February 5, 2015

NHL Betting Preview for February 4, 2015

NHL Betting Preview for February 4, 2015&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Short card on Wednesday but all three games have the potential to be entertaining.

NHL BETTING PREVIEW FOR FEBRUARY 4, 2015

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AT EDMONTON OILERS:

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard the name Connor McDavid. He’s the ‘can’t miss’ prospect that will go #1 in the NHL draft this year. He’s being called a ‘generational player’ meaning he’s expected to be in the same class with Gretzky, Lemeiux, Crosby and the like. The NHL has changed the draft lottery rules like the NBA did for Patrick Ewing to stop teams from ‘tanking’ to improve their chances at the top pick. That hasn’t stopped teams from ‘tanking’ or at the very least playing suspiciously poorly over a long period of time.

Edmonton used to be one of these teams and they’re going to be in a decent position to draft #1 regardless. But despite the presence of a franchise changing player on the draft board the Oilers have done the unthinkable: they’ve started to play well and win hockey games. Their 5-4 win in San Jose Monday night displayed actual tenacity and resolve, something that’s been in short supply in Canada’s Oil Town of late. The Oilers opened a 3-1 lead which they promptly blew as the Sharks scored three unanswered goals to open the third period. At this point the ‘old’ Oilers would have tapped out and called it a night. Instead, the team scrapped for the tying goal and would go on to win in a 13 round shootout. Edmonton is 4-2 in their last 6 games and the local media and fans are actually starting to say good things about them.

For the past few years Edmonton has had a slew of individual talent that weren’t playing up to their ability and/or not playing well together. A big factor despite minimal press coverage is the recent acquisition of former Nashville Predator Derek Roy. He’s displaying the professionalism and work ethic that you’d expect from a veteran player familiar with the Predators ‘all tenacity all the time’ system. He’s finally a locker room veteran leader and his approach to the game is starting to rub off on talented but underachieving players like Jordan Eberlie and Ryan Nugent Hopkins.

So why is Pittsburgh a -220 favorite? It’s all about public percenption, boneheaded ersatz wiseguys (the type that pushed Montreal to -400 over Buffalo last night) and the name on the front of the sweater. Oilers are a steal at this price in a very competitive game.

BET EDMONTON OILERS +180 OVER PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

BOSTON BRUINS AT NEW YORK RANGERS:

This shouldn’t be a ‘pick’em’ game. Bruins are scorching hot right now going 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. The Rangers have kept winning but they’ll now be without Henrik Lundqvist for at least the rest of the week. And the local media and team captain Ryan McDonagh are talking about the team playing poorly despite a 6-4 L10 record. Hmmm…..I’m going with the red hot Bruins.

BET BOSTON BRUINS -110 OVER NEW YORK RANGERS