Duff’s Lock of the Week: The Perfect Storm

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January 30 2010

Written to Sports Betting by Duff85

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"Get on board the Carolina Hurricanes in Duff's Lock of the Week, with thanks to Bet 247"
January 30, 2010

As promised on the PokerNetwork Sports Betting Show, I've gone and found an Ice Hockey pick for the NHL action on Sunday morning (Australian time). I'm going to take one of the worst teams in the NHL, as they play host to the best team in hockey. The play I like may sound a little whacky, but there are reasons for it.

I'm going to be on the Carolina Hurricanes (18-28-7) tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks (37-13-4). This may seem like suicide until you look a little deeper.

First off the game will be the Blackhawks eighth consecutive on the road. In the past fifteen days, Chicago have criss-crossed the North American continent multiple times. They come into the game off a hard-fought overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (US time), and now enter this Saturday night game (US time) having flown coast to coast, from California to North Carolina in the American Southeast.

It's been a tough year for the Carolina Hurricanes team, but of late they've found a purple patch winning three on the trot and outscoring their opponents by a 14-3 margin in the process. While Chicago may be scoring a heap, and winning games, they've been leaking goals at the back, conceding over 3 goals a game during their road run. Carolina have scored over 4 goals a game in their last five games, so at the very least they have a 'punchers chance' in the game, given that it's highly likely they are going to score multiple goals.

The entire Carolina team has been seemingly been boosted by the leadership of new captain Eric Staal. He has netted eight goals in the past five games and the scoring has picked up around him with Matt Cullen and Ray Whitney catching fire as well. Starting goaltender Cam Ward has been a rock at the back for the Canes of late, earning a 1.44 goals-against average in his last five starts. This stacks up well against the Blackhawks first choice net-minder Cristobal Huet who has given up 2.4 goals per game his last five outings.

Another thing working for the Hurricanes is the history of the match up. Carolina have won seven of their past eight games against Chicago and have not lost in the RBC Center (the venue for the game) against Chicago in more than 12 years.

Carolina may or may not win tomorrow, but with their impressive form, and Chicago’s weary road legs, combined with a poor history against the Hurricanes – I'm thinking that the $2.51 offered by Bet24/7 on a Carolina Hurricanes win is fat value, and that's where I'll be plonking my money this week.

The game is at 11:05am on Sunday morning AEDST.

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