Phantom Picks – Playing the Odds in the NHL
Welcome to another edition of Phantom Picks! I will attempt to give you the inside track on the teams that are under/over valued throughout the Saturday night lineup. I’m no hero, just trying to make sure you get the best bang for your buck! Lets take a look…
Buffalo @ Boston
This is an interesting game, considering it is a divisional matchup, and both teams have won their last four straight. I also consider these teams to be pretty even, and if situations were reversed I would take Buffalo. But they’re not, and tonight’s matchup has Buffalo on the road after playing at home last night. And has Boston at home, well rested. I’ll take Boston and the measly 1.55 against a tough opponent. But I wouldn’t blame you if you took an equally hot team in Buffalo at 2.00.
Ottawa @ Toronto
This is already game 3 of the battle of Ontario. Both teams having won a game so far. I see Toronto going up 2 games to 1 though, in front of a hometown HNIC crowd. The Sens will battle hard for 2 divisional points, but having played last night, they might not have enough left in the tank. So despite shaky goaltending, I’ll take Toronto at 1.50.
New Jersey @ Washington
This matchup is the second of a home and home series, with Washington taking the first one in Jersey last night. I think Washington wins this one too. They just simply have a better team. I’ll take Washington at 1.40. But if you’re looking for a few long shots tonight, this could be one of them. Never count a team out of a grudge match. They have the second highest odds of the night at 2.30, and could be worth a look.
Pittsburgh @ Carolina
Both of these teams played last night, and as much as it is a battle of attrition, one of these teams is rolling, while the other is playing like an old bar shot (broken down golf cart). The real deal James Neal is hot right now, and so is Malkin. I can’t say the same for Carolina superstar Eric Staal, who has looked out of form since he sidelined his brother Marc from professional hockey. I wonder what Jordan has to say about it? Anyway, just take the pens for a buck sixty-five (1.65), and lets move on.
Dallas @ Detroit
Dallas is on the road for the second time in as many nights. While Detroit had the luxury of staying at home for their back to back. Detroit is hot, having won their last 3, and the odds reflect it (1.50). But Dallas has been solid all year long, and I like them to upset the older Detroit team, on the second of back-to-back nights. I’ll take the road dog (Dallas) here for 2.10.
Winnipeg @ Columbus
This one is as close to a toss-up as you are going to see tonight. Both teams need wins in a bad way, Columbus especially. I think they know this is an ideal matchup for them. And being at home this is a must win for Columbus. So I’ll take the home team for 1.70. Wait, who is the first round draft pick going to be this year? No, never mind, too early. Give me Columbus at 1.70.
Montreal @ Nashville
I always tend to lean towards the home team in cross-conference games, for a number of reasons. But in this case, I also think the home team is the better team. They are similar teams upfront, but the Preds look a lot better on the blue line and in net. Rinne is possibly the best goalie in the league. I’ll take Nashville at 1.65.
Tampa Bay @ St. Louis
Like I said above, I give automatic points to St. Louis. Plus I like their speed, youth, and goaltending. But Tampa is hot right now and I don’t really want to bet against them. Can anybody say 1-3-1? Tampa at 1.65.
Calgary @ Colorado
This is a divisional game against two slumping teams. I don’t like either of them, but I guess Colorado would be the lesser of two evils. They are at home and rested, while Calgary played last night. Colorado at 1.60.
Minnesota @ Los Angeles
Minnesota has stormed up the Northwest division ladder to sit 1 point behind current division leaders Edmonton, with one game in hand. They have been playing great hockey. But I’m not ready to drink the Kool-Aid. I think they are a mediocre team, and I think the Kings are a better one. Give me L.A, and king Kopitar, at 1.65.
Phoenix @ San Jose
If I have to tell you who to pick here, you obviously don’t follow hockey, and in retrospect, shouldn’t be gambling. San Jose at 1.30.
OWC (Odds Worth Considering)
New Jersey 2.30
That’s it for this week. Look for more Phantom picks coming next week. And as always, good luck, and let me know how you did!