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Chris Wassel's picks for today's NHL action

The NHL strikes back with six games for us tonight. There is lots of intrigue to this slate, specifically the matchups of Colorado and Florida, as well as Dallas and Pittsburgh. Anyway, let’s begin!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Colorado Avalanche @ Florida Panthers

- Two teams that love to score and feature proficient power plays start off the Friday slate with a projection of nearly seven goals combined.

This game will be brutal to figure out from a moneyline standpoint. Both teams can fire the puck from anywhere as a high-event game is quite likely between the two teams. According to Statschecker, three of the last four meetings have gone to the Colorado side and the over as well. Florida allows 3.67 goals per game, whilst Colorado yields over three goals a game on the road. Florida gives up more shots and scoring chances at home than they do on the road. All the stats point to us taking the over, especially with top sixes as loaded as what these two teams possess. Add in the potential for a few power-play goals and this becomes an even easier pick.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ -121

New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals

- Washington has won four straight games against the New York Rangers. Seven of Washington’s last eight Friday night games have hit the under.

The New York Rangers faced their first real spot of adversity of the season Thursday night in New Jersey and did not respond well. New Jersey was a team that had blown a three and four-goal lead at home this season. Not only did the Devils hold on but they added two goals in a dominating third period performance which left some questions for the Rangers. Are the same defensive problems even worse this year? Tonight, may be an even more difficult task as New York had great trouble slowing down the Washington Capitals last season. Washington should be able to do its part in scoring goals, but can New York? The answer is likely no and that Washington covers behind Alex Ovechkin and company.

1u - Washington Capitals -1.5 goals @ +125

1u – Under 6.5 Total Goals @ -105

Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks

- Chicago has been a fun team to watch this year, but can they string some wins together? We find out tonight against a beatable Columbus team.

This game figures to drive more than a few bettors crazy. Signs point to a high-scoring game as Chicago first periods have gone to the over at a 70% rate in the last season plus. However, Columbus’ last seven Friday games have all hit the under. Chicago has had problems closing some games out and Columbus allows over three goals a game on the road. However, nothing has been easy. Statschecker indicates both teams are dicey when it comes to the over/under. Chicago is just 2-2 and Columbus is 2-4 with the O/U. Take Chicago at least on the money line but it is okay to hedge by taking the total goals.

1u – Chicago Blackhawks ML @ -140

1u - Under 6.5 Total Goals @ -110

Dallas Stars @ Pittsburgh Penguins

- Dallas is off to a horrid 1-6-1 start while Pittsburgh has a half-dozen regulars out, yet beat Colorado in overtime on Wednesday night.   

This game screams take the contrarian pick. How long can Dallas continue to lose games like this? Their shooting percentage is in the bottom five of the league on a team full of higher-volume shooters. Pittsburgh’s defense is full of leaks and remember they did win on Wednesday night via a short-handed own goal. That is something as rare as finding a unicorn. Dallas cannot be this bad forever and Pittsburgh has already had a couple home duds this year where they gave up more than three goals. Dallas pulls off a mild surprise in our contrarian pick of the night. Also, see if one can get a bit more value as the Dallas moneyline may stretch to a high as +125 even +130.

1u – Dallas Stars ML @ +120

By Chris Wassel


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