Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
Hockey Pick: Vancouver +160 odds (October 23rd 2014)
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The Vancouver Canucks are coming off a 6-3 loss at Dallas on Tuesday. Ryan Miller had a night to forget, allowing five goals on 13 shots before getting the hook early in the second period. Vancouver rallied to out-score the Stars 3-1 the rest of the way, and Radim Vrbata scored his fourth goal of the season. I think the Canucks will bounce back with a much better effort in St. Louis tonight.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. The Twins – Vancouver’s top line features a pair of former scoring champions in Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and they are playing their best hockey in years alongside Radim Vrbata who came over in the off-season from Phoenix. The trio have combined to score seven goals and 21 points so far this season.
2. Goaltending – The Canucks might opt to go with backup Eddie Lack, who went went 3-0-0 with a 0.97 GAA helping the Canucks sweep the season series last year. The Blues have already announced that their #2 netminder Jake Allen will start tonight. He’s 1-1 with a 3.00 GAA in two previous starts versus Vancouver.
3. X-Factor – The Canucks should be in good shape if they can stay out of the penalty box, St. Louis is tied for last in the NHL with just six even strength goals.
Selection: This is a play on the Vancouver Canucks (Free)
Cleveland Browns vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 7 NFL Prediction: Jacksonville +5 (October 19th 2014)
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The Jaguars are being undervalued because they are 0-6. Cleveland is 3-2 but two of its wins have come by three points combined. Four of its games have been decided by three points or less so I can’t justify laying five points with the Browns on the road. Jacksonville defeated Cleveland 32-28 on the road last season and will draw confidence from that victory. The Browns are one of those teams that seem to play up or down to the level of their competition. They are 0-6 ATS the last two seasons versus poor defensive teams that give up 24.0 ppg or more, losing to these teams by an average of 9.2 points. Additionally, underdogs of 3.5 to 10.0 points that have been held to 14 points or less in two straight games are 31-10 ATS the last five seasons, including 19-4 ATS the last three seasons. Grab the points. Get more NFL football picks from Jeff Alexander here
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Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills
NFL Pick: Buffalo -5.5 (October 19th 2014)
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The Vikings couldn’t get anything done offensively in last week’s 17-3 home loss to Detroit. They had only 212 yards of offense for the game. Expect Minnesota’s offensive shortcomings to haunt them once again in Buffalo. The Bills rank first against the run, eighth in scoring defense and 11th in total defense. They are also among the league leaders in sacks with 19. The Bills were kicked at home by division rival New England last week, and I expect them to be highly motivated here as a result. They are 8-1 ATS the last three seasons in home games following a loss, winning by an average score of 26.3 to 18.3 in this spot. While Minnesota has performed well defensively, it has been susceptible to the run, and I believe Buffalo will take advantage. The Bills should be able to establish the run game, which will set up some big play opportunities in the play-action passing game. The Vikings are 1-4 ATS in their last five and 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games after being held to less than 15 points in their previous game. Lay the points.
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