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NHL Free Pick for 1/31/2018

The Flyers and Capitals Get Ready to Tangle on Rivalry Night

The 1/31 NHL free pick sees game three of four in the season series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. It’s been all Flyers thus far in the series, most notably an 8-2 beatdown in mid October and also an OT thriller Philly win 10 days ago. Oddsmakers are expecting Washington to flex their muscles as the leaders of the Metropolitan, listing them as -145 for the night. The Flyers want to make it three in a row over Washington this year and further entrench themselves in the lead for the remaining wild card slot in the Eastern Conference.

Wednesday Night Marked by Questions in Goal for Philadelphia

1/31 NHL free pick
Couterier has been doing a lot of celebrating for the Flyers lately.

The Flyers starting goaltender Brian Elliott (19-11-7) missed the team’s last game before the all-star break and was placed on the IR Monday with a lower body injury. This means the team will turn to Michael Neuvirth on rivalry night and potentially for a good chunk of the remaining 33 games of the regular season. Neuvirth is just 5-6-1 on the year and doesn’t come into the 1/31 NHL free pick with a whole lot of confidence after allowing five goals on 27 shots his last start against Tampa Bay. Add to the fact that Neuvirth has reportedly been under the weather the past few days and Washington could put up their own crooked number at home tonight.

If Philadelphia can get some production in net they have a good chance of scoring the upset tonight as a +125 underdog. Philly has won 8 of their last 10 and have scored 3+ goals in 7 of those games. The Flyers have the offense to start off the remainder of the season on a positive note as Sean Couterier has 13 points his last 10 games while Claude Giroux is tied for 5th in the league in points.

Is Washington Mentally Ready for Philadelphia?

1/31 NHL free pick
It’s always risky betting against Alex Ovechkin at home on national TV.

Backup Phillip Grubauer was in net when the Flyers tallied 8 goals against the Caps back in October and the team sends starter Braden Holtby between the pipes tonight. Holtby (24-9-2) did collect the OT loss 10 days ago however as Philly slipped two pucks past him on only 23 shots. Despite the lack of opportunities in that last matchup for the Flyers, it’s actually Washington’s offense that ranks last in the NHL in shots on goal. They do make the most out of those chances though, ranking 10th in the league in scoring. That’s not something Neuvirth wants to see for Philadelphia in the 1/31 NHL free pick.

Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal for the Caps in the last matchup with Philadelphia and the leading goal scorer in the league needs a big night again on Wednesday. Washington needs a win in their first game back from the all-star break after losing three of four prior. Being at home should be a big boost to the Capitals as they have won 5 of the last 7 versus Philadelphia at the aptly named Capital One Arena. Philadelphia isn’t a bad road team however, going 11-8-2 away from their home ice this year.

1/31 NHL Free Pick Betting

The Caps are -145 favorites in the 1/31 NHL free pick despite dropping the first two of the year against Philadelphia. 64% of the public is liking Washington to get one back on their home ice tonight. That being said, the Flyers are just playing some real good hockey right now. Philadelphia is 8-2 in their last 10 games and are 4-1 in their last 5 road tilts. Neuvirth is an unknown in net for the Flyers, but he was fighting an illness when giving up 5 goals to Tampa Bay last game and had won three straight prior. Philadelphia has the offensive talent to overcome any shortcomings in net as well.

Pick: Philadelphia Flyers +125

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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