NHL Picks: Friday Picks of the Day

David Lawrence

Friday, January 17, 2014 1:44 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 1:44 PM GMT

Friday is a quiet night in the NHL with just a couple of games on the schedule. We’ll run down both of them below and present best selections either on the sides or totals.

Washington Capitals vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

This is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions right now. The good news for bettors is that the NHL odds don’t exactly reflect that.

The general perception is that Washington is a pretty good team and that Columbus sucks, but the opposite has been true during recent times. The Caps have dropped seven of their last nine games and nine of 12. As for Columbus, they’ve won four straight. If the streaks were opposite and the Capitals were at home, they’d be laying about -170 or -180. As it is, the Blue Jackets are only in the -130 range.

When you look at the standings, the Blue Jackets are now just four points behind Washington, who occupies a playoff spot. Clearly, the Blue Jackets are going to understand the importance of this game. Not only is there plenty on the line for them to play for, they’re playing much better than the Capitals right now and are therefore worth the investment. Lay the -130 (or better) with your NHL picks.

Pick: Blue Jackets -126 at BetOnline

[gameodds]7/253038/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

The Ducks are on absolute fire these days as they’ve won 18 of their last 19 games. The first win in that streak was a 3-2 victory in Chicago. Not only that, they’re coming off a franchise record-setting 9-1 win over Vancouver on Wednesday, so they’ll be filled with plenty of confidence on Friday night.

The Blackhawks have hit hard times – for some reason – as they have now lost five of their last seven games. Some of those losses are pretty ugly as they’ve fallen to the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and at home to Colorado in their latest outing.

At this point, the Ducks make sense as the play here. You’re getting them as a road dog for your sports picks and given how badly the Blackhawks are slumping, the Ducks are worth a play here.

Pick: Ducks +116 at Pinnacle

[gameodds]7/253039/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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