Today the NHL returns with its first set of Saturday games since the All-Star break. This afternoon sees three early games played in the East, followed by the remaining eleven games scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EST onwards.
Let’s jump into my picks for today’s NHL games:
Bet of the Day:
Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Scotiabank Arena – Feb. 2, 2020 | 7:05 p.m. EST
- Ottawa are 3-2-0 against Toronto over the past two seasons.
- The underdogs have won seven of the Maple Leafs’ last eight games (per Statschecker)
Call me crazy, but I like the Senators on the road here.
Ottawa have undoubtedly been awful away from home this season, but Toronto have been far from impressive on home ice. The Leafs’ home record now sits at a poultry 12-6-7, with them losing four of their last five at Scotiabank.
It’s a tall order to talk up Ottawa, but they have been picking up their performances as of late. They’ve now gone 2-2 over their past four, including their impressive home win over Calgary, and their recent 5-2 road win in Buffalo.
Ottawa’s goaltender is still unknown, but Toronto have already listed Michael Hutchinson as their starter. He’s had a woeful year to this point, with his record standing at 3-7-1, with a lofty goals against average (GAA) of 3.83, and a save percentage (SV%) of just .885 (Stats according to leftwinglock.com).
This isn’t so much of a play on the Senators as it is just an all-out fade of the Leafs and their backup goalie. Take the Sens on the moneyline and on their ridiculously high (-1.5) puck line for a unit apiece.
Pick: Ottawa Senators Moneyline – 1 Unit @ +235 (to Return 3.35 Units)
Pick: Ottawa Senators (-1.5) – 1 Unit @ +540 (to Return 6.4 Units)
Colorado Avalanche @ Philadelphia Flyers
Wells Fargo Center – Feb. 2, 2020 | 7:00 p.m. EST
- The Flyers have the joint-second highest home win percentage in the league at 68% (per Statschecker).
I like Philly here as the home dogs.
The Flyers have performed insanely well on home ice this season, their record at the Wells Fargo Center now stands at 17-4-4, and I’m pretty shocked that we’re getting +135 on them for tonight’s game. The Avs have been solid both home and on the road, but I’m not convinced they should be this big of favorites away to the Flyers.
Colorado are yet play a game since the All-Star break, meaning that it’s now been 12 days since they last played a competitive game. Statschecker shows us that road teams coming off a break of 5+ days are 11-16-4, which translates into a win percentage of just 35.5%.
Alex Lyons is confirmed in net for the Flyers. He’s only had one game this season, allowing four goals at home to the Habs, but he did at least manage to record a .900 SV%. He has to be a mild concern, but he’s not going to deter me from making my bet. I’m taking Philly at +135.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers Moneyline – 1.5 Units @ +135 (to Return 3.525 Units)
Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings
STAPLES Center – Feb. 2, 2020 | 10:35 p.m. EST
- The Ducks have the fourth worst road game win percentage in the NHL at just 30.8% (per Statschecker).
It’s the Freeway Face-Off, and I’m all about the Kings.
All three Californian hockey teams are experiencing a rough 2019/20 season, with all occupying the bottom three spots of the Western Conference standings.
The Kings have struggled at home, but their 11-1-11 record sees them just one game away from hitting .500. The Ducks on the other hand, have struggled on the road, their record is 8-16-2.
Goalies are yet to be confirmed, but both Jonathan Quick for LAK (3.01 GAA) and John Gibson for ANA (3.00 GAA) are projected to start, which would make for a competitive battle in net.
This is classic meeting of a turbulent home team, versus a flat out bad away team. This is not to say the Ducks can’t win this game, but taking a near .500 home team at -120 looks like a solid wager against a team that’s winning less than a third of their road games.