Check out my NHL free picks for tonight as Conor McDavid battles Sidney Crosby and the Canucks attempt to get back on track against the vulnerable Anaheim Ducks. There’s value on the board tonight, you just have to know where to find it.
[Wednesday, Feb. 13]
Edmonton Oilers +150 vs Pittsburgh Penguins -170
The Oilers allow more goals per, 3.3, than what they average, 2.9. That’s one of the reasons they head into this matchup with the Penguins with just a solitary win over their last 8 efforts. The Oilers do have a winning away record at 12-11-4-0.
Pittsburgh’s home record is 15-10-2-0. The Pens broke a 4-match losing streak in their 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Feb. 11. Pittsburgh beat Edmonton 6-5 in the last match between these two. That doesn’t automatically mean the Pens win this game. It took overtime the last time these teams met for Pittsburgh to get the victory.
Although Edmonton will have a shot, the trends point to Pittsburgh grabbing this straight up. The Penguins are 9-2 SU in their last 11 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game, 9-2 SU in their last 11 as a favorite of -110 to -150, and 12-4 SU in their last 16 versus a team with a losing record. Edmonton is 0-4 SU in their last 4 versus a team from the Eastern Conference, 0-8 SU in their last 8 versus a team with a winning record, and 1-5 SU in their last 6 as an underdog.
Those trends point to a Pittsburgh win, but an interesting development has taken shape. Evgeni Malkin might miss Wednesday’s match due to a possible suspension. Without Malkin, the Pens shouldn’t win.
Even if Malkin plays, Connor McDavid gives the Oilers a chance at the upset. Edmonton had played well until this recent stretch. Maybe, they’re on the verge of playing well again. The Oilers get the nod with a small flier play.
NHL Free Picks: Oilers +150
Vancouver Canucks -120 vs Anaheim Ducks +100
This game is so difficult to handicap. Neither team has been terribly consistent.
Vancouver does have a 25-25-4-3 overall record. The Canucks have a decent 12-14-2-2 away record. If we add the overtime losses and shootout losses, the Canucks are 12-18 SU on the road. Not bad because in the NHL it’s hard to win on away ice.
The Canucks didn’t perform well at all on their last road trip. It started out great with a win over Colorado, but it then descended into mediocrity. Vancouver lost to Philadelphia, Washington, and Chicago before returning home and beating Calgary 4-3 in a shootout. They’re reeling after a 2-7 demolition at the hands of Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks.
Like Vancouver, Anaheim hasn’t played well either. There was a moment in mid-January when it looked like the worst for the Ducks was behind them. They broke a 12-game losing streak with victories over Minnesota and New Jersey. They didn’t just beat those two teams. They outscored them a combined 6-2.
But, then, because they’re the Anaheim Ducks, things fell apart again. Heading into their Wednesday battle with Vancouver, the not-so-mighty Ducks have lost 7 in a row. A couple of the losses were downright pathetic like getting shutout by Ottawa in an 0-4 loss, or allowing Philly to score 6 goals in a 6-1 game.
Only one hot trend shows up for Vancouver, but no hot trends show up for Anaheim. The Ducks are an awful 6-20 SU in their last 26. They fail to respond at home, going 0-5 SU in their last 5 in their building versus a team with a losing road record.
You have to pay a little bit of juice to take the Canucks, but it’s worth it.
NHL Free Picks: Canucks -120