Daily NHL Picks: Kings, Islanders & Stars Take Care Of Business

Doug Upstone

Saturday, April 9, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016 2:00 PM GMT

What a day in hockey, with all 30 teams in action, setting up a wild day on the ice and oodles of choices for NHL odds. For many clubs, the stakes are extremely high and quite volatile.

For Boston, they have to win in early afternoon action just to maybe reach the playoffs and if everything were to work out, the Bruins could improve for last wild card to third in their division. Another early matinee matchup has Detroit needing a victory to stay alive at the New York Rangers, but the Blueshirts have tumbled to wild card status and have to win and hope the Islanders falter twice.

Philadelphia is also still in contention despite three consecutive losses, yet has to face two of the hottest squads in the East in Pittsburgh and the Islanders. Plus, Dallas and St. Louis are fighting for Central crown and top seed in the West and more. If you like making NHL picks or studying the NHL odds, this Saturday could hardly be more fun. Here is what I have for best bets today.

 

Los Angeles Clinches Pacific
The Kings have won two Stanley Cups in the past four years and while the significance of winning a division titles pales by comparison, it has been 25 years since Los Angeles (48-33 SU) has hung a banner from the rafters that proclaims - Division Champions. The Kings are -235 home favorites to make that happen tonight over Winnipeg (34-47 SU). A victory would also give L.A. its most points in a season (103) in 41 years, when they had 105.

You don't want to be relying on other teams to beat other teams, and other teams to lose," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "We've relied on other teams before, and it didn't go so well for us. This year, we were really focused on determining our own destiny."

Los Angeles has not lost to the Jets in regulation at the Staples Center in 10 games (7-0-3). The Kings have ruled at home with a 26-12-2 record, while Winnipeg has wallowed at 16-24 SU. L.A. is 65-24 SU at home versus teams with a losing road record.

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NHL Pick:  Kings -200 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

New York Islanders Try to Land Third Place in Metropolitan
After losing five of six and placing their postseason hopes in jeopardy, the New York Islanders (45-35) have won six of seven in spite of a battery of injuries. With the Rangers playing in the afternoon, by game time, the Islanders who are currently tied with their rivals, will know what is required. A Rangers victory means the Isles have to pick up three points in the next two days to finish third in the division, but a Blueshirts loss in regulation or OT would mean any win tonight gives this Brooklyn-based club the edge.

The betting odds have the Isles at -200 over Buffalo (34-47 SU), who does not figure to go quietly, winning five of past eight and who is has won four of past six wherever the Islanders have called home. Nevertheless, coming off a pair of away games and with two home contests left, this home team is 15-4 after playing two consecutive road games this season.

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NHL Pick:  Islanders -185
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Dallas Take Care of Business on Home Ice
Playing in the most difficult division in the NHL has made Dallas (49-32 SU) battle-tested and they look to wrap up No.1 seed in the West with triumph over Nashville (41-40). The Stars are presently tied with St. Louis at 111 points, but they hold the tiebreaker with wins in regulation 47-44.

Dallas is a -165 home favorite over the Predators and only Washington has a better home record than the Stars, who are 27-11-2 at the American Airlines Center. Dallas has been the top scoring team in the league for months and they are even better on home ice where they average 3.33 goals a contest.

Nashville is division rival, but the Preds are locked into playoff position and after losing four straight have taken past two and their motivation comes into question for tonight. The Predators have also lost six of seven in Big D, thus, expect the Stars to shine as they capture top seed and first division title in 10 years.

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NHL Pick:  Stars -166
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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