Saturday NHL Picks of the Day

David Lawrence

Saturday, December 28, 2013 1:58 PM GMT

It’s a relatively quiet Saturday in the NHL as only eight games are on the card. CBC will have it’s usual double-header for Hockey Night in Canada and we’ve got two of those games featured in our daily picks for Saturday night.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues

The Blackhawks visit the Blues on Saturday night in the marquee matchup of the evening. These are two of the top three teams in the Western Conference. However, neither team has quite been themselves recently. The Blues have won just half of their last 12 games while the Blackhawks have won just six of their last 11.

The Blues have seemingly had Chicago’s number this year as they’ve won both meetings. This looks like the perfect opportunity for them to refocus and get back on track against the best team in the NHL. St. Louis will benefit from the fact that the Blackhawks are without lead goaltender Corey Crawford. Backup Antti Raanta has played well but his numbers are noticeably weaker on the road. He has a 1.86 GAA and a .924 save percentage at home compared to 2.57 and .909 on the road.

I’ll take the Blues here as I expect them to make an opening second-half statement against the best team in the league.

NHL Pick: Blues -125 at Bookmaker

[gameodds]7/251438/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning are fighting for the third spot in the Atlantic Division. Entering Saturday, the Lightning hold a slight two-point lead.

This game looks like a good under bet on the NHL odds as the Habs have been a low-scoring team all season long. In the last two weeks in particular, they’ve struggled to light the lamp as they’ve averaged just 1.57 goals per game over their last seven.

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop is now 3-1-1 in his career against Montreal with a 1.81 GAA. Tampa has allowed just seven goals in their last five games, so I’ll look for the under to cash for my sports picks.

NHL Pick: Under 5 at Bodog

[gameodds]7/251435/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Edmonton Oilers

Taking Philadelphia as a small road favorite makes plenty of sense in this spot. The Oilers are the worst team in the Western Conference and on top of that, will find themselves in a back-to-back situation on Saturday after playing in Calgary against the Flames on Friday night. The Flyers have played well recently as they’ve won three of their last four games. Their offense has performed well as they’ve tallied 21 goals over their last five. Considering the Oilers have allowed more goals than any other team in the NHL this season, the Flyers shouldn’t have too many problems keeping their offense in rhythm. If they can light the lamp at least a few times, they should be able to leave Edmonton with the win.

The Flyers opened as a small -107 favorite and that seems to make the most sense in this game. Lay the juice here with your NHL picks

NHL Pick: Flyers -107 at Pinnacle

[gameodds]7/251441/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]