Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Pick: Pittsburgh -1.5 +154 odds (April 1st 2015)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers will clash in an all Metropolitan Division match-up Wednesday night. The Flyers have dominated this series over recent seasons but I think that’s about to change and like the price we get on the Pens to win this one big.
Here are my keys to the game:
1. Situational/Motivational – The Flyers have won only two of their last 11 games, both on home ice. They have no shot of making the playoffs sitting 12th in the East, 14 points back of the Bruins and the final wild card in the conference. Admittedly they have won six straight meetings with the Pens, including two this season, but that might not work to their advantage here. The Penguins must be desperate to end that Flyers dominance and show who the best team in Pennsylvania really is, as if they needed more motivation fighting with the Islanders for second spot in the division as well.
2. Road Woes – Only the Maple Leafs have less road wins than the Flyers on the season. They’re a pathetic 9-20-10 away from home and have lost nine straight outside of their own building.
3. X-Factor – The Flyers netminder Steve Mason is 1-12-6 with a 2.64 GAA in 22 starts away from home so far this season.
Selection: This is a play on the Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5.
New York Rangers vs. Winnipeg Jets
NHL Pick: Winnipeg Jets +100 (March 31st 2015)
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The Jets will be looking to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to Central Division rival the Blackhawks Sunday as they’re hosting the New York Rangers tonight. They’re a perfect 5-0 in their last five playing on one day of rest while the visitors have shown little urgency of late coming off back-to-back losses having the Metropolitan Division title all but wrapped up already. Henrik Lundqvist conceded four goals on 30 shots against the Bruins Saturday in his first game back after sitting out with an injury for almost a month, and Cam Talbot gave up four as well the following day. Perhaps it will take some time for the Rangers to reap the benefits of having King Henrik back as neither goalie can be certain on how the Rangers will handle their goaltender situation moving forward.
Winnipeg has been hot of late despite losing its last time out claiming six of its last eight match-ups including four of five in its own building. It is holding down the final wild card in the West, but has the chasing LAK only two points back. It won 1-0 in OT at MSG back in November and must relish its chances of completing the season sweep tonight. The Jets are in dire need of the points while the Rangers can afford to coast just a while longer before getting down to business for the upcoming playoffs again.
Considering all the situational aspects I think we’re getting a great price on the Jets here.
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Stanford vs. Old Dominion
Basketball Pick: Stanford -2.5 (March 31st 2015)
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Old Dominion held on to beat Illinois State 50-49 at home and then pulled off the big win over Murray State at home 72-69 to reach the NIT semifinals in New York. Of the 4 teams left in the NIT, I believe the Monarchs will have the most difficult time adjusting to the big stage of Madison Square Garden. All you have to do is look at Old Dominion’s home/away splits to see how much this team benefited from getting all 3 of their games so far in the NIT at home and even then they were fortunate to win. Stanford might be just 6-10 on the road, but they are better equipped to play on the road and I look for them to dominate this game from start to finish. Cardinal should have the edge on the boards, at the free throw line and in the turnover battle. Roll Stanford -2.5!
Boston Celtics vs. Charlotte Hornets
NBA Prediction: Charlotte -3 (March 30th 2015)
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The Charlotte Hornets get the nod Monday as only 3-point home favorites over the Boston Celtics. This is a big game for both teams as Boston is a 1/2-game behind Brooklyn for the No. 8 seed in the East, while Charlotte is 1-game behind Brookyn.
What I really like about this play is the rest for both teams coming in. Charlotte had yesterday off following a huge 115-100 win over Atlanta on Saturday. Boston played yesterday in a 106-119 home loss to the Clippers. Boston will now be playing the second of a back-to-back and its 6th game in 9 days.
Charlotte is an impressive 43-21 ATS versus up-tempo teams that average 83 or more shots per game over the last two seasons. The Celtics are 1-5 ATS in their last six games overall. The Hornets are 5-1 ATS in their last six after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game. Bet the Hornets Monday.
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Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes
NHL Pick: Buffalo +1.5 (March 30th 2015)
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These two teams met in Buffalo last week, in a historical game that will always be remembered for the fact that Buffalo fans cheered when Arizona scored the overtime winner. That all but sealed up the top draft lottery spot for the Sabres, who many feel have been tanking to get Connor McDavid. Starting backup goaltender Matthew Hackett in that game was certainly an indication that the Sabres had very little interest in winning. Hackett is 0-4 with a 4.42 GAA this season, and he was pulled after surrendering three goals on 10 shots in a loss at Colorado on Saturday.
The Sabres rallied to score three goals in the third period of that game, but Anders Lindback allowed two more goals on just a dozen shots. We are likely to see Lindback get the start in the rematch tonight, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sabres go all out for a win here. Arizona is a huge favorite in this game, despite the fact that goaltender Mike Smith is still on pace to break a 20 year old record for the most losses by a starting goaltender. Arizona has lost seven straight on home ice, and 16 of it’s last 17 in Glendale.
These teams have played close games in recent meetings, with four of the last five decided by one goal, and three of those requiring overtime. The Sabres have actually won four straight visits to Arizona.
Take BUF +1.5