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NHL expert Chris Wassel's picks for today's hockey action

The NHL features just two games on Monday night. Let’s get down to work quickly here so we do not get feasted on like San Jose did on Sunday night.

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Arizona Coyotes @ Buffalo Sabres

  • Seven of the last eight matchups against the Pacific Division have hit the over for the Buffalo Sabres.

This is a matchup of contrasts or is it? Both teams play well defensively as in they do because of their goaltending. Darcy Kuemper is projected to face Carter Hutton in this game. Kuemper has left off from where he ended last season and has a goals-against-average below 2. Now, Arizona has allowed eight goals in the last three games which is good for most teams but not for Arizona who was yielding just a hair less than two goals per contest before their tri-state area tour.

Buffalo is a team that can score goals and their power-play is among the top-five in the league. Surprisingly Buffalo is sixth in the league in goals allowed despite being 22nd in shots allowed (32.6 per game). The Sabres did get blown out over the weekend in MSG by a score of 6-2. Arizona is averaging 3.1 goals per game (3.5 a contest since October 9th). On a light night, sure one could take the Buffalo moneyline but the over at 5.5 is almost even. That is better value. A small unit bet with the over is our pick from this game.

1u – Over 5.5 Total Goals @ -105

Florida Panthers @ Vancouver Canucks

  • The Vancouver Canucks play at home again after squandering a four-goal lead to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. How will they respond?

An innocent Washington goal late in the second period triggered the collapse as it just seems those last-minute goals have a lingering effect. Vancouver is a mostly youthful team so they are the type of team that can put this behind them. The Canucks have triumphed in seven straight contests against the Atlantic Division. That is no easy feat and nothing to sneeze at.

Florida comes off a wild and crazy game on Sunday afternoon where they scored six times versus Edmonton. That was after tallying five in a shootout loss to Calgary a few nights before. The question is when does the goal scoring stop on this road trip? Vancouver may draw a fortunate matchup against Samuel Montembeault. Regardless, Florida has been giving up 3.45 goals per game and Vancouver just 2.4. These are all things that encourage us to look at the Vancouver moneyline.

Something else may be Florida’s record. 5-2-4 sounds good but it is not in the betting world. Simply, the Panthers have lost six times – just four required extra time or a shootout. The odd thing is the line itself. Consider that Vancouver is 6-3-1 on the season and 3-0-1 at home. Somehow, the Canucks are as a low as a -110 favorite at home. That number may change as the day goes on so taking the moneyline sooner rather than later would be optimal.

1u – Vancouver Canucks ML @ -110

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By Chris Wassel


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