NHL Handicapping: Weekend Hockey Betting Primer With Free Picks
by Dave Schwab - 1/20/2012
The 2011-12 NHL regular season has passed the halfway point and the battle for position in each of the conferences rages on. A few teams have been able to separate themselves from the pack through not only their play on the ice, but as a proven money maker when it comes to wagering on the games.
NHL Weekend Betting Guide
The NHL has reached the halfway point of a marathon 82-game regular season schedule and we now have a clear picture of the lead dogs in the race to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A few of these teams have also distinguished themselves through their performance on the money line and against the puck line.
The following is a brief recap of the ‘hot and not’ teams in the NHL when it comes to wagering on the games, along with a couple of free hockey picks for Friday night’s matchups
Who is Hot
A permanent fixture at the top of this list over the past two months has been the Detroit Red Wings. Their overall return on the money line has dropped-off a bit from last week, but they still lead the NHL at +1863. They also have a profitable return against the puck line at 26-21. The Red Wings are 7-3 in their last 10 games and raised their current winning streak to five after Thursday night’s 3-2 shootout victory over Phoenix as -159 road favorites.
The New York Rangers continue to lead the Eastern Conference with 62 points and have an overall record of 29-12-4. The Rangers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, but 2-3 in their last five. This has cut into New York’s overall return for the season, but it remains a very healthy +1793 on the money line. The Rangers are 26-19 against the puck line.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins have the third-best return on the money line at +1654, but are just .500 against the puck line at 22-22. The Bruins have a one-point lead over Ottawa in the Northeast Division with 61 points and have an overall record of 30-13-1. They are 6-4 in their last 10 games including a 4-1 victory over New Jersey on Thursday night as -144 road favorites.
Who is Not
The Philadelphia Flyers remain one of the top teams in the league with an overall record of 27-14-4, but they have been a major drain on the money line at -1220. The Flyers have also been very costly against the puck line at 15-30. While you may want to avoid this team when wagering on sides, Philadelphia is worth a second look when playing the total line with 27 of its 45 games this season going ‘over’ the total.
Another team that has played well on the ice, but have been murder on the bankroll is the Los Angeles Kings. They are just two points behind San Jose in the Pacific Division with 56 points and an overall record of 23-15-10, but are a disastrous -1347 on the money line. Their 16-32 record against the puck line is one of the worst in the league.
Friday’s Free Picks
The first game on the slate is Southeast Division matchup between the first-place Washington Capitals and the last-place Carolina Hurricanes. Washington is coming off a 3-0 shutout of Montreal on Wednesday night as a +127 road underdog for its fourth win in its last five games. The Hurricanes have lost their last two, including a 2-1 loss to the Capitals this past Sunday as -125 road favorites. Washington has been opened as a -130 road favorite for this game with the total set at 5.5.
Sunday’s win over Carolina was the Capitals’ was the third-straight this season and their eighth in the last nine meetings. They are a perfect 4-0 in their last four road games in this series. Stick with the hot-hand in this one as Washington makes it four straight over the ‘Canes.
The Pick: Washington 3, Carolina 1
The second matchup is a battle of division leaders between the Florida Panthers, who are tied with Washington atop the Southeast, and the Central Division-leading Chicago Blackhawks. Florida is 3-4-3 in its last 10 games and coming off back-to-back overtime losses. Chicago is 4-1 in its last five games, including a 6-2 romp over Buffalo this past Wednesday night as a -219 home favorite. It has been opened as a -210 home favorite for tonight’s game with the total set at 5.5.
These two met earlier this season with the Blackhawks winning a 3-2 shootout as -125 road favorites to post their fourth victory in the last six meetings. Now Chicago faces the Panthers at home where it is 18-5-2 this season and Florida is 0-7 in its last seven road games.
The Pick: Chicago 4, Florida 2
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