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

The NHL was one insane ride last night, so they gave us a break with just two games on Wednesday. Let’s get after it!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Detroit Red Wings @ New York Rangers

  • Seven of the last eight games against Metropolitan 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 Detroit and they are a league worst in goals for and goals against. The goals against is troublesome at 3.93 per contest. No one can deny this fact.

The problem is form coming in does not always tell the whole story. Last year, Detroit was nearly as bad but found a way to beat the New York Rangers in three straight contests by a score of 3-2. As a matter of fact, Detroit won a game each via regulation, overtime, and a shootout. Now, that is different.

Furthermore, there is an expectation that the Rangers will try hard, maybe too much, to bounce back after a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Ottawa Senators. The status of Mika Zibanejad (head) is something to monitor but at press time, it looks like he will be out. New York’s offense misses the top-line pivot. Without him, they barely can muster a couple goals a night.

Detroit is 1-10-1 in their last 12 games and New York is not much better. The under at a higher number is probably prudent and our pick for tonight.

1u – Under 6.5 Total Goals @ -105

St. Louis Blues at Edmonton Oilers

  • Four of the last five games Edmonton has played in versus Central Division opponents has hit the under.

It appears likely that Mike Smith will start on Wednesday as Mikko Koskinen took the reins last minute on Monday night. Jordan Binnington started for St. Louis on Tuesday night as the Canucks gave up a 3-on-0 in overtime (what are the odds?) and naturally St. Louis did not miss.

St. Louis has required extra time in four of their last five wins which makes the likelihood of another one-goal game higher than usual. Instead of 3-2 games, there have been a few 4-3 games sprinkled in so it is not automatic just to get pigeon-holed into one school of thought.

The question becomes how much energy does St. Louis have left after playing Vancouver on Tuesday night?

Edmonton is 5-1-1 at home while St. Louis is 5-2-1 on the road. St. Louis does tend to give up more shots per game and chances when Jake Allen is in net (almost 34 shots per 60). However, both teams score a shade under three goals a game on their best night.

Defensively, St. Louis is 8th on the road in goals allowed and Edmonton is 4th at home in the same category. Does Edmonton score enough goals is the question or does St. Louis hang around enough to push the Oilers? Those are the two questions to be asked.

Therefore, we push the under and recommend the Edmonton moneyline depending on if it stays around where it is now.

1u – Under 5.5 Total Goals ML @ +105

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By Chris Wassel


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