NHL Picks Of The Day: Lock Monday's Winning Plays Before The Puck Drops

Doug Upstone

Monday, December 21, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 21, 2015 3:52 PM GMT

It's the first day of winter and the start of week of Christmas and the sportsbooks NHL odds have been released. With this lineup, not easy to say if we'll have a gift or coal in stocking.

In looking over NHL odds, you need a magnifying glass to find much difference in many of these games for sports picks, because they are rather evenly matched. Having navigated around the rink several times, I have found three NHL picks, I think can show a profit and I have been in great form coming off an 11-3 week, up +6.95 units. Let's try to put some more gifts under the tree.

 

Laboring Offenses College in Big Apple
After winning seven of eight to move up the standings in the Metropolitan Division, the New York Islanders have lost three in a row. It offense has disappeared like a David Blaine magic trick with two goals in the last three games. Two factors have led to this power outage, star center John Tavares has one point in his last eight games and the Islanders power play is like it's been disconnected with recent 1 for 16 stretch.

At least New York is back home and they are facing the worst-scoring team in the NHL in Anaheim. The Ducks offense just waddles along and is the only one in the league averaging less than two goals a contest (1.84). Anaheim has floundered all season and has one victory in past three games and is 8-2 UNDER having lost two of three. With the Islanders have dropped a trio of outings, they are 18-5 UNDER when riding three or more defeats the last few seasons. With total at 5.5 at YouWager.eu, this hockey handicapper prefers the lower number.

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Free NHL Pick: Play Under 5.5
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

 

Slight Edge to Flyers in Philly
Of the three, this is the sketchiest for NHL picks and I'm going to stick with the same formula that works very well on the ice. I had been waiting for St. Louis (20-14 SU) to finally break out of their slump and they have in winning three consecutive times and four of five. The offense has been quite good of late in scoring 16 goals in its past five wins, spearheaded by Vladimir Tarasenko, whose tallied seven goals in past eight encounters. In fact, the only time Tarsenko has not scored in this period was on Dec. 10th against Philadelphia (14-19 SU).

The Flyers will try and lock him up again and have been continually improving with 7-4 SU record since the day after Thanksgiving. For some reason Philadelphia has matched up well with St. Louis and picked up at least one point in five straight contests in putting together 3-0-2 record and outscored them 11-6.

The Blues are -140 road favorites but are 3-9 SU in last dozen visits to City of Brotherly Love and 0-6 off two home wins by one goal since 2012-13 season.

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Free NHL Pick: Philadelphia wins
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Sticking With Colorado to Remain Hot
The Avalanche are hotter than the girls on a Carl's Jr. commercial with five wins in a row and eight of 10. Resurgent Colorado is .500 for the first this season (17-17 SU) and is playing hockey reminiscent of two years ago when they went 6-0. Goalie Semyon Varlamov played a big part in that success and is again right now, allowing two or fewer goals in 7-1-0 stretch.

"Varly is playing so well right now," coach Patrick Roy said. "When you're looking at him, it seems like it is very easy. He seems like he is under control. He's moving well. He sees the puck big. He's in the zone right now. We feed off of him right now. He's the big reason why we're having a good turnaround."

While this is certainly true, the defensemen in front of Varlamov are also taking more pride in their work and collectively have conceded just 15 scores in 10 skirmishes.

The Avs are -160 home favorites and will have revenge on their minds having lost to Toronto (11-20 SU) just over a month ago 5-1. The Maple Leafs just completed a 2-2 homestand and play tonight and tomorrow on the road and are 1-11 away after playing there consecutive home contests the last three seasons.

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Free NHL Pick: Colorado wins
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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