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Oh, hockey. When it shines, it’s bright. When it rains, it pours. We were a TJ Oshie penalty away from nailing our Capitals pick on Tuesday and 20 minutes from nailing our bold Avalanche pick. The Avs led 3-0 going into the third period against the Kings, then allowed two late goals, winning by one. So close, yet so far away.
That’s okay. Today we bounce back. With only five games scheduled for Wednesday, there isn’t much to choose from, but luckily for us, there’s solid value on the board.
We’re beginning to get a much clearer picture of which teams are elite and which we should fade. As mentioned in my betting preview yesterday, we must take full advantage of the condensed schedule and frequent back-to-backs, keeping a close eye on key nightly trends.
One of the more intriguing trends thus far is the dominance of home teams early this season. As of this writing, home favorites are winning more than 71 percent of the time. Against the spread, home teams are covering 62.5 percent of the time.
As evident in the numbers, home teams are undoubtedly the preferred side to bet early on. That’s not to say some games won’t feature anomalies. For Wednesday, I’m backing one home favorite, one road favorite, an under, and, of course, a pick on the puck line for the bold.
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Edmonton Oilers @ Toronto Maple Leafs (-164)
The Pick: Maple Leafs (-164)
Here is an excellent home favorite to lock in at a relatively reasonable price because of the opponent. Frankly, the Maple Leafs are overperforming early this season. Against a better team, I might fade them. That said, we need to ride them while they’re hot and especially in a juicy matchup. They’re cashing in on 42.6% of power plays opportunities, and while that likely regresses, it proves the Leafs are cashing in when it counts.
Still, this pick has less to do with the Leafs and more to do with the very overrated Edmonton Oilers. In their first four games, the Oilers have been outscored by opponents a combined 18-7. While it’s easy to point to goalie play, Edmonton is a pitiful 2-of-18 on power plays. That’ll never be an ingredient to the recipe of success.
Edmonton’s lack of scoring, Toronto’s home advantage, and the sportsbook’s soft price makes this a solid play. The game’s puck line is also my bold play of the night. I’m sprinkling some cash on the Leafs winning by 2+ goals.
Bold play: Maples Leafs -1.5 (+164)
Minnesota Wild @ Anaheim Ducks (+120)
The Pick: Wild (-142) AND Under 5.5
These two teams faced each other on Monday night to the tune of a 1-0 Anaheim win. Each teams’ scoring ineptitude was on full display, crushing this under, so I’m going back to the well to watch it again.
The young and rebuilding Ducks, who were home underdogs Monday, played surprisingly well against a good Wild team. While I don’t anticipate them to lie down in their second meeting, the Wild are undoubtedly a much better team and have a solid chance of winning by two or more goals.
Minnesota has hit the over twice this season, scoring four goals in each game, but it came against the lowly Kings and in come-from-behind fashion. I don’t expect them to trail for much, if at all, in this game. Back the Wild and the under.
Bonus tip: I mentioned yesterday that the Golden Knights and Coyotes would play each other four consecutive games. In the first game, the Knights proved their superiority during a come-from-behind win, 4-2, on Monday.
Don’t be afraid to add the Golden Knights (-205) to a parlay. And if they find themselves trailing like Monday’s game, consider taking them at plus money on the live line.
As always, best of luck if tailing.