Nashville Predators vs. Anaheim Ducks
NHL Playoffs Pick: Anaheim -162 odds (April 27th 2016)
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The Ducks got off on the wrong foot losing both Games 1 & 2 on home ice. A change between the pipes has flipped this series on it’s head though, as Frederick Andersen has come in and stymied the Preds in three straight games. He was great again in Game 6, giving up just two goals on 25 shots.
There’s a lot to like about the Nashville Predators, and if it wasn’t for the fact that they play the Ducks in the first round, they might have been primed for a long playoff run. The Ducks finished with five more wins in the regular season, which doesn’t make a bit of difference here in the playoffs. What does make a difference though is that Anaheim allowed fewer goals than any other team in the league, and had by far the best special teams unit with the league’s #1 ranked power play and top penalty kill.
The Preds are 1-for-23 on the power-play in the series, and it’s hard to win games in this league when you can’t compete in special teams play. Nashville is 0-8 when losing three of the first five games in a playoff series, and this will be the first Game 7 in Nashville’s franchise history.
I’ll take the more experienced, more talented team at home.
Calgary Flames vs. Minnesota Wild
NHL Hockey Pick: Under 5.5 goals (March 24th 2016)
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The Calgary Flames are off a 5-2 loss at Toronto Monday, but I don’t expect to see quite as many goals tonight when they visit the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota is off three consecutive victories, the most recent a 2-1 win against the Kings Tuesday. The under is 3-1-3 in the Wild’s last seven overall so I really like the fact that we get the hook to avoid a push here.
We’ll see Devan Dubnyk between the pipes for Minny and he has posted a 1.58 GAA in the last three games and owns a 1.74 GAA over a four-game win streak against Calgary. The Flames will turn to former Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom, and the veteran was sharp in his first start this season when he made 21 saves in a 2-1 win against the Habs Sunday.
– The action starts early Thursday with Mike’s Thursday Soccer *Euro Friendly* and it’s followed by two NBA and a NHL selection. Mike’s taking a day off from the NCAA Tournament but is firing off a BIG PLAY Friday with his NCAA Tourney Sweet 16 *GAME OF THE YEAR* – 69-50 Run!
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Arizona Coyotes vs. Edmonton Oilers
NHL Betting Prediction: Arizona -118 odds (March 22nd 2016)
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Arizona was blanked in back-to-back games by Tampa Bay (Saturday) and San Jose (Sunday), with those two shutout losses just about dooming any realistic chance the Coyotes have at making the postseason. Arizona now finds itself 11 points behind Colorado for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, having gone 9-18-3 in its last 30 games. Edmonton has won SEVEN of 12 but its record of 29-39-7 is even worse than Arizona’s, with the Oilers just trying to avoid finishing in the basement of the Western Conference (currently holds a a one-point edge over Winnipeg).
Tonight’s game is the the first of a four-game Arizona homestand and Edmonton, as it has so often for quite awhile now, should play the perfect foil. Arizona is 3-0-1 in the season series with Edmonton and the Coyotes are 23-1-4 in 28 meetings with the Oilers since January 2010 (Arizona is 18-0-4 vs Edmonton in the last 22 games). As Archie Bunker used to opine, “Case Closed!”
Colorado Avalanche vs. Vancouver Canucks
NHL Hockey Pick: Under 5 goals -110 odds (March 16th 2016)
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Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach NHL *1* Wednesday Night Free Pick UNDER 5 goals +130 in Vancouver vs Colorado @ 10:05 PM ET – The Avalanche know this road trip is critical to their post-season chances. The Canucks know they aren’t officially dead yet. That said, this game may play out like it is “playoff hockey” and that means there is tremendous value on the under in this match-up. Sure it would be nice to have the under at 5.5 goals but even though this one is at a 5 the fact that the under is available at +130 is offering great line value. The Avalanche have been held to just ONE goal in each of their two meetings with the Canucks so far this season. Also, the Avs are getting some stellar goaltending of their own right now as Semyon Varlamov has allowed a total of just 4 goals in his last 3 games! The Canucks are expected to have Ryan Miller between the pipes and he’s allowed a total of just 3 goals in his last 2 games against the Avalanche. Don’t tell the Canucks they are out of the playoff race yet either! Vancouver is 8 points behind Colorado but the Canucks have two games in hand. They aren’t dead yet and they have confidence heading into this match-up based on shutting down the Avalanche in the first two meetings this season. Colorado enters this one on a 3-game under streak. Also, when entering a game with three or more days off between games, the under has cashed in 3 of 4 times in Colorado games this season. The Canucks have been held to two goals or less in five of their last eight games. Consider a small play on the UNDER 5 goals in Vancouver as it is my Free Pick for Wednesday Night. Best of luck always, Scott
Buffalo Sabres vs. Montreal Canadiens
Over-Under Betting Pick: Over 5 goals -110 odds (March 10th 2016)
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The Montreal Canadiens will host Eastern Conference rivals Buffalo on Thursday night at the Bell Centre, and the Habs are in fine form on home ice. Montreal is 6-0-1 in it’s last seven home games, but currently sit seven games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. A home game against the cellar dwelling Sabres presents an opportunity to narrow that margin. My money is on the over as the total looks a little low for this contest.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Previous History – These have combined to score at least five goals in each of the last five meetings, with the total going over at a rate of 4-0-1 during that span. The Habs have gone over at a rate of 7-3-2 in their last 12 versus Eastern Conference teams.
2. Goaltending – Ben Scrivens has surrendered at least three goals in each of his last four starts, while Mike Condon has lost three straight, surrendering a woeful 11 goals in those three losses. Buffalo’s Robin Lehner was pulled from his last start after surrendering three goals on 14 shots.
3. X-Factor – Alex Galchenyuk is feeling the hot hand, with six goals in his last four games. He’s scored three goals in three previous meetings with the Sabres this season.
Selection: This is a play on Buffalo@Montreal to go OVER the total (Free)
Edmonton Oilers vs. Minnesota Wild
NHL Betting Pick: Minnesota -175 odds (March 10th 2016)
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If you don’t mind laying some chalk, then we think the Wild are absolutely worth a second look in this spot. Minnesota looks to bounce back after its four-game win streak was snapped in a 4-2 loss to St. Louis on Sunday. The Wild are 8-4-0 since interim coach John Torchetti took over. And now with three whole days off to prepare for this one, there can’t be any excuses about looking past or not being prepared for the lowly Oilers. If recent history is any precedence though, then the Wild have to be feeling pretty confident that they’ll return to the winners circle, they’ve taken the first two meetings of the year and will look for the season sweep with a victory tonight. Note the ex-Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk is 6-1-0 with a 1.28 GAA against his former club. And that’s bad news for an Edmonton team which has lost two of its last three and which is just 1 for 24 with the man advantage over its last 11 contests. All signs point to a lop-sided final score, making the WILD well worth the price in this position.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Anaheim Ducks
NHL Betting Pick: Ducks -1.5 +150 odds (March 2nd 2016)
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7-1 on NHL free picks! Anaheim is on absolute fire, having won eight in a row and 22 of their last 28. Corey Perry snapped a four game drought with a hat trick and an assist in a their big divisional match up with L.A. the other day. They’ve managed to add some nice pieces in Jamie Mcginn and Brandon Pirri to give them some more goals and grit in case they cool off during playoff crunch time. Their goaltending has been strong and their young defenseman are playing solid hockey. On the flip side Montreal has sold off their veteran depth, moved Devante Smith-Pelley, and lack a goalie capable at stopping NHL shots. They still have players in Subban, Pacioretty,Plekanec, and Gallagher, but the GM has said that the rest of the season is all about “evaluation and experience.” What that means is that Montreal is fielding a minor league club against a Stanley Cup contender. Anaheim all day. Get the rest of the NHL season at only $149 from the hottest NHL capper here.
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Florida Panthers vs. Winnipeg Jets
NHL Hockey Pick: Panthers -111 odds (March 1st 2016)
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6-1 NHL free pick winners! The Panthers traditionally haven’t done well north of the border but look for that to change as the new look Cats try to stay atop the Atlantic division. The Jets have lost seven of nine of their last home games and while they can certainly score, they also can’t stop anyone either. Their goal tending has been mediocre at best and when that happens a team plays without any confidence. The Panthers have loads this year and I like the moves they made at deadline. They won’t win the cup but it’ll help give their young players valuable playoff experience. Barkov has been great this season and when Bjugstad is on his game he is a force. Jagr and Luongo continue to defy their age and are playing fantastic hockey. Vincent Trotcheck has emerged and hep make Brandon Pirri expendable. The biggest question is how the new guys will mesh, but the bottom line is that they’ve really solidified their depth at forward. This will be a tough one, but the Panthers are for real this year. Don’t miss the premium winners in the NHL. NHL Sharp Pick ($19).
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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New Jersey Devils
NHL Betting Pick: Lightning -136 odds (February 26th 2016)
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SportsAtari continues to impress! The Devils have dropped four of five and have given up 19 goals over that span. Corey Schneider was easily in Vezina conversion until getting pulled after giving up three goals on eleven shots the other night. Kincaid should get the start as no other goalie has started more games than Schneider this season. Tampa has been a bit up and down this year but since Steve Yzerman announced he wouldn’t be trading Stamkos the superstar and the team has been playing much better. Ben Bishop will get the start for the Lightning, he sports a 4-2 record and 1.46 career gaa. Tampa hasn’t usually played well in Jersey but watching the way they’ve been forechecking and the opportunities they’ve been creating shows just how much more confidence they’ve been playing with. Also they’ve been finding ways to win without their power play clicking. Tampa didn’t make it to the finals by accident last year, and Jersey can make games a grind but the top end talent and depth at forward for Tampa will be too much for the Devils.
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Minnesota Wild vs. Philadelphia Flyers
NHL Betting Prediction: Flyers -105 odds (February 25th 2016)
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Rickenbach NHL *1* Free Pick Philadelphia Flyers Money Line -105 vs Minnesota @ 7:05 PM ET Thursday – Even though Philadelphia is off of a loss at Carolina Tuesday, the Flyers certainly weren’t hanging their heads after the defeat. That’s because Philly actually played quite well in that game and, with continued hard work, the Flyers know they will make a move up the standings toward a coveted playoff spot. The Wild may have seen their bubble pop in their most recent game. After rolling to a great start since the coaching change and then getting that huge outdoor win against the Blackhawks, Minnesota truly came crashing back down to earth in their 4-1 home ice loss to the Islanders on Tuesday. The Wild now hit the road to face a hungry Flyers team and that is going to make this a very tough spot for Minny to bounce back. The Wild have lost 13 of their 21 games against non-conference opponents this season. The last 8 times this season that the Flyers were held to a goal or less in a game, they have responded by winning their next game 6 of 8 times. Once again, as everyone else steps up their game with Claude Giroux hurting, big response from the Flyers today. Consider a small play on Philadelphia -105 as it is my Free Pick for Thursday. Best of luck always, Scott
Scott ‘The Bulldog’ Rickenbach is ready to get his free picks rolling strong again starting Thursday! As for his star rated picks, he is off of a 3-2 Wednesday and has NOT had a losing day since the 19th! He is on an 18-11, 62% run with his star rated picks. The time is NOW for getting on board! Rickenbach has SOLID runs in progress including a 29-18 (62%) NBA run with sides, a 21-13 (62%) NCAAB sides run, a 10-5 (67%) NCAAB top totals run, and his NHL is on a 5-0, 100% run. The Bulldog ranks among the top long-term NFL cappers with a 32-14 (70%) mark in the NFL playoffs the past 4 YEARS combined after a 2-0 NFL Sweep in the Super Bowl! He is now 7-1 (88%) his L8 Super Bowl picks! He finished the NFL Playoffs on a STELLAR 7-2 run and Rickenbach also wrapped up the NCAAF bowl season with a PERFECT 9-0 Run! Now it’s time for MASSIVE Hoops and Hockey profits! The Bulldog has 5 plays Thursday (1 NBA/2 NCAAB/2 NHL). Make sure you are ON BOARD with an ALL SPORTS SUB so you don’t miss a single massive play for an entire week or, EVEN BETTER, for an entire month.