We’ve got the Dallas-Anaheim contest separated out and below we’ve got our thoughts and predictions on the other two contests:
Vancouver Canucks @ Columbus Blue Jackets
The Canucks grueling seven-game road trip continues as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. Vancouver will be in a back-to-back situation after losing in Pittsburgh on Saturday but keep in mind that their contest yesterday had a 1:00 PM ET start time. Thanks to that matinee game, they should have arrived at Columbus at a reasonable hour and the back-to-back situation shouldn’t be as taxing as a regular one would be.
The Canucks have been quite competitive on the road this season as they are 2-1-2 in away games. For bettors, all that means is that they are 2-3 but it does indicate that they are putting in good efforts – even in their losses. Saturday was another example as they lost to the Penguins in a shootout even though they were heavy underdogs on the lines.
The Blue Jackets are in a big slump right now as they enter on a four-game losing streak. Their offense has disappeared as they’ve scored exactly one goal in three of those losses. Compounding problems has been the struggles of Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, who after Saturday’s loss, has a .897 save percentage. He’ll be given a break on Sunday as Curtis McElhinney will get the nod.
Both teams are in a back-to-back situation but the Blue Jackets are probably a tad more stressed after playing (and losing) in Washington last night while the Canucks game ended early. The Canucks have proven to be a good road team and will not only be facing a struggling team, but one who will be starting a backup goaltender. At a reasonable price, I’ll take a shot with them.
Pick: Canucks -104 at Pinnacle
Nashville Predators @ Winnipeg Jets
Two unpredictable teams will square off on Sunday when the Predators visit the Jets. Winnipeg started the season with a pair of wins as an underdog. Then, as people who make their sports picks started to believe, they would turn around and lose three straight – twice at home – to teams like Minnesota and Dallas. Now they’ve bounced back and won two of three. As for Nashville, they started the year by losing three of four and have since won three of four.
The bottom line for me is that there’s no way I’m laying juice on the NHL odds with Winnipeg given how they’ve played. They don’t deserve to be favored at -145 right. On the season, they are just 3-3-0 at home.
One of the reason why they are favored by so much is that the Preds played last night in Montreal. They escaped with a 2-1 win and now have a quick turnaround with the Sunday contest in Winnipeg. Even so, I’d rather take a shot with them as a road dog than lay the juice with Winnipeg. Take a flier on the Preds with your NHL picks.
Free Pick: Predators +130 at Ladbrokes[gameodds]7/245892/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]