Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Detroit +136 over Buffalo
7:05 PM EST. OT Included. Let’s discuss hockey a little bit today because the Maple Leafs are trending vigorously on social media today after losing to Anaheim last night, the Kings on Saturday and the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Toronto’s GM (Kyle Dubas) is on the hot seat, as is coach Sheldon Keefe. The media and fan’s shit is in ruins over a three-game losing streak and a rather slow start in the first 10 games of the season.
Pick any team you like in the NHL besides Boston because they are a luck-driven 8-1 and the story is similar. Here is what happened in the first month of the season. Winnipeg Beat the Rangers 4-1 then lost to Dallas 4-1. The Jets went into Colorado and won and then lost to Vegas and Toronto by a combined 9-3. Rangers scored once on the Jets. Vegas and Toronto scored 9 times. Toronto beat Dallas and Winnipeg but lost to Arizona, San Jose and Anaheim. Montreal kicked Arizona’s ass and also beat Pittsburgh but lost 3-0 to Detroit and 5-2 to the Stars before beating St. Louis 7-4. Pittsburgh shot out of the gate by winning four of its first five but haven’t won since. San Jose lost to Nashville twice, lost to Chicago by three goals and then beat the Rangers and Maple Leafs. The Devils lost to Philadelphia and Detroit by 3 goals in both games and then beat NYI by 3 goals and Columbus by six goals. Vancouver went winless in its first seven games and then beat Seattle 5-4 and Pittsburgh, 5-1.
We could run a similar narrative for every team because hockey is the most luck-driven sport of them all and it’s not close. Vegas outshot Winnipeg last night 48-24 but needed OT to secure a win. The Devils lost 6-3 to Washington last week after outshooting them 44-21. Hockey is the only major sport in which teams get dominated so often and win numerous games every week. In football for instance, it is rare for a team to dominate and lose. In hockey it’s common. In baseball, it is rare for a team to outhit the opposition 14-5 and lose. In hockey, getting outplayed badly and winning is common.
As for Buffalo and Detroit, well, we can run the same narrative for them. Detroit was unbeaten in regulation in its first five games then lost 6-2 and 5-1 to New Jersey and Boston respectively. Buffalo swept a three-game trip to Western Canada by beating Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver and subsequently losing to Seattle (5-1) and Montreal 3-2.
These two teams are fairly even no matter how you slice it. They are both hugely risky favorites and decent underdogs, especially when they play each other. We have no idea which goaltender is going to be hot or cold or which team will hit more goalposts but in what has to be considered a pure 50/50 proposition, we’ll gladly take back 30 cents on the dollar to see where it lands.
Detroit +136 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.72)