Daily NHL Picks: Best Moneyline Winners For Monday's Ice Action

Doug Upstone

Monday, January 4, 2016 3:27 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 3:27 PM UTC

The first full week of hockey in 2016 starts this week with NHL odds on five contests. From this group we have narrowed it down to three choices, which are two favorites and one underdog.

Yesterday, was our first satisfying sweep of the year and we will seek to continue that momentum today with our NHL picks. One game we passed on yesterday was Dallas and the New York Islanders and glad we did because it was a contest of excessive swings with New York holding on for a 6-5 victory after holding a 6-2 edge. Time to move ahead to today and see how we do against the NHL odds.


New Jersey Dumps Detroit Again
The Devils have won three in a row for the first time in two and half months and look to match earlier streak with another win over Detroit (19-20 SU). New Jersey (20-19 SU) has found more offense in winning four of five, scoring 13 times in those victories. The Devils are getting goals from a variety of resources and two of them of late have been John Moore (game winner Saturday) and Kyle Palmieri (four goals in past five games).

This is New Jersey's third and final regular season meeting with Detroit, all within a 23-day stretch. The Devils have taken the first two by one-goal scores. The Red Wings have been on a rollercoaster ride all season and have been on the down side of late at 3-7 SU. Defense, or the lack of it have been the problem, allowing 3.2 goals a game.

New Jersey is a little scary of a pick being just a -115 money line home favorite, but with Detroit off a 4-3 win at Buffalo on Saturday and the Red Wings are 12-22 after a one goal win the last two years, making the Devils a more palatable choice.

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NHL Pick: New Jersey -107
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


No Reason Not to Back L.A.
Los Angeles (25-13 SU) was not in the ideal situation on Saturday, returning home from playing a 10 of 11 on the road and having an afternoon contest on Saturday. But the Kings did what they do best which is play defense and get physical and they grinded out a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia for their fifth consecutive win. After tonight, they will be home eight of their next 12 encounters and will only leave California twice, with two short trips to nearby Arizona.

Los Angeles is becoming just about impossible to score on, ranked 2nd in defense at 2.16 goals allowed. The Kings defense continues to be bedrock solid, but it's offense has picked up, averaging four goals a game during winning streak, which could spell trouble for Colorado (18-21 SU). The Avalanche has lost four of five and its defense has been more unstable than stock market recently, with 20 scores given up in only five contests.

Sportsbooks sent L.A. as -135 favorites and given the Kings defense, hard to go against club that is 10-1 after consecutive Under's this season.

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NHL Pick: Los Angeles -140
?Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Hunch Play on Arizona
I am the first to admit Arizona (18-20 SU) does not appear to be the most appealing underdog on the Monday marketplace. Being just 8-12 SU on the road and the worst defensive team in the NHL (3.18 GAG allowed) are usually signs of betting the other way.

The Coyotes are the more skilled offensive team in this confrontation, listed sixth (2.8 GAG) in lighting the lamp, compared to Vancouver (15-24 SU), tied for 25th at 2.3 GAG. Oddsmakers have set a total of 5.5 on this division battle, which would appear to favor Arizona. On the season, the Coyotes are 12-9 SU when the total settles at 5.5, while the slower-paced Canucks have lost six at seven at that number.

Arizona is just 24th in power play scoring percentage, but they actually lead the league in attempts at 143, which is problematic for Vancouver who is 11-22 versus teams who average 3.5 or more power plays a game. Like the Yotes catching +130 on the money line.

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NHL Pick: Arizona +130
?Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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