Daily NHL Picks: 3 Ice Breaking Selections for Monday's Action

Doug Upstone

Monday, December 28, 2015 2:55 PM GMT

This begins the final few days of 2015 and the sportsbooks have posted the NHL odds on the six games on the hockey board, of which we can choose from for NHL picks to start the week.

Yesterday saw some very large underdogs come through on the road as Toronto, Carolina and Arizona had very good defensive days, as each allowed just one goal and won on the road as +160 or higher underdogs. So much for Pittsburgh finally putting together, shutout 1-0 at Winnipeg Sunday.

Let's move ahead to today with a trio of NHL picks and hopefully this hockey handicapper can get started on the right foot for the week.

 

Montreal Losing Skid Continues
At first Montreal (20-17 SU) appeared they could survive the loss of goaltender Carey Price, but after he suffered a second lower body injury, the Canadiens end up with problems on two fronts. Montreal has lost six straight and 10 of 11 and has not lost seven in a row since 1995, when the end of one season continued into the next.

Goalie Mike Condon was holding up, but not anymore, having has lost seven consecutive games with ugly 3.37 goals-against average. The Canadiens also have difficulties generating any offense as it has been 14 games since they have scored more than three goals (12 of 14 two or less) and had slid from second to sixth in scoring.

At least Montreal will have some motivation, having lost to Tampa Bay (18-18 SU) in Eastern Finals last season. However, the Lightning look like could be emerging from season-long slumber in winning four of six and has tallied three or more goals in four of past five outings.

YouWager.eu made Tampa Bay a -160 favorite and with Montreal 2-10 this month and 3-13 after two straight games where four or fewer total goals were scored, have to like the Lighting to strike a victory.

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NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -155
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Nashville Holds Off Rusty Rangers
The New York Rangers (20-16 SU) have not won two consecutive times in over a month and will try to coming off six days between games. That could mean New York could be on top of their game or a little wobbly trying to get back into the flow. The Rangers have lost seven in a row away from home and could have more troubles ahead with eight of next 12 away from Madison Square Garden.

This losing streak started out with a lack of offensive production but has turned into defensive failures, conceding a whopping 17 goals in four contests. Nashville (17-18 SU) continues to sputter as 3-2 home loss to Detroit Saturday leaves them at 4-7 SU since Dec. 3rd. The Predators could be facing the Blueshirts at the right time, being a little off their game and having lost 3-0 last month to New York, the Preds are 17-6 revenging a loss having scored one or less goals the last two seasons. The NHL odds of -130 are too inviting to pass up in Nashville.

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NHL Pick: Nashville -132
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Recent History says Play Total in Vancouver
Los Angeles is on the back side of playing 10 of 11 road games before the conclusion of 2015. Since this started on Dec. 8th, the Kings have been involved in primarily more higher scoring games at 3-2-3 OVER and they have lost four of past six. With still three away games remaining, L.A. heads to Vancouver, who is trying to win three straight for the first time this season.

In the Canucks three previous attempts for a third triumph, they arrived to the next contest off two strong defensive efforts and they have done the same thing, allowing one goal each to Tampa Bay and Edmonton. One element that is completely different is their history with Los Angeles. These two clubs are 11-3-3 UNDER since the April playoffs of 2012. With the total at 5 and the Canucks 6-0 UNDER at home after two straight one goal victories the last three seasons, I'll back history.

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NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at Bovada