NHL Picks: Back a Canucks Victory vs. Stars

Mike Richardson

Thursday, March 6, 2014 4:26 PM GMT

The sun may be coming out (eventually) but ice is still the cool place to win money and if you listen to the top NHL picks from your Humble Handicapper you can clean up when the Dallas Stars take on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night in the NHL.

Vancouver lost 1-0 at Phoenix on Tuesday night and now sit one point behind the Coyotes in the Western Conference. More bad Canada news is that the Stars have taken the first two meetings this season against the Canucks, there’s rumours coming from your Humble Handicapper’s spies that Vancouver may look to halt the slide by debuting their new goaltender Jacob Markstrom against Dallas. And any Panthers fans out there won’t need reminding that Markstrom went 1-6-3 (with a 3.52 goals-against average with Florida this season). Up front, Vancouver will look to Ryan Kesler who leads the Canucks with 21 goals but conversely Vancouver have lost 10 straight games that Kesler has played in. "We have to score, that's the biggest thing," Kesler bemoaned, "it's no secret, I think we average a goal and a half a game over the past couple months."

Enough with the stars…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?

Here’s the basics, actually here’s the Stanley cup odds for these two teams the Canucks are at best hockey odds of 6600 while the Stars are 7400. Now’s here’s the basics of this match; Dallas winning is at -160 while Vancouver are 140.

As it stands in the NHL these days Dallas (who are 29-23-10) hold the eighth and the final playoff spot in the West while the Canucks (who are 28-26-10) sit two points back in 11th place, although they have played two more games. The Canucks are averaging 2.30 goals overall and now have a league-worst 1.72 since mid-December. Injury-wise Vancouver are also missing Daniel Sedin, out with a lower-body injury.

The bookies like Dallas to open the scoring at best hockey odds of -125 while Vancouver are -105. A scoreless game is at big fat NHL odds of +4000, but don’t throw any money away on that. If you’re looking for Dallas’ opening scorer, you should know that Erik Cole has a team-high four points this season for the Stars.

Be sure to compare all the top NHL Stanley Cup betting lines available!

Home is where the heart is

The stars begin a three-game homestand (on the heels of Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Columbus). Dallas were down 3-0 after one period and did not score in the second despite enjoying a 12-1 advantage in shots on goal. This could be the chink in there armour that will let the Canucks in.

The visitors have managed just eight total goals in their last eight games (that’s pretty poor) and three of them came on the power play. In those eight games they have recorded well over 30 shots on five occasions, so they just need that last 10%. Thursday night might just be their night.

Looking at the correct score odds the bookies like draws, 2-2, 3-3 and 1-1 are the first three correct scores that they favour, and if it’s going to be close it could well go Vancouver’s way. 

I'm backing the underdogs for our NHL pick in this one.

Prediction: Vancouver win 3-2 at 1900 with Unibet.

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