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

The NHL saw a little of everything on Thursday night, so they had to calm down a little on Friday. Let’s dig into the three-game evening slate!

Here are Today’s NHL Picks:

Boston Bruins @ Detroit Red Wings

- Detroit has dropped 12 of their last 13 games going just 1-11-1 In that stretch. (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 around four per contest.

The problem is also that Detroit has lost four consecutive games by four or more goals. That has not been in Detroit in decades. Worse, Boston is a whopping -240 on the moneyline for a road game. That number could climb before the game starts.

Furthermore, there is an expectation that Boston’s top line will be enough to win by itself. That is a distinct possibility. The only risk is Boston’s defense which has given up 4+ goals in three of its last five outings. This could possibly be a trap, but Detroit’s top line is the only viable reason this stays close, if at all.

Detroit expects to start Jimmy Howard in net tonight and his goals-against average is approaching four. Take the -1.5 puck line at around even money and move along.

1u –Boston Bruins -1.5 goals @ +105

New Jersey Devils @ Edmonton Oilers

- The Oilers have won each of their last eight games against the Metropolitan Division.

It appears likely that Mike Smith will start on Friday but wait until confirmation to be sure of this. Oddly, that does make a difference on this night with so few games.

New Jersey was back to its usual, lackadaisical self on Thursday night in Calgary as they yielded four goals in the second period and went on to lose 5-2. The penalty kill allowed two more goals and ranks in the bottom third on the road in that metric.

The question becomes how does this team play in front of Cory Schneider without the benefit of any rest? New Jersey is 4-6-4 on the season but a league-worst 4-10 against the spread. Edmonton is only 8-9 ATS but is 5-3 at home.

Edmonton is 5-2-1 at home while New Jersey is 2-4 on the road. New Jersey gives up four goals a game overall and the Oilers score just 2.8 goals per contest. However, there is a feeling that Edmonton could easily score 3, 4, or maybe 5 goals by themselves on Friday.

This could be a big night for Edmonton’s top line who will likely get the Devils checking line but also will try and target the second and fourth lines whenever possible. With such an advantage at 5-on-5 and the power play, the Oilers should be able to spot 1.5 goals and win.

1u –Edmonton Oilers -1.5 goals @ +160

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By Chris Wassel


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