Free NHL Picks: Puck Line, Money Line & On the Total for 12/29

David Lawrence

Monday, December 29, 2014 4:51 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 4:51 PM GMT

It’s a busy night in the NHL with 12 games on the docket. There’s lots to choose from, so we’ve rounded up our NHL picks with favorite, side, puckline and total play of the night.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
NHL Odds: Islanders -135
The New York Islanders have definitely been one of the best teams in the NHL so far this season but they’ve cooled off of late and it might be worth looking the other way in this game. The Isles have dropped two straight, including a 4-3 loss to the hapless Buffalo Sabres.

Part of the problem is that the Isles are without their top goaltender, Jaroslav Halak. He’s 18-6-0 on the season. When you quickly crunch the numbers, that means that the Isles are just 5-5-1 when they’re using a backup in net. They go from being one of the best teams in the league when he’s in net to being a .500 club.

Washington has been surging and is coming off a confidence-boosting 3-0 win in Pittsburgh. This is a team that’s now won eight of their last 11 games and two of those losses were in overtime, so they’ve been extremely competitive. With Halak out, take the caps as a road dog with your NHL picks.

Best Moneyline NHL Pick: Capitals +115 at The Greek

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Odds: Lightning -200
The Lightning are laying a huge number as the Maple Leafs visit on Monday and NHL betting odds for this game might be worth a look, specially the puck line. Toronto has struggled of late, dropping four of five while giving up 21 goals in that process. The one win they had in that span was a 4-0 shutout, so they’ve actually given up 21 goals in their last four losses. That could be trouble tonight as they face a Tampa Bay team that has one of the best offenses in the NHL. The Lightning score 3.19 per outing.

With Ben Bishop back between the pipes, the Lightning should have the edge in net. He’s 12-3-1 with a 2.07 GAA at home this season. Take the Lightning on the puck line in this one.

Best Puckline NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -1.5

Los Angeles Kings vs. Calgary Flames
NHL Odds:
Kings -135
The Flames and Kings meet up for the second time in a week as the Flames outlasted the Kings 4-3 last Monday. We should see plenty of goals in this one even though we’re facing a low total of just five in this one.

Jonathan Quick’s splits dictate and over as he’s 13-3-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .935 save percentage at home. However, he’ll be on the road for this one and when he’s away, he’s just 2-5-4 with a 3.12 GAA and .903 save percentage. Combined with the fact that the Flames average 3.00 goals per game at home (tied for 9th best in the NHL) and Kings road games have a combined average score of 5.75, the over looks good in this one.

Best Total NHL Pick: Over 5 at 5Dimes

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