Thursday Night Picks
By Stephen London
Every Thursday night, check out my picks and predictions, with analysis on the matchups. Last week, the Pittsburgh Penguins helped out the awful ticket of games. Let's see what tonight has in store.
Edmonton Oilers at Tampa Bay Lightning
The Edmonton Oilers started the season strong, but injuries have dropped them 29-36-8 and have killed their playoff hopes. The Tampa Bay Lightning host the Oilers, in what should be a great physical game. Considering the amount of firepower on the Lightning and the two goaltenders that are starting in this game, the two teams should score more than five goals. Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson averages 3.77 goals against per game. The probable starting goaltender for the Oilers, Devan Dubnyk, averages close to three goals against (2.75). See where this is going?
Pick: 2U on over 5.5 goals -100 ... risking 2U
Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins recently saw Sidney Crosby come back to action to help make a late push into the playoffs. Even without Sid the Kid, the Penguins were doing amazing; Evgeni Malkin leads the NHL in points with 93 and James Neal has really stepped up during the Canadian captain's absence. With the Predators losing five of their last six games against the Eastern Conference, the Penguins are the pick in this one.
Pick: 1U on the Penguins -170 ... risking 1.7U
Calgary Flames at Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild cannot seem to find a way to win after starting the season strong. At one point, the Wild were 20-7-3, but now their record is a terrible 30-32-10. Minnesota averages 2.06 goals per game, one of the lowest offensive outputs among NHL teams. Calgary is in the playoff hunt for the first time in three years. Can the Flames get their fifth straight win against the Wild? With starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom still out for the Wild, one would lean toward yes.
Pick: 1U on Flames -120 ... risking 1.2U
St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings
The St. Louis Blues have been atop the Western Conference for a while now. Goaltender Brian Elliott and the Blues defense are the ones Blues fans should thank for this midseason turnaround. The Los Angeles Kings are pretty hot as well, winning their last five overall. When these two defensive-minded teams play, it is a low-scoring affair. St. Louis leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.88), while Los Angeles is second (2.10). Considering the under has hit five of the last six times these two teams squared off, the pick is an easy one to make.
Pick: 1U on under 5 goals +115 ... winning 1.15U
Posted March 22, 2012