Fire and ice: Hot and cold NHL bets

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by - 2/20/2009 12:48 PM Share
A gypsy with the most amazing crystal ball could not have predicted that a guy named Cory Clouston would make bettors hundreds of dollars this season.

The coaching change in Ottawa has risk takers quickly hopping on a once-deserted Senators band wagon. The key to cash in is to bet while the betting is good and right now the Senators, win or lose, are money in the bank. Here's a look at some hot and cold bets in the NHL.

Hot bets

Ottawa Senators - Puckline

The Ottawa Senators have won five of eight games since Craig Hartsburg got the axe. In six of those eight games they were the underdog. Picking the Sens straight up would have filled your pockets over the past two weeks. Even in their three losses under Cory Clouston, the Senators have managed to cover the puck line (+1.5) with a trio of one-goal losses. Ottawa continues to be the dog in most games at most books.

The strangest thing about the Senators' sudden surge is that no one player is making a huge difference. Cory Clouston has implemented a 2-1-2 forecheck allowing the Senators determining the tempo of the game. The high-octane forecheck has kept the puck out of Ottawa's defensive zone leading to a lighter workload for goaltenders Alex Auld and Brian Elliot. On the season, the Senators have allowed 2.73 goals against per game. In their last five contests, they are allowing an average of just 1.80 goals.

However, the Sens learned Thursday that they will be without star forward Daniel Alfredsson for at least a week after he fractured his jaw Tuesday. Alfredsson was struck in the face by a puck during the third period but returned to action. He leads Ottawa with 52 points on the season.

Washington Capitals - Over

Here's a simple strategy for you: When the Washington Capitals are playing take the over. In their last nine games, the Capitals have gone over the goal total seven times and pushed once.

The Capitals have a four-headed monster in the offensive zone and it's paying dividends. Alexander Ovechkin has 11 goals in his last ten games. Defenseman Mike Green set an NHL record by scoring in eight straight games. Ovechkin, Green, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom make the Capitals the only team in the NHL to have four players with at least 50 points.

At the other end of the ice, Jose Theodore is known for allowing a weak goal here or there which helps push the total over and forces the Capitals to open things up a bit.

Cold bets

Phoenix Coyotes - Moneyline

Either bet against the Coyotes or stay away from Phoenix entirely. Wayne Gretzky's crew has lost nine of their last ten games with their only victory being a 1-0 shutout in Dallas.

The offense has completely dried up in the desert. Phoenix has found the back of the net just twenty times in its last ten games. Olli Jokinen is scoring about as often as the captain of the high school chess team. He hasn't lit the lamp since January 20 which just happens to coincide with the beginning of the Coyotes slump. Rumors are now swirling around the big Finnish center as the trade deadline approaches.

New York Rangers - Moneyline

Special teams are anything but special for the Rangers. After starting the season red hot, the Rangers offense has dried up like a raisin. The Rangers have won just two of their past ten games.

They have managed to strike just 17 times in their past ten outings with five of those goals coming in a surprising win over Washington.

New York has a nice group of playmaking forwards in Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Nikolai Zherdev however it lacks finishers. The team is dead last in goals scored despite taking the sixth most shots on net.

Stay away from the Rangers money line, however, watch the totals closely. The boys from Broadway continue to get totals set at 5.5 despite having the league's most inept offense and an outstanding goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist.


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