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Posted at 1:30 PM EST
7:05 PM EST. OT included. We’re going to approach today’s small NHL card a little differently and play all three games over the total. What we’ve noticed in the preseason and the first two nights of the regular season is that there is a big emphasis on higher scoring games. It would appear to us that the refs have been put on notice to call everything. With very few exceptions, we’re seeing 12 to 15 minor penalties being called per game. The skill level, the speed and the talented playmakers and goal scorers has never been higher. Combine that with all those PP’s and the result is a ton of goals being scored.
5-4 games sell tickets while 2-0 games do not, at least to potential new fans. Americans love NBA, football and baseball and part of the reason is all the scoring. Soccer doesn’t sell in the US and the NHL gets less coverage in many US markets than the cooking channel. What those two games have in common is not enough goals being scored and Bettman is trying to change that. There is about to be an entirely new wave of NHL first-time watchers this year, as the NHL will be featured in Las Vegas. Gary Bettman wants to desperately sell this game in US markets and this is his latest attempt to do so. On opening night, three of the four games went over the total. Last night, six of eight games went over the total with one game being a push. Thus, 9 of 12 games have gone over the total with one game being a push. The totals are still at 5½ so the oddsmakers have not made adjustments yet. Expect to see more 6’s than 5½’s real soon and we’ll try to take advantage of it. Thus, we’ll put this same writeup in all three games tonight and expect the penalties and goals to keep coming.
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N.Y. Islanders/COLUMBUS over 5½ +103 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.06)