Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
1:00 PM EST. OT included. The Flyers 12-game point streak ended in a 4-1 loss to Carolina but that is in no way going to deter us from playing them here at this outrageous price. For one, the Flyers have a pretty good recent history in these afternoon games and secondly, they have some emerging players that are playing at a very high level. Guys like Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier we all know about but one of the most underrated players in the league play for the Flyers in second year man, Travis Konecny. This kid is not mentioned with the other great first or second year players but he takes a backseat to none of them. A Flyers defense that has been somewhat of a liability for years is suddenly becoming one of the best units in the NHL. Philadelphia ranks 4th in Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi Against during 5v5 play over the past six weeks. The Flyers are very simply too good to be taking back prices like this.
Personally, I was watching “Tim and Sid” (a popular sports-talk show in Canada) on trade deadline day and they both nearly crapped their pants when the news that the Bolts picked up Ryan McDonagh came across the wire. Shouted Tim, “The BEST TEAM IN HOCKEY JUST BOUGHT THEMSELVES A TRIP TO THE STANLEY CUP FINALS!”
Oh really Tim? Have you even seen McDonagh play, ever? Ryan McDonagh is not Kris Letang, Zdeno Chara (in his prime) or Nicklas Lidström but the NHL media is making him out to be stud pickup when he’s anything but. Tampa’s GM Steve Yzerman was desperate to pick up the best available D-Man at the deadline and paid a hefty price to do so. McDonagh is slow and gets beat to every loose puck there is. He can outskate Larry King to a loose puck but he can’t outskate all that speed that NHLer’s possess today. Frankly, we have no idea what all the hype is. McDonagh is not an impact player. He’s supposed to be more of a stabilizing force in front of the net to protect goals more than he is to add to an offense that is deep but isn’t that exactly what he was in New York where the Rags were one of the worst teams in the league in Corsi Against and High Danger Chances Against? He played 23-26 minutes a game in New York and couldn’t help prevent jack. Tampa’s weak defense may have gotten better with McDonagh but the media is overplaying it to a large degree. Thus, you’ll have to excuse us while we crap in our pants in awe of the Bolts picking up Ryan McDonagh. Their defense is still weak.
Tampa just lost to Buffalo 2-1 and we are not going to put any emphasis on a loss that they probably figured all they had to do to win was show up. One loss means nothing. The very next game in Dallas, Tampa Bay bounced back with a 5-4 OT win that looks very pretty on paper but if you bet the Bolts that game, watched it and cashed your ticket, than you are very aware that you pulled a rabbit out of your hat. That Bolts’ win was one of the luckiest of the year. They were badly outplayed for one and secondly, Dallas rang two shots off the post in OT before the Lightning scored another fluke goal on Ben Bishop. In fact, Tampa scored five times on 25 shots on net. The Bolts have been badly outplayed in four of their past six games. They have dropped significantly in some key metrics over the past five weeks and we’re also starting to see some cracks in their goaltending, as Andrei Vasilevskiy is not bailing out the defense as much anymore. Look it, Tampa is really good and they’re a threat in the East to be sure. What they are not is a dominating team that is a shoo-in to represent the East and they are absolutely not a shoo-in to beat the Flyers here. The Bolts are overpriced in a big way and we’ll therefore take Philadelphia at this price 100% of the time.
NOTE: More NHL games are forthcomin
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.
Philadelphia +166 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.32)