Daily NHL Picks: Friday's Top Bets Across the Board

Ross Benjamin

Friday, October 9, 2015 2:14 PM UTC

Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 2:14 PM UTC

Our NHL handicapping professional shares his top three picks on Friday’s board. Don’t make a move in the NHL tonight without first reading this revealing betting preview article.

Blackhawks vs. Islanders 7:35 PM ET
The Islanders make their home debut at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I’m not so sure how much of a home ice advantage they’ll have early on in the process. It’s not like they had a lack of success at the old barn in Uniondale the past couple years. I do believe the Islanders are a legitimate Eastern Conference contender. However, I’m not fond of them in this particular spot.

The defending Stanley Cup champions will be smarting after coming off a 3-2 loss on Wednesday in their home opener. They’ve encountered more personnel moves this past offseason than they’ve been accustomed to in recent years. I can give them an excuse in their opener, since they’re going through a minor transitional period, and they were facing a Rangers club which has been one of the best road teams in hockey during the past few seasons.

I’ll have a lean toward the road team in this game for one of my NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Blackhawks -110 at BetOnline

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Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings 7:35 PM ET
The Maple Leafs probably deserved a better fate in their opening night 3-1 loss to Montreal. They outshot Montreal 37-30 in that game, but were stonewalled by last season’s Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price. It also must be noted that the Canadiens final goal was scored into an empty net with 0:29 to play. This contest will mark the return of Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock to Detroit. Babcock spent the last ten seasons in the same capacity with the Red Wings. If anyone has a good handle on tonight’s opponent it certainly would be Babcock.

It’s tough to fade the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena in most situations, and especially so in their home opener. The two key words in the previous sentence are “most situations”. This appears to me as a situation in which emotion may be a deterrent rather than an asset for the home team.

I’m a bit intrigued by the money line underdog in this game, and that’s clearly indicated according to Friday’s NHL odds.

NHL Pick: Maple Leafs +165 at 5Dimes

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Coyotes vs. Kings 10:35 PM ET
Arizona doesn’t appear to be improved from a club which finished dead last in the Western Conference standings a season ago. They will also be facing a very good Kings team which will be in a foul mood following an embarrassing 5-1 loss to San Jose in their home opener. I look for the Kings to win this game in a very decisive manner.

NHL Pick: Kings -1.5 (+120) at Heritage

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