NHL Sunday Picks of the Day: Rock Solid Winning Picks on Favorites

Doug Upstone

Sunday, November 15, 2015 4:44 PM GMT

Today's NHL schedule might be described as - Lean - with just two offerings from the sportsbooks. The betting odds favor a couple teams we are very familiar with and we examine their chances.

Yesterday was quite good at 3-1 for NHL picks, with only loser coming in what else is new for me, overtime. Though I have put together three consecutive winning days, when their just two games earlier this week, I gave out side and total and got nailed. As a professional hockey handicapper, I would rather give you a side or total on a game, unless I feel both are warranted, then do just force plays.

 

New York Rangers Handle Toronto
The effects of having Mike Babcock as head coach are starting to payoff for Toronto (5-12 SU), winning three in row and the Maple Leafs have picked up 10 points over their last seven games, after securing only four in their first 10 contests. In winning four of the past seven outings, Toronto has played more on an even keel, only once scoring less than two goals and conceding more than three goals just one time.

However, there is a reason why New York's opening NHL odds were -200 at WagerWeb. The Rangers have won eight straight and are approaching near record levels for their franchise. New York has picked up a point in the standings by way of 10-0-2 record, which is longest such streak when they reached 13 eight years ago. The actual winning streak is the third-longest in franchise history, having gotten as high 10 twice previously (1939-40 and 1972-73).

This group of Blueshirts have set on record by winning 13 of first 17 games. Defensively, the Rangers have no peer, ranked first in fewest goals allowed at 1.65 per game and offensively they are tied for fifth in scoring at 3.03 goals per contest, which makes them tied with Montreal for the best goal differential in the league at +24.

With both teams having played last night and taking the ice for the third time in five days, the backup goaltenders are presumed to be between the pipes.

For New York that would be Antti Raanta, who is 3-0 on the season with a 0.67 GAA and .976 save percentage and he's been either very good (shutout) or very bad against Toronto (5 goals allowed) in two starts. The Leafs Jonathan Bernier has a 3.00 GAA in seven starts versus New York. While Toronto certainly has a shot with their recent efforts, they are still only 4-12 off a victory and 6-25 against winning teams.

NHL Free Pick:  New York Rangers -190 at BetOnline

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Chicago Takes out Calgary
Chicago (9-8) held a 5-3 lead on home ice over St. Louis back on Nov. 4th, but allowed three unanswered goals and lost 6-5. The defending champs got their payback last night in a 4-2 victory over the Blues. That victory also came with other positives as defensemen Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival both returned and they will help strengthen Chicago's back end.

The Hawks Patrick Kane was already off to a very good start, but he's been smoldering hot with goals in six consecutive contests and points in a dozen games in a row. As we begin action today, Kane is tied for most points in the NHL (26), goals scored (12) and has the finest plus/minus rating at +13.

Chicago opened as -160 home favorite and within minutes were at -170 or higher depending on the sportsbook. Rest assured Calgary (6-12 SU) is not thrilled to seeing Kane at his best, since he has 32 points in 28 meetings with the Flames and his 16 goals is the third-most against any opponent. With Calgary the worst defensive team in the league at 3.72 GAA and 0-11-2 in last 13 unlucky visits to the United Center, for sports picks the Blackhawks are the right choice.

NHL Free Pick:  Chicago Blackhawks -165 at 5Dimes

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