NHL Handicapping Guide- February 2
The NHL regular season gears-up for the start of the stretch run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs coming off last weekend’s All-Star break. The race is on for teams to try and secure one of the top eight spots in their respective conference to get an invitation to this year’s postseason tournament.
This guide will take a look at a few teams that have been able to break away from the pack this season to provide a highly profitable return for anyone who enjoys wagering on the games.
The Detroit Red Wings have quickly worked their way back to the top of this list with an 8-2 record in their last 10 games and a NHL-best +2068 return on the money line. The Red Wings lead the Central Division by three points with 69 points and have an overall record of 34-16-1. Detroit has also been profitable against the puck line with an overall record of 28-23.
Hot on the Red Wings heels are the New York Rangers. They lead the Eastern Conference with 69 points and have a five-point lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division. The Rangers are 32-12-5 overall and have the second-best return on the money line at +1810. New York is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games which has helped improve its record against the puck line to 28-21.
The third-best team on the money line is the defending champion Boston Bruins at +1254. They lead Ottawa by six points in the Northeast Division with a total of 66 points and have an overall record of 32-14-2. The Bruins are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, but still well under .500 against the puck line at 22-26. They lead the NHL in scoring with a goals-per-game average of 3.54.
A few other teams that have a very profitable return on the money line are the Nashville Predators at +1243, the Ottawa Senators at +1239, and the Vancouver Canucks at +914. The Senators’ 34-19 record against the puck line is the best in the league.
Turning to this Friday’s games, the first game of interest has the New York Islanders on the road against the Senators. The Islanders are bringing up the rear in the Atlantic Division with 47 points and have an overall record of 20-22-7, but they are 4-2 in their last six games. Ottawa is coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Boston on Tuesday night as a 174 road underdog to wrap-up a brutal six-game road trip at 2-4.
This will be the first meeting between the two this season, but the Senators have won six of the last nine meetings with the total going ‘over’ in the last three games. New York has played better as of late, but is still basically riding out the string while Ottawa finds itself in desperate need of a win to keep the Bruins in its sites. The Free NHL Pick: Ottawa 4 New York 2
Friday’s other betting opportunity pits the Los Angeles Kings against the St. Louis Blues in a Western Conference clash. Los Angeles heads back on the road after going 2-2 its last four games at home. It trails San Jose in the Pacific Division by two points and has an overall record of 25-16-10, but is a dreadful 17-34 against the puck line this season. St. Louis is in the thick of the race in the Central Division with 65 points and has an overall record of 29-13-7. It has played especially well at home this year with a record of 21-3-4, but lost a 3-2 shootout against Pittsburgh right before the break as a 110 home favorite.
These two met twice in the fall this year with the Kings winning both games. They shut St. Louis out 5-0 at home as 137 favorites and won 3-2 as 112 road underdogs. This snapped the Blues’ previous seven-game winning streak in this series. Stick with St. Louis all the way in this one as it has not lost back-to-back games at home all season long and will not lose three in-a-row to the Kings. The Free NHL Pick: St. Louis 3 Los Angeles 1
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.