The National Hockey League takes their annual break this week. Before the break starts on Thursday, the league puts on a great night of puck blasting action which I’m here to cover in my Wednesday NHL free picks. Two of the games should really garner attention: Washington-Toronto and Nashville-Vegas.
Stanley Cup defending champion Washington has had a tough couple of weeks. They can enter the All-Star Break with a victory over one of the Cup favorites this season, the Maple Leafs. The Leafs will want to enter the break with a win as well, though, and Toronto most definitely has an edge playing on their ice.
Since the beginning of 2019, Vegas has been on a tear. The Golden Knights face the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night. Nashville versus Vegas could be a preview of this season’s Western Conference Finals.
Check out analysis and picks for Caps-Leafs, Predators-Knights, and 3 other great NHL matchups on Jan. 23.
[Wednesday, Jan. 23 – Odds subject to change]
Washington Capitals +125 at Toronto Maple Leafs -155
The Caps host San Jose on Tuesday night before taking a flight to Toronto. At least they mustn’t travel across the continent. Still, a back-to-back with the second game being against the Maple Leafs won’t be easy.
Washington’s 14-8-2-0 in away matches this season. The Caps are on a horrible 0-5 losing streak. The last time they battled Toronto, they lost 2-4. Washington has gone 4-1 versus the Maple Leafs in the last 5 away, though.
The Leafs are 1-4 in their last 5. Toronto is 9-2 in their last 11 on a Wednesday. But, they’re 0-4 in their last 4 at home. Toronto’s record in their last 4 isn’t enough to go against them here, not with the Caps struggling.
Wednesday NHL Free Picks: Maple Leafs -155
Minnesota Wild +105 at Colorado Avalanche -135
Minnesota’s been playing great hockey. They’re 3-1 SU in their last 4 after a terrific 4-2 win over Vegas on the road on Monday night. The Wild have gone 12-12 SU in away games. They’ve also jumped ahead of Colorado in the Central Standings.
The Avalanche are 10-7-5-0 SU at home. They’re an awful 3-11 SU in their last 14, 1-5 SU in their last 6 versus a team with a winning record, and 2-6 SU in their last 8 playing on a day of rest. But, Minnesota can’t buy a win in Colorado.
The Wild are 1-4 SU in their last 5 road meetings while the home team is 5-1 SU in the last 6. Colorado’s worth backing at the fair odds.
NHL Free Pick: Avalanche -132
Nashville Predators +115 at Vegas Golden Knights -145
Although Vegas has gone 1-2 SU in their last 3, they’re 9-3 SU overall in their last 12. The Golden Knights are also 5-2 SUin their last 7 versus a Central team, and 51-22 SU in their last 73 at home. This season, Vegas has an excellent 16-5-2-1 SU home record.
Nashville’s road record is 13-9-3-1 SU. The Predators are 4-0 SU in their last 4 on Wednesday. Nashville’s only 5-13 SY in their last 18 on the road, but they’re 9-3 SU in their last 12 road games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Nashville should pull off the upset win.
Wednesday NHL Free Picks: Predators +116
St. Louis Blues -106 at Anaheim Ducks -114
The Ducks continue to offer favorite’s odds at home even though they are 3-13 SU in their last 16, 0-4 SU in their last 4 on their own ice versus a team with a losing road record, and 0-6 SU in their last 6 on their own ice.
Many hockey handicappers believe Anaheim takes it on Wednesday because the Ducks’ opponent has been just as bad. St. Louis is 1-3 SU in their last 4. They’re also 2-8 SU in their last 10 versus a Pacific team, 1-6 SU in their last 7 on the road against a team with a losing home record, and 0-6 SU in their last 6 on Wednesday.
Even with all that, the Blues would be the play if they weren’t 5-21-1 SU in the last 27 meetings in Anaheim. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I’m backing Mickey’s (old) team.
Wednesday NHL Free Picks: Ducks -114
Carolina Hurricanes -105 at Vancouver Canucks -115
Both teams are hovering above .500, which might be the reason both offer less than even money odds to win on Wednesday.
The choice could be Carolina because the Hurricanes are 5-0 SU in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation, 5-1 in SU their last fourth of a 4-in-6 situation, and 8-3 SU in their last 11 overall. However, the Canucks are 6-1 SU in their last 7 versus a team with a losing record.
Not only that, but Vancouver is 12-1 SU in the last 13 meetings versus Carolina at home. Vancouver all the way.
Wednesday NHL Free Picks: Canucks -114