Daily NHL Picks: Top ML Winners for Friday Night Ice Action

Doug Upstone

Friday, November 20, 2015 3:16 PM GMT

Another weekend approaches and the sportsbooks have a half dozen games with NHL odds attached for us to look at for today. According to what we see, we give you the top plays.

Last night Tampa Bay ended the Rangers nine-game winning streak and after 9-0 start to season, Montreal was outworked by Arizona in 3-2 loss, leaving them 5-5 in last 10. Thought the world was going to end as I picked up two wins in OT last night with San Jose and St. Louis. Here is what I have for today in NHL picks.

 

Hot Goaltender Gives Nashville Edge
Nashville netminder Pekka Rinne is acknowledged as one of the top best in his profession, playing on team with rather ordinary talent and limited resources due to market size. Rinne is currently ranked eighth in the league in goals allowed at 2.10, by those who have at least 10 starts.

Back on Nov. 10, Rinne and his defensemen were have a very difficult game against Ottawa at home and gave up five goals in two periods. Fortunately that day the Predators (11-6 SU) offense was hot and with Rinne slamming the cage shut in the third period, Nashville won 7-5.

Whether it has been just fate or a renewed focus, Rinne has a 0.97 goals against average since in three contests. In addition, since being shut-out by St. Louis four games ago, the aforementioned Nashville offense could be melting the ice with 18 goals scored, thanks primarily to the contributions of James Neal (17 points L14G) and Shea Weber (3 goals L4G). Heritagesports.eu opening NHL odds made the Preds -130 money line favorites over Columbus (7-13 SU) and I will support this with the Blue Jackets only 2-6 on home ice.

NHL Pick: Nashville -135 at 5Dimes

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Sizzling Toronto Picks Up Road Win
It is not very often a hockey handicapper will use the words -sizzling- and 'Toronto' in the same headline. And while any team winning four of five is hardly cause for celebration, it is when talking about the Maple Leafs (6-13 SU). Toronto's offense may only be ranked 23rd, but they collectively have picked up the scoring with 17 goals in five outings. Recipes for the Leafs success have been outstanding special teams play both in scoring and killing penalties and goalie James Reimer, who has a 1.62 goals against average with a 4-0-2 record.

Why would I even consider a lousy team like Toronto, because Carolina (6-12 SU) has hit the skids. The Hurricanes are a drizzly 1-6 of late, which includes four consecutive defeats. Carolina has allowed 23 goals while lighting the lamp only a dozen times. The Hurricanes might be a -135 favorite, but unless they can reach three goals, they are 1-10 this season when scoring two times or fewer and run into the Leafs Reimer, who is on top of his game. For sports picks, taking underdog Toronto.

NHL Pick: Toronto +115 at Bookmaker

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Hunch Play on Calgary over Chicago
I will be the first to admit the Blackhawks are the safe play here. Chicago (11-8 SU) has won three in a row and four of five and are as healthy as they have been all season and still oozing with top line talent. The Hawks are 7-0-3 in recent games with Calgary (7-13 SU) and have won three of four at the Saddledome.

So why the Flames tonight? Start with backup Scott Darling expected between the pipes for Chicago, who has been adequate, but 0-2 on the road with inadequate 85.1 percent save percentage. Calgary should have confidence playing in their own building having won three straight and with the Saddledome one the loudest buildings in the NHL and the defending Stanley Cup champs in town, should be frenzied atmosphere. Finally, Calgary players just lost to the Blackhawks on Sunday 4-1 in Chi-Town and that should be fresh in their minds and it is not exactly like Chicago have been road warriors to this point at 3-5 SU. Calgary at +125 worth a look.

NHL Pick: Calgary +134 at Heritage

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