NHL Picks: Coyotes vs. Avalanche

David Lawrence

Monday, February 11, 2013 4:38 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 4:38 PM GMT

The Phoenix Coyotes had a rough start to the season but now they’re heating up. What are we predicting to happen when they meet the Avalanche tonight, and where does the best NHL betting value lie?

Goaltender Mike Smith is leading the way as the team has won three of four. Tonight, they are a small road favorite in the eyes of the NHL odds makers as they head to Colorado to face the Avalanche.

Find out why we believe that the best NHL betting value lies in betting this game’s total rather than the spread.

[gameodds]7/218254/43/us[/gameodds]

Record: 35-42 (-621)

The Phoenix Coyotes can win because…

They’re hot right now and it’s mostly because of Smith. As he goes, so does the team. The Coyotes don’t score a lot of goals so their defense has to be air tight. Smith has stopped 71 of the last 72 shots he’s faced in the Coyotes last three wins.

Colorado is not a high scoring team by any stretch of the imagination. They average just 2.1 goals per game, which is among the worst in the NHL. The Avs are the only team in the NHL to be shutout three times this young season and they’ve scored just twice in their last two home games. The Coyotes won’t need many goals to win this one.

The Colorado Avalanche can win because…

The Coyotes are a different team away from home. Yes, the Coyotes are playing better but they’ve still only won one of four road games this season. While the thought of quality goaltending and strong defense sounds good, the reality is that the Coyotes have given up 13 goals in the four road games.

The Avs are still decent at home. They’ve lost two straight at the Pepsi Center but started the year 3-0-0 there while scoring 10 goals. They are definitely a more confident team on their home ice.

Outlook & Pick 

For the side play, the lean would probably be to the Coyotes but the under looks like the safest way to look with your sports picks in this game. The Avs scored just seven goals in the four meetings last year and are having a tough time scoring these days. A hot Mike Smith should help guide this game under the number.

Free NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at Bovada

Take a look at my NHL Picks: Monday Night Hockey Plays for three more game predictions.

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