Free NHL Betting Picks for January 18th

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After breaking down all the matchups on Saturdays NHL slate by crunching the numbers and analyzing the betting trends, I have released my top three picks that you can take to the bank.

Saturday, February 1st
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
Money Line: Tampa Bay(+117)/Montreal(-127)
Tampa Bay has dropped its last two games to fall four points behind Boston in the Atlantic Division with 67 points. It is now 5-4-1 in its last 10 games and winless in three of its last five road games. The Lightning have still done a good job finding the back of the net, but the defense has been suspect as a late; allowing an average of 3.5 goals in their last six games as opposed to goals-against average of 2.5 on the year.
The Canadiens are another four points back in the division with 63 total points after back-to-back victories over Carolina and Boston by a combined score of 7-1. This run snapped a four-game losing streak. Montreal now returns homes for four games with an overall record at the Bell Centre of 15-9-3. It is averaging just 2.4 goals a game, but remains one of the top defensive teams in the league with a GAA of 2.4. The Lightning have lost four of its last five games in Montreal and that losing trend continues this Saturday.

Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Money Line: Ottawa(-103)/ Toronto(-107)
Total Line: Over 5.5 -118
Staying in the Atlantic Division, the Senators moved to 5-2-3 in their last 10 games with a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay this past Thursday as 108 home favorites on 5Dimes closing moneyline. Ottawa has now scored three or more goals in six of their last eight outings and it has a 4-1-1 record in its last six road games. It has improved to 12-9-5 on the road this season.
Toronto is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games to move within seven points of the Bruins in the division title race. The Maple Leafs have pumped-out an average of four goals a game in their last nine contests including a combined nine goals in back-to-back victories over Tampa Bay and Florida in their last two contests. On the year, Toronto is ranked ninth in the NHL in scoring with 2.9 goals a game and Martin St. Louis has been the driving force with a team-high 25 goals and 28 assists. The Maple Leafs have won eight of the last nine meetings, but given Ottawa’s current form, I am going with the OVER in this game on a likely total line of 5.5.

Nashville Predators vs. St. Louis Blues
Money Line: Nashville (+187)/ St. Louis(-204)
Total Line: Under 5.5 -137
Nashville is buried in sixth place in the Central Division with 56 total points but it continues to try and scratch and claw its way up the conference standings with a 5-3-2 record in its last 10 games. The concern for the Predators heading into this matchup is the fatigue factor from playing their fifth road game since Jan. 23. They have just faced three of the worst teams in the conference (Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg) and could only muster a 1-1-1 mark.
The Blues remain in hot pursuit of Chicago for the lead in the Central and they are now just two points back with a total of 77 points after winning their last three games. This past Tuesday, St. Louis blanked New Jersey 3-0 as a 182 home favorite to improve to a rock solid 19-5-2 at the Scottrade Center. Fatigue could be a factor as well with a Friday night clash in Carolina as 135 road favorites, but I still like the Blues’ chances to take down Nashville at home with relative ease on Saturday night.

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