Welcome to the NHL Daily. Go inside the NHL’s card for Wednesday, November 15, as we explore betting angles and try to find value in this volatile, cruel, good-for-nothing sport.
Last night, the Sabres blew a third period lead and lost in overtime. It extended our overtime losing streak to 10 games. It was another cringeworthy result that goes to show you just how fine the line between being in the red and the black is handicapping a sport like hockey. The NHL season is an absolute grind, so it is important to take a step back and evaluate the big picture once in a while and make sure you’re on the right path. And even though there are no moral victories when it comes to the wallet, there are definitely some positives to be taken from this experience. Consider this: In our 10-game overtime losing streak, we backed nine underdogs (teams are listed below). And of those nine, five were listed at +171 or better. Once a hockey game gets past the third period, it pretty much becomes a coin flip, and when you’re getting teams at these prices down to a hypothetical pick ’em, you’re doing something right.
Buffalo (+206) vs. Pittsburgh; Buffalo (+175) vs. Montreal; Pittsburgh (+126) vs. Nashville; Colorado (+125) vs. Ottawa; Boston (+118) vs. Toronto; New Jersey (+109) vs. Edmonton; Arizona (+210) vs. St. Louis; New York Islanders (-121) vs. Edmonton; Arizona (+190) vs. Washington; Vegas (+171) vs. Toronto
Last night’s action: When the Sabres were up 4-3 in the third period, you just knew it was only going to end one way — and it did. The Penguins defeated the Sabres (+206) in overtime. In our other play, the Capitals came out flat against the Predators and got clobbered, 6-3. Not a fun night.
The Rangers travel to Chicago having won six games on the bounce, probably saving their coach’s job along the way. This game features two teams that generate, but also give up, a lot of scoring chances. The Blackhawks are the better squad at driving play and they have the edge in goal. The implied probability here suggests Chicago wins this one 56.5 percent of the time, and that’s a couple ticks under what I’ve got. There’s enough in it to back the Hawks as favorites at home, and it’s good to see us on the same side as fellow Sports Action expert Stuckey, who broke this one down here.
If they could stay healthy, both Anaheim and Boston would be among the contenders in their respective conferences. Unfortunately, neither team has been at full strength this season, and that trend continues tonight when they play at The Pond. Boston will be without Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, while the Ducks will be missing Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and Cam Fowler. At the current number, Anaheim is the value side and should have enough depth to keep a depleted Bruins’ top six at bay.
Picks: Chicago -130, Anaheim -111
Season to date: 42-55, -7.61u