Daily NHL Picks: Increase Thrusday's Profits with Home Ice Chalk

Doug Upstone

Thursday, November 5, 2015 3:10 PM GMT

A good slate of Thursday action on the ice and some rather intriguing NHL odds from the sportsbooks. Have to admit the numbers and matchups look rather tight, not making this easy.

However, confidence level is high coming off another winning day and my unbelievable bad luck in OT continues with St. Louis beating Chicago, preventing 3-0 sweep in NHL picks. Time to move ahead to today and hopefully knock down another winning day as a hockey handicapper.

 

Washington Takes Advantage of Boston Big Weakness
As this article went to be posted, the Boston Bruins has fallen 20 cents on the money line from +145 to +125. In looking at a few aspects Boston (6-5 SU) does well, it starts with 5-0 record in the road. The B's have also been very skilled in the offensive end, leading the NHL in scoring at 3.83 goals a game and their power plays is the best in the league in converting at 34.2 percent (13 of 38).

All this offensive should lead to the Bruins having a better record, but they have been sloppy and loose on the backend, which has hurt them badly. Boston is allowing the third-most goals in the NHL at 3.27, with a defense which is suffering with age, injury, questionable off-season trades and unstable play in the net. On Tuesday, Dallas was in Boston and scored on three of four power play chances, dropping the team with the black and gold sweater to last in penalty kills at just 70% effectiveness.

Washington is 8-3 this season, has the seventh-best power play to exploit the Bruins defensive shortcomings and also the seventh-best penalty killers to control the visitor also. Next, add in Boston has been shut-out by Caps goalie Braden Holtby three consecutive times (186:43 minutes scoreless streak) and you can understand why I'm bullish on Washington.

NHL Pick: Capitals -138 at Pinnacle

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Montreal Rebounds From Loss
With John Tavares back at practice for the New York Islanders, the NHL odds are lower at Montreal than if he were to miss another contest. Tavares missed four games due to illness and New York (7-6 SU) was 1-3, scoring only seven goals without their captain on the ice. Heritagesports has the Islanders as +120 road underdogs, with another aspect to this lower number the Canadiens (11-3 SU) do not have their Hart Trophy winner in net.

Carey Price is out with what NHL calls a "lower-body injury", but backup rookie Mike Condon has been splendid as a netminder at 4-0-1 with a 1.60 goals against average this season and has yet concede more than two scores.

Montreal lost to Ottawa at home in OT two nights ago and while they are not playing as well as they started the season, this prsently is still the best team in hockey. The Canadiens have struggled at times with Iles goalie Jaroslav Halak, who used to play for them, and he is 4-1-1 with a 1.65 GAA in six starts this season and 4-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA in five career outings Montreal. But the Habs have won five of six over New York the last couple seasons and is 22-12 on home ice against them.

NHL Pick: Canadiens -130 at BetOnline

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Kings Clobber Columbus
After horrendous 0-8 start, Columbus has won three of last five, yet are still +170 road underdogs at Los Angeles. The Kings (8-4 SU) are 8-1 after stumbling 0-3 start and are playing as well as any team currently, winning by better than an two-to-one margin.

Los Angeles confidence is sky-high with players like Jeff Carter (five goals and five assists L7 games) and Tyler Toffoli (eight goals and two assists L9 games) leading the offense. Goalies Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth have allowed only 1.44 GAA in this stretch and with Quick in expected in net, he's 7-1 against Columbus with 1.62 goals against average.

Too much muscle and skill on the side of L.A. who is 7-0 this season after an Under and is my choice for sports picks.

NHL Pick: Kings -180 at 5Dimes

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