10 of the 18 teams playing on Tuesday will be playing their third game in four nights, so expect that to have an effect on the NHL odds.
Record: 9-7 (+225)
Winnipeg Jets vs. Washington Capitals
The Winnipeg Jets have played two games so far this season and have scored a total of two goals. Offense was one of the areas that pundits questioned about this team heading into the season and it appears to be a problem – at least in the early stages.
I would look for that to continue on Tuesday night when the Jets visit the Washington Capitals. While the Caps do have decent offensive weapons, their path to success – as proven last season – starts with good, sound defense.
The Caps were sloppy in their opening 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning but they should be able to clean that up after a couple of days off. They gave up three power play goals, which crippled them, but the good news is that Winnipeg is just one-for-10 with the man-advantage on the season.
Keep in mind that if we see Ondrej Pavelec in net, the under will have an even better shot. He’s 7-1-1 with a 1.53 GAA in his last nine starts against Washington.
Overall, I believe that the best value for our NHL picks lies with the under in this game. When you factor that you’re getting +125 for this game to go under 5.5 along with some of the aforementioned reasons, I’ll take the value and take a shot.
Pick: Under 5.5
Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens
The Florida Panthers are a big underdog in Montreal on Tuesday night and I’m not sure they are deserved of being that big of a dog. Yes, they are in a back-to-back situation and were shut out by the Ottawa Senators on Monday night but the Canadiens aren’t exactly a quality team themselves. They finished dead-last in the East last year, lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs at home in their opener and are still playing without their top defenseman P.K. Subban.
In the grand scheme of things, I think Montreal should be favored in this game but laying -160 with them is crazy. Maybe -120 but not -160. The value is too good with a Panthers team here that has a legitimate shot to win this game.
Pick: Panthers +140
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks
The St. Louis Blues were an excellent defensive team last season but if we’ve learned anything about them so far this year it’s that their offense is markedly improved. They have now scored 10 goals in two games this season and a number of their youngsters have taken a step forward. Also, rookie Vladimir Tarasenko has five points in two games and has really bolstered the offense.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks look like a team on a mission so far this season. Their offense is going to score on pretty much everyone and they’ve made that very clear. They blasted a good defensive team in the Los Angeles Kings in the opener and burned a supposedly defensive-minded Phoenix Coyotes team in their second game. The Blackhawks have totaled 11 goals already.
I think both teams will score here and the total should get pushed over the number. Take the over.
Pick: Blues/Blackhawks Over 5.5