NHL Picks - Free Hockey Predictions

Puck Heads can get another opinion on some of the games from our resident hockey handicapper who gives out his free NHL picks throughout the hockey season. Stop by frequently to see what wagers Ross Staring is laying down on in his quest to make the hockey season a winning one.

Sunday Apr 23, 2017

I’m going to go with the Leafs here. Toronto has played well at home this season finishing eight games above .500 and split the four games that they have hosted the Caps. They had every right to win in Game 5 as they carried the play the majority of the game. They will need to get their power play going after going 0/4 in Game 5, but a reversal should be in the cards after having success in most of the games in this series. The value definitely lies on the home side.

Free Pick: 
Take the Toronto Maple Leafs +135
Saturday Apr 22, 2017

The Blues dominated the early part of this series by shutting down Minnesota’s potent offensive attack, but Wednesday’s loss could mark a turning point especially with the way that Dubnyk played in goal for the Wild.

Bank on Minnesota using the better odds on the puck line to make things interesting with a big win at home in Game 5 by dominating play on both ends of the ice.

Free Pick: 
Take the Minnesota Wild - 1.5
Wednesday Apr 19, 2017

It is hard to believe that the top team in the West has dug itself into such a deep hole, but Chicago did stumble into the postseason with just three wins in its final 10 regular season games. Nashville has taken full advantage of the situation with a shutdown defense that has frustrated the Blackhawks at every turn.

While I would not bet against Chicago with its backs against the wall as a road underdog, I believe the “best bet” pick in Game 4 is to stick with the UNDER 5 on the total line in a defensive battle similar to Game 1.

Free Pick: 
Take the Under 5
Tuesday Apr 18, 2017

I think that New York will rise to the occasion behind a strong effort by Lundqvist to tie this series at two games apiece with the victory on Tuesday night, but it is going to be a back-and-forth hard-fought battle for all three periods.

I also think that both defenses will stand tall in Game 4 to keep the total UNDER the current five-goal line.

Free Pick: 
Take the Under 5
Saturday Apr 15, 2017

These two rivals have been playing each other tough all season long and I would expect another close matchup on Saturday. Ottawa swept the regular season series 4-0 and I like the Senators as slight underdogs to even things up in Game 2, but the best way to bet this game is the UNDER on the five-goal total line.

The total has now stayed UNDER in five of the last seven meetings dating back to last season and I am looking for this trend to hold true on Saturday afternoon.

Free Pick: 
Take the Under 5
Saturday Apr 08, 2017

The Islanders will probably get the victory here, but to lay that number on a team that has a lengthy injury list is not a prudent choice for your bankroll. I’m going to play the total. The Devils can get lit up as shown by their 7-4 spanking by the Penguins in their most recent, but that was the first time that they have allowed over three goals in regulation in seven games. New Jersey’s offense has been dreadful in recent games with the same Pittsburgh game as the only contest that they surpassed three goals in their last ten games. In fact the Devils have scored one or fewer goals in five of the six games prior to their lastest. They’ll take on an Islanders team without John Tavares and a team that has been getting it done on defense. They’ve allowed a paltry four goals over their last four games and only one team has turned the red light on more than three times in their last 12 games. Cory Schneider is expected to be in between the pipes for the Devils and he has been a disaster, but he did turn in a good performance earlier this season against tonight’s foe and can turn it around tonight.

Free Pick: 
Take the UNDER 5 +100
Saturday Apr 01, 2017

The Pacific has been one of the most competitive divisions all season long with the top four teams trading wins for losses in their individual season series. This particular matchup has been one of the best and Saturday night’s rubber game should be a good, hard-fought battle for all three periods.

In the end, I am leaning towards Edmonton taking the season series with the win on Saturday as once again home ice prevails.

Free Pick: 
Take the Edmonton Oilers -125
Saturday Mar 25, 2017

I went with Ottawa last Saturday as a slight home underdog and came up just short in Montreal’s tight 4-3 shootout victory. I still like the Senators’ chances to avenge last weekend’s sweep with a victory this Saturday night, but I am more focused on the total line in this game as my ‘best bet’ pick.

The betting and scoring trends favor the OVER in this matchup, but given what is on the line as far as the regular season series tiebreaker in a very tight division title race, I think both team’s goalies bring their A game to keep the total UNDER the five-goal line.

Free Pick: 
Take the Under 5
Saturday Mar 18, 2017

Both of these teams will be looking to quickly return to the form that led to each of their recent winning streaks in this home-and-home series opener. The slight edge might go to Montreal if Anderson cannot go for the Senators in goal, but home ice could be the great equalizer between two teams that know each other extremely well.

I am still going with Ottawa on Saturday night regardless of who gets the start in goal since I just cannot see this team losing three straight at home.

Free Pick: 
Take the Senators +100
Saturday Mar 11, 2017

You would have to give Tampa Bay the edge in Saturday’s game given the strong trends for the home team in this matchup. Florida will not have to travel all that far, but it will be still be playing back-to-back games which also swings things towards the Lightning.

While there is some added risk going chalk on the current moneyline odds, I would still bet on Tampa Bay to get the job done against its in-state rivals to even the season series at two games apiece.

Free Pick: 
Take Tampa Bay -135
Saturday Mar 04, 2017

Montreal comes into this game with the hotter hand and New York has played much better on the road this season to give the slight lean to the Canadiens as road underdogs to sweep the season series.

With a combination of favorable betting trends and two stout defenses on both ends of the ice, my “best bet” pick in this one is the UNDER on the total line, especially if Grabner cannot go for New York.

Free Pick: 
Take the Under 5
Saturday Feb 25, 2017

In a battle between two division foes headed in the opposite direction, even the excitement of an outdoor stadium game will not be enough to ignite any kind of spark in a once promising Philadelphia scoring attack. You know that Pittsburgh’s top guns are going to show up in a game that could quickly turn one sided.

With no value in the inflated -206 money line on Pittsburgh, I would take the better odds on the puck line in a game that the Penguins easily win by two or more goals.

Free Pick: 
Take the Penguins -1.5
Saturday Feb 18, 2017

The Oilers have played well since Saturday’s loss with 11 goals in their last two games, but the well-rested Blackhawks went into their extended break about as hot a team as any in the league. Chicago also knows just how important a series sweep would be with a tough stretch of four games in six nights following the week off.

I would take the Blackhawks to pull off the sweep at home given their current winning streak. However, with the total line for Saturday’s matchup set at 5, I am going with the OVER in the backend of this home-and-home conference clash as my “best bet” pick.

Free Pick: 
Take the Over 5
Saturday Feb 11, 2017

Anaheim still remains one of the top teams in the NHL and a legitimate contender to win the Western Conference; however the Ducks are coming into a very tough situation to get a second-straight win on the road. The simple fact of the matter is Washington is the best team in the league probably playing its best hockey of the year.

The road team does have the recent edge in this series, but I am not about to bet against the Capitals. In fact, taking Washington and the -1.5 goals (+158) on the puck line is the way I am going in this one given just how good this team has looked during its current five-game winning streak.

Free Pick: 
Take the Washington Capitals -1.5
Saturday Feb 04, 2017

Anytime you have two division rivals that are very familiar with one another it becomes a bit more difficult to predict how a game might actually play out. This is especially true for this Saturday’s matchup given Boston’s current injury situation.

The Maple Leafs have the early edge in the season series, but I still like the Bruins to get the win on Saturday even if Rask is on the shelf. I also think that Boston should be able to outscore their rivals to take this game OVER the total line.

Free Pick: 
Take the Over 5.5
Saturday Jan 21, 2017

Both of these teams are at the top of their respective divisions through the first half of the season and while the Ducks have won a number of games on the strength of their defense, the Wild can beat you either way as one of the most balanced teams in the league.

Anaheim has gotten the best of things in this series over the past several years, but I am taking the Wild at home this Saturday to take a 2-0 series edge this season following an earlier 2-1 road win on Jan. 8.

Free Pick: 
Take the Minnesota Wild -135
Saturday Jan 14, 2017

Both of these teams have struggled with inconsistency this season with the Flyers having their issues on defense and the Bruins coming up short in the scoring department. Philadelphia has also struggled to win on the road, while home ice has not been all that kind to Boston.

When it comes to Saturday’s match-up I would have to lean towards the Bruins as home favorites given some of the past trends in this series. However, when it comes to betting on this game I am going with the UNDER on the total line as my top play.

Free Pick: 
Take the UNDER 5 -DS
Saturday Jan 14, 2017

Both of these teams have struggled with inconsistency this season with the Flyers having their issues on defense and the Bruins coming up short in the scoring department. Philadelphia has also struggled to win on the road, while home ice has not been all that kind to Boston.

When it comes to Saturday’s match-up I would have to lean towards the Bruins as home favorites given some of the past trends in this series. However, when it comes to betting on this game I am going with the UNDER on the total line as my top play.

Free Pick: 
Take the UNDER 5 -DS
Sunday Jun 12, 2016

I have been wrong at almost every turn in this series between my plays on a side as well as on the total line, but I always thought in the back of my mind that it would still go the full seven games. Since I am not backing down on that prediction my "best bet" pick for Game 6 is San Jose.

Free Pick: 
Take the San Jose Sharks -115
Thursday Jun 09, 2016

The Sharks are obviously in over their head in this series against the faster skating Penguins and I do not see things turning around on the road this Wednesday night. You know that Pittsburgh does not want to make another long trip to the West Coast so look for the home team to take care of business in this one.

Free Pick: 
Take the Pittsburgh Penguins -148

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