The 82-game NHL regular season marathon gears-up for the stretch run to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a good number of the league’s 30 teams are still in contention for one of the eight playoff spots in their respective conference.
This guide will take a look at a few teams that have been able to break away from the pack to provide a highly profitable return for anyone who enjoys wagering on the games as well as provide a few free picks for Friday’s games.
The Top Three NHL Money Makers
The Detroit Red Wings’ 4-2 victory over Edmonton on Wednesday night as a prohibitive 224 home favorite increased its year-to-date return on the money line to +2103 and raised its record against the puck line to 30-25. The Red Wings lead the Western Conference with 74 points. They are now 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and 36-17-2 overall. Detroit has been almost unbeatable at home this season at 21-2-1.
The New York Rangers lead the Eastern Conference with 71 points and are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, but more importantly are +1897 on the money line and have a 29-22 record against the puck line. They will be back in action on Thursday night against Tampa Bay after suffering a 1-0 setback to New Jersey on Tuesday night as 172 home favorites. The Rangers are currently 33-13-5 overall.
The team with the third-highest return on the money line is also one of the hottest in the league. The Nashville Predators are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and just five points in back of Detroit in the Central Division. This recent run has raised their return on the money line to +1352 and the Predators are now 31-23 against the puck line. Overall, Nashville is now 32-17-5 with a total of 69 points.
A few other teams with a highly profitable return on the money line are the Boston Bruins at +1172, the Phoenix Coyotes at +1021, and the Ottawa Senators at +761. The Senators also have the best record in the league against the puck line at 34-22.
Friday Night’s Best Bets
The first golden opportunity on the schedule pits the Anaheim Ducks on the road against the Red Wings. The Ducks come into this game with back-to-back victories over Calgary and Carolina and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. This recent rally has raised Anaheim’s overall record to 21-24-8, but it is still mired in last place in the Pacific Division with a total of 50 points.
These two met twice this season with Detroit coming away with a 5-0 shutout as a 147 home favorite on Nov.5 and a 4-2 victory on Nov.20 as a 108 road favorite. The Red Wings are now 7-3 in the last 10 meetings overall and 5-0 at home. Despite the Ducks recent success, but do not scared away by the high money line on the Red Wings as they will not lose this game. The Free NHL Pick: Detroit 4 Anaheim 1
Friday’s nightcap features a matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks. The Blackhawks have lost their last three games and are winless in their last six to fall to 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and 29-18-7 overall. Chicago has now lost its last eight games on the road. San Jose has lost its last two games and is 4-5-1 in its last 10. It is now 29-16-6 overall and clinging to a two-point lead over Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. It is 17-9-2 at home this season, but just 2-2 in its last four.
Chicago is 3-1 in the last four meetings including a 3-2 overtime victory on Dec.11 as a 136 home favorite and a 4-3 win as a 119 home favorite on Jan.15. In a battle between two teams in desperate need of a win, stick with the Blackhawks to grind-out a win to snap their current skid. The Free NHL Pick: Chicago 3 San Jose 2
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.