The Anaheim Ducks started the season 10-3-0 but have since dropped 6 of their last 7 games. Tonight they head to Vancouver for an NHL betting matchup of two of the better Western Conference teams.
The Anaheim Ducks Can Win Because…
Although they’ve been losing a lot of games recently, they’ve been close. They have dropped six of seven but five of those losses were in overtime, so they’ve actually been really close in those contests (including against the defending Stanley Cup Champions where they lost 2-3). They’re not getting blown off the map; they’re just losing some really tight games.
The Canucks could be in a tight spot on Thursday night as they’ll be in a back-to-back situation. They played in Edmonton the night before, so they could be a little worn down with no rest. And overall, the Canucks might be a tad overrated. Even though Vancouver is a top-four team in the Western Conference right now, they actually have just a +1 goals differential. Entering Wednesday, 15 other teams had a better number than that.
And the Canucks don’t have a great home-ice advantage as they are just 5-3-0 at home compared to 7-3-0 on the road. Anaheim has actually fared better away from home (6-2-2) than at home (5-2-3), so maybe this game will be more even than people think.
The Vancouver Canucks Can Win Because…
The Ducks have gone cold. Although five of their last six losses have been in overtime, the issue is that four of those losses came at home. The losses came to the New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes, Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks, which are all teams the Ducks should be expected to beat at home.
Anaheim’s goaltending has fallen off the table in November as they’re giving up 3.13 goals per game this month. That’s the seventh-most in the NHL. They led the league in this category in October at 1.83 goals per game.
Vancouver is on a roll these days as they had won eight of their last 11 games overall entering Wednesday’s visit to Edmonton. Goaltender Ryan Miller has been fantastic and the Canucks have been one of the best teams in the NHL. This is a matchup of two teams heading in different directions right now, so take the Canucks with your NHL picks. Not only do they have momentum, they also have home-ice advantage.
This is a tricky game to handicap as the Ducks are a far ways from home up north in Vancouver while the Canucks are in a back-to-back situation. The Canucks are the logical choice as they’ve been the better of the two teams. Instead, though, I’ll go with the over. The Ducks have been giving up goals in bunches and the Canucks defense could be a bit weary in a back-to-back situation.
Also, the Canucks actually give up 3.00 goals per game this season at home, which is the sixth-worst number. Look for this game to go over the NHL betting odds total.
Free NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at 5Dimes