I rolled out a pair of free NHL picks last night and it concluded with a 2-0 night and some nice profits in our pockets.
The first winner of the night came in the rivalry matchup between the Canadiens and Bruins from Boston where I had the two teams to play to an under 5.5 total.
The pick looked good early when the Bruins took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but got a little greasy in the second when the two teams traded goals less than a minute apart before the Bruins added another in the middle frame to make it a 3-1 lead entering the second intermission.
However, fortunately for us, the two teams were unable to generate much offense in the third while the Bruins added an empty-better to seal a 4-1 win that kept the total under 5.5 at nice +102 odds.
Later on in the evening I had the Canucks to win on the moneyline at -144 odds over the visiting Blackhawks who were playing their second game in as many nights.
The Blackhawks sure didn’t look like the team playing in a back-to-back as they controlled the shot share throughout the night and ended up outshooting the Canucks by a whopping 49-20 count.
That said, Jacob Markstrom stood tall in this one, turning aside all 49 shots he saw while the Canucks’ offense capitalized on their chances at the other end and took this one by a 3-0 final.
All told, the 2-0 night earned us 2.02 units in profit as we move onto tonight’s big 11-game NHL schedule!
Season Record: 95-81-1
Now let’s take a look at this free NHL pick featuring the Coyotes vs. Senators from Ottawa.
Coyotes vs. Senators Betting Odds
- Coyotes (-130)
- Senators (+118)
- Coyotes -1.5 (+200)
- Senators +1.5 (-240)
- Over 6 (+112)
- Under 6 (-123)
Coyotes vs. Senators NHL Pick Breakdown
Now let’s take a look at each of these teams before I get into my final pick!
The Coyotes enter this one riding a slump that’s taken them out of the playoff picture in the west.,
They’ve won just two of their last 10 games and while they’ve played well on this road trip, they are just 1-1-1 and will play their fourth game in six nights this evening in Ottawa.
There hasn’t been much wrong with their defensive play despite the losses as the Coyotes have allowed eight regulation goals over their last three games and they remain one of the better defensive clubs in the sport.
The Coyotes enter this one ranked sixth with 2.77 goals against per game on the road this season while their road penalty kill checks in at 11th with an 80.2% mark.
That road penalty kill is a clean 9 for 9 over their last two games while their overall penalty kill is on a 90.5% run over their last six games.
The problem for this team once again this season is generating enough offense to consistently win games.
Despite a decent 1-1-1 record on the trip so far, they’ve scored just 2.33 goals per game which is similar to the 2.41 goals they’ve averaged per game on the road this season, good for 26th league wide.
Their road power play sits at a decent 18.1% mark on the season, good for 16th, but that power play has gone just 3 for 31 (9.7%) over their last eight games.
Looking at their possession metrics at even strength, the Coyotes aren’t faring well in that department, either.
At 5v5 on the road, the Coyotes rank 23rd with a 47.01% Corsi For%, 27th with a 44.86% Scoring Chances For% and 29th with a brutal 42.02% High-Danger Chances For%.
It’s a good thing they’ve received quality goaltending away from home as their .934 Sv% at 5v5 on the road this season is the third-best mark in the league.
Looking to keep up the good work in that area tonight will be Antti Raanta as the team continues to await the return of No.1 Darcy Kuemper.
Raanta enters this one with a 2.82 GAA and .915 Sv% on the season to go along with a 11-12-3 record.
He hasn’t fared well on the road, however, as he’s gone just 5-7-2 with a 3.37 GAA and .902 Sv% across 14 road starts.
That said, he has been good of late as he’s turned in a 1.97 GAA and .939 Sv% across four starts in the month of February to this point.
While the Coyotes have won just two of 10, the Senators enter this one having won just two of their last 18 games.
It’s a horrendous run for a team that fared much better earlier in the season, however if you ask head coach D.J. Smith he’d tell you he likes the way his team has played over the last few games.
For instance, the Sens took the red-hot Avalanche to the third period down just 1-0 in Colorado their last time out, but ended up losing that one by a 3-0 score with an empty-netter involved.
That’s an elite Avalanche team and offense, and the Sens were right there.
They’re also better at home than they are on the road as Ottawa has gone 12-10-6 at home compared to a brutal 6-17-5 away from home.
On offense, they’re much better at home as they rank 19th with an even 3.00 goals per game at the Canadian Tire Centre, although their power play sits 26th with a 16.5% mark.
Defensively they’ve slipped at home over the last couple of months, but still rank a decent 17th with 2.96 goals against per game while their 82.7% mark on the penalty kill at home checks in at a solid 13th league wide.
Their possession metrics at home is where they’ve fallen the furthest.
At 5v5 at home, the Sens now rank 26th with a 47.78% Corsi For%, 25th with a 48.96% Scoring Chances For% but also 16th with a nice 53.43% High-Danger Chances For%.
Furthermore, they’ve received some quality goaltending on home ice as their .924 Sv% at 5v5 at home ranks them 11th in the league.
Looking to keep up that yeoman’s work tonight will be Marcus Hogberg who stood tall in turning aside 33 of 35 shots he faced in Colorado on Tuesday, good for a .943 Sv%.
Hogberg enters this one sporting a 2.93 GAA and .912 Sv% on the season in 17 appearances at the NHL level while he owns a similar 3.00 GAA and .913 Sv% in nine home outings.
He allowed four goals on 34 shots against the Avalanche in his last home start, but with the way he played in the return match less than a week later in Colorado he should be entering this one riding plenty of confidence.
Both of these teams are certainly scuffling entering this one, but with the Coyotes finishing up a road trip on their fourth game in six nights, I am actually siding with the home team here as underdogs.
Yes, the Sens have won just two of 18 entering this one, but they’ve played a lot better over their last handful of games and have simply lost to superior opponents.
While the Coyotes are the better team, the Sens have played much, much better at home this season and have showed a ton of fight regardless of where they’ve played.
Their solid home defense and good home penalty kill could very well keep this weak Arizona offense at bay and considering Raanta’s poor work on the road this season, I could see the Sens getting something going on offense in this one.
In a battle of two struggling teams, I’ll take the home underdogs at attractive odds.