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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez brings us his best bets from around the NHL on Monday

PICK OF THE DAY: (2u) Colorado Avalanche -1.5 @ -110

Colorado Avalanche @ Detroit Red Wings, 7:30 PM:

  •  Colorado has won each of the last five meetings with Detroit.
  •  The Avalanche have won eight consecutive road games. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The reason we're backing the Avalanche

The Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings are two teams heading in completely opposite directions.

Colorado (39-18-7) won a seventh consecutive game with a 3-2 road win over the Nashville Predators.

The Avalanche took a 2-0 second-period lead which was more than enough for goalie Pavel Francouz, who was the difference maker in net totaling 30 saves which resulted in a career-best sixth straight win.

Francouz has been sensational all season, ranking second best in save percentage (.928) and fourth in goals against (2.24 GA/G).

Center Nathan MacKinnon was held without a tally against Nashville, yet still ranks fifth in the NHL with 85 points and seventh with 52 assists.

Detroit (15-47-5) lost a fifth consecutive game and suffered a ninth defeat in the last 10 when falling to the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in a shootout.

The Redwings led 2-0 mid-way through the second period but saw the lead slip away behind the worst defense in the NHL.

Detroit ranks last in the goals against per game with 3.78 GA/G.

Not only are the Avalanche structured significantly better than the Red Wings, but they’ve also been dominant on the road. Colorado has a 22-9-2 away record this season.

Meanwhile, Detroit has the worst record in the NHL and has barely gotten it together at home with a 10-21-2 record.

Colorado should have no issues winning outright and my expectation is they’ll produce enough to cover the Puck Line.

(1u) Edmonton Oilers +1 @ -110

Edmonton Oilers @ Nashville Predators, 8:00 PM:

  •  Edmonton has won three of the last four meetings with Nashville.
  •  The Predators have the worst ATS record in the NHL (21-43) and the Oilers have the 10th best ATS record (35-30).

The reason we're backing the Oilers

Edmonton Oilers (34-23-8) got back on track and snapped a two-game losing streak with a 3-2 home win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Center Leon Draisaitl continued to overpower the competition this season, scoring two power play goals and dishing out an assist.

The Oilers have been backed by Draisaitl all season as he leads the NHL in total points with 102 and assists with 63, as well as scoring the fourth most goals with 39 goals.

Center Connor McDavid added two assists in the winning effort and ranks fourth best in the league with 89 points.

Nashville (32-24-8) stumbled at home and snapped a three-game winning streak with a 3-2 loss to the Avalanche.

The Predators tried to battle back a little too late, scoring two third-period goals courtesy of right-wing Viktor Arvidsson and center Calle Jarnkrok.

These teams have met twice this season, both of which resulted in the Oilers winning at home by one and two goals.

Those matchups and the season-long statistics prove how evenly these teams square up.

Although I like Edmonton to win outright, I’m going to play it safe and take the Puck Line in what should be a tightly contested game.

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