Daily NHL Picks: Cash In With Our Top Value Wednesday Plays

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 2:58 PM GMT

Tough group of games to make NHL picks from on Hump Day. The matchups are different, giving one pause to ponder the NHL odds, but nobody said finding winners was easy, right?

One essential element when it comes to being a handicapper is learning from one's mistakes. Yesterday I made one on Columbus. I ended up talking myself into taking the Blue Jackets when I knew they would most likely have a tough time with Minnesota. This is not to say the Wild did not have flaws and a case could not be made for backing Columbus, but in the end, after giving it more thought, it was realistically a 50-50 game and had better options in which I passed on. Just trying to keep it real and show even award-winning cappers like myself can make poor decisions.

Yesterday is in the rearview mirror, let's move on.

 

Chicago Sends Penguins Marching
Chicago (24-17 SU) and Pittsburgh (19-20 SU) played a highly entertaining game in the Steel City last night. The Blackhawks jumped to a 2-0 lead, but the Penguins stormed back with two third period goals to tie score before Artemi Panarin's OT winner.

The scene shifts to Chicago tonight, where the Blackhawks are -150 money line favorites. The stars for both teams are shining, which makes this another possibly highly entertaining game, as Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (six goals, six assists L8G) and Kris Letang (eight points L3G) are back in top form. Chicago's top line of Panarin, Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, has combined for eight goals during the Hawks four-game win streak.

I'm backing Chicago here, having won nine of 11 and assembling one of the better home records at 15-5-1. Also, Pittsburgh has lost three straight at the United Center. Take a look at the total as well, with both having played last night, and the UNDER 9-2 in recent matchups in the Windy City.

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Free NHL Pick: Chicago wins
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Vancouver Does Enough to Hold Off Carolina
Carolina's (16-24 SU) goaltenders Cam Ward and Eddie Lack have been spectacular. In the Hurricanes last nine games, they have only allowed 15 total goals. One problem, this has not been good enough, with Carolina only 4-5 SU because the offense has generated a mere 15 scores themselves. Carolina finishes a quick two-game western Canada adventure in a place where they have not won since - Star Wars Episode 1: The Phanton Menace - was top grossing movie that year (1999).

While Vancouver (15-25 SU) has won seven in a row on home ice over Carolina, this year's crew hardly inspires confidence with those making NHL picks. The Canucks are only 7-11 SU at home and their power play has been on the fritz with one goal in 21 chances.

But I will take my chances with Vancouver at -115 NHL odds because of the long winning streak (10-1 since 1996) and knowing Carolina is 13-40 in road games when the total is five or less the last three seasons.

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Free NHL Pick: Vancouver wins
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

St. Louis Break Out of Slump in Rockies
After being victorious in five of six outings, St. Louis (23-19 SU) and has done an about face and been on the short end of the scoreboard in four of five. Though the offense has not been very good, the blame realistically goes to the defense, with 16 goals permitted.

Colorado (19-21 SU) keeps climbing to .500 and falling back. The Avalanche had lost four of five themselves before very impressive 4-1 victory over Los Angeles on Monday. Colorado was sent out as a +105 home underdog, but should they be?

The case can be made the sportsbooks are correct with the Blues at least 10-9 SU on the road compared the Colorado sporting 7-12 SU home mark. The Avs scoring outburst has not led to positive results, being 2-8 after registering four or more goals this season. Plus, St. Louis just suffered a bad 3-2 home loss to Ottawa and is 13-1 off such a setback the past three years. Take the visitor.

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Free NHL Pick: St. Louis wins
Best Line Offered: at Bovada