NHL Picks for March 17th

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Two plays going today…

Colorado Avalanche @ New York Rangers – AVALANCHE TO WIN (+165)
(Note: I’m risking 1 unit to win 1.65 units)

The Avalanche are coming off a 1-0 shootout loss in New Jersey, but had won 5 of the previous 6 games.  They now have won 5 of 7 with points in 6 of their last 7 games.  The Avs are now 38-30-5 on the season which has them in 8th place in the Western Conference.  Colorado is a respectable 17-15-4 on the road.  The New York Rangers still sit in first place in the Eastern Conference, but have lost 4 of their last 6 games.  Their latest was a 5-2 loss at home against Crosby and the Penguins. Their other losses came against playoff teams in Chicago, Ottawa and New Jersey, with their two wins coming against non-playoff teams in the Islanders and Carolina.  The Rangers are 44-19-7 on the season and 24-8-2 on home ice.  No goalie confirmation has been made for either team, but I handicapped this game with either Colorado goaltender vs Lundqvist.   If Lundqvist is still sick with the flu that works in our favor.  Varlamov is likely to get the start, even with JS Giguere coming off of the shutout.  Varlamov has won 3 straight games and 8 of his last 10 starts.  Colorado is 12-5 in their last 17 vs Eastern Conference opponents.  Although you can’t look much at match ups between East and West teams, the Avs have won 4 of their last 5 meetings in New York and 9 of the last 11 meetings overall.  With the way Colorado is playing right now, which includes solid goaltending, they have good value at +165 tonight.  I’ll take the underdogs to surprise many.

Nashville Predators @ Los Angeles Kings – OVER 5 GOALS (+102)
(Note: I’m risking 1 unit to win 1.02 units)

The Predators are coming off a shootout loss, but have won 3 of their last 4 games.  They have scored 3 or more goals in 6 of their last 7 games.  Pekka Rinne has been good, but he has allowed 14 goals against in his last 5 games.  The Los Angeles Kings have won three straight heading into tonight.  They have scored 3 or more goals in 7 of their last 8 games, which includes 5 games with 4 or more goals.  A Kings team that had a lot of troubles scoring has now gotten going, and the OVER is 5-1-1 in their last 7 games.  The OVER is also 3-1-1 in the Predators last 5 overall.  Note that Quick has let in 2+ goals in 7 straight starts – although not bad numbers overall, he hasn’t been perfect.  These two teams have met 3 times this season, with 2 of the 3 games going OVER the posted total.  We have seen totals of 7, 3, and 9 (the latest being the 9 goal game March 6th).  Take note that the OVER is also 5-1 in their last 6 meetings overall dating back to last season.  Take the OVER.

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