Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:45 AM EST.
7:30 PM EST. OT included. Three in a row in dramatic fashion and counting. That’s the current plight of the Panthers after they beat the Maple Leafs in OT to a rare packed house on Tuesday. Prior, the Panthers beat Pittsburgh 6-5 with a goal in the final two minutes after blowing a 5-2 lead. Finally, who can forget that emotional night in Sunrise when Roberto Luongo tearfully addressed the crowd in a plea to rally together and stay strong before the Panthers would score two late goals in the third period against Washington to rally from a 2-1 deficit to win it 3-2 with the winner coming with under a minute to go. Maybe the Panthers story continues here but this team has proven to be beatable every time they take the ice. Don’t get us wrong, we like the Panthers as a live pooch because that’s what they are but they’re a risky favorite especially when being on the verge of a massive letdown. That emotional letdown is inevitable and if it happens here, we’ll be cashing this ticket. If it doesn’t happen here, we could still cash this ticket.
The Devils were one of the more active teams at the deadline. The package the Oilers received for pending free agent Patrick Maroon was underwhelming and the Devils were the beneficiaries. Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli told 630 CHED that he only received a single offer for Maroon, and that it came just five minutes before the deadline. The Devils acquired Maroon for a 2019 third-round pick and the rights to J.D. Dudek, a role player with Boston College who is likely to return for his senior season. That Maroon didn’t create much interest is likely due to the belief that his offensive outburst last season is tied directly to Connor McDavid, after McDavid scored 27 goals, the first time he’d totaled more than 12 in a single season.
New Jersey adds even more firepower after adding Michael Grabner last week. Grabner is a great fit to an already speedy lineup and he’s also a great penalty killer. At the time of his departure from the Rangers, Grabner was leading that team in goals scored. Maroon, meanwhile, had 30 points on the year for a struggling Oilers squad, but finished with 42 in 2016-17 in a much more cohesive offensive unit. Jumping into a talented Devils forward corps, Maroon’s size and ability to crash the net will add another dimension to this dangerous squad. In their first game after the deadline, New Jersey went into Pittsburgh and won 3-2. The Devils are just 2-2 over their past four games but they outplayed the opposition by a wide margin in those two defeats. The Devils analytics just keep improving and they remain one of the liveliest underdogs in the game. This team is exciting, they have star-power with Taylor Hall emerging as a stud and they just became a legit threat in the East with the moves at the deadline. Pencil us in for the Devils as a dog against Florida 100% of the time.
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New Jersey +111 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.22)