Thursday's Top NHL Picks Feature a Trio of Favorites

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 8, 2015 12:35 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 12:35 PM UTC

There’s a ton of action on the ice on Thursday night with 10 games on the docket. Fortunately, this expert handicapper has found the best-value NHL picks for the night & shares them here.

Ottawa Senators vs. Colorado Avalanche
NHL Odds: Avalanche -136
This is a matchup of two teams heading in opposite directions and I’ll bank on that momentum continuing. The Senators have lost five of seven and are having a really tough time scoring goals. They have just six tallies in their last four. That could be a problem facing the Colorado Avalanche and goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who has been hot of late. Varlamov has posted a 1.79 GAA over his last six contests. Craig Anderson is expected to be between the pipes for Ottawa and while he was in net when the Sens beat Colorado 5-3 in October, he was 0-2-1 with a 6.35 GAA against them before that.

There are not a lot of positives you can say about Colorado’s disappointing season so far but they are playing pretty well right now and on the year, are 9-6 against teams with a losing record. Look for them to take advantage of another sub-.500 team on Thursday.

Free NHL Pick: Avs -135 at BookMaker


San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues
NHL Odds: Blues -155
The St. Louis Blues undressed the San Jose Sharks last weekend, stomping them 7-2 last Saturday. Although the Sharks will have revenge on their minds, a very packed schedule could prevent them from exactly any revenge. San Jose has won three of four but Thursday’s contest will be their fourth game in six nights in their fourth different city. That’s a lot of travel – especially for a team that’s from the West Coast all the way over on the East Coast.

I’m going to lay the puck line with the Blues for my NHL pick as they’re offense is playing really well right now. They’ve scored 13 goals in their last two games and is averaging 3.9 during their last 14 outings. With the NHL odds juice being a bit out of my range, I’ll bank on the Blues winning by more than a goal against the road-weary Sharks.

Free NHL Pick: Blues -1.5 at Bodog


Winnipeg Jets vs. Arizona Coyotes
NHL Odds: Jets -118
The Jets are a risky proposition these days as they’ve dropped three of their last four, but facing an Arizona team that’s in an even bigger slump should help their cause. Arizona has lost two of three while being outscored 15-6 in the process. The Jets dominate this series as they’ve won five straight meetings between the teams and considering how goaltender Mike Smith has been playing overall and how he’s played against the Jets, Winnipeg seems like the right choice for our NHL picks here. Smith has a 4.85 GAA in his last six games, winning just once. He’s also lost four straight to the Jets while posting a 3.45 GAA against them. If it’s Devan Dubnyk in net, he has a lifetime 3.71 GAA and .879 save percentage against Winnipeg.

As for the Jets, they’ll counter with Ondrej Pavelec, who has won five straight against Arizona while posting a 1.16 GAA against them. With the Jets being a decent road team (11-4-4) and the Coyotes being lousy at home (8-9-3), I’ll take a shot with the Jets.

Free NHL Pick: Jets -118 at The Greek

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