Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Philadelphia Flyers charmed life continued on Tuesday night when they beat the Canadiens in OT, 3-2. That ran the Flyers point streak to nine games with six of those going to extra time. The Flyers were down 2-1 to the Habs on Tuesday with 1:25 left before scoring a goal with the extra attacker on the ice. In the games that did not go into OT during this winning streak, the Flyers were the second best team on the ice against the Golden Knights in a 4-1 win and against the Habs in a 5-3 win. Philadelphia was badly outshot by Vegas, 39-18, they allowed the Rangers 40 shots on net but scored seven times on 37 shots and against Montreal in that 5-3 win, they lost the Corsi For % battle with the hsots on net being even at 28 each. We could seriously be discussing a team on an eight or nine-game losing streak instead of one of the hottest teams in the league in terms of points percentage over the past nine games. The good news is that it works to our advantage because results influence the line and while the Flyers are getting the points, the Jackets are in much better form.
Since January 14, a span of five weeks, Columbus ranks 8th in 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % while the Flyers rank 17th over that same span. The Jackets rank higher than the Flyers in both xGF and xGA over that same stretch. The loss of winger Wayne Simmonds will test the Flyers depth and we doubt it’ll hold up much longer. The Columbus Blue Jackets are suffering from nothing but bad luck. Its power play ranks dead last in the NHL at 14.3% while Philly’s PP ranks 5th at 21.6%. Several of the Jackets shooting percentage are lower than their career averages and many of them are significantly lower. We have outlined the extreme luck driven numbers in this sport constantly. Power play percentages, penalty killing percentages, shooting percentages and save percentages are all a crap shoot in terms of rankings. Nobody can predict a puck bouncing off two legs and finding the back of the net on a shot from the point. Nobody can predict a soft goal or a goaltender getting cleanly beaten only to see the puck ring off the post. What we can predict with relative accuracy by paying attention to the under the hood numbers is which team will possess the puck more and create more scoring opportunities. In that regard, the Jackets are superior and that makes them very worthy of getting behind. The Flyers simply cannot keep racking up points at this pace when they are constantly betting outworked for the puck.
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Columbus +107 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.14)