Daily NHL Picks: Our Best New Year's Eve Predictions To Lock In Now!

Doug Upstone

Friday, January 1, 2016 12:58 PM GMT

Happy New Year to everyone, hope you had a fun time last night. In the NHL today, we only have NHL odds for two games, but one is most popular attractions in the league since it was introduced.

Talking about the 'Winter Classic', which has been played on Jan. 1st or 2nd every year since 2008 (no game in 2013 because of strike) and it is held at an outdoor venue, be it a baseball or football stadium.

What makes this unique is still most players grew up playing in cold weather areas and learned to play outside and in the elements. The uniqueness has also caught the attention of the most casual fan, not only seeing games outdoors, but in venues that are known for other sports. This makes it more interesting, having to deal with the varying types of ice (sometimes in the same period), wind, snow, cold and sun (both glare or following puck from light to shadows).

For NHL picks, we have a classic rivalry with ample deep-seated hatred in Montreal and Boston and later tonight, Anaheim at Vancouver in traditional setting of hockey rink. Here is how I view the NHL odds for these two conflicts.

 

Rivalry Takes New Twist for Montreal & Boston
The Bruins hosted the 2010 Winter Classic, which was held at Fenway Park. This time they head south to Gillette Stadium, home to the Patriots, which should be another electric venue, heighted by facing Montreal (21-18 SU), who is glad to see December in the rearview mirror after 3-11 SU month. The Canadiens completely fell out of first place and if their slump continues, they might be sinking even lower in the Atlantic Division.

No doubt not having Carey Price between the pipes has hurt Montreal, but he does not shoot the puck at the net. In the last month's 14 contests, the Canadiens managed to score only 23 goals. Head coach Michel Therrien has done everything imaginable, changed lines, benched players and questioned their mental toughness, largely to no avail and they come in 10-10 SU on the road.

It has been a very weird year for Boston (20-16 SU). They started out looking like one of the worst teams in the NHL, got hot and turned everything around, then settled back into mediocrity. After being the best home team over the past five seasons, the Bruins are mystifying 9-11 SU on home ice and realistically will have edge reduced except for crowd.

Boston will also be short-handed offensively, already without David Krejci due to injury, now they will not have Brad Marchand who was suspended for three games for cheap hit on Tuesday. Thought the B's are second in the league in scoring, that is two strong scoring threats out of the lineup.

Boston opened as -140 money line favorites, but they have lost 16 of last 21 to their nemesis, including 4-0 in a row as the home team. It would seem perfect chance for the Bruins to win against slumping rival, but somehow Montreal always plays their best against Boston, who usually is at their worst.

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

 

Anaheim Visits Vancouver
Anaheim has escaped the Pacific Division cellar by winning its last two games and they hope this is forerunner to a bright 2016. The Ducks (14-21 SU, not including 12/31 results) are only going to climb further in the standings by finding offense and seeing we are closing in on the halfway point of the season, not sure where this comes from for the league's No. 30 offense.

Vancouver (14-24 SU) actually has a poorer record by virtue of playing more games and is not dramatically better than Anaheim when it comes to putting the puck in the back of the net, listed 24th. Though it would seem the Canucks would have the edge on home ice with Anaheim 5-12 SU on the road, they are desultory 6-10 SU at Rogers Arena.

Vancouver is a -115 home favorite and will be more rested, but I will waddle with the Ducks who have won 10 of 13 versus the Canucks.

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Free NHL Pick: Anaheim wins
Best Line Offered: at Heritage