After a pretty solid 4-1 outing on the first day of NHL action, we’re back on Sunday to provide you with more free winners. Though most of the sporting world will be focused on the two big NFL games today, there’s still some real solid value on the NHL betting board. For today’s feature match, we’ll look to the desert where the Blackhawks travel to take on the Phoenix Coyotes.
Chicago Blackhawks (-120) @ Phoenix Coyotes (+100)
The Blackhawks looked simply dominant in their opening game against the defending champion Los Angeles Kings, and should be able to carry that momentum against a gritty, but mediocre Coyotes squad.
For years Phoenix has overachieved and this is the year where regression hits this group hard. Between the ‘Yotes and Blackhawks, there’s a clear talent disparity and look for the depth and skill of the Blackhawks to overwhelm Phoenix for the majority of the game.
Patrick Kane played during the lockout and kept himself in tip-top shape and it showed in their season opener. Kane was a force when he had the puck, and he and his talented linemates should be able to keep the momentum rolling on Sunday evening.
Early in the season it’s paramount to analyze the schedule and seek out back-to-backs. Both teams did play last night, but the Blackhawks have extra rest since they played in the afternoon opposed to the Coyotes. Phoenix also recently picked up key centre Matthew Lombardi mid-week and are still working on finding on appropriate fit for their line-up.
Phoenix prides themselves on being a tight, defensively-oriented group, although after seeing how well the Blackhawks opened yesterday, it’s hard to envision them limiting their chances. Chicago seems like a team on a mission and they’ll propel their record to a flawless 2-0 on Sunday evening.
PICK = Blackhawks (-120)
The bonus picks worked out well for us yesterday, so here are three more for your Sunday consideration.
Bonus Pick #1: San Jose (-120) Both Roman Cervenka and Jiri Hudler aren’t expected to suit up for a depleted Flames line-up. San Jose is pretty much the same team as last season, and their familiarity with one another and overall talent, should propel them over a weak Calgary squad.
Bonus Pick #2: Minnesota (-145) The Wild looked solid in their season opener against the Avs, and that should continue Sunday night against an average Dallas team playing without their top star in Jamie Benn. Minnesota is still riding a wave of momentum from the Parise and Suter signings, and typically play very well in front of their loyal hometown fans.
Bonus Pick #3: Edmonton (+130) The Oilers are this year’s super-trendy team it would seem. Edmonton had a wealth of all their top players stay in great shape over the lockout, and you can bet the young group will be fired up for Sunday night. Vancouver meanwhile seems like a bit of a disaster. With Ryan Kesler and David Booth hurt, the Canucks lack depth on the attack, and their goaltending situation remains a huge distraction. They were routed last night against the Ducks, and a second loss could soon follow. Look for the hungry Oilers as solid road value Sunday evening.