Add Home Favorite to NHL Picks in Ducks vs. Wild

Ross Benjamin

Friday, December 5, 2014 1:23 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 1:23 PM UTC

If you’re looking for solid NHL betting information on today’s game between Anaheim and Minnesota, it’s all right here. All you have to do is spend the next few minutes reading our insightful NHL handicapping preview that culminates with a free money line pick.

Ducks and Wild in Western Conference Battle
The Wild will host the Ducks on Friday at the Xcel Enery Center in Saint Paul Minnesota with opening face-off scheduled for 8:05 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at BetOnline, the Wild is a -135 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. Anaheim won the only meeting between these teams this season by a narrow 2-1 margin on home ice. The Ducks also took 2 of 3 from the Wild a season ago.


Duck Dynasty
The Anaheim Ducks finished first overall in the Western Conference standings a season ago, and they’re a good bet to be a serious contender in that regard once again this year. They’ve continued to win despite being in a bit of a defensive funk in recent games. The good news is that the Ducks have won their last 2 and 5 of the last 7-games. The bad news, they’ve allowed 16-goals combined over their last 4-games, and their opponents have amassed 34 or more shots on goal in each of the last 5-contests. The pressure in their defensive zone doesn’t figure to subside tonight. They will be facing an opponent in Minnesota who’s had 35 or more shots on goal in 4 of their last 5-games, and is averaging 34.2 shots on net per outing in 11-home tilts this season.


Anaheim Goaltending Situation becoming a Concern
Tonight’s probable starter in goal tonight will be Frederik Andersen. After getting off to a great start to the season, Andersen has shown signs of wearing down in recent games. Tonight will be the 14th straight game that Andersen will be the Ducks starting goaltender, and that’s highly unusual in this modern era of the NHL. The Ducks are without both their #2 (John Gibson) and #3 (Jason LaBarbera) goaltenders who are both sidelined by injuries.


Wild at Home
The Minnesota Wild have gone 8-3 on home ice this season, and outscored opponents by 1.2 goals per game, and have outshot them by an average of 11.4 shots on net per contest. The Ducks enter tonight having won 7 of their last 10-games overall, and have gone over the total in just 1 of their last 7.


Special Teams Jekyll and Hyde
The Minnesota Wild power play has been inexplicably anemic this season. They’ve converted on a mere 7-for-78 (9.0%) of their man advantage situations on the year, and that includes a dismal 1-for-16 during the previous 5-games. Their penalty killing has been the polar opposite. Opponents have cashed in on just 8-for-72 (11.1%) of their power play chances versus Minnesota during the 2014-2015 NHL campaign.


Final Analysis
The Ducks look ripe for the taking in this spot. They’re enduring way too much pressure in their defensive end, and their top goaltender (Frederik Andersen) is worn down from all the minutes he’s had to log due to injuries at that position. Minnesota is much better offensively than the statistics may indicate, and their catching Anaheim at the right time. My lean is going toward the home side in this one, and that will be one of my NHL picks for today.

Free NHL Pick: Minnesota -135 over Anaheim at BookMaker

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