Week 13: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview

Gophers Hockey NCAA

We may have moved into a whole new year, but the College Hockey Rankings haven’t changed much at all. That shouldn’t be all that surprising with so few games last week and the ones that were played weren’t exactly barn-burners. With so many talented players gone at the World Juniors Championship, many teams have pre-scheduled breaks/byes in addition to a long holiday absence. They’ve learned just how bad some unexpected losses can hurt them without their superstars on the ice and adjusted accordingly.

With those teams sitting stagnant in the rankings, the door is open for other programs to make moves. Is anyone going to be sneaking into the top ten that hasn’t sniffed it yet this year? No, absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that a team in the mid-twenties couldn’t make a push to get some national attention by getting ranked in any one of the polls. That kind of confidence boost cannot be understated for a team still looking for their identity. Its a time where some teams are just going through the motions while others are taking advantage of the opportunity in front of them.

Updated Weekly Picks

Another week gone, and another week where we went 4-1-0!! We are on one hell of a heater and my new years resolution is to carry that momentum throughout 2024. It’s so simple. Just win more bets. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do this! I’m very excited to get back into the swing of meaningful games in College Hockey, but I’m even more excited to watch team USA come home with a Gold medal! U-S-A! U-S-A!!

If you think you’re smarter than me, prove it. You can go onΒ BettorEdgeΒ and either set your own lines or pick up one that someone else (me) has already thrown out there. I’ll be putting affordable lines out there on each of these if you’re just looking to “dabble” a bit. Just make sure to use β€œ10K” at sign-up.

National College Hockey Rankings Roundup

Take this version of the College Hockey Rankings Roundup with a grain of salt. The Pairwise is ALWAYS up to date, but there are a few of these sources who haven’t updated anything since the middle of December. I’m not saying that makes it any less accurate because it’s been a competitive desert in terms of games being played, just stating facts. The biggest discrepancy on the whole list? Quinnipiac. It’s very clear that some people believe they can make another run without Yaniv Perets backstopping that lethal attack while others have significant doubts based on games they’ve already lost this season.

Dec 29th College Hockey Rankings Roundup

Note: The National Rankings Roundup weighs each of the ranking sources instead of treating them all as equal. This takes into account the credibility of the source, potential committee influence, what data they utilize, evident bias, and amount of teams ranked. USCHO and USA Hockey still remain the drivers.

Minnesota College Hockey Games

Minnesota, Duluth vs St Thomas – EXHIBITION – Sat, Jan. 6

Bulldogs vs Tommies

Stats:

29.9 – PP% – 14.1
80.0 – PK% – 75.4
45.1 – FO% – 49.5
0.947 – GF/GA – 1.018
.903 – SV% – .904

Vibes: Both teams want to win this game for very different reasons. UMD is STILL trying to find some semblance of consistency from week to week, let alone game to game. They’ve largely been playing to the level of their competition all year long. The only team with more ties than them this season is Arizona State. If they want the “warm and fuzzies” heading into the remainder of their conference play next weekend, they’ll need to control the pace and win by two.

With one hell of a start to the season, St Thomas is still trying to make a positive name for themselves in both the state of hockey as well as in the nation. While this game will count for absolutely nothing in terms of points or records, it means A LOT to the talented kids in the state yet to commit to a program who will see the score updates when the game ends. St Thomas is picking up more and more of these kids and a win here will (in my expert estimation) land them one more of those players who may be on the fence about the Tommies.

Prediction: Bulldogs get another semi-meaningless win.

#20 Colorado College vs #9/10 Minnesota – Sun & Mon, Jan. 7/8

Tigers vs Gophers

Stats:

9.7 – PP% – 26.4
80.0 – PK% – 82.0
54.2 – FO% – 48.7
1.140 – GF/GA – 1.224
.906 – SV% – .915

Vibes: Talk about scheduling with talent in mind. That’s exactly what the Gophers did when they pushed this series back to a non-traditional Sunday/Monday matchup. You see, Bob is going to be getting a bunch of talented players back from their World Juniors tournament JUST in time for this game. That is if they want to and are able to play, of course. That type of foresight is why he’s such a talented and sought after head coach. If CC gets on the wrong side of the penalties, I don’t see how they can keep this Gophers squad down. Keep in mind, however, that this same Tigers squad took UND to OT and won two against them as well.

Prediction: Gophers split the series after an emotional WJC return.

Minnesota State @ Augustana – Fri & Sat, Jan. 5/6

Mavericks vs Vikings

Stats:

21.0 – PP% – 18.9
78.0 – PK% – 81.3
50.2 – FO% – 41.8
1.120 – GF/GA – 0.762
.906 – SV% – .901

Vibes: The 6-win Vikings team doesn’t seem all that intimidating on paper. Even less scary when you look at their paltry team stats. What makes anyone nervous is the wins that they’ve amassed this season. This includes a shootout win against Denver, and regulation wins against both Colorado College and Alaska. They have not had the same rough start as other recent D1 schools in their first season, but they seem like a different team every night as well. Which one is going to show up against Minnesota State?

Prediction: Mavs split on the road.

Bemidji State @ Ferris State – Fri & Sat, Jan. 5/6

Mavericks vs Vikings

Stats:

16.5 – PP% – 14.8
72.3 – PK% – 70.1
46.3 – FO% – 48.7
0.733 – GF/GA – 0.623
.863 – SV% – .893

Vibes: Woof. That is not an endorsement for Ferris State. That is merely the only acceptable reaction when you look at this matchup on paper. I’m trying desperately to find a bright spot on either side, but each is equally gray and sickening. The ONE point that could (and should) be made is that the Beavers were without their star goaltender Sholl for a lengthy period this season and their team save percentage took a hit because of it. On the flip side of that coin, Kyle Looft (Bemidji’s best defensive player and heart of the Beavs) is recovering from a broken wrist and will not be on the ice for quite a while. I don’t know how to wrap this section up. The “Doodoo Caca” song from the early 2000’s comes to mind, I guess.

Prediction: Beavs split on the road too…it’s the CCHA

Other College Hockey Games to Watch

#5/6 Wisconsin @ Notre Dame – Fri & Sat, Jan. 5/6

Badgers vs Fighting Irish

Stats:

17.1 – PP% – 17.4
91.5 – PK% – 83.8
54.1 – FO% – 54.7
2.225 – GF/GA – 1.122
.942 – SV% – .927

Vibes: This matchup is actually insane. Wisconsin is incredibly talented from top to bottom and Notre Dame is underrated nationally because they have to withstand the barrage of the rest of the Big 10. The fact of the matter is that these are the two best goalies in the nation. Ian Shane (Cornell) deserves to be in the conversation as well, but when you play 1/3 less games than these two guys, you get left off the list. Sorry.

I’m not saying that these are going to be two 0-0 shootout games, but I’ll give you my personal guarantee that neither game goes above 7 goals. Not only are the the tendies standing on their heads, but the PK units are among the best in the country too! Factor in that neither is particularly “potent” on the PP and you can see why I’m stuck on the thought that this is going to be a defensive battle.

Prediction: Wisconsin and Notre Dame tendies show off their skills in two one-goal games. Split.

Bowling Green @ Ohio State – Fri & Sat, Jan. 5/6

Mavericks vs Vikings

Stats:

14.7 – PP% – 19.7
84.5 – PK% – 76.7
54.4 – FO% – 49.0
0.783 – GF/GA – 0.738
.906 – SV% – .892

Vibes: The stats here would lead you to believe that Bowling Green is the superior team. Let me assure you, that is not the case. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at any one of the College Hockey Rankings sites. Just do me a favor and make sure you find one that goes all the way to the bottom.

Despite this being the battle of Ohio, don’t expect much of a fight. Ohio State’s stats have taken a hit because they’re going up against the likes of the rest of the Big 10, which is arguably the most talented conference in all of College Hockey this season. BGSU, on the other hand, has largely played against the CCHA which is arguably the worst conference in all of college hockey. The biggest problem of all for the 7-13 Bowling Green squad? A 1-5 EXHIBITION LOSS to Windsor on Dec. 30th.

Prediction: Ohio State wins both by 3.

Previous Rankings/Reviews

Week 12: College Hockey Rankings, Betting Lines, & Weekend Preview