Today's Free Picks for
FLORIDA -1½ +233 over St. Louis
7:35 PM EST. OT included. Last year we started playing favorites at -1½ pucks plus a big price as opposed to playing them -½ plus a much smaller price and we’ll continue to use that approach this season. You see, when you bet a team at -½, they have to be up by at least one goal at the end of regulation to win that wager. If the game is tied, you are going to lose that bet. Thus, if your team is winning by one goal, the team behind will pull the goalie 100% of the time and that opens up the door to get that extra goal you may need to cover the -1½-pucks. It’s also quite possible that your team will be up by more than one goal. Therefore, spotting -1½ pucks as oppose to -½ has so much more value with these big takebacks that we’re going to continue to play them this way.
The Blues are off to a terrific 4-0 start with victories over Pittsburgh, Dallas, the Islanders and Rangers and it’s worth noting that three of those wins were on the road. However, scores in hockey are the most misleading of any sport because the details of the game are not in the boxscore. As value bettors, we look for ingredients as oppose to results. The St. Louis Blues are 4-0 and not 0-4 only because of their goaltending. The Blues have been the second best team in every one of their games thus far and eventually it’s going to catch up to them. In offensive zone time, the Blues rank 26th out of 31 teams after four games. In the Blues 4-2 win over Dallas, they were dominated and outshot, 40-21. Against the Rangers, it was much of the same, as the Blues could only muster a mere 23 shots on net while allowing 33 in that 3-1 victory. Against the Isles, St. Louis allowed 42 shots on net and won again, 3-2 in OT. While the Blues record is unblemished, the product on the ice is not and we’ll look to exploit that here.
The Florida Panthers are the least exposed team in the NHL. Nobody watches them, nobody pays attention to them, nobody knows how many games they have played or if they have won any of those and nobody really gives a damn either, not even the folks in that region. That works to our benefit because not many know how good they are either. The Panthers have played just two games this year, both against Tampa Bay, and they’re 1-1 after a 5-3 loss in the first game followed by a 5-4 win in the second game. Florida ranks first in time of possession in the offensive end at 65.2% of the time after two games. That’s a small sample size but it’s also significant. Florida outshot Tampa Bay by a combined mark count of 84-55 in its two games.
The Panthers unloaded some dead weight in the offseason and added some youth and talent. Evgeni Dadonov is a player to watch as he begins a second stint with the Panthers. Dadonov played in Florida from 2009-12, before moving over to the KHL in recent years. Dadonov is a dynamic player that was buzzing all over the place in the first two games. He’ll join a slew of other talent in Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad among others. Bjugstad and Huberdeau missed most of last season, which undoubtedly factored into Florida's losing campaign and in turn to its stock being low this year. This is a highly energized team with a chip on its shoulder that looked very good in two games.
T.A. Waters, in his 1988 The Encyclopedia of Magic and Magicians, writes: “Misdirection is the cornerstone of nearly all successful magic; without it, even the most skilled sleight of hand or mechanical device is unlikely to create an illusion of real magic.” Skilled magicians use misdirection to trick our minds into accepting the wrong image or action, leading us to draw false conclusions. The point being is that the St. Louis Blues has this market tricked and we’re going to try and take advantage of that until we see something different.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
FLORIDA -1½ +233 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 4.66)