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Added December 30th, 2009 by David Glisan

NHL betting free picks for Wednesday:  Colorado vs. Ottawa

Back to NHL betting action as the surprising Colorado Avalanche travels to the Scotiabank Place to play the Ottawa Senators.  The Avalanche didn’t make the playoffs last year but they’re currently tied for third place in the Western Conference, 5 points behind first place San Jose and Chicago.  Ottawa is improved from last season as well, thanks in large part to a 14-5-2 record on their home ice.  The Senators currently hold down the #6 spot in the Western Conference.

COLORADO AVALANCHE VS. OTTAWA SENATORS:

Ottawa was already without center Jason Spezza (knee injury) and they just lost team captain Daniel Alfredson with a shoulder injury.  These are arguably the Senators two best offensive players, so they’ll be hard pressed to replace their productivity.  Colorado ranks 8th in the league in goal scoring, but they’re a team that plays a more conservative style on the road.  Ottawa ranks 11th in scoring defense, so they’ll likely become more reliant on their defense and goaltending with their diminished offensive firepower.

The Avs have gone ‘under’ in 14 of 22 on the road while the Senators have gone ‘under’ or pushed in 13 of 22 at home.  Craig Andersson will likely get the start in net for Colorado, though backup Peter Budaj has played well in relief (he’s gone ‘under’ in 6 of his 7 starts this year).  Pascal Leclaire will likely be between the pipes for Ottawa, though his backup Brian Elliott is competent as well.

Ultimately, the most compelling statistic in this game fits into our ‘styles make fights’ theory of NHL totals.  6 of the last 7 games between the Senators and Avs at Scotiabank Place have gone ‘under’ the total as did last year’s only meeting, a 3-2 Colorado win.  Look for a similar result here.

PLAY COLORADO/OTTAWA UNDER 5′

 
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