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 Dec. 16 - Dec. 22
Anaheim Ducks (3-0 SU)
Nothing can stop the red-hot Ducks these days - not even an East Coast road swing. The Ducks strode into hostile Detroit to start the week and escaped with a 5-2 victory in what was one of the team's best games of the year. Anaheim followed that up with a 3-2 overtime victory in New Jersey and capped its perfect week with its eighth consecutive victory, a 5-3 decision over the New York Islanders in which Ryan Getzlaf notched his second career hat trick. Anaheim wraps up its four-game trek Monday in Washington before hosting Phoenix and visiting San Jose over the weekend.
Edmonton Oilers (0-3 SU)
Major changes may be in the future in Edmonton after the lowly Oilers endured another difficult week. Dallas Eakins' club opened with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Kings before dropping a 4-2 decision in Colorado, before winding things up with a terrible effort en route to a 6-0 home loss to St. Louis. The Oilers have dropped six-straight games and rank near the bottom of the league in most statistical categories. The week ahead is slightly more promising, with home games against Winnipeg and Philadelphia and a road tilt with provincial rival Calgary.
Best over play
Philadelphia Flyers (3-0 O/U)
Things are looking up in the City of Brotherly Love, where the Flyers completed the long trek back to .500 after a dismal start to the season. Philadelphia kicked things off with a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals, then followed it up with a 5-4 triumph over Columbus. A poor defensive effort in the finale of the home-and-home with the Blue Jackets resulted in a 6-3 defeat, but with just two games next week - home to Minnesota and at Edmonton - and with the offense humming along, expect more solid "over" play from the Flyers.
Best under play
Dallas Stars (1-3 O/U)
In a week where the Over dominated the league, the Stars were the exception - and just barely, playing their final three games of the week just a half-goal under the total. That certainly hasn't been the trend in Dallas, where the Stars are 18-15 O/U for the campaign and are one of only four Western Conference teams to have scored and allowed more than 100 goals so far this season. However, with games against defensive powers Los Angeles and St. Louis coming up in a short week, Dallas may be a strong Under play again.
Surveying the schedule
The holiday docket is a light one, with teams enjoying three days off in the middle. The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the more intriguing plays of the week, as they look to extend their seven-game winning streak and already colossal lead atop the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins have been a surprisingly reliable Under play to date - going 15-19-4 O/U - but played three straight Overs to end last week as the Sidney Crosby-led offense hits its stride. Pittsburgh plays road games at Ottawa, Carolina and Columbus this week.