per game, while there were 22 total goals scored (7.33 goals per game). The Hurricanes have put together a little streak of their own, winning back to back games which includes a 4-3 victory over the Capitals, and a 5-4 victory over the (hard-to-score-against) Montreal Canadiens. That isn’t where the over trend ends for the Hurricanes though. They have had 5 games in a row go over the total (6-0-1 last 6), and 7 of their last 10 games. In that 10 game span, the Hurricanes have allowed a whopping 3.50 goals against per game, while they scored 2.90 goals per game. The Islanders defense is the 2nd worst in the NHL, allowing 3.26 goals against per game. The New York penalty kill still remains the worst in the NHL at 73.2%, and is still highly ineffective at Home, as the Isles have maintained a 76% Home penalty kill this season. The Hurricanes power play is 14.6% overall, but over their last 10 games their power play has been successful 21.6% of the time. The ‘Canes penalty kill is 80.3% overall (22nd), but over their last 10 games the Hurricanes have been struggling on the penalty kill going only 76.7% over their last 10 games. The Islanders power play has also surged as of late, going 20.0% over their last 10 games which is an improvement considering they have a 16.9 PP% overall. Both teams have had a better power play as of late, while their penalty kill units have been struggling. This situation should allow for a few goals. The Islanders have to be careful, as they take 11.6 PIM/G and have the worst penalty kill in the NHL. The Islanders offense have scored 3.00 goals per game over their last 10 games which is fantastic for them as they are only scoring 2.52 goals per game overall. If these recent trends continue for us this evening, we will have no problem cashing this over in New York and we are going to lock it in for a near even money price.

Washington Capitals @ Minnesota Wild: OVER 5.5 Goals 2.52

Note: The line is currently Over 5, 1.81 at most sports books. Our book allows us to adjust the total for a better payout, which we have done here. If you can’t adjust your total, the Over 5 at 1.81 is still a decent price for this one as Niklas Backstrom will be starting for the Wild (Harding, best GAA in the NHL is NOT starting)

We are likely receiving such a great price here because the betting public hasn’t noticed that Josh Harding (best goals against average in the NHL) is out today with illness. Niklas Backstrom will step in for the Wild (3-9-2, 3.16 GAA, .896 SV%). As you can see, Backstrom has been nowhere near as effective in goal as Harding has. The Capitals are coming off a 4-3 OT loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.That game marked the 7th game (of the last 10) for the Capitals in which they have allowed 3 or more goals against per game. The Capitals have been struggling on the defense, allowing an average of 3.10 goals against per game over their last 10 games. The Capitals are doing good for themselves on the offense with 2.85 goals per game overall (9th) while their defense hasn’t been the greatest this season, allowing 2.90 goals against per game (24th overall). The Capitals have the 2nd best power play in the NHL (Penguins lead at 25.9%) with a 25.0 PP% overall, while the Minnesota penalty kill is successful only 79.6% of the time (7th worst penalty kill in the NHL). The Capitals have the 16th place penalty kill (81.9%) but over their last 10 games Washington has been struggling on the penalty kill going only 79.4% over the L10 games. However, the Capitals power play has gotten even better over their last 10 games, at an exceptional 27.6%. The Capitals are not a very disciplined team, as they take 13.3 PIM/G (27th): only 3 more teams take more penalties than they do. Hopefully the Capitals penalty kill continues to struggle tonight, which should allow for a few goals on the board. The Wild are only scoring 2.46 goals per game overall, but when playing at Home they have scored an average of 2.68 goals per game. Nicklas Backstrom ( Washington foward: not be be confused with the Wild Goaltender. same name, different spelling) has put 18 points on the board in his last 11 games, and currently leads the Capitals in points with 45 points. Alexander Ovechkin currently leads the NHL in goals, with 31 goals. Of course, this is the NHL and anything can happen, but at a price of 2.52 we would be crazy not to take this over tonight in Minnesota.