Read on for our previews and free picks for Sunday:
St. Louis Blues @ Washington Capitals
The Blues have only played six road games this season, which is the fewest in the NHL, but a 4-1-1 away record is encouraging as they head to Washington. The Blues have been impressive of late, winning seven of nine. Their two losses came in Tampa Bay and at home to Phoenix – two teams that are in the top in NHL points.
The Caps have played well recently themselves, winning six of eight, but I still view them as a weaker team than St. Louis. The Caps tend to beat up on weaker squads and struggle against the league’s elite. The other big difference between these teams is goaltending as the Caps still don’t have a tangible solution. They allow 2.85 goals per game, which is 20th in the NHL. The Blues are eighth in that category overall and allow just 2.00 goals per game on the road (third in the NHL). Combined with the fact that you don’t have to pay much with the Blues – just -104 – leads me to add them to my NHL picks.
Free Pick: Blues -104 at Pinnacle
Winnipeg Jets @ Minnesota Wild
The Winnipeg Jets have won four straight and five of six, but I’m still skeptical of them. This is a very streaky team that’s done barely enough to win games – including Friday night, when they needed a late third period goal just to tie Philadelphia before winning in a shootout. And speaking of shootouts, they’ve won three straight in shootouts, so while that’s good for their record, I view shootouts as toss-ups. They can go either way.
I’m not going to bet against Winnipeg on Sunday but I will be take the under. I don’t trust their offense and the Wild’s goaltending – with Josh Harding – has been phenomenal. None of their last four games have seen more than five goals. Harding is a perfect 9-0-0 at home with a 1.17 GAA and a .947 save percentage. I look for him to lead us to an under.
Free Pick: Under 5 at Bovada
Dallas Stars @ Vancouver Canucks
The Stars are rolling right now as they’ve won five of their last six games. More impressive is that their offense has morphed into one of the best units in the league. They’ve scored 23 goals in their last six and combined with the stellar goaltending of Kari Lehtonen, have been tough to stop.
They’ve visit Vancouver on Sunday, who has been at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Canucks have lost four of five while scoring just three goals in their last three.
Given the trends, I’ll add the Stars to my sports picks. They come in with more momentum and are getting +137 on the NHL odds. That’s great value.
Free Pick: Stars +137 at William Hill