The 2017-2018 NHL season is here. My expert picks for this week start on Friday, October 13th. That may sound ominous, but bet big and cash in!
— NHL (@NHL) October 8, 2017
Will the Rangers or Columbus stay away from the bad luck that comes from Friday the 13? On Saturday, St. Louis travels to Tampa Bay to battle the hottest team in the Stanly Cup Futures books, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Can Tampa beat a top Central Division team? Sunday’s matchup has the New York Islanders heading to L.A. to battle the Kings. Who is the team to back? The Kings or the Islanders?
NHL Expert Picks Oct 9-15
NY Rangers at Columbus
When: Friday, Oct. 13 at 9:00 pm ET
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus Ohio
TV: NHL Net
Analysis: As of October 8, Columbus is 1 and 1 after 2 matches. The good news for the Blue Jackets and their fans is that offseason acquisition Artemi Panarin already has 3 points. Zach Werenski has already taken 8 shots.
Columbus beat the Islanders 5 to 0 before losing 1 to 5 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Columbus should be a big favorite in this matchup. The Rangers are already 2 and 0 as of October 8. NYR allowed 8 goals to Toronto in a 5 to 8 loss on Oct. 7.
Although it’s difficult to swallow low odds, I can’t look past Columbus. The Rangers’ defense doesn’t appear any better than Columbus’ while Panarin has had a hot start to the season.
I like the Blue Jackets.
St. Louis at Tampa Bay
When: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:00 pm ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Analysis: Tampa Bay has a nice 1 and 1 record after their first 2 games of the season. The Lightning beat Florida 5 to 3. They lost to Florida 4 to 5.
This could be the game where we find out how good Tampa really is. The Lightning battles a hot St. Louis Blues squad. St. Louis is 2 and 0 as of Oct. 8 after beating Pittsburgh 5 to 4 and Dallas 4 to 2.
I think the Blues are for real. Although Tampa Bay has every right to win this match, I’ll take the above even money odds on St. Louis. The Lightning is the fourth game in a 4-game road trip that also includes the Islanders, the Rangers, and Florida.
Since Tampa is the fourth game, St. Louis’ odds should be higher than they should be. It might not be wise to go for it. But, that’s what I’m doing.
Pick: St. Louis
NY Islanders at Los Angeles
When: Sunday, Oct. 15 at 10:30 pm ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Analysis: The 1 and 1 New York Islanders beat Buffalo 6 to 3 after Columbus embarrassed them 5 to 0. John Tavares, one of NHL’s best players, already has 8 shots on the season.
I don’t have much hope that NYI sticks with the Kings on Sunday. The Islanders must battle St. Louis at home, Anaheim on the road, and San Jose on the road before tackling the Kings in Los Angeles.
It’s also important to note that the Kings are 2 and 0 after their first 2 games. L.A.’s defense has been fantastic. Goalie Jonathan Quick is 2 and 0. He’s yielded only 1 goal in 6 periods of play.
I am betting the Kings win this game on the puck line.
Pick: Los Angeles puck line