After a short break we are back with 3 new bets for tonight. Due to travels we might not post every day during the rest of the Christmas period and our records will be updated once we are back home.
Match: Columbus Blue Jackets – Chicago Blackhawks
Bookmaker: William Hill
William Hill stands out a little bit on this one as the only sportsbook offering odds above 2.00 and we are going to take advantage.
The Blue Jackets appear as if they are going in the right direction with 7 wins in a row before an OT loss vs Washingto last time out. This means they have gotten 15 points in their last 8 matches. This obviously will give a team some confidence, but we believe the numbers are not telling the entire truth – so the confidence might not be enough.
Of the 7 wins the Blue Jackets got 5 of them came in OT/SO and in 6 of the wins they got outshot. In other words they have had every possible break going their way. If they play this past 8 game stretch again and again with the same effort and (lack of) skill level, we would say they on average would get 5 or 6 points.
Meanwhile Chicago is crushing the NHL. They have won 10 of 11 and 13 of 15, with all but one of those wins coming in regulation. After a tough start to the season we are now seeing the Chicago Blackhawks that we are used to seeing. Winning most of their matches and doing it in style.
They are the best puck possession team in the NHL, generating more shot attempts for vs again than any other team. This while Columbus rank in the buttom 5 in pretty much all categories.
We give Chicago 51% chance of winning in regulation and say 2.00 or higher is worth a short.
Match: Montreal Canadiens – Ottawa Senators
Its not possible to make the argument that Ottawa should be favorites here. But we believe they have a much better chance of winning than Bwins odds indicate.
Ottawa has gotten points in 4 of 5 – with 3 wins – and seem to be playing better hockey after their coaching change. This doesnt mean that they all of a sudden is a new team let alone a Cup contender. But it seems like the players have gotten so new life and are playing a bit more freely.
Montreal are not very stable. They lost at home to Anaheim last time out, before that they won 3 in a row…and before that they lost 3 in a row. Furthermore they have Max Pacioretty doubtfull, and if he doesnt go its a fair amount of their offensive power that is gone.
There are lot of ifs and buts about this match, but we can live with that considering they very high price we are getting. Our percentages for this match is 50-23-27, which leaves plenty of value in Bwins 4.00.
Match: Vancouver Canucks – Calgary Flames
Bookmaker: William Hill
Again Will Hill stands out a little on a favorite and we are taking a bite.
None of these teams are going especially well right now; Vancouver losing 5 in a row (1 in OT), while Calgary have lost 6 in a row in regulation.
The difference is that Vancouver all season have seemed like a decent team – and despite their losing streak they are still in a playoff position.
Calgary meanwhile seemed like they all season have overperformed. Their advances stats have been underwhelming all year long, and it seems like its finally catching up to them. Surely they will not lose every match the rest of the way – and ironically they have actually been playing some decent hockey in several of their losses.
But in our minds Vancouver is clearly the better team and the standings reflect that, despite the Canucks having played a very low percentage of home matches. We give 52% for a Vancouver win in regulation and find decent value in William Hills price that is 5 points higher than Pinnacles.