Sunday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Free NHL Pick: Coyotes ML
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
After losing in OT to Pittsburgh on Friday night, Arizona has flown to Toronto to start a six-game road excursion. The opening NHL odds had the Coyotes at +220, but that might not be a dire as the sounds for the visitors and here is why.
Arizona has a better record away from the desert at 12-11 SU vs. 9-15 SU in their own building. And though Toronto is tied for the second-most points in the Eastern Conference, they have done more of the damage on the road (16-7 SU) than at Scotiabank Arena (13-11 SU).
The Coyotes are in rebuilding mode and have started the process by building the defense first and that essentially is working as they have been among the 10 best teams stopping the puck all season at 2.87 a game. The problem is on offense, where a rather faceless crew is 28th in the league and Richard Panik is the only winger among the Yotes’ 10-highest point produces (6th).
The Maple Leafs have no issues putting the puck in the net, ranked fourth in the league at 3.53 goals per game. However, not everything is perfect for Toronto, which has dropped five of eight and seen Auston Matthews and William Nylander struggle to contribute for more than a dozen games.
The easy choice would be to take the Leafs and they are 11-3 on home against teams with a winning road record. Nonetheless, we almost had a winner on Arizona on Friday before that loss beyond regulation. The desert dogs have won four straight in Toronto and are 12-4 versus the Leafs. With +200 ML dogs winning about 35 percent of the time, time to step up.
Sunday, 9:35 p.m. ET
Free NHL Pick: Oilers ML
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
The best way to describe Carolina is “streaky.” For those that have more invested emotionally in the Hurricanes, they might say “unreliable.” Whatever word one chooses to use about Carolina, they are a club that is not easy to bet on or against.
The Hurricanes are the third-worst wager in the NHL at -12.8 units and that mostly comes from having a 2-5 record when favored by -180 or higher on the money line. In fact, the Canes have lost five straight in that role, with the latest a 4-1 thumping at home by lowly Ottawa on Friday night. Three nights prior, Carolina was whipped 5-2 by the slumping New York Rangers at MSG and that was right after they had won seven of eight. Go figure.
Edmonton has played in much the same fashion: win a bunch and lose a bunch. Going into their contest with Calgary on Saturday night, the Oilers had shown they might be making a bit of a move in the Pacific in being victorious in five of their previous eight. Two seasons ago, Edmonton appeared to be a team on the rise after years of futility with a star in the making in Connor McDavid and a host of young talent.
That team was eighth in the league in scoring, but since, other than McDavid, nobody has improved and in most cases regressed, and the Oilers are 21st in scoring.
Edmonton was sent out as +100 home underdog as they have now lost seven of nine at Rogers Place after Saturday’s 5-2 defeat. Even with that, however, it’s hard to consider Carolina for your NHL picks. The Hurricanes could be going south again and are 17-53 on the road against foes with a winning home record, and they have lost four of five at Edmonton.