NHL Picks: Sunday Picks of the Day

David Lawrence

Sunday, December 22, 2013 12:58 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013 12:58 PM UTC

It’s a quiet Sunday in the NHL with just two games on the card. The league has schedule a whopping 14 games for Monday, which will be the storm before the quiet that is the Christmas Break.

Let’s have a look at the two Sunday matchups and see if we can find an edge:

Minnesota Wild @ New York Rangers

As you might recall, the New York Rangers started the season on a taxing nine-game road trip. They only won three of those nine contests and were supposedly paying it forward to December when they got to have their nine-game homestand. So far, the longest homestand in Rangers history has been nothing short of a disaster. They’ve lost five of the first six games, which includes a demoralizing 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders, who had lost 13 of 14 going into that contest.

The Rangers just can’t be trusted at home these days with your NHL picks. They’ve lost 10 of 12 at Madison Square Garden and Henrik Lundqvist – yes, King Henrik, who is usually one of the best goaltenders in the NHL – has just one win in his last 10 starts at home while posting a 3.23 GAA.

However, it’s also hard to bet the Wild in this spot as they have lost six of their last seven on the road. They’re without their awesome goaltender Josh Harding and have been forced to use Niklas Backstrom instead, who has lost five straight while posting a 3.23 GAA.

The home-away splits really don’t show any edge to either side, so we’ll look to the total for our sports picks. Neither team is playing well defensively right now, so we’ll bank on the total going over the posted number of 5.

Pick: Over 5 at Bovada



Winnipeg Jets @ Vancouver Canucks

The Jets and Canucks have been two teams that have been tricky to peg in the last week. The Jets were slumping (lost three straight going into last week) but beat Columbus as a road dog (+100), lost to Buffalo as a small road favorite (-110) and then beat a red-hot Florida team (-165). As for Vancouver, their seven-game winning streak was snapped with back-to-back losses in Minnesota (-110) and at Dallas (-125) before they cashed in Chicago (+170).

Vancouver is the logical choice as they have won five straight at home and are 8-1-1 in their last 10. Winnipeg has won two of three, but has dropped five of their last eight overall.

I’ll take the under in this game as Winnipeg scores more (2.85 goals per game) and allows more (3.05). On the road, they score 2.24 per game and allow 2.53. Vancouver is one of the league’s best defensive teams at home as they allow just 1.89 goals per game at home (compared to 2.70 on the road). I’ll bank on those trends to lead use to a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Under 5 at Bookmaker

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