NHL Picks (Monday 10/10): Peter DeBoer’s First NJ Devils Win, Minnesota Wild Upset Islanders

NHL Picks and Predictions for Monday, October 10th: Minnesota Wild upset Islanders, NJ Devils get Pete DeBoer’s first win, Bruins, Canucks, Blues, Stars, Capitals all win as Vegas favorites.

I fucking killed it on Saturday. I went 12-3 (counting my two under bets) and I’m up big. Sunday was a football day and I spent it with my lovely girlfriend – and it’s a good thing I did. I would have probably parlayed everything through the Penguins, who inexplicably fell to the Oilers. The Winnipeg Jets were predictably welcomed back with a loss to the Habs, but Sunday was a confusing day and I’m glad I avoided the action. Ultimately, I’m 19-7 on posted bets to start the season. It’s going to be a good year.

Monday’s lines are tough. The Bruins are a huge favorite over an upstart Avalanche team, as are the Canucks on the road in Columbus. The Devils desperately need a win at home against the Hurricanes and I think Peter DeBoer is going to get the Devils off the schneid much faster than John MacLean did. The only upset I like Monday night is the Minnesota Wild against the Islanders, but most of the favorites are mere home-ice advantages ahead of the competition.

I’m working on Columbus Day but that doesn’t mean I can’t bet on this glorious matinee action.

Colorado Avalanche at Boston Bruins (-240)

The Boston Bruins are the better team, hungry for a win after being embarrassed on banner night by the Flyers. The Bruins are probably going to win this game, but the -240 line really bothers me. The Avalanche are better than most people think, so I’m hesitant to invest this heavily on a Bruins team that has shown me absolutely nothing this year. Semyon Varlamov is certainly capable of shutting down a struggling Bruins offense, and the Avs might just squeak out a win in this low-scoring game. I don’t believe in Colorado, I’m not going to pick them to pull such a big upset, but I think they’ll hang in there. I like the under 5.5 line in an exciting Bruins win that Vegas doesn’t expect to be competitive.

Bruins 3 – Avs 1

Carolina Hurricanes at New Jersey Devils (-135)

41 penalty minutes? Really, New Jersey? The Devils flopped on opening night, against a bitter rival, tempering high expectations for a new season under Peter DeBoer. This game is necessary to avoid the panic that an 0-2 start would cause given last year’s miserable start. While the penalty kill was fantastic, the sloppy play certainly slanted the ice toward the Flyers. There were really no positives to draw from their first game, and New Jersey looked overmatched. Zach Parise has looked sloppy since his return from last season’s knee injury, and needs to get things going if the Devils are going to make a playoff run.

However, I don’t think the Hurricanes have the offensive weapons to dominate the Devils. Despite a plethora of penalties, the Devils stayed relatively strong on defense and hit the under for me. I’m going to bet the under every Devils game this season to see if it pays out as well as it did in the second half last year. Go under 5, and expect yet another defensive battle.

The Devils are charging just $14.92 a ticket to fill the mezzanine on Columbus Day, so maybe there will be something of a home-ice advantage. Typically, the Rock is half empty against the Hurricanes and you can get a ticket on StubHub for four dollars. All else being equal between two sloppy offenses that missed the playoffs last year, maybe a full house will give the Devils the boost they need to deliver DeBoer’s first win.


Devils 2 – Hurricanes 1

Minnesota Wild (EVEN) at New York Islanders

The Islanders looked awful while the Wild’s new weapons sparkled in their respective openers. Consider this pick a bit of personal revenge for the Islanders losing to a Panthers team I predicted to go winless this year. That dream is dead and it’s only been one game. Can they rebound against a Minnesota team that looked so legitimate in their season opener?

Wild 4 – Islanders 2

Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues (-130)

The Flames outscored the Blues 14-3 last year in four undefeated meetings, but this is a new year.

Jarome Iginla is battling back spasms and three other forwards are expected to miss the game due to injury. PL3 is suspended. The Flames limp into a matchup with an upstart Blues team that added veteran presence this offseason. The Blues are hungry for redemption, and the Flames are headed for a disappointing season. An uninspired Iginla won’t be enough on the road.

Blues 2 – Flames 0

Phoenix Coyotes at Dallas Stars (-125)

I admittedly don’t know what to make of these two teams. The Stars unexpectedly defeated the Blackhawks once, but couldn’t pull out a second miracle in game two of their back-to-back matchups. They lost Brad Richards to free agency in the offseason and are a shell of their once-mediocre selves. The Coyotes predictably fell to the Sharks in their opener, but they were two-to-one dogs. What’s going to happen when these two crappy teams play each other? At least the Stars showed signs of life against the Blackhawks and have an extra game under their belts. They’re also at home.

Stars 3 – Coyotes 2

Vancouver Canucks (-150) at Columbus Blue Jackets

Maybe the Blue Jackets come out hot at home, but Ohio hockey is as impressive as the Occupy Wall Street protests – it’s kind of neat that they’re there and everything, but nothing is going to come from it. I am 99% sure the Canucks are going to win this game.

I realize I’m going against Columbus on Columbus Day and it’s unlike me to avoid such a clear sign from the Hockey Gods, but it’s a gut feeling that I refuse to ignore.

Canucks 4 – Blue Jackets 3

Tampa Bay Lightning at Washington Capitals (-160)

I think there is a value to the Lightning playing in their third game, but I don’t think it’s enough to beat the division’s defending champions. The Caps won every game against the Lightning in which they scored a goal last season. They’ll score on Monday night.

Caps 3 – Lightning 1

Last week: 19-7

Favorites: 11-4
Dogs: 6-3
Over/Unders: 2-0

Mark Donatiello
Follow me on Twitter:  @FasterHockey ...read more


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