January 29, 2015

NHL Betting Preview for January 29, 2015

NHL Betting Preview for January 29, 2015&h=253&w=372&zc=1

Not much doing on a three game slate for Wednesday so we’ll jump ahead to a big 11 game schedule for Thursday night. Here are my top plays on the card:

NHL BETTING PREVIEW FOR THURSDAY:

We’ll look past a short three game NHL slate for Wednesday night and move ahead to a massive card for Thursday.

BOSTON BRUINS AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS:

The Boston Bruins aren’t a bad team and they’re playing much better hockey than they did earlier in the season. That being said, they’re still a bottom ten goal scoring team though they have improved and are now a top ten defensive team. But do we really want to jump in front of the New York Islanders right now? Hockey isn’t like other sports where this might be a ‘letdown spot’ coming off the Islanders third beatdown of the Rangers this season. Hockey is a momentum sport where winning usually begets more winning. And oddly enough the NYC media is focusing almost exclusively on how the Rangers lost the game–and not on what the Islanders did well to win. That’s typical ‘square’ behavior so we’ll keep riding the red hot Isles until the mainstream press and betting public catches on. The Islanders might not have a great defensive team (ranked #21 in team defense) but Jaroslav Halak is playing well in net. The Long Islanders will be without assist leader Kyle Okposo for awhile but based on their play against the Rangers they’ll be able to get by without him. New York is 17-4-0 at Nassau Coliseum this year and we just think they’re the better team. Islanders are 16-8 against teams with winning records YTD. FYI–reports out of Boston indicate that the Bruins have placed Simon Gagne on waivers with the purpose of releasing him.

BET NEW YORK ISLANDERS -125 OVER BOSTON BRUINS

MONTREAL CANADIENS AT NEW YORK RANGERS:

Earlier this week the hysterical weather media reported on the NYC blizzard as if the end of the world was nigh. Power mad politicians like the unctuous NYC Mayor Di Blasio and NY State Governor Cuomo tripped all over themselves trying to weild powerful and grab photo ops, in the process shutting down mass transit in the Empire State for the first time *ever*. In the aftermath, they’re rightfully taking all sorts of abuse. The New York Rangers are taking almost as much coming off a loss to the Islanders. They’ve come up flat in their next game in both of the previous losses to the Islanders. In November, they needed OT to beat a Carolina team that was losing every night at the time. Earlier this month they looked flatter than a pancake losing to Boston in their next game after a 3-0 loss to the Islanders. Montreal is a dangerous opponent that’s playing excellent defense. They’ll get the win here.

BET MONTREAL CANADIENS +120 OVER PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

WINNIPEG JETS AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS:

Philadelphia sports fans have selective amnesia. The Flyers have now won two straight games and all has been forgiven for a wretched season so far. Steve Mason will be back between the pipes here but we’d rather have the defensively tenacious Winnipeg Jets (#6 in the league in goals against average) and emerging superstar goalie Michael Hutchinson.

BET WINNIPEG JETS +105 OVER PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

ARIZONA COYOTES AT TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS:

Toronto can’t buy a break right now. They played reasonably well in a 2-1 shootout loss to New Jersey but at the end of the night it was another loss–their seventh straight and 15th in their last 18 games. Their real problem isn’t that they can’t buy a break–they can’t score any goals. They’ve scored 16 goals in their last 11 games for a 1.45 per game average–10 of those games Toronto losses. In fact, if you factor out the five goal ‘outburst’ in their only win (a 5-2 victory over Columbus) they’ve scored 11 goals in 10 games and you can’t win in the NHL scoring just a goal a game. Especially if you’ve got the #25 team defense in the league. The Toronto Sun is reporting that the Leafs are ‘mentally focused’ despite their run of dismal play. They’re also without captain/defenseman Dion Phaneuf who is ‘week to week’ with an upper body injury. Arizona also enters this game having lost seven straight but they don’t have the weight of a hockey loving nation on their backs. At this point, Toronto shouldn’t be a -170 favorite over an AHL team.

BET ARIZONA COYOTES +150 OVER TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS