Free Daily NHL Picks: The Best Plays For Monday's Action

Doug Upstone

Monday, February 22, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Excited for another week of reviewing the NHL odds. And why wouldn't I be, winning in five of the last six days, including a clean sweep of the Sunday proceedings to complete the week.

However, I have been doing this a long time and understand how quickly everything change, like recently after winning 18 of 23 days, lost four in row and five of seven days against the NHL odds, it happens, the good and the bad. The idea is to be consistent as possible and because hockey is primarily, at least for me a money line wager, as opposed to baseball, for the most part if you have the better team and know who the goalie is and how he is playing, you have a shot at victory.

That is why I am passing on Nashville and Montreal today, not sure what to expect out of either club and for NHL picks will choose the three remaining other contests.

 

Washington Gets the Call Over Arizona
There is a lot of complaining about individuals in Washington (I swear that is 25 percent of Facebook posts), but none of are about local hockey team, the Capitals (43-14 SU). This is something everyone can agree on, Washington is the best team in the NHL and they have few weaknesses to exploit. Washington's utter dominance is measured in the numbers, first in scoring (3.30 goals a game), second in scoring defense (2.28), first in power play percentage (23.2%) and fourth in killing penalties (84.2%).

After playing surprisingly well for the first half of the season, the Arizona (27-31 SU) youth and lack of defense is catching up with them. The Coyotes has slipped to 10th in the Western Conference by losing seven of 10 and they are last in goals allowed in the league at 3.07, which is not a good match tonight. Arizona plays nine of next 11 on the road and their power play has been as bankrupt as 50 Cent, at 1 for 16 in last four away games.

Heavily favored Washington is 23-6 against losing teams.

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NHL Pick: Washington -260
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Boston Should Corral Columbus
Off a 4-2 road trip, Boston (32-27 SU) is tied for second in the Atlantic Division, five points behind Florida. The Bruins would be in first place if they were even ordinary at home and if they have designs in being division champions, they have to play like the past over their 13 remaining games at TD Garden.

Having been one the best home teams over the past six seasons, Boston is uncharacteristic 12-17 SU on home ice, being the worst defensive crew in the league at 3.28 GAG. Overall, the Bruins are third in scoring and take on Columbus (23-36 SU), who is seventh among all road teams in goals surrendered.

The Blue Jackets offense might be the answer to Boston's home struggles with nugatory 14 goals in eight February games. Columbus is off two home losses and is 13-33 after two or more consecutive defeats which should help the B's as -175 home favorites.

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NHL Pick: Boston -145
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

 

San Jose Staves Off St. Louis
Having assembled a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 contests, including five in a row, St. Louis (35-26 SU) has crawled to within two points of front-running Chicago in the Central. One of the regulation losses came at the hands of San Jose 18 days ago, a 3-1 setback the Scottrade Center. The Blues are one of the most difficult teams to score on at their place, listed third at only 2.19 GAG allowed.

Nevertheless, San Jose (31-26 SU) is no ordinary road team, with the best mark in the Western Conference at 20-11 SU (3rd overall). The Sharks strength is they do not beat themselves away from home. San Jose is off a 5-2 loss at Carolina and they have not lost back to back games since the first two of 2016 and they go back to Dec.18-20, when they went 0-2 in consecutive road outings, a span of 11 games.

Just the fact oddsmakers made St. Louis only a -120 home favorite, tells you San Jose can win this game and the Sharks are 9-2 on the road against winning teams this season.

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NHL Pick: San Jose +102
Best Line Offered: at Heritage