Sunday NHL Picks: Three Valuable Plays For Today

Doug Upstone

Sunday, March 13, 2016 1:54 PM GMT

With the world anxious to see the brackets that need to be filled out this week, only three professional hockey rinks will be open for business on Sunday with NHL odds to explore.

It has been a wild week at the top of the standings in most divisions. With Florida and Tampa Bay floundering, Boston as of this morning sits atop of the Atlantic Division. Washington is going to win their division by they are 5-5 SU in their last 10 outings. Steaming St. Louis is tied for first place with Dallas, as Chicago has dropped three in a row. Out west, After going from last to first, Anaheim has been on the losing end of three games in a row and Los Angeles is back in first place.

For NHL picks today, this is what I have.

 

Detroit Closes Homestand With Victory
For the last few decades, Detroit (34-34 SU) has enjoyed one of the strongest home ice advantages in the sport at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings always having teams worthy of winning the Stanley Cup had a lot to do with it, but fans in Detroit were as rapid as anyplace in the NHL and with squids being thrown on the ice at this raucous arena, it was the visiting teams least favorite stop.

While Detroit is not quite the power it has been in previous years and trying to rebuild on the run, they lost their huge edge at The Joe beginning last season and it seeped into this year, beginning 11-16 SU at home. However, of late they started to get back into the groove and are 7-1-1 at home and taking on Toronto (22-45 SU) should help them complete 3-0 homestand. The NHL odds have Detroit as -215 favorites and with the Maple Leafs having lost at Ottawa yesterday, they are 1-12 without rest.

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NHL Pick: Detroit -196
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Tampa Bay in a Tight One in Columbus
The Lightning (39-29 SU) have fallen prey to one of the worst things that can happen to teams after a long winning streak, they follow this up by losing a number of games in a row. Tampa Bay's nine-game winning streak has been made less relevant by losing the next three contests (0-2-1), which has caused them to drop out of first place in the Atlantic. When the Lightning were dominating 5-on-5 action, it masked a growing problem. Tampa Bay's above average power play is no more with a measly four goals in 52 attempts.

Hockey bettors have not lost faith in the Lightning as they were elevated from -140 to -155 this morning at most sportsbooks versus Columbus (28-40 SU). The Blue Jackets have not been playing that poorly in winning five of nine, but what is a concern about them is their defense, which has given up 15 goals in their last four games. In thumbing through recent history on the Jackets, we found they are 3-11 at home after allowing three goals or more in four straight games the last two seasons. Thus, we will lean with Tampa Bay with caution.

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NHL Pick: Tampa Bay -144
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Low Scoring Affair in the Big Apple
Hockey returns to NBC this Sunday with an early afternoon affair. Both Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers have been alternating wins and losses of late and if you want to follow that line of thinking, the Blueshirts should be your winner today.

This could very well be the case, but what catches my attention is the total of 5. In Pittsburgh's last 15 Metropolitan games, they are 11-4 UNDER, which at least sends a signal of closer to the vest, more controlled styles of play. The Penguins are wrapping up four-game road trip in which they have won twice and when they have taken two of three, Pitt is 9-1 UNDER if next contest is a roadie.

Though the Rangers tendencies are not quite as strong, they are 25-13 UNDER at home playing against team with win percentage of 51% to 60% the last two seasons.

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NHL Pick: Under 5 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline