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

The NHL comes back with a vengeance on Friday night with eight games. It is time to take another dive into the slate. Let’s roll!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Philadelphia Flyers @ New Jersey Devils

  • New Jersey has blown 11 leads total in just ten games this season which has resulted in six of their eight overall losses on the season.

There was this thought that New Jersey could not do it again versus Tampa Bay. Sure enough, they blew a 5-3 lead in the third period, tied it, and then lost in overtime anyway 7-6. New Jersey has a lot to risk but defensively, there is a major disconnect between their team defense and goaltending. Philadelphia has been a little better yielding 3.5 goals per game while New Jersey allows an eyepopping 4.3 per contest. Philadelphia is 1-4-1 away from home giving up 3.8 goals per game. The chances that this game features more than six goals are high. Take the over as it has hit in New Jersey’s last nine home games on a Friday.

1u – Over 6.5 Total Goals @ +130

Columbus Blue Jackets @ St. Louis Blues

  • The under has hit in eight straight Friday games for Columbus according to Statschecker.

St. Louis is normally a stingy team and Columbus often does not score many goals. This is a Blue Jackets team that scored just once against Edmonton of all teams, on Wednesday. Both teams have seen the under hit slightly more than the over. Columbus has seen the under connect in seven of 12 games while St. Louis has seen it hit in four of their last six home tilts. St. Louis is one of those teams that can clamp down at home on most nights. This is one where the under has enough appeal to take at even money odds.

1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals @ +100

Dallas Stars at Colorado Avalanche

  • Colorado is a bit of a risk with the injuries and this may be a time to take a shot on Dallas as the Avalanche have lost two straight games.

Sometimes taking a shot is worth it. The underdog has won five of Colorado’s last six games and Dallas overall, has won four of its last five. Colorado is bound to cool off from its red-hot shooting percentage of nearly 12%. Dallas was bound to heat up after a brutal one win in eight game start. The law of averages can work out. This slate has a few games where calculated risks must be made. Here is no exception.  Trying to get on the right side of value and the units is an occasional gamble to take provided one is not chasing results. In this rare case, take the Dallas moneyline with value being on the Stars’ side.

1u – Dallas Stars ML @ +135

Vancouver Canucks @ Anaheim Ducks

  • Anaheim has won eight of its previous nine games at Honda Center -- according to Statschecker.

This game pits two teams that can score some goals at times but also can get into a sludge type of matchup where goals do not happen. Anaheim is 5-1 at home this year, allowing barely over two goals a game. Vancouver has won four of its last five contests and has done it with more offense (scoring 17 goals in their last three contests). Anaheim plays much better at home and so does John Gibson. There is a potential side bet with the under but our pick is the Anaheim moneyline.

1u – Anaheim Ducks ML @ -110

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By Chris Wassel


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