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NHL Free Pick for 12/16/09–Falling (Maple) Leafs – SportsUntapped.com
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Added December 16th, 2009 by David Glisan

NHL Free Pick for 12/16/09–Falling (Maple) Leafs
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0-1-1 on Tuesday as our NBA totals play lost and our side play pushed.  We’ll go back to the NHL tonight.  As we’ve discussed in the past, much of successful sports gambling is finding something that works and repeating it.  That’s not exactly true–the successful player finds something that works, continually evaluates it and then repeats it.  The trick is to figure out when the concept appears to be ‘losing steam’ before you start suffering losing plays.  That’s the problem with playing trends blindly:  you’re missing profits as the trend develops and losing money as it deteriorates.

Tonight we’re going to go back to something that has worked all season long and based on my analysis should keep working for at least the near term.

PHOENIX COYOTES VS. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Did you know that before the NHL Phoenix Coyotes moved to Arizona from Winnipeg that there was a professional hockey team there called the Phoenix Roadrunners?  In a perfect world, they’d still be there so I could make countless ‘roadrunner v. coyote’ references.  By now you should see where we’re going with this–we’ll be playing the Coyotes ‘under’ every opportunity we get for the foreseeable future.  That’s the beautiful thing about hockey totals:  while you don’t have the ‘margin for error’ that you do in other sports, the flipside of that is that there’ s not a lot of room for the linesmaker to compensate for teams that play ‘over’ or ‘under’ the total with regularity.  Additionally, the lower scoring makes the team’s game to game output much more predictable.  You’ll lose a play here and there on a ‘soft’ goal or other unusual occurrence, but successful NHL teams are built to play a certain way.  Most successful teams are built to play good defense, limiting opponent’s scoring opportunities and having a good goaltender to stop the shots that do get through.  Teams without playmakers on offense–like Phoenix–have no other option but to play this style of hockey if they want to win.  The Coyotes are #29 of 30 NHL teams in scoring offense, but 4th in the NHL in scoring defense.  As long as this disparity holds up, they’ll remain a solid ‘under’ play.

Toronto has been playing better of late, and they’re a team that can score goals.  They’re ranked #7 in scoring offense, and 29th in scoring defense so clearly their ‘goal’ is the diametric opposite of the Coyotes and they want to outscore their opponents.  In a matchup of contrasting styles it comes down to which team will better be able to ‘impose their will’ and control the tempo and style of the game.  Not only in hockey, but in all sports, defense usually wins out.  We’re not sold on the Maple Leafs despite their recent success, and we’ll stick with the Coyotes–usually by playing the ‘under’–until circumstances dictate that we do otherwise.  Tonight, the Maple Leafs’ offensive abilities gives us a bigger total to go under and we’ll gladly do so.

PLAY PHOENIX/TORONTO UNDER 6

 
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