We’re moving on with the 2013-14 NHL betting season, and we’re going to take this time to analyze what we are seeing and make our Stanley Cup picks for the road ahead.
1: St. Louis Blues (+550) – The leaders of the Central Division have won their last two games with a pair of 4-2 wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Phoenix Coyotes. Last week, they made a blockbuster trade that sent starting G Jaroslav Halak to the Buffalo Sabres for G Ryan Miller who gives them one of the best net minders in the league. Miller was 2-0 in his first starts with the team with a 2.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage. It’s a welcome sight for the new guy to see an offense in front of him that actually puts the puck in the net. This Blues team has the No. 2 ranked offense in the NHL they score 3.2 goals per game and since they acquired Miller they are now the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. St. Louis LW Alexander Steen is having an outstanding season, he has scored 29 goals and dished out 20 assists on the year. He had a goal and an assist against the Lightning in Tuesday’s win. This team is going to stay a favorite with a solid tandem between the pipes of Miller and backup Brian Elliott leading the defense. There’s no question this is one of the best teams in the league and bettor money will be safe with them on a lot of nights.
2: Chicago Blackhawks (+650) – The team we like next is right behind the Blues in the Central Division race and if you ask us this should be your odds on favorite to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. The Blackhawks had a dominating 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday as they conquered the elements at Soldier Field. Chicago is just two points behind St. Louis in the Central and we figure that race will continue to be close as these two will win a lot of games with their talented rosters. This team’s value is in its top ranked offense that scores 3.3 goals per game. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane has 64 points on the year having scored 27 goals to go with 37 assists to this point. Behind solid play from G Corey Crawford this defense gives up just 2.6 goals per game. Crawford sports a solid 2.33 GAA and a .916 save percentage as he has a 23-11-10 record in his starts. We feel as if this is a pretty good number to get the Blackhawks at because as the season goes on and they continue to play good hockey, their odds of winning the cup will only go up.
3: Los Angeles Kings (+1500) – The Kings are blazing hot since the Olympic break having won all four of their games and have a five game win streak counting a win before the break. Offensively this team has broken out of a funk and began to support the strong goaltending of Jonathan Quick who leads the NHL’s best defensive unit that gives up just 2.1 goals per game. Quick has started three of those four wins since the break and given up just two goals in those games including a 2-0 shutout win over the Calgary Flames. Kings C Anze Kopitar has led the offensive turnaround scoring five points since the break on two goals and three assists. A bettor who likes defense is going to love putting their money on this group from Los Angeles. It’s hard to beat anyone if you can’t score goals on them and teams will struggle to beat the Kings because of their ability to defend. We expect this team to have great success in the playoffs with the league’s top defense and an offense that is coming around at the right time. Look for the Kings to stay hot as they tour Canada this week to face some lesser competition that they should beat.
4: New York Rangers (+2000) – The Rangers have lost their last couple of games, but they trail the Philadelphia Flyers by just one point for second place in the Metropolitan Division race. They got a big acquisition on Wednesday as they traded for RW Martin St. Louis from the Tampa Bay Lightning. St. Louis has 61 points on the year and has been a big part of the Lightning’s season that has them right in the thick of the Atlantic Division race. The Rangers sent their captain LW Ryan Callahan to the Lightning in exchange for the much more explosive St. Louis. We expect this trade to help the New York offense immensely as right now it scores just 2.5 goals per game. The impact that St. Louis has will make or break the chances of this team, but we do believe it makes them a lot more valuable down the stretch. The Rangers do play strong defense giving up just 2.5 goals per game behind strong goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist who has a 2.55 GAA and a .914 save percentage. If this team can go on a run they will easily surpass the Flyers in the standings and will be a serious contender as long as they can keep St. Louis scoring goals.
5: Columbus Blue Jackets (+6500) – We are wondering what the odds makers have against the Blue Jackets as their chances at winning the Stanley Cup keep going down while they continue to win games. This team is tied with the Rangers for third in the Metropolitan Division as this seems to be the closest race for second in all of the divisions. Columbus has won three of its four games since returning from the Olympic break and covered the puck-line in those three wins. We really view them as contenders at this point and this price is a steal if bettors hurry to the counter. The offense for this team ranks No. 7 in the NHL as they score 2.9 goals per game. Blue Jackets C Artem Anisimov has netted five goals in the four games since the break, he had two goals in Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Anisimov is having a solid season he has scored 32 points on 18 goals and 14 assists. Anything can happen if this team gets in the playoffs and they are an absolute steal at 65/1 right now. A game at the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday will really show what this team is made of as they will be tested against what we view as the league’s best team.
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.