Saturday the 7th of January and four more hockey picks for you all!

Columbus Blue Jackets at Los Angeles Kings

NHL Odds: Kings -180 

 

In a better situation, we’d like to take the puck line here to take advantage of the +160 odds but the truth is the Los Angeles Kings are a dicey bet to win by more than one goal – even against the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Ideally, we wouldn’t lay close to -180 but in this spot, it’s not so crazy. The Kings have been excellent under Darryl Sutter as they are 5-0-3 since he took over and the key has been the play of goaltender Jonathan Quick. He looked like an All-Star – and even a potential league MVP – early in the year but quickly faded. Under Sutter, he’s 5-0-2 with a 1.10 GAA. He’s 6-1-0 with a 2.12 GAA in his last seven against Columbus, who has just one win in their last nine overall. 

Take the Kings. 

NHL Picks: Kings

 

Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues

NHL Odds: Blues -180 

 

It’s odd to see a Blues game with a total of 5.5 these days, so we’ll take advantage. While the Blues latest game was a 4-3 home win over the Edmonton Oilers, nine of their last 12 games have seen less than six goals. 

The Avs have been streaky on the road this season but are back to playing great away from home. They are fresh off a 4-0 shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night and have now won nine of 10. The reason they’ve heated up is because their goaltenders have allowed 1.7 goals per game over that span. Only once has their opponent scored more than two goals in their last 10 contests. 

There’s a chance the Avs are completely flat in this game because they played on Friday night and it’s also the last game of their four game road trip, but overall, a Blues game with a total of 5.5 has a very good chance of going under. 

NHL Picks: Under

  

Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Odds: Canadiens -140 

 

Laying -140 with the Monteral Canadiens isn’t normally a particularly enticing bet but given their opponent on Saturday, it’s worth the price. The Lightning are just flat-out brutal on the road this season as they have just six road wins this season. This week, they were thumped 7-3 in Toronto and followed that up with a pitiful 4-1 loss in Ottawa. 

Overall, the Lightning have just two wins in their last 11 road games and have given up 45 goals in that span. That should help out the low-scoring Canadiens, who tend to lose because they can’t light the lamp enough. 

The Canadiens are likely to see Mathieu Garon in net on Saturday because Dwayne Roloson has lost all five career starts against Montreal and has lost his last five starts overall while posting a 4.89 GAA. If he’s in net, that makes this a better play. 

The Habs will get a boost from the return of Brian Gionta on Saturday and that’s crucial. He’s led the team in scoring over the last two years and they need him in the lineup being effective. 

NHL Picks: Canadiens

  

Carolina Hurricanes at Nashville Predators

NHL Odds: Predators -180 

The Nashville Predators have been a good bounce-back team this season after lackluster efforts and they’ll be in that spot on Saturday. They lost 4-1 to the Dallas Stars on Thursday, which ended their three-game winning streak. On the season, the Preds are 6-1 when scoring one goal or less in their previous game 

This is a series they have dominated, winning 11 of the last 15 meetings overall and six of the last seven in Nashville. The Canes are just 1-5 on Saturday games this season and 3-12 when playing on the road with a total of 5.5. 

Even so, laying -180 with most teams isn’t advisable; we’ll take a flier on the puck line. 

NHL Picks: Predators -1.5 +170