Daily NHL Picks: Bet Our Winning Money Line Trio For Saturday

Doug Upstone

Saturday, December 26, 2015 4:02 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015 4:02 PM UTC

After several days off, the sportsbooks have a fresh set of NHL odds to think over after the winter break. Though we have nine games to choose, it's not the easiest group to choose from.

Washington should be an easy winner at home against Montreal, but are the Canadiens really this bad to lose six in a row? The Capitals and Boston are in the -200 range for NHL odds and despite the Bruins unquestionably playing better, they are still 8-11 at TD Garden and Buffalo have more held their own against the B's home or away. Instead, this hockey handicapper has three other choices for you to look over for sports picks.


Tampa Bay Big Home Favorites
On Tuesday, used the Lightning (17-18 SU) for NHL picks figuring lowly Vancouver would not be able to stymie Tampa Bay's sluggish offense -wrong! The Lightning lost 2-1, as it was two steps forward and one step back for the league's previously top offense, who ranks 23rd at 2.48 goals a game.

Tampa Bay has another shot against a mediocre defense tonight, taking on Columbus (13-23 SU). The Blue Jackets are 28th in goals allowed at 3.08 a game, which would seem to be a benefit for Tampa Bay who is a 17-6 off a home loss.

The Lightning can certainly help themselves, by getting more out of their power play. They recently are just 1 for 10 with a man advantage and have to move the puck quicker from side to side to create openings and not be saddled at 24th in the league at just 16.8 percent with a man advantage. Tampa Bay at -200 money line favorites and the Lightning are 36-15 and playing only their second game in five days.

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NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -182
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


St. Louis Squeezes by Dallas
This choice is more on feel than just straight numbers. Dallas (26-9 SU) has been a dominant squad all season, leading the league in scoring at 3.51, having the most points in 54 and the largest goal differential at +36.

The Stars consistency is found in how they play on the road where they are 12-5 SU this season. So why would I like St. Louis (21-15 SU) as -120 home favorites against an opponent with all these positives? For starters, the Blues are finding their earlier form which helped them get off to a great start and they have won five of seven, just like Dallas.

St. Louis is also the only team this season to shutout the high-scoring Stars 3-0, which they did at this location exactly two weeks ago. It would seem Dallas would a natural to bounce right back in such a spot, but they are merely 4-12 revenging a blowout loss of three goals or more. Also, the Stars have been laying the wood to opposing teams in winning past three contests by a wide margin of 11 goals, yet they are 4-12 in road games after two straight wins by three goals or more going back to 1996.

Can Dallas win with all their talent, certainly, but I think they will come up short against defensive-minded St. Louis on the road.

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NHL Pick: St. Louis -109
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Detroit out of Tune in Nashville
In the NHL you play 41 games home and away and Detroit (17-17 SU) has been on home ice in 22 of their first 34 and now has to start balancing the ledger. In nine of the next 10, the Red Wings will be out of Michigan and it begins in Nashville. Detroit is riding a three-game winning streak versus the Predators (17-17 SU), but has lost four of five.

Nashville will be playing at home into triple-revenge and has begun to play better defensive hockey again, with 11 goals given up in their past six contests, after opposing clubs had scored an average of 3.27 against the Preds in previous nine.

With Detroit +130 road underdogs and Nashville a perfect 8-0 at home after allowing two goals or less in three consecutive outings since last season, have to go against the Red Wings.

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NHL Pick: Nashville -148
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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