Free NHL Picks: Two Games Worth a Look Thursday Night

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, December 4, 2014 1:54 PM GMT

We highly recommend reading today’s “NHL Picks of the Day” segment that breaks down the games between the Kings/Coyotes and Islanders/Senators, as we include two outstanding NHL betting angles.

Los Angeles Kings vs. Arizona Coyotes 9:05 PM ET
According to today’s NHL betting odds, the Los Angeles Kings are a -145 money line favorite in Phoenix tonight against the Arizona Coyotes.

Goaltending Mismatch
The one NHL handicapping tidbit that stands above all the rest is tonight’s goaltending matchup. The slated starters are Jonathan Quick for the Kings and Mike Smith of the Coyotes. Quick has compiled a superb .933 save percentage in 20-starts this season, and his reputation as one of the best goaltenders in the world precedes itself. Contrarily, Mike Smith has struggled this season, posting a below average .891 save percentage in 19-starts, and that includes an even worse .888 in 9-games at home.

 

The Teams
The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings have underachieved a bit in their first 25-games by posting a mediocre 13-12 money line record. However, they’re coming off an impressive 2-0 shutout win at home versus the Boston Bruins in their previous game.

The Arizona Coyotes have gone a disappointing 10-16 against the money line for the year. They enter tonight having lost 4 of the last 5, 7 of the last 9, and have gone a poor 4-7 on home ice this season.

 

NHL Money Line Betting System
Any money line road favorite (Los Angeles Kings) of -200 or less with a winning record in the 1st half of the season, coming off a home win in which they shutout their opponent, and is facing a team with a losing record, has gone 40-9 (81.6%) since 1997.

Free NHL Pick: Los Angeles Kings -145 at The Greek

 

New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators 7:35 PM ET
I’ll be honing in on a totals selection in this game tonight between these two Eastern Conference teams. According to today’s NHL betting odds at 5-Dimes, the total in this contest is set at 5.5. Going under the total is at a +110 money line price, and by going under the number you will have to risk $1.30 to make $1.00.

 

Isles Defy Perception in Recent Games
The New York Islanders are off to a terrific start to the 2014-2015 NHL campaign, and most of the acclaim attributed to their successful beginning has been their offensive prowess. There’s no denying their ability to score a plethora of goals is something they’ve been able to hang their hat on during the first quarter of their schedule. However, what’s been overlooked in recent games has been their stellar defensive play. The Islanders have gone under the total in 5 of their last 6-games, and have allowed 2-goals or less in 5 of the 6. Tonight’s slated starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak has been terrific in his last 4-starts, posting a brilliant .950 save percentage, and each of those 4-games has stayed under the total.

 

Sens Play on the Low Side of Late
The Ottawa Senators haven’t seen any of their last 4-games go over the total, and just 1 of the last 7 has surpassed the number. Craig Anderson is listed as the probable starter in goal tonight for the Senators. Despite his unimpressive 5-9 record in 14-starts, he’s compiled a stellar .930 save percentage. He’s been especially good in home starts going 3-2 with an excellent .948 save percentage.

 

NHL Totals Angle
The Islanders enter today having won 7 of their last 8-games. This will also be their 8th game in the last 14-days. Those two facts set up a straightforward and successful angle on the total, and I’ll lean heavily on that system for one of my NHL picks today.

Any road team (Islanders) with a total of 5.5, that’s won 6 or 7 of their previous 8-games, and they’re playing their 8th game or more in the last 14-days, has seen 42 of those 53-games (79.2%) go under the total during the past 5-seasons.

Free NHL Pick: Islanders and Senators to go under the total of 5.5