Daily NHL Picks: Three Ice Breaking Plays for Friday's Action

Doug Upstone

Friday, January 8, 2016 3:16 PM UTC

Friday, Jan. 8, 2016 3:16 PM UTC

Of the six games on the docket in the NHL today, exactly half feature road favorites today. When reviewing the NHL odds, not saying that is good or bad, rather, it's just true.

Suffered a surprising loss yesterday with Philadelphia winning in OT at Minnesota. The oddity is the Flyers rank 29th in the league in scoring and for a second straight game scored four goals and this time it was against the team which has allowed the fewest since Dec.1st, go figure.

Anyways, on to today where I have two home underdogs and big favorite for NHL picks.


Chicago's Defense Baffles Buffalo
After playing like bored Stanley Cup champions to start the season, Chicago (25-17 SU) has upped their game lately, winning five straight and eight of 10. Though there has been a couple hiccups along the way, the Blackhawks back end has keyed their improvement. Chicago has pitched four shutouts and surrendered two or fewer goals in 10 of the their past 16 outings dating back to Dec.6th. Since the Hawks have started the modern day dynasty run, they have been extremely difficult to beat at home and this year is no different with a 16-6 SU record at the United Center, including eight in a row.

Buffalo (15-25 SU) has the unenviable talk of stepping in front of this speeding train, which is eighth in scoring and goals allowed. The Sabres are just trying to find a victory, having lost five consecutive times. Buffalo will try and solve Chicago's defense and that will not be simple since goaltender Corey Crawford has won all six career starts against the Sabres with a 1.82 goals-against average.

The NHL odds have the Blackhawks as -230 money line favorites and they are sensational 51-13 versus opponents who have a record of .400 or less percent.

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NHL Pick: Chicago -222
Best Line Offered: at Heritage


Edmonton Edges Tampa Bay at Home
The fall has been precipitous for Tampa Bay (19-21 SU). They have gone from Eastern Conference champions to being listed fifth in the Atlantic Division and are only four points ahead of a terrible Toronto club. The Lightning are beginning to look like they found lightning in a bottle last season, as last year's top scoring team has yet to crack the Top 20 in the league in lighting the lamp, averaging only 2.48 goals a game (21st). Tampa Bay has lost three of four and now the NHL's No.6 defense is showing a few chinks in permitting 14 scores.

Enter Edmonton (17-24 SU), who has the fewest points in the Western Conference (37), but has taken nine of 11 at Rexall Place, including the last two on this six-game homestand. The Oilers have not done many things right, yet they are a tough out on home ice and are eighth in the league in ringing up scores at home. No question Tampa Bay is the more talented squad, nonetheless, Edmonton is playing quite well in their own building and as +115 underdogs, appreciate the fact the home team is 6-0 of late in this series.

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NHL Pick: Edmonton +120
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Colorado Cruises Past Nashville
With Colorado (20-21 SU) in sixth place in the Central Division, it can easy to overlook the progress they have been making. The Avalanche have a chance to catch Nashville (19-21 SU) in the standings tonight with a regulation victory. Colorado has gone 8-2-2 in its last dozen tries and 11-4-2 since Dec. 1st.

Originally, the Avs were -115 home favorites, but have be shoved to +100 underdogs. It is understood Colorado is only 8-12 SU at home, but the Predators are 7-12 SU on the road and are the third-worst scoring team in the NHL at 2.05 GAG in the visiting sweaters. The Avalanche won in Nashville 3-2 on Dec. 12th and a little research finds the Preds just 1-8 lately in same season revenge.

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NHL Pick: Colorado +110
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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