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

The NHL takes it kind of easy on Monday night with just four games on the schedule. Let’s go!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Boston Bruins

  • Eight of the last nine Pittsburgh games against Atlantic Division opponents has connected on the under. (statschecker).

This is a matchup that screams too high of a projection. It was a bit of a surprise as to why Vegas went 6.5 here with the Over/Under. Yes, it is Pittsburgh and they can allow goals in bunches. However, this season, their average is under 2.5 goals yielded per contest. Boston’s is just over two by the way.

The problem is Pittsburgh’s form – which is rather inconsistent. They are 2-2-1 in their last five games while Boston has won five out of their last five. Now, Boston carries a little too much of the numbers when it comes to the moneyline (the lowest number was -162 at press time). It is part of why the under is gaining some traction. Watch the value on it as the under could fluctuate some.

Boston rarely yields more than three goals on a bad night at home. As a matter of fact, the Bruins are 6-0-1 at home this year while Pittsburgh is a respectable 4-3 on the road. Even Ottawa slugged it out to a draw after 40 minutes versus Boston before the Bruins rallied for three straight goals. At some point, that luck could run out.

A Matt Murray versus Tuukka Rask matchup is unlikely to see seven or more goals combined so we will side with the higher under here.

1u – Under 6.5 Total Goals @ -150

Arizona Coyotes at Edmonton Oilers

  • The last four matchups have seen the under hit with the winning team scoring no more than three goals.

It appears likely that Antti Raanta may start for Arizona on Monday night. Mike Smith is projected to be the starter for Edmonton but that has not been confirmed yet. There are some big numbers to consider here.

Arizona and Edmonton are two of the worst teams in the league when it comes to the over hitting. Arizona is 4-8-1 while Edmonton is 6-9. Edmonton has even played a 1-0 game that went to the shootout scoreless. By the way, Arizona’s over ranking is 29th and Edmonton’s is 27th.

The question becomes how much energy does Arizona expend tonight knowing that they must play unrested tomorrow night in Calgary?

Edmonton is 5-1 at home while Arizona is 4-2-1 on the road. Arizona does tend to give up more shots per game and chances when Raanta is in net (almost 33 shots per 60). However, both teams score a shade under three goals a game on their best night. Again, if one goes with the premise of a 3-2 game, then there is only logical decision to be made. The idea is to try and hit the somewhat lower number and go for it. Our pick is the under here but consider the moneyline IF it stays around -120 or so.

**1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals ML @ -105**

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By Chris Wassel


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