USA Today Sports

Pucking the trends: This week's best NHL bets

Every week, we update you on who's hot, who's not and situational betting spots in the National Hockey League.

For the week of Oct. 21-27.


Hot team

Minnesota Wild (3-0 SU)

The Wild had a great week as they posted victories over the Nashville Predators, Carolina Hurricanes and the Chicago Blackhawks. Minnesota has been paced by stellar goaltending from both Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom. We'll see how strong the Wild are as the the 'Hawks come to town with revenge in mind Tuesday night.

Cold team

Detroit Red Wings (0-3 SU)

The Winged Wheel got off to a great start, typical of the stellar franchise. That went pear shaped quickly as the Wings have dropped four-straight games and lost all three efforts this past week. Even worse, the three losses came at home against San Jose, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.

Best Over play

Phoenix Coyotes (3-0 O/U)

The Coyotes are a young and exciting team and strong defensively. Supposedly. You'd think a blue line featuring Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle and Mike Smith between the pipes would keep scorelines low. Apparently not so. The 'Yotes sit 25th in the league with 3.17 and gave up seven to the Kings earlier this week.

Best Under play

Buffalo Sabres (1-2 O/U)

The lowly Sabres are the best Under play on the season at 3-9 O/U and have played under the total in back-to-back games heading into the new week. Buffalo is having huge problems lighting lamp and are dead-last in the league averaging 1.46 goals per game. On the flip side, goalies Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth were extremely good throughout the week. There's a good chance they could appease Under bettors this upcoming week as they face fellow low-scoring teams like the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers.

Surveying the schedule

- The Boston Bruins are a perfect 4-0 on the road and have two big road games this upcoming week. They are at the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday and at the New York Islanders Saturday evening.

- The Vancouver Canucks have been a dominant 5-2-1 against Eastern Conference opponents this season. The Canucks begin a a three-game road trip Monday night at Washington and then travel to Detroit Wednesday before facing the Leafs at Toronto Saturday night.

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