After most of the hockey attention was paid to the Canada-Russia World Junior Hockey Championship on Monday, the focus shifts back to the pros on Tuesday. With 10 games on the docket, here’s a look at our NHL picks for the night:
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Nashville Predators
Odds: Predators -220
Even though there’s a lot of juice here, this line on our NHL odds seems a bit low when you consider the matchup. The Predators are one of the best overall teams in the NHL, they have the best home record and they’re facing a Hurricanes team that has just four wins in their last 15 games. The home-ice advantage should be a huge factor here as the Canes are not a good road team. They have just four away wins in 21 contests and the main issue is goal scoring. They average just 1.81 goals per game on the road, which is the second-lowest number in the league. This is a complete mismatch and while I won’t be laying all of the juice, I will take a shot with the Preds on the puck line here.
NHL Pick: Predators -1.5 at Bovada
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
Odds: Canadiens -130
The Canadiens are red hot right now as they enter Tuesday on a six-game winning streak and they’ve also won nine of their last 10 games. What’s fueled their stellar performance has been goaltending and defense. They’ve allowed one goal or less in six of eight and haven’t allowed more than two goals in a game in 10 outings. That means we could see another low scoring game in a series that has had plenty of those in recent seasons. Five of the last six regular season meetings between the Habs and Lightning have seen five goals or less and we should get another one here. The Lightning have Ben Bishop back healthy and in the lineup, and he’s got a lifetime .944 save percentage and 1.44 GAA against the Canadiens. Look for an under for your NHL picks.
NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at 5Dimes
Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils
Odds: Devils -220
It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Devils laying -220 on the NHL odds simply because they’re one of the worst teams in the NHL. They have just three wins in their last 13 games and are just 14-20-7 on the season. However, their opponent is absolutely pathetic, so that’s why the line is where it is.
Instead of laying juice on this crazy line with New Jersey, though, I’ll look at the under. Devils goaltender Cory Schneider has been pretty solid this season and has allowed more than two goals just once in his last five games. He posted a .924 save percentage in December. When you combine that with the fact that Buffalo is the league’s lowest scoring away team (1.61), and the fact that they’ve scored just four goals in their last four games, we should see an under in this one.
NHL Pick: Under 5 at The Greek